E3: One down and 3.6

That title is actually a Ben Folds reference, but when I think “one down” it always comes to me.

The first day of E3 is behind us, and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I wrote roughly 4 times the number of stories as my usual today, so I’m not really in the mood to write a lot. So my thoughts on the first day may be brief here. Maybe I’ll come back with more detail sometime when the week is over.

The press conferences:

Microsoft: They did a lot with a little. No hardware announcements, but a few good game announcements. The Kinect focus got a little boring at times, but I can’t fault them for treating their major hardware push like a major hardware push. B

EA: Battlefield is really, really pretty.

Ubisoft: I want to kick Mr. Caffeine in the teeth. However, the AC Revelations trailer is the best trailer I’ve seen thus far from the show.

Sony: This conference wasn’t terrible, but it just seemed so underwhelming. We knew about a lot of the games they presented, and there weren’t really any major surprises. I think they wanted the price to be the wow-surprise at the end, but it just didn’t hit me like one. Matching your closest competitor and having a higher SKU to boot isn’t a megaton, Sony. Still, Tretton is charming and there was nothing wrong with the presentation — except all those dudes that were out of breath for some reason. B-

Keep in mind these are abbreviated, snap judgement type thoughts and I figure near the end of the week I’ll have had time to compile all my views and give them context in relation to each other.

  • If I had a Kinect, the Fun Labs toys would be a cool little time-waster. It’s not a function I can see driving sales or anything, but what the heck, give us random little toys.
  • I can’t see actually using this voice stuff for ME3. For one thing, it’s really jarring actually saying something aloud and then hearing Shepard say something slightly different. That disparity doesn’t come out in text because it’s clear you’re just picking the general idea.
  • Make it good enough to cancel Comcast and I’m in.
  • I don’t own a Kinect, and this Fable game isn’t going to convince me to get one. The Star Wars game might, if it reviews well.
  • Say what you will, this Halo 4 teaser was really well-done. I’d like to know more about what will set it apart, but I know now isn’t really the time. (Now is the time for the Halo: Combat Evolved remake, which as someone who has never played the first game to completion, I am interested in.)
  • I really like Insomniac’s creative weaponry and sense of humor, so any new franchise from them is exciting. It’s about time they went multi-platform, because they deserve a bigger audience. Plus the art style is colorful and the trailer was genuinely funny. Interested.
  • Also with a cool art style, but a lot more stupid, is the new Brothers in Arms. Someone on G4 acutely observed it’s like they watched Inglorious Basterds and completely missed the point.
  • There were rumblings of a new God of War announcement, and then we got this. It’s not that it isn’t cool, but I think it probably disappointed a lot of people after seeing “new 3D God of War” in Forbes. This was a good year to bring up God of War 4, to show some more first-party PS3 happenings for next year.
  • I love Sly Cooper. A lot. And we knew Sly 4 was coming, so this announcement was pretty much just a title and a cute trailer with no gameplay. Still! Exciting. And I hear gameplay is coming later this week.
  • BioShock? On PlayStation Vita? Damn it, Ken Levine. You’re going to make me buy one of those infernal things. Getting the first game for free on PS3’s Blu-ray is a cool bonus too. Couldn’t care less about Move.
  • I like this idea of cross-platform cloud play between Vita and PS3 for games like Ruin, but it sounds like you’d have to buy the game twice. Some sort of package deal where you get the Vita version for $10 over the regular price would be a smart move. Which means they almost definitely won’t do it.
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