The E3 Press Conferences on a whole were not terribly exciting this year. Ubisoft, which we don’t mention in the comic, definitely came through with some heavy hitter titles like Far Cry 3 and Splinter Cell: The Next One. Sony’s presentation consisted of mostly God of War, Beyond (made by the same guys who did one of my favorites, Heavy Rain) and their intriguing new IP, The Last of Us. Their exclusive studios really know what they are doing.
Microsoft’s conference was the most abysmal. I have no faith in their new Smartglass cell phone and tablet interoperability. Their argument that the devices already in use in your home should take part in your gaming experience seems like a shortcut to Nintendo’s more robust solution. I’m extremely suspicious that it will work very poorly on anything but a Windows Mobile device, if at all. They did have Halo 4, after a minute of the worst live action promo I have ever seen. It’s a good looking game. Fable: The Journey, is still a rails shooter. And there is a new Gears of War. These are things you might want, but it’s still a very narrow presentation.
Nintendo’s showing was not much more satisfying. The Wii U is a compelling piece of hardware, but Nintendo’s offering amounted to New Super Mario Bros, Pikmin, and Nintendo Land, which is a mini-game compilation. While more Mario is great, and I love the classic take in New Super Mario Bros, they showed it as a tech demo last year, and they announced one for the 3DS at the same time. They also brought Wii Fit back into the spotlight. It will benefit greatly from off TV play, but I’m not convinced that non-gamers will be dragged back into their Nintendo workout routines by it.