Microsoft’s showing was mediocre in my opinion. I’ll start with SmartGlass. SmartGlass is an interesting concept that they’ve tried to integrate into the Xbox 360 to breathe new life into an old console. My main problem is the Xbox tablet. It’s an expensive piece of hardware few will actually buy, unless Microsoft can make it for sub-$200 price range and can actually be used as a regular wifi tablet. Don’t get me wrong that it’s a great concept, it’s the execution and price that will be the biggest barrier. Thankfully, SmartGlass will be supported on WP7, Android and iOS devices, which helps with getting SmartGlass to the masses.
Tomb Raider, Halo 4, Splinter Cell, Forza, Resident Evil 6 and Call of Duty made appearances during their press conference. Tomb Raider has taken a page out of Uncharted, which I don’t mind at all. Halo and Splinter Cell both look amazing and I think will be great alternatives for those who don’t play Call of Duty but still want to have a shooter. Resident Evil 6 has left it’s roots from a zombie horror game to more of an action-based zombie hunt. It’ll be an awesome game to play, even though it has moved away from the original horror genre that the first Resident Evil/Bioshock game was. Forza is as usual, is a high gloss racing game that pits you against outracing friends and cops. It looks like it’ll be another top notch entry into the franchise. As popular as the Call of Duty franchise is, and the fanbase of that franchise is a large part of the Xbox userbase, I felt like the demo at the end of the show was a bit long and kinda took away from the overall presentation experience for me. Kinect barely even registered any interest nor memory for me for this presentation as I remember Dance Central 4 and some vague memory of some voice command inputs during their presentation.
Overall, Microsoft’s presentation really lacked excitement for me. Sure SmartGlass is a cool idea and voice controls were a neat inclusion for some games, I just couldn’t get excited for what they were trying to present to me, especially the exclusives, besides Halo 4.
Sony’s conference was pretty average and was played safe. Quantic Dream presented their new IP: Beyond: Two Souls, which stars a 15 year old girl played by Ellen page. It seems like an interesting game that stars a 15 year old girl with some sort of psychic abilities and is being hunted down by the government. All-Stars Battle Royale is a blatant ripoff of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise, with Sony’s first and third party characters. It seems like it’ll end up being a solid game, although items seem to be lacking and Smash Balls are replaced by Street Fighter-esque power up bars that unleash ridiculous supers that can devastate opponents.
Assassins creed seems to be a brand that Sony really wants to get behind. A new PS Vita and PS3 bundles will be centered around Assassins Creed III. Although the Assassins III bundle will feature a white PS Vita, the Vita was relegated to the sidelines for most of the presentation
Wonderbook was a new software that wasn’t totally expected. It makes use of the PS EyeToy and the PS Move. It features spellbooks and playing around with spells and Augmeted Reality wiith the idea of putting storybooks into the digital realm. J.K. Rowling will have a hand within this augmented reality world with a Harry Potter tie in.
As per usual, God of War makes an appearance with God of War: Ascension. Over the top gore, blood and violence return with utter smoothness. It’s looking like it’ll be another solid title. The Last Of Us made an appearance and is a solid apocalyptic Uncharted-esque M-rated shooter. It shows that Naughty Dog still has the touch.
The Last Guardian was missing from the conference. It definitely has me wondering if it’s going to be released within this decade, especially since Sony hasn’t said overly much about it.