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E3!

It’s back! And unlike last year, it’s back in all of its king size, over budget, booth babe glory!

Hi, my name is Ryan Barrett, and I’ll be your E3 reporter this year. We have a great show ahead of us…ok, no. Unlike my last few times at GDC and E3, I don’t plan to write up full fledged notes and analysis. I’m still excited about watching the press conferences and announcements, though. Armchair industry analyst is one of my favorite imaginary jobs!

Sorry, real job. The next few days are going to be a little unproductive…

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5 thoughts on “E3!

  1. i may not be doing a full writeup, but i can’t help noting a few things i’m personally excited about.

    during their press conference, i couldn’t help but pity EA, first for trying to pitch teenage girl games to an overwhelmingly hardcore gaming press, then for the awkward marilyn-manson-scored dragon age trailer, unchanged from its debut and still trying oh so hard to be cool.

    happily, i forgot all about that when they reminded me that they’d picked up tim schafer’s brutal legend. i’m really happy for tim, and for double fine. they’ve been jerked around by publishers for so long, and with such a promising game, that they deserved a break. congrats again, guys!

  2. i just finished watching ubisoft’s press conference, and yes, it was nice, and yes, ruse looks intriguing, and yes, i’m looking forward to assassin’s creed 2…

    …but honestly, none of it compares to this email i just got from telltale. they picked up the monkey island license, and they’re making new games! so exciting.

    hmm…this makes two lucasarts-inspired posts. first tim schafer, then ron gilbert. unexpected, but definitely a pleasant surprise. who’s next? hal barwood? steve purcell?

  3. finally watching microsoft’s press conference. looks like e3 this year is going to cost me sleep and my productivity!

    ok, so beatles rock band will probably sell a bazillion units. modern warfare 2 definitely will. left 4 dead 2 too, even if it’s not quite so mainstream. plus, they knew the press would eat it up.

    wii balance board, see that skateboard controller? eat your heart out…but don’t worry, it’s way too niche to move anywhere near as many units as wii fit. movies and music, ok, facebook and twitter, ok, nice…

    …but natal, damn! eyetoy may have done it first for gameplay, even if natal’s execution is clearly better, but the ubiquitous voice recognition? the ambient facial recognition? the hand wavy minority report style demo, integrated with items, camera input, and video chat? damn.

    if they manage to pull off even half of what’s in that video, it’s going to be really, really compelling. i know i’m sold.

    (btw, sorry lucasarts, no hat trick. two out of three ain’t bad though!)

  4. i watched nintendo’s and sony’s press conferences this morning. they were both competent, and had fun surprises…but in my mind, natal is still the biggest news of the show by far.

    wii motionplus, wii sports resort, and wii fit plus were clearly nintendo’s big pushes. all solid, all will do well, but none were surprises. mario galaxy 2 was a surprise, but there was notably no mention of a wii hardware rev or a full new zelda.

    sony was competent too, even if almost everything they showed had been leaked prior to the conference. psp go (slide-out controls look uncomfortable at best) and the motion controller (can you say wii motionplus?)  were clearly the big pushes, along with plenty of good looking games.

    side note: how great is it that square enix can create and ship an entirely new IP every couple years, but still be able to guarantee that it will perform, solely by slapping the final fantasy name on the box? what a brilliant use of a franchise. granted, they do also make sequels and spinoffs of the more successful ff games, but still. i can’t think of many other developers that get away with anything like that. genius.

    oh, and i was reassured that teenage girls continued to share the spotlight. nintendo gave them much more attention than sony did, but still, four out of five of the big press conferences ain’t bad.

    i did manage to find a couple personal highlights. fully coop mario looks like a ton of fun, as does littlebigplanet psp. plus, ico and shadow of the colossus are near and dear to my heart, so i can’t wait for fumito ueda‘s new game.

    on the armchair analyst side, i was struck by the contrast between nintendo’s and ms’s approaches to accessibility and growing the market. in past years, nintendo has not only beaten this drum the loudest, they’ve actually executed on it, which is the main reason they’ve dominated the generation so authoritatively. this year, though, iwata could only pay lip service to accessibility by pointing impotently to the befuddling vitality sensor. ms, on the other hand, let natal speak for itself. its potential impact on accessibility, particularly with applications beyond traditional games, could be huge.

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