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Jun 08 2012

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E3 2012: Lost In Translation?

So the Big Three have pretty much wrapped up their presentations for E3 2012 and I’ve gotta say it hasn’t been a huge disappointment, but it hasn’t been mindblowingly stellar either.

Microsoft

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

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.

 

Nintendo

 

Nintendo’s showing was good, but was played safe. Most of the focus was put onto their soon to be released Wii U system and not much new information that we didn’t know beforehand was given out. The GamePad was modified slightly since the last showing, a new Wii U Pro controller was unveiled, which resembled a Nintendo-fied Xbox 360 controller and a swath of new features, like Miiverse were revealed during the Nintendo Direct stream and was also touched upon during their presentation.
There were some games like Arkham City: Armored Edition, Mass Effect 3 and DarkSiders 2 that were unveiled for the Wii U, even though these games already released on the PS3 and Xbox 360. As much as I like seeing good content like this making it’s way to the Wii U, I’d prefer that there would be moore titles that weren’t just ports of current games to head to a brand new system.
Even with the lack of many new IPs being announced, ZombiU looks like an interesting take on the whole zombie genre, where just one simple game means death, and you will need to retrieve items from your now undead body from the previous zombie attack.
New Super Mario Bros 2 and New Super Mario Bros U made an appearance during the presentation, and as usual, looks to be a fun and challenging experience. Paper Mario for the 3DS looks like it will be another solid entry into the franchise, with stickers becoming powerups and can form part of the environment.
I think it was expected that Nintendo wouldn’t be pulling out all the big guns to fend off new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Overall the presentations from Microsoft was the weakest out of the Big Three and Sony and Nintendo played it safe.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brokenfuse.com/2012/06/08/e3-2012-lost-in-translation/

4 comments

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  1. Kevin Lam

    Agreed. E3 was rather stale this year.
    Microsoft- basically continuation of popular franchises which is alrite and a little bit of Kinect.

    Sony- Yes it was average. God of War and Sony Smash Bros are the ok titles. Seems like Wonderbook is their latest push for Move… not sure if it will fly. Also disappointed at the fact that there’s no future plans for a Vita price drop yet.

    Nintendo- No specific info on Wii U’s release date or price range. Launch lineup seems promising. 3rd party supports equate to ports of previous generation games which is a little awkward for a new system. No news from Retro. I liked 3 Mario games, Pikmin 3, Project P-100 and Nintendo Land. Nintendo could’ve done so much more for E3….

    1. Markus Lai

      I think it’s kinda understandable with Ninty having a new system out later this year and not needing to pull out all the stops. E3 2013 should be a big year for MS and Sony with a high chance of announcing/debuting a new console.Hopefully it’ll mean the Big Three will step up and make things interesting.

  2. ZMMSP-013

    Not sure whether to repost a 3page MS word response here, on the e3 podcast or as an article response. Nintendo’s press-conference was just whelming, nothing amazing was shown, but many of it didn’t need to be shown. Nintendo had the most colour of any press con, they win for that if there could be an award. Microsoft managed to produce the only shooter with any colour to it, Halo 4. So it wins that, also is it just me or does it look more like a Metroid Prime game? Sony showed us a bunch of things we already knew about none of what we wanted, and had perhaps the MOST disappointing announcement in that there was NO news on “The Last Guardian” yet another game seemingly in limbo for over half a decade. Seems like MS and Sony don’t plan on releasing ANYTHING for at least a year, in a sense Nintendo’s Wii-U now has at least THAT long before having to compete with anything “new” in the console market, could be interesting to see how that plays out.

    I have a theory about what Retro studios is doing/making *a few anyway* but perhaps I’ll save it for either that 3page (unedited ms word) response or post it in another topic altogether.

  3. ZMMSP-013

    Oh and Wii-U ideas for pricing *according to a Japanese article* 30 000yen (which is rather good if it comes bundled with a Wii-U game pad- around $300 US). Possibly a 3DS XL/LL both scheduled for fall. Nintendo if it actually has those things lined up may be waiting to announce more closer to when both are ready to launch. Also giving people less time to mull over anything that they may have issue with, getting caught up in the hype of a launch more readily. Now if we could just get a few more Wii games translated and or properly localized from Japan to here (3DS could use some too) then the Wii could have a proper send-off and flow more smoothly into the Wii-U launch. Also where’s that conformation of a new GC virtual console of sorts,would’ve been a great thing to mention if its in the works.

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