"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

E3 2012 Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo Press Conferences

This week Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo teased their plans for the next year in video games. For Nintendo, it was an important show as they plan on releasing the Wii U for the Christmas holiday season as a means to finally compete with the other two graphics wise while still offering that unique Nintendo library. The show could be summarized as march of the sequels. Games shown off include Crysis 3, Black Ops 2, new Medal of Honor, Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed 3, God of War: Ascension and the list goes on. The Wii U for all intents is just an improved sequel to the Wii.

Nintendo's Wii U sadly disappoints. For all intents it is an updated graphics chip with a fancy controller that most will probably stop using pretty quickly once they buy the pro controller for the system (think Nintendo's version of the XBox 360 controller). The idea is sound but at the end of the day if people wanted to use a tablet device to play video games they would just play games on a tablet. The system is set for release by Christmas, no price yet but I suspect the $250 to $300 range. The system also is the first time Nintendo seems to embrace the existence of the internet but it still remains a tightly controlled sandbox around the Mii experience.

Sony's announcement focused on the games with many great announcements including those mentioned above. Except of God of War, most will be available on both 360 and PS3. They announced some Vita games but can't remember because most were just toned down retreads of the console games. Instead Sony keeps trying to get people to buy the same game twice, once for PS3 and again for the Vita, just so can use a feature of moving back and forth between the two systems. A very expensive goal that most players probably are skipping. It seems Sony has not figured out what Nintendo already knows - the handheld gaming experience should be unique to the handheld. They also announced an augmented reality feature called Wonder Book but except for Harry Potter fans, I get the feeling it will land with a thud.

Microsoft's XBox 360 probably can be considered the winner of the show with the most games and improvements. MS announced Halo 4 pretty much making them the default winner in gaming department. They also showed off SmartGlass (video demo here) that is an app that will allow you to control the XBox interface or interact with games and videos via any device that can install the app so pretty much any PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices. It seems the XBox teams know that making it easy to add a screen is more important than making some fancy new (and expensive) game pad that Sony and Nintendo are requiring for a similar experience.

Below are videos to the main three press conferences. Also are links to an epic ton of videos from E3 that shows of gameplay, demos, trailers, and interviews on pretty much everything at the Expo. Over all, gamers will have lots of fun sequels to play, Nintendo still has an uphill battle and Sony just trudges along copying the competition whenever possible.

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Microsoft Press Conference

Sony Press Conference

Nintendo Press Conference

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