Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have finished up their press conferences for E3 2011. Who won E3 2011?
Third Place – Sony
I honestly did not expect Sony to be in third place this year. With the NGP (now called Playstation Vita) to be discussed, I had fully expected Sony to put on a great press conference and wow the audience. However, there was a certain lack of excitement as much of the press conference felt like more of the same.
Sony did demos of a number of great PS3 games, such as Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, and Bioshock: Infinite. They announced some new PS3 games such as Starhawk (the spiritual successor to Warhawk), Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time, Dust 514, God of War: Origins (collecting the PSP God of War games for the PS3), and a new Move game titled Medieval Moves: Deadmunds Quest. There was also a trailer for a new Star Trek game from JJ Abrams.
However, most of the attention was on what would be announced for the Playstation Vita. Sony gave pricing information of $250 for a WiFi only version, and $300 for a 3G enabled version. Sony showed a demo of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a trailer for the Vita version of LittleBigPlanet, a new dungeon crawler named Ruin, a Vita version of Modnation Racers, and a Vita port of Street Fighter X Tekken.
While the Sony press conference was solid, you couldn’t help but think “we’ve seen this before.” Nothing really felt new or exciting. The Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet games were known beforehand. LittleBigPlanet and Modnation Racers feel a bit like ports from their PS3 equivalents. Street Fighter X Tekken for Vita is just like the Street Fighter X Tekken we’ve already seen. New games such as Medieval Moves: Deadmunds Quest feel like several Wii games. The Move support in Resistance 3 felt like the Move support in Killzone 3. The sole God of War announcement was a repackaging of previous released titles.
Second Place – Microsoft
With both Sony and Nintendo discussing brand new hardware, I didn’t expect Microsoft to have a great E3, but they did a good job with some nice some good reveals, including one major one.
The Microsoft press conference had demos for a number of great titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Tomb Raider, Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3, and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. They showed off some interesting Kinect support in several of these titles, such as voice recognition in Mass Effect 3.
Of the new reveals, a new Crytek game called Ryse for the Kinect was announced, a new Fable title named Fable: The Journey, and a remake of Halo: Combat Evolved with updated graphics was announced. However, the big game reveal for Microsoft was the announcement that Halo 4 would arrive in 2012.
New Kinect games were announced such as Star Wars, Dance Central 2, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and Disneyland Adventures. Naturally, several of these games will likely be targeted to children, so it was a little hard to get excited about these new Kinect titles.
While it was a little disappointing that Microsoft did not show off any games that were able to use the Kinect in truly new and novel ways, and many of the games were more for children, the Microsoft press conference kept things interesting. Several of the uses for the Kinect were different than what you typically see with the Wii or Playstation Move, so it didn’t feel that Microsoft was rehashing old news. Add in the gigantic reveal for Halo 4, and you have a press conference that just edged out Sony’s.
First Place – Nintendo
With the reveal of the a new Nintendo console, perhaps it was inevitable that Nintendo would win the press conference battle at E3 2011. There was perhaps no announcement that people were looking forward to more.
Starting off the press conference, Nintendo spoke of the Wii and Nintendo 3DS, highlighting the upcoming releases of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Kid Icarus: Uprising. In addition, for the first time footage was shown of the new Super Mario, Star Fox, and Mario Kart for the 3DS, and Nintendo announcement Luigi’s Mansion for the 3DS.
Naturally, most of the press conference concentrated on the Wii U. Rumors ended up being true, as the new controller for the Wii U features a 6.2 inch tablet screen, motion control, dual analog sticks, and a camera. The Wii U will also support HD graphics at 1080p. Nintendo showed a number of interesting ways to use the controller along with a game played on the TV.
Naturally, a new console by itself isn’t much news without the games. Nintendo previewed a new Super Mario and Zelda game for the Wii U and teased the development of a new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. A number of big third party titles were also announced for the Wii U, including Battlefield 3, Batman Arkham City, Tekken, Assassin’s Creed: Revelation, and Ninja Gaiden 3. The hard core audience that many felt Nintendo was ignoring seems to be getting the attention they want from Nintendo.
Some extra props go to Nintendo and their orchestral Zelda piece (see it here). It’s something simple that made the press conference extra special.
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Ludwig Kietzmann, Microsoft E3 2011 keynote, live from the Galen Center, Joystiq
Christopher Grant, Sony E3 2011 keynote, live from the LA Memorial Sports Arena, Joystiq
Christopher Grant, Nintendo E3 2011 keynote, live from the Nokia Theater, Joystiq