The Electronic Entertainment Expo has come and gone, and I was right in the thick of it, checking out all of the new announcements from console and PC game companies.
What follows is a quick summary of what came out from behind closed doors, as well as my commentary on the future of each company’s gaming divisions.
Microsoft owned this E3, plain and simple. The announcement that the next Metal Gear Solid would be multi-platform took a huge advantage away from Sony, much like GTAIV did a few years ago.
The Xbox Live updates just cemented its position as the dominant provider for online console gaming. And, of course, everybody was talking about Project Natal – this Wii-esque motion control system could capture the Wii’s casual audience, or it could be a complete flop – only marketing will be able to tell.
Nintendo stayed the course this year – with the Wii selling as many hardware units as the Xbox 360 and the PS3 combined, they don’t want to mess with success. And they didn’t, bringing out new installments of old favorites.
New Super Mario Brothers with four-player simultaneous action. Wii Fit Plus – basically more Wii Fit. Super Mario Galaxy 2 next year, as well as a third-person Metroid from… Team Ninja? Odd.
Add in the Wii Vitality Sensor, the latest gimmicky peripheral, and the big N will stay strong, if unappealing for hardcore gamers, over the next year.
Oh, Sony. Sony, Sony, Sony. Do you really think that the answer to your problems is yet another PSP redesign? The PSP Go reconfigures the troubled portable into an even less ergonomic design, with no UMD drive – making all of your previous PSP games that you purchased unplayable.
Instead, it has onboard wifi and a 16GB solid state drive for your downloads from the PlayStation Store. Whee!
On the PS3 front, one good piece of news is that Final Fantasy XIV (yes, that’s fourteen) will be PS3 exclusive, with the forthcoming XIII still set for multiplatform. They closed with God OF War III, which is slated to be the last game in the series.
The big news on the PC front was Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to Valve’s co-op zombie hit, which is coming out in under a year – extremely quickly for the traditionally “when it’s done”-motivated company. It looks great so far, with just enough changing to make it worth the purchase.
APB, the massively multiplayer Grand Theft Auto-alike from the makers of Crackdown, also looks styling. And, of course, Bioshock II, but that’s old news by now. It was a good year, and it’s going to lead to some damn good games, so I’m happy.