Chris: As I mentioned at the start of the week, I set the bar super low for this year’s E3. Last year was even more of a disappointment than usual. But this year redeemed the expo in a big way.
Other than Sony’s baffling 30-minute aside halfway through their conference, the focus from the big three was on games. A stunning concept, I know. Microsoft didn’t waste any time on TV integration or insulting its user base. Nintendo took advantage of its non-live format to deliver 50 minutes packed with reveals and trailers (and fun asides). And Sony’s first hour was chock full of all sorts of good stuff.
While I think it’s sad that it took such a hugely negative response from fans to get executives to wise up — and Microsoft is still trying to dig itself out of the hole it dug last year — at least it happened. Fans who complain about companies not listening to what they want, but then complain when they reverse course and DO listen, are the worst.
E3 might not be as big of a deal as it was five years ago, but that’s okay. Give me the major conferences and then some stories about the rest of the games later in the week and that’s fine.
I could nitpick all sorts of little things. Nintendo kept the door shut on Metroid and barely revealed anything for the 3DS, but the Wii U was in desperate need of a boost, so I understand. EA kept its cards hidden on Mass Effect, but it’s too early for much anyway. The Vita was forgotten once again. And there weren’t any HUGE OMG WHAT THE HELL announcements, but I get that too. Several potentially big reveals were leaked in the days (or weeks) before E3, like the new Metal Gear Solid V trailer or Midna in Hyrule Warriors. Companies are probably starting to give up on the idea of a shocking surprise.
Then again, that outstanding Legend of Zelda footage was locked up tight, and that thrill I got when the chase scene started seems worth it to me.
It wasn’t fantastic, but E3 got the job done. I think fans of any console or developer would be hard-pressed to say they didn’t find something to like this week. Handheld fans? Eh… Grade: B+
Shaun: For me, this year’s E3 is hard to rate, because while it wasn’t bad by any stretch, the only thing it did was meet expectations. Other than some surprises from Nintendo (Star Fox, Mario Maker, Zelda being a bit further along than I was anticipating), no announcements blew me away, or made me really excited for the next generation beyond what I already knew about.
At the same time, unlike last year, nothing infuriated me, either, and it can’t be overstated how much I appreciate that.
In my book, it was pretty clear that Nintendo was the winner this year, and by a pretty significant margin, which is good, because they needed it the most. From the tone of their presentation to the games themselves, Nintendo had a strong showing, and all signs point to a more successful forecast for the Wii U, though if it will make up any real ground on its competitors remains yet to be seen.
Of course, that statement is regarding just the Wii U. The 3DS will continue to dominate. Because it’s fantastic.
I’ll also give a few bonus points to my score because I’m sure the actual conference was fun, and the ability to demo games like Smash Bros. and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel must have been really cool.
You’re on an upswing, E3. Keep at it for next year. Grade: B