There’s no doubt that last week’s E3 was one of the better expos in recent years for every platform showcased. The big three all had their own hardware announcements, first party titles, and the support of third parties to make for one exciting year ahead for gamers. Out of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, only one can walk away the winner of E3.
Software titles on all three platforms look amazing going forward. Microsoft’s serving up Gears of War 3, Fable III, and Halo: Reach alongside everything Kinect brings to the table. Sony’s lined up a new Twisted Metal, Portal 2, SOCOM 4 and their motion control setup; Move. Nintendo brought out Zelda, Kirby, and Donkey Kong to reinforce its stellar first party catalog that’s been a continued success for decades. But E3 is all about the unseen, unexpected announcements that had gamers lining up for hours to experience early what the rest of the world would have to wait months to get their hands on. While both Sony and Microsoft each announced their take on motion controls, Nintendo showed off the most, and arguably the biggest surprise of E3.
Nintendo’s next evolution in the DS name comes in the form of something we’ve yet to see in the gaming industry. While it seems 3D is all the rage in Hollywood, television, and soon to be gaming, nobody’s done what Nintendo has with their glasses-free portable handheld. Of course the 3DS won’t be anything without the games but Nintendo’s already got an all-star backing of third party developers like Konami, Activision, Square Enix, Capcom, and more. This means Resident Evil, Metal Gear, and Kingdom Hearts will soon be making an appearance in 3DS, accessible wherever you go. Eventually, we may even see 3D Hollywood movies playable in full 3D without those annoying glasses. The 3DS is going to be huge and it’s already getting rave reviews ahead of launch.
Microsoft’s Kinect is some impressive hardware with unseen and untapped potential we won’t likely be seeing this year. With the party games already announced like Kinect Adventures and Dance Central, the Kinect is likely to impress like no other peripheral has. If you think Kinect is just an EyeToy, you’re mistaken. Microsoft’s budgets hurdle comes as they figure out how to adapt hardcore gaming titles to a controllerless environment.
Sony isn’t sitting comfortably quite yet either. The Wii’s motion controller with Motion Plus has been doing for quite some time what Move promises for the PS3. I’m not saying the Move isn’t more precise but the big differentiator with the Move is its much more graphically powerful anchor, the PS3. Look forward to seeing more cross platform titles that are prettier than on the Wii. From what we’ve seen so far, the Wii can keep up — Sony’s not really breaking new ground here.
Even if you personally don’t give an ounce of thought to handheld gaming (an idea of which I’m guilty) it’s hard to discount the 3DS as the star of E3. Had Nintendo for a second neglected the Wii, Sony would have likely been crowned the winner. As a whole, Nintendo was the best in show at E3 2010. The flamewar starts below.