As this year’s E3 conference wraps up, the internet is abuzz with reactions, confusion, and some hostility over the abysmal showing of not only Sony, but Microsoft and Nintendo. Typically, E3 is highlighted by the explosion of new game “megaton” announcements, media, and information. Unfortunately, history cannot always predict the future, and this year’s E3 pays homage to that saying with a lackluster performance that should not only have gamers confused, but rather, furious.
Being a PlayStation blog, Sony will be the centerpiece of this article. However, it goes without saying that both Nintendo and Microsoft had their respective fan bases writhing with anger. Sony’s conference, which concluded Monday night, had solid information on two games that should have PlayStation 3 fans giddy with excitement. Beyond: Two Souls, developed by the same team who brought us the emotionally charged but redundantly boring Heavy Rain, looks to be promising.The game’s protagonist, Jodie Holmes, can see dead people. The game looks violent but also seems to drift into the same territory of Heavy Rain, which isn’t a bad thing. Still early to tell. Just like with Heavy Rain, the game is being headed by David Cage, of Quantic Dream, so gamers should look forward to an emotional roller coaster.
Finally, The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog, looks to be Uncharted, but with zombies. In the eyes of this reporter, that is certainly not a bad thing. The gameplay, which was Sony’s last announcement of their keynote, showed a tight scene with close quarters combat and a slew of obscenities. But this game was already announced! It wasn’t even a “megaton”, unexpected, straight out of left field announcement! Sure, the footage was great, but it was, at least for me, expected. But still, we have faith in Naughty Dog to deliver a finished product, and from what we saw, the game definitely looks like a AAA contender.
Aside from the two aforementioned games, what else Sony managed to put into their conference is a frustrating mystery. There was roughly twenty minutes devoted to Wonderbook, a gimmicky toy that allows users to act out the sequences in their “books”. The onstage demonstration featured J.K. Rowling’s A Book of Spells. The concept is cool, but just like the Wii, the fad will fade. Remember Eye of Judgement, and how quickly that faded? A video would have sufficed, Sony, but instead, on one of the biggest days of the year, when the collective eyes of the world are watching you, you misguidedly decide to devote roughly twenty minutes to a gimmicky toy that only my six year old nephew would enjoy.
And where was the support for Sony’s dying handheld, Vita? Aside from a Call of Duty title, which by the way, we saw absolutely no media on, and a new Assassin’s Creed game, where were the games? Admittedly, the new Assassin’s Creed game looks promising, but where were the first party games? Sony letting their handheld out to dry on the biggest media day of the year is suspect, and makes me wonder what their long term vision for the handheld is.
I could go on and on highlighting the various faults of Sony’s conference. However, they have been beaten to pieces by the internet the past two days. I won’t continue to do that here. Grading conferences and deciding who “won” and who “lost” is a favorite activity of not only news sites, but also fans. I say we spin this grading scale on its head and declare we, the gamers, as the losers. We should demand quality from these console manufacturers. Not only Sony, but the actions of their competitors also gives a glimpse of where the industry is heading. We are these companies lifeblood; we keep them alive. Not to say that casual games aren’t a bad thing, but we just want games, period! There was essentially no support for Vita; effectively digging its grave. If we vocalize our distaste, then things will change for the better. Until then, gamers, through no fault of their own, get a “F” for this year’s E3.