As any hardcore gaming fan knows well, last week was the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3. It’s one of the biggest events of the year for videogames, and it tends to be where all of the really exciting stuff gets announced. This year was no different in terms of scale, but in terms of content, I think it’s fair to say that E3 was a bit of a letdown.
Let’s start with the games, since that’s what we’re all in it for in the first place. I’m just going to go ahead and list the winners and runners up for Best Xbox 360 Game, according to 1UP: ‘Gears of War 3’, ‘Modern Warfare 3′, Mass Effect 3’, ‘BioShock Infinite’ and ‘Forza 4’. See the problem?
The one big announcement not on that list is ‘Halo 4’, which people honestly seemed surprised about. There are something like 100 ‘Mega Man’ games and I’d be willing to bet that not a single one of them sold as much as ‘Halo 3’.
PS3 is more of the same as well. Wow, ‘Resistance 3’, ‘Uncharted 3’, ‘Batman: Arkham City’, ‘Sly Cooper’ and ‘Twisted Metal’. They’re a bunch of games we either already knew about or could have guessed. Unless, of course, you thought that we wouldn’t see another ‘Battlefield’ game.
Sure, there were a few cool new titles in there, but it’s all so safe. At least the companies are doing something interesting when it comes to hardware.
The Wii U is probably the most talked about piece of hardware to come out of the event, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. The system’s announcement was confusing, and made it look more like a new controller for the Wii than an actual new console. Nintendo’s Wii U is indeed a new console, but the company isn’t really talking about it. They are, however, talking about the fancy new controller that looks like a stretched version of the Dreamcast remote. I’m sure I’ll get into this more in the future, but the Wii U seems like a system that Nintendo decided to make before figuring out exactly what they’d do with it. That may have worked out for the first Wii, but this may be going a step too far.
Microsoft didn’t have much to say about the Xbox 360 console except that Kinect will soon be able to control just about everything. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you to decide. The company is also adding live streaming television this fall, but that’s really about all that was mentioned in terms of details. Way to go, Microsoft. You just did a Nintendo-style E3.
Finally, we come to Sony, who announced that the follow-up to the PSP, which we’ve called the PSP2 or the NGP in the past, will now be known as the Vita. Sure, why not? Pricing is nice and low, fortunately. The Wi-Fi model comes in at $249 and the 3G version at $299. That puts it at the same price as the 3DS, but with far greater capability. Good move, Sony.
E3 2011 was made up of sequels and disappointing hardware announcements. Really, guys, don’t feel the need to have an expo on our account. If you don’t have anything to announce, just skip a year.
That’s a quick and basic summary of E3, but it’s still 600 or so words that could have been summed up with: “Meh.”