E3 is my favorite time of year. I might like watching the press conferences from the three main platform holders more than I actually like playing video games. Today, as I toiled away at work, I missed the Microsoft press conference AND I missed Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. I missed EA’s press conference. Then, I came home, ate dinner, and was forced to choose between watching my beloved Bruins destroy the dastardly Canucks or watching the Sony presser, and I chose the hockey. Really, I missed everything, and E3 is the one thing that, year in and year out, I miss nothing. Therefore, I think it’s reasonable to assume that I can’t be the only one who missed everything. You’re in luck, though, because I have parsed though everything after the fact and managed to pick out all of the highlights, and I am kind enough to present them to you here in a very manageable form. You’re welcome.
Kinect. Microsoft continues to push Kinect because a bunch of people bought it and nobody’s really sure why just yet. For example, in the upcoming sequel to breakout Kinect hit Dance Central, you’ll be able to dance-battle a second player, and dance battles are probably everybody’s favorite thing I guess. Also, lots of Kinect will be invading a new Fable title. Peter Molyneux wants you to wave at your television to cast spells. I wish Peter Molyneux wanted to do something that wasn’t making Fable games because I don’t and I never will like them.
Gears of War 3. Yeah, that’s a game we all knew about already, but this time they showed a single-player trailer and this got people all worked up. I can’t get into Gears of War, but people like it so I guess that’s a thing. It looked like Gears of War but better than the other ones.
Halo. We’re going to get a Halo 4, which should surprise nobody because Microsoft formed 343 studios for the express purpose of developing Halo titles. Halo 4 will be the first part of a new Halo trilogy, which I’m sure will be the second trilogy in a trilogy of trilogies. In addition to this, the rumors of an HD remake of the original Halo turned out to be true. So lots of Halo in Microsoft’s future, to be sure.
Xbox Dashboard. The dashboard is getting yet another pretty massive overhaul, including voice navigation, lots of IPTV stuff, and better support for Kinect. The new interface sort of looks like Sony’s Xross Media Bar made sex with Windows Phone 7. I’m sure they’ll still find a way to sell you Mntn Dew as soon as you turn on your XBox.
Mass Effect 3. It looks amazing, and why wouldn’t it?
Uncharted. It’s probably Sony’s marquee franchise right now, and they’re riding it about as hard as Microsoft is riding Halo. Each of the two games they showed (One for PS3, one for NGP) were previously announced, but it’s always nice to let us see them because they’re sort of a feast for the eyes.
NGP. Or, as it’s now officially known as, Playstation Vita. Vita is the official name of Sony’s new handheld system. This is something that everybody already knew, so there you go.
HD collections. Rereleasing SD games in HD for the PS3 is Sony’s big new thing, and they really really love doing it. The Sly Cooper collection and the Ico/Shadow of the Colossus collection should both be out in the fall, along with the PSP Remasters God of War collection.
Apologies. Sony’s giving ’em out because we all deserve ’em. They feel terrible about what happened with PSN and they want to make sure that we all know.
Resistance. That new one looks good. The second one looked good too though, and we all know how that turned out.
Minecraft. It’s coming exclusively to the XBox 360 and it will have Kinect support. I know that you have questions, but that’s okay because nobody has any answers for you.
Bioshock Infinite. Remember how Sony got Gabe Newell to come out and eat crow during their press conference last year? This year they kind of got Bioshock main superguy Ken Levine to do the same about the Move controller. Ken even went so far as to announce move compatibility for Bioshock Infinite. In fact, he loves the Move so much that there will be an exclusive Bioshock Infinite game for the Vita sometime in the future. I know, right? I can’t wait to see who they get to sell themselves on stage next year.
Vita. Arguably the best news of Day One of E3 never even came out in a press conference today. In a press release which came out during Sony’s press conference, they detailed release and pricing information for the Vita. We can pick one up this upcoming holiday season for the same price as a PSP-Go: $249. Well, that price is for the wifi only model. If you want 3g, it’ll cost an extra $50. Given the reaction to the PS3 price, Sony probably thought it wise not to make a big deal out of the price tag, but it was actually met pretty universally with pleasant surprise. Granted, $249 is not cheap, especially for a portable game system. Still, it doesn’t cost anymore than an 3DS does. You could even call this price “aggressive” if you wanted to. I don’t want to, but I don’t feel strongly enough to argue you with you if that’s what what you want to do. I like arguing too. Still, if you were like “This is an aggressive price point by Sony, blah blah blah poor 3DS sales blah blah they could win the portable war this generation” I’d be like “Yeah, you’re probably right” an then somebody else would be like “But smart phones herdy dur dur” and then I’d be like “People like buttons that doesn’t count bop bop bop” and then I’d be arguing, oh yeah.
Yes, more things happened today, I know. But I’m tired, and this is all the most important stuff. E3 wasn’t as exciting today as it maybe should have been, so we’ll have to wait until Nintendo blows our minds (rolls our eyes) for all the mind blowing (eye rolling) stuff.