E3 2010 is now a thing of the past and like every year I was really excited about what we were going to get to play in the next year and beyond. What I witnessed was in my opinion a giant step backwards and here’s why. Please take note that I didn’t attend E3 in person and that my opinion is based on what I saw from the G4 coverage and some of the internet coverage.
Let’s start with Kinect. Ever since the announcement of project Natal at last year’s E3 I was extremely skeptical about the device and I was really questioning how you can go beyond the realm of casual party games with it. On top of that it’s inspired by a technology that’s about 6 years old (Eye Toy) and that never really got much success. The device is now at its final state of development and what we saw is definitely not impressive. There is still a small lag according to most people that played it, the games that were demoed are party games and mini games and the launch line up doesn’t contain anything I would want to play. I guess I’m not the target audience for it but Kinect is presented as the future of gaming when in reality it’s nothing more than a mix of Eye Toy and the Wii. It’s a terrible thing to say but I hope it fails so we can get on with our lives and get some real interesting innovation in the industry. Being able to say “XBOX STOP” to make my playback stop might be cool but c’mon is it that hard to press a freaking button.
Next up I want to talk about Playstation Move. Again the technology was announced at E3 last year and although I was more convinced about the relevance of this device, at the core it’s still an almost exact copycat of the Wii control scheme which is now already well into its 4th year. The precision might be better than the Wii, the graphics might also be better than the Wii and unlike Kinect we might have more hardcore games available but overall it’s too similar to the Wii to really call it innovation. We will get our share of party titles also and the fact that they’re pushing really hard marketing wise for Move really tells me where gaming is heading.
Next subject is 3D. Again I remember back in the late 80s with my Sega Master System playing Space Harrier 3D. I had the glasses and everything. So is Sony really bringing something new with 3D gaming? No sir! You still need to wear the funky glasses that weigh a ton and make you look like an absolute idiot. The day that the 3D technology will allow me to play without any accessories is the day I will start showing any kind of interest. Maybe my opinion would be different if I would have actually seen the 3D version of a game like Killzone 3 or Gran Turismo 5 but for now in 2010 I don’t feel the technology is ready and that the consumers are ready. Nintendo though with the 3DS really showed something interesting. 3D gaming without glasses, on the go. This is probably the most innovative device of this year’s E3.
Finally let’s talk about the games. Am I the only one that had an overdose of generic shooters? I didn’t really calculate it but it felt like 2 out of 3 games demoed on the G4 stage was a shooter of some kind. I never really was a fan of the shooters especially the 1st person kind but I did appreciate a few of them. Now I feel there’s just way too many of them out there. Rage looks absolutely stunning visually but it’s still just another 1st person shooter. Halo Reach doesn’t seem like that big of a step over Halo 3. Everybody seemed to be happy with the announcements at Nintendo’s conference. Again all we got was new versions of old Nintendo franchises. (Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, etc.) Where’s the innovation there! Sony also missed a chance of wowing us with gameplay for the Last Guardian, that could have really given me a reason to believe that there is still interesting games out there that doesn’t involve strictly shooting. LA Noire is also a game that was talked about in the past but didn’t get much presence at this year’s E3. This game looks really interesting.
E3 2011 will be a true breaking point where we will be able to determine the success or the failure of Move & Kinect. Will we see new consoles in the near future? If so what will those bring to the gamers. It’s not hopeless yet, but my playtime has gone down dramatically in the past couple months and until GT5 comes out, I don’t see many games that will give me the incentive to open my console.