I wrote up some E3 impressions for the OSU Game Creation Club’s website. Here they are, with a lot of extras:
Microsoft focused on the games, which they basically had to do (after all, their Xbox One reveal focused on the aspects of the system itself, which was not wrong). However, there’s not much that stood out. We’ve got Ryse, which looks like Quick-Time Events: The Game, MGS5, whose trailer played out more like a movie than a game, and Minecraft, which… is Minecraft, and as far as I know much the same experience as the PC and Xbox360 versions. The price for the new system is $499. Microsoft failed to use the conference to address consumer drawbacks to their system, such as the 24-hour online check in required to play games and their still-somewhat-murky stance on used games.
Sony was able to use their conference to gain the upper hand by announcing a price point of $430 for the (less expensive model) PS4, and announced that they would not include restrictions on trading games or playing them as Microsoft has (although they did admit later that they will leave decisions up to third parties on if THEY were going to have restrictions in place for their own games). It’s rare that a conference is defined by what a company DOESN’T do compared to what they actually do. Big draws for me personally are Kingdom Hearts III (wow, we finally get news on that?), Final Fantasy XV (which is Versus XIII rebranded), and Elder Scrolls Online (although I’ve never played subscription-based MMOs and do not plan to anytime soon). Nothing on the Vita interested me, though, and they hardly had anything for it anyway.
Nintendo’s ND wasn’t particularly surprising. The only thing that was a complete surprise was Donkey Kong, if memory serves. The 3D Mario game was revealed to be Super Mario 3D World, which is a bit unfortunate. It follows the style of Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS, and is probably not destined to be a truly great Mario title like Galaxy was. Mario Kart 8 looked nice. Super Smash Bros. was pretty much like you’d expect – nothing game-changing, aside from revelations of new fighters Megaman, The Villager (from Animal Crossing), and Wii Fit Trainer. Nintendo did an okay job of convincing people that games were coming for Wii U, but the revelation of the 3D Mario game – which I hoped would be something spectacular – kinda ruined it for me. Pokemon X/Y is shaping up nice though. I really like the trainer customization and online features.
All of the companies above seem to be preaching innovation while only taking baby steps toward that goal. Improved graphics in Forza Motorsport does not an innovative game make, and neither does inserting ‘new’ into a game name (Yoshi’s New Island)
Other misc. impressions from me and from around the Internet:
- Microsoft also drew some ire from people (because they didn’t reach their quota yet) for having a demonstration of Killer Instinct that had an exchange between the two players demoing the game that sounded a little like a in-progress rape. While there is a lot of argument about whether it was intentional or not, it must be said that the lady to whom the comments were made have both defended the demo as unscripted and friendly banter. I must say that I’m in the camp of thinking that people read into it a bit much. Yes, it probably wasn’t the wisest choice of words to get the point across that the guy was winning, but I highly doubt it was meant as a cruel joke – note that the woman equally contributed to the double entendre. And I do think more or less the same exchange may have happened with two men on the stage instead – but with much less outrage. Regardless, I didn’t even take it as a possible reference until others pointed it out.
- I also like that Mirror’s Edge II is coming to PC (from EA’s conference), although their decision to not support the Wii U but the entirely unproven PS4 and Xbox One is somewhat befuddling, especially in the case of FIFA 14, which is appearing on Playstation 2, Playstation 3, PSP and Wii (among others), but not Wii U.
- There’s a plan to turn public hotspots into Streetpass relay stations, meaning that if you come into contact with one of those hotspots, you’ll streetpass somebody who was there previously. I love streetpass, so I think this is a fabulous idea.
- While I have the feeling there is a sizeable gap between them, currently the PS4 is beating out the Xbox One in terms of Day One edition preorders on Amazon. They are #1 and #2 in the video games category respectively.
- Very few of the games at E3 featured female protagonists (Mirror’s Edge, Bayonetta 2, Dragon Age:Inquisition, Transistor). The Xbox conference in particular showed none of these games, and an alarming number of people seem fine with that (Caution: language and the chance of becoming very, very mad)
- According to GameFAQs polls of the day (which hardly counts as scientific), the median grade for the Xbox conference was a C-, while Sony has an A- and Nintendo has a C+. The majority rate the consoles as PS4>Wii U>Xbox One. Only about 7.5% percent of people plan to buy an Xbox One (including preorders) while ~48% plan to get a PS4. Almost 68% of people do not think Microsoft will back down from controversial Xbox policies, but they’re pretty evenly split on if they’ll fail because of it. Finally, 68.5% of people thought Sony ‘won’ E3, while 15.16% think Nintendo won. 2.88% think that Microsoft won, 6.88% think the third parties won, and the remaining 6.58% believe that this really isn’t going to be a good year for gaming, isn’t it? (Source – view this and previous polls)
- From the Gameological Society (sister site to the AV Club, which is a sister site to The Onion), during their respective E3 conferences, Xbox games were shown killing around 485 on-screen entities, Sony games murdered 135, and Nintendo games brutally offed 61.
- Miyamoto loves his Pikmin dolls