This year's E3 event was full of surprising announcements from the three major companies: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. But in the end, who won E3? Let's see:
Sony (4 out of 5)
Sony had a good showing. Jack Tretton started the conference by apologizing to the 70 million PS3 customers who had had their data stolen and hadn't been able to access the PlayStation Network for almost a month. Althou
gh the worst hack in gaming history has been quite catastrophic, Jack's apology felt really sincere and heartfelt. Sony has also lost milions of dollars because of this, so we (the customers) are definitely not the only ones angry at Anomymous.
About the presentation, Sony started strong with an Uncharted 3 demo which showcased the amazing graphics and fun gameplay that we already experienced with Uncharted 1 & 2, but also with a new promising story and some great multiplayer improvements and tweaks. Uncharted 3 is shaping up to be 2011's Game of the Year.
The next big hit was a Resistance 3 video in full 3D. The graphics look much improved from Resistance 2, and this FPS could take the crown from Killzone 3 if it really lives up to the hype.
After these two games the crowd was already quite impressed so Sony decided to show some Move games to keep the momentum. Ken Levine took the stage to tell us that he was now a Move believer and that Bioshock Infinite will feature this control option. This is great news since the "Wiimote with a ball" controller is very precise and allows for a deeper inmersion in the game. If Bioshock Infinite has the same ambience quality as its predecessors, get ready for a really thrilling experience (coming this fall).
Another (completely) Move-oriented exclusive game called Medieval Moves was shown at the conference, and it looks really promising too. This adventure allows you to control a hero who can perform different attacks with a sword (the player actually "attacks" in real life with the Move) and casts multiple spells (fire, ice…) by making the correct gestures.
Finally, after a Sly Cooper 4 announcement which will surely please the fans, Sony focused completely on the new PlayStation Vita. This new console is the PSP's successor and will boast incredible raw power (similar to the PS3), a touchscreen, a tactile panel in the back, and even a 3G connection if you wish to pay for it.
The games look really good and there are some strong titles coming like Uncharted: Golden Abyss or Little Big Planet, but will the Playstation Vita end up losing again to the more innovative Nintendo 3DS? Only time will tell.
Microsoft (2 out of 5)
For the hardcore gamer, Microsoft's conference was just terrible. The showing was completely focused on Kinect, with Dance Central 2 probably being the best announcement (this is a really fun game for both casual and hardcore gamers and perfectly suitable for a party). Unfortunately, the rest of the conference was just about some kid-oriented Kinect games like Sesame Street which no gamer will ever buy.
On the other hand, the show did start strong with a demo of Modern Warfare 3 and some really cool and frantic action sequences (there has been some controversy about the nature of the gameplay though – was it all staged and pre-recorded?). It also ended with a bang announcing the return of one of the most famous franchises in the world: Halo! The sequel Halo 4 will be launched in 2012.
A remake of the original Halo: Combat Evolved will also be released with HD graphics, but all of this really makes us wonder: is Halo and Gears of War (which was also shown at the conference) the only exclusives that Microsoft has left?
Nintendo (5 out of 5)
Nintendo's conference was quite brilliant. Being Zelda's 25th anniversary, it was heavy on the green hero's adventures, featuring a full symphonic orchestra playing the most famous songs, themes, and iconic melodies such as the "item catch" chime.
Then Miyamoto took the stage and showed us Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D again and, of course, the much awaited Wii Zelda (Skyward Sword). This game is looking really good and will surely improve on the tried hack-and-slash formula with 1:1 Motion Controls. Every time that you move your Wiimote the sword does the same, allowing you to perform some really precise and damaging sword moves.
Apart from this, Zelda: Four Swords is also being released (for free) in September, and it's the icing on the cake for such a memorable Zelda 25th anniversary.
Then, Nintendo showed us a really incredible lineup for the Nintendo 3DS handheld, featuring titles like Kid Icarus: Uprising, Super Mario 3D (it's a widely known fact that you can't have a Nintendo console without the mustachioed red plumber… good for us!), Resident Evil: Revelations, Star Fox 64, Mario Kart 3D, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D and much more.
It's quite surprising the high number of 3D remakes ready to be released on the Nintendo 3DS and also a little bit worrying since it may imply that Nintendo is running out of ideas… either way, veteran gamers love this type of remakes (and the nostalgia associated to them) so I definitely won't complain much about it.
But the best was yet to come: the announcement of the Wii's successor! Finally called Wii U, this new console is a one-of-a-kind. Part console, part iPad, this hybrid uses a huge (but comfortable) controller with a touchscreen to play on both the controller and the TV screen. The possibilities are endless: you can continue playing on the controller if someone else wants to watch TV, or even use the touchscreen to easily navigate through menus.
Other inventive uses were shown as well. For example, you can "throw" a shuriken from the controller to the TV by making a simple gesture and the shuriken will appear on the screen. You can even "send" photos this way to view them on the TV's big screen.
This console will be really powerful (1080p high definition graphics) and it will boast a huge third party support too, so it's already looking like a huge success for Nintendo. Coming in 2012!
To sum up, who won E3 2011? Well, it's clear that Nintendo took the first spot with its huge line-up of good games and the unveiling of the new Wii-U console, and Sony coming second with some strong PS3 exclusives and the PS Vita. Microsoft had a laughable conference and if they don't watch out the hardcore gamers may slowly abandon them forever. Halo and Gears just isn't enough.
In the end, it was a good and interesting E3 with lots of surprising announcements. What do you think? Who won E3? Share your opinion on the comments section below!
This post is part of the series: Top 5 Great Games Lists
- Top 5 Most Awaited E3 2011 Games & Events
- So, Who Won E3 2011? A Comparison of the Three Conferences
- The Top Five 2010 Game of the Year Candidates