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Cover Story: E3 2010

April 12, 2011

Welcome to the Faction' s 2010 E3 coverage.

As you all know, E3 is the equivalent of the Super Bowl to the video game community. This year we're bringing you broader coverage than we did last year, as we look to give you a general overview on what you may have missed if you weren't there in person. As usual, the Big 3 had their presentations, along with some of the developers and publishers with in the community. We are here to provide you with a look into the more relevant conferences and game demos. So sit back relax and enjoy our look into E3 2010.

In our no holds barred coverage last year of the Big 3, we were quick to point out that all three of their presentations were dismal. The question is, with such sub-par performances last year did any of them step it up this time around? Let's look into each of their press conferences and let you decide.

Microsoft: 

Summary: Microsoft actually held two press conferences. One specifically for Kinect (it's new name for Project Natal), and their usual press conference for upcoming Xbox 360 games and products. Their Kinect press conference showcased all the games that are primarily for casual gamers. In their regular press conference, very little time was spent on games and other Microsoft 360 peripherals. The vast majority of their press conference was focused on Kinect as well. At the very end, they showcased a new 360 slim. This unit is much smaller and attractive than its predecessors and has built-in WiFi.

The Yay's: The new exclusive Metal Gear Solid title, Gears of War 3, Halo Reach, Natal video chat, ESPN 360, the new Xbox 360 slim. 

The So So's: Kinect Dance Central

The Nay's: The time spent on Natal during the regular press conference!

Conclusion: If Microsoft's goal was to piss off every hard-core gamer from here to Zimbabwe, then they hit it right out the park. We know Natal was your answer to the motion control craze. We know that the technology at first glance may have been somewhat impressive and innovative. We know in result that coming up with such a product probably cost the company millions upon millions of dollars in development. Therefore, we know how important it is for Microsoft to ensure that their gimmick... I mean, product does well out of the gate. Nevertheless, to spend so much time on this product, when you apparently have no titles ready at launch that will cater to the hard-core crowd, at a hard-core gaming event, has us wonder:  what in the f@#^ makes you think this product is going to get good press after the conference?!? You spent close to 90% of your allotted time blabbering about this crap. What... did a Kanye and got a little "tipsy" before you headed out on stage with your "grand" idea???..... F@#$%'n idiots

OVERALL GRADE: F / Microsoft so f@#^' d up this year. They started off on the right foot, showcasing games, which all looked good. Then they swiftly started to nosedive into a region that was not pretty with Kinect. Why did they have 2 programs if the were going to show Kinect through 90% of their press conferences. Sorry, even though the video chat was impressive, as far as gaming goes, they showed nothing remotely interesting regarding motion control. BIG TIME blunder on their part. Easily their worst showcase ever.

Nintendo:

Summary: Nintendo put less focus on casual games and started to showcase some games of classic nature. They also presented games for the DS. Lastly, they showed off their new 3-D DS system.

The Yay's: New GoldenEye Wii title, Metroid the other M, New Kid Icarus title.

So-so: 3-D DS, New Legend of Zelda Wii title.

The Nay's: nothing really.

Conclusion: Nintendo learned very well from the verbal thrashing they received over and over again on the net last year. They strayed away from all of the statistical and marketing babel regarding unit sales, and instead decided to showcase some things that a lot of Nintendo fans have been asking for: games showcasing classic Nintendo characters. Though their presentation won't knock a hard-core gamer's socks off, it was a very good step in the right direction. Metroid the other M still looks like their most promising title, and the new 3-D DS is sure to turn some heads once it hits retail stores this holiday season (UPDATE - as of 09/27/10 it was announced the system would not hit stores until 2011).

OVERALL GRADE: C- / Again Nintendo's press conference is not going to be one that amazes hard-core gamers. What it is a sign of is that the company is finally listening to the  gamers that has sustained them long enough to see its current success. A lot less fluff, more substance, that's good enough to give them a passing grade.

Sony:

Summary: Sony as well showcased its answer to the motion control craze (now titled Move). They also showcased some games for its flagship console. They also introduced a whole new and revamped marketing campaign for the PSP. Though not showing a lot of exclusive titles, they highlighted some exclusive content for multi-platform games. They also revealed a brand-new pay for system on the PlayStation network.

The Yay's: Sorcery (Move Title), Valve and Steam, exclusive game content.

The So So's: Kevin Butler, PlayStation Plus (Pay for PSN Service).

The Nay's: New PSP campaign, exclusive PS3 titles.

Conclusion: Sony's press conference did not have hard-core gamers jumping out of their seats. Nevertheless, they took full advantage of the Microsoft mishaps during their press conference and gave some very notable swift kicks to the raisin pouch. After the presentation of both PlayStation Move, and Microsoft Kinect, the PlayStation Move looked like the more accommodating addition for hard-core gamers. That's because at launch this peripheral will be usable on a lot of PlayStation titles. This would include games like Socom, and Kill Zone 3. Though Kevin Butler, the notable spokesperson on the most recent PlayStation 3 commercials, added some good satire, his focused efforts on the PSP doesn't seem enough to propel the system. Sony overall still has issues with its exclusive games. Games like Kill Zone 3 still show some of the dry and boring gameplay that turned a lot of hard-core gamers off in the last installment. The most notable announcement of all the press conferences was the announcement that Valve, and steam would be coming to the PlayStation network. This is a serious blow for Microsoft, because the company proclaimed not too long ago that you would never see a title of theirs on the PlayStation 3. Last but not least, a lot of anticipated titles such as Dead Space to Assassins Creed and Mafia 2 highlighted exclusive content for the PlayStation 3. This exclusive content includes things like additional games and a few extra levels. Honestly, that had us impressed.

OVERALL GRADE: C /even though their press conference did little to garner a heavy amount of hard-core gamer enthusiasm, some of their announcments coupled with the poor presentation from Microsoft pretty much boosted their conference this time around. Of course the most notable thing of all of the big three press conferences, is the fact that Steam will now be available on the PlayStation 3.

One thing that we learned this year, after witnessing all the Big 3 had to showcase, that what we formally thought was up is now down. What was left yesterday is now right, and those that we thought were headed on the right track now seem to be making blunders of epic proportions into "Failville”. Microsoft's showing this year was abysmal to say the least, and unfortunately led to a downer for the expo. Yes, we will give credit to Nintendo, and most notably Sony for picking up the pace. However, their presentations on their own merits were not anything ground moving. Out doing Microsoft this time around could have been done by anybody. Frankly, neither company has done a good enough job of selling their consoles nor their gaming platforms to people that don't already own them. If there's anything to gather from the Big 3 performances this year, is that if you own both a PS3 and Xbox 360, and you're looking at a multi-platform game, you might now have some reason to buy a title or two for the PlayStation 3 instead.

With that said, once again we were forced to look towards the games for any earth-moving announcements.  The not so special presentations highlighted above kind of hampered the mood this year, however there were "some" titles that were noteworthy this time around.  Here's our top 10 games of E3 2010:


10. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
 
9. Homefront
 
8. Portal 2

7. Gears of War 3
 
6. Fallout: New Vegas
 
5. Medal of Honor

4. Metroid The other M



 3. Crysis 2                   


 2. Dead Space 2           


AND.......


 1. Rage                       

Congratulations to the team at Id.  Though originally tagged as a Borderlands knock off, this title showed an identity of its own.  The team showcased a demo that displayed some true grit graphically and within the gameplay that may seperate itself substantially from Borderlands.  We can't wait to see!


Well folks, that's it for our E3 coverage.  Let's see how these games actually pan out this year and next.  Until next time ~ Bon Apetite




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