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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Impressions of E3 2010: Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony

I've watched some E3 coverage and read what I could from Joystiq and Kotaku. Here are my quick impressions of this year's E3.

Before I begin, let me be clear that I'm not going to cover everything revealed or discussed at E3. I'm only going to focus on the stuff that I was most interested in.  Most announcements of upcoming games don't really interest me all that much.  Gears of War 3 is not a surprise.  Exclusivity on Call of Duty map packs over the next few years means less than nothing to me.  And telling me that a new Zelda is coming to the Wii makes me sad that Link will forever be trapped on a console that appeals only to old people, casual gamers, and kids whose parents haven't bought them a PS3 or 360.


  • New Xbox 360 Slim looks good. I don't need a new 360 right now but, if and when the time comes, I'm picking up one of these babies. I love the look and whisper-quiet functioning of the device. Big hard drive is nice but not necessary for us Canadians because we don't get Netflix or any of the other extra functionality offered to our U.S. neighbours.

  • ESPN? I couldn't care less because Canadians are not allowed to watch ESPN (or any other U.S based broadcasts like Hulu, for example).

  • Kinect looks like useless, wannabe-Wii fluff. My gaming set-up is not designed to allow me to get up and flail my arms around. I also think motion-control games are stupid.

  • Fable 3 should be pretty good. I liked Fable 2 so I'll likely grab Fable 3 once I've worked my way through the rest of my library.
  • 3DS seems alright but will probably not work very well in practice. I couldn't see myself every using a 3DS on my commute because I don't always have the option of placing a device at just the right distance and angle from my eyes.

  • I'll be honest: I don't really care about anything Nintendo says. I don't like the Wii and I don't like Mario. That Martinet guy doing his stupid Mario voice instantly tilts me.

  • I am totally not interested in 3D gaming or movies. 3D glasses are stupid and 3D movies hurt my eyes. It pains me to see the amount of effort that Sony has put in to hyping a technology solely devised to trick consumers into buying new 3D televisions. Kids aren't supposed to watch anything displayed in 3D anyway which seems to make 3D gaming especially useless.  And from all that I've read, extended viewing of 3D games or movies is really bad for our eyes.  I still remember that weird dizzy feeling I had while watching Avatar.

  • Is it just me or does every single FPS made in the past couple years look and play exactly the same? I may play Killzone 3, Gears 3, Call of Duty, and Halo games but I still don't get the real appeal of these games. Probably because I hate online multiplayer. And playing a shooter in 3D is not something that I feel necessary to try. Damn it Sony - enough about 3D!

  • I like the fact that Sly Cooper is being re-released in HD. But I hate the fact that this more or less confirms suspicions that backwards compatibility will never come to the PS3. I'll play Sly for the HD graphics and trophy support but I'll pass on the 3D which Sony feels compelled to attach to every development at this year's E3.

  • Playstation Move...I guess there are things that are worse than 3D. I'll be a happy man if I never have to hear about Move, Kinect, Wii motion control, or 3D ever again. And while the Move seems kinda cool for Tiger Woods golf, it's not worth spending $100 and re-arranging my entire gaming centre to accomodate a single game.

  • Kevin Butler was funny.

  • No earth-shattering PSP news. No PSP2, nothing mentioned about digital-download pricing, no extra incentives offered to PSP Go users. At least Final Fantasy IX was released to the PSN yesterday!

  • Playstation Plus seems like a pretty good deal. I'm not sure that I have enough time to make Playstation Plus worthwhile. Getting free games doesn't help me very much. My gaming library is pretty full at the moment. But I don't mind Sony trying to make a little extra money as long as I can continue accessing my usual set of online features for free.  I think PS+ will be a good deal for most PS3 users and brings more to the table than the 360's Gold service for users not interested in online multiplayer gaming (i.e. me).

  • Portal 2 looks good. I'm glad that Valve will try and develop some games for the PS3. I'm interested to see how Steam and the PS3 interact and the features offered.

  • Sony also announced that Canadian users will finally have access to movie and TV show downloads via the PSN. I won't get too enthusiastic about any of this until I see the selection available and pricing. Microsoft already offers movies to Canadians but the prices are exhorbitant. I refuse to pay $8 plus tax for a movie.

All in all, E3 2010 was pretty disappointing. Nothing mind blowing was announced. There are some games that I'm looking forward to playing but most of those games were announced well-before E3. My next major console purchase will likely be the 360 Slim, if necessary. I'd be perfectly happy with my PS3 were it not for the Mass Effect series.

For now, E3 will have no effect on my day-to-day gaming. I'm finishing up Pinnacle Station in Mass Effect. I purchased Tales of Monkey Island off the PSN for $20 and can't wait to play it! And I also downloaded Final Fantasy IX for my PSP. I'm only 30 minutes in but it seems pretty good. I'll reserve full jugdgement until such time that I've completed a few quests and busted some heads.

Have a good one!