Ethrizzle—the name alone holds godly. Yesterday marked the end of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (a.k.a. E3) in L.A., where the biggest monsters of video-gaming come together in L.A. to meet, greet, and sell their wares to the press and each other. We've condensed the entire convention into this informative post about what you can expect in the video-game world for the rest of this year and beyond. Between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, who had the best E3 showing? What titles are the most promising for the coming year? And what the fuck is a Project Natal? Find out these answers and the other top things we learned at E3 below...
Text by Nick Marroni
5. NINTENDO'S ACTUALLY MAKING SOME GOOD GAMES.
• Busting out with Super Mario Galaxy 2 and the completely new and unexpected Team Ninja collabo of the re-imagined Metroid, NINTENDO finally demonstrated that they still have some love for the O.G. gamers that put them on the map. After a past couple years of very disappointing nonsense like Wii Music and other stuff that not too many real gamers really care about, Nintendo's shown that they're still down for the cause and that there'll be at least a couple good reasons to dust off that Wii—the Wii MotionPlus is none too shabby either and really steps the waggle game up a notch.
4. THE PS3 IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, BUT SONY STILL DOESN'T QUITE GET IT.
• With exclusives Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, God of War III, and MAG on the way, the PS3 looks to have plenty to distract folks. Still, SONY failed to announce a price drop and the rumored PS3 slim doesn't appear to exist; unless these things change before holiday madness, this generation's console war will be all but decided. To make matters worse, the new PSP Go's two main talking points seem to be (1) at $249.99, it costs about 80 bucks more than the original PSP and (2) people can't play their old PSP UMD discs on it—go ahead and purchase the extended warranty while you're at it. Heavy Rain is very, very cool, though, and gamers, people, and penguins everywhere should pay close attention to it when it launches early next year.
3. MICROSOFT IS IN IT TO WIN IT.
• All of the big three had strong showings at E3 this year, but MICROSOFT emerged as the overall winner. With Alan Wake, Halo 3: ODST, Left 4 Dead 2, Mass Effect 2, and former PlayStation exclusive Final Fantasy XIII all dropping within the next year, the 360 is still the cat's pajamas. The no-delay, instant streaming, full 1080p video service through Xbox Live and the new, beyond state-of-the-art camera-based motion recognition that they've got going on (see above) pretty much solidifies Microsoft in the pole position for the current and next gen (if the streaming 1080p actually works as advertised). Microsoft has eliminated the need for a Blu-Ray disc player and one-upped the Wii in its mainstream, motion-recognition appeal—Grandma won't want to waggle a remote anymore when she can just scan a golf club and get down to business.
2. THE FUTURE IS A BIT CREEPY.
• Along with Microsoft's camera comes a scary advanced kid named Milo as part of Lionhead Studios head and Fable series developer Peter Molyneux's new Project Natal (they're trying to get people to say it Nuh-Tall, but, for real talk's sake, let's keep it Nay-Tul, please). Natal and Milo use the new motion recognition camera to simulate the most advanced, ostensibly real world yet seen in the interactive entertainment space (or any other space too, for that matter) and it's downright creepy and just a bit unsettling to see how effective and immersive the simulation is. When this thing really reaches critical mass, WoW addictions may end up looking downright tame in comparison to the socially deprived children who might end up getting attached to Milo and his other soul-sucking little buddies.
1. THE REAL E3 IS BACK!
• The one thing everyone will agree on about this year's show is that a big Electronic Entertainment Expo is a fun Electronic Entertainment Expo and that the more the merrier—things still aren't back to E3's peak years of the early '00s and some companies probably wouldn't have minded a bit more traffic and congestion, but it's plain to see that this is the way things are supposed to be and the mistakes of the past two years now stand corrected. Especially cool is that surprises were actually left as surprises (though we already knew about the Em/Jay-Z DJ Hero performance) without everyone knowing ahead of time during the press shows exactly what to expect—Final Fantasy XIV pretty much came out of nowhere at the Sony show and the new Castlevania received a loud round of approval. Things should be good to go again for next year and beyond and E3 looks set to stick around. Video games are the business, and business is good.