I am Jason Venter. I run HonestGamers and Gameroni. I am a gamer, a webmaster, a freelance game critic, a guide writer and a hobby novelist. I am fond of starting sentences with 'I' because I like talking about myself. Count the number of times that I used 'I' in this paragraph. You will see what I mean.
I've been told that since this is a game site, I should write more about games and less about movies. I'm not entirely sure how I'll proceed on that count, but this is E3 and so I figure I might as well share some thoughts on games... even though some of you are likely sick of reading about such things by now.
So... the big three hardware manufacturers have shown off their plans for the next year and beyond, and E3 is well and truly off to the races. What did you think of the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo events?
To me, it seems like there's a general consensus and it seems like it doesn't match my own impressions, so I thought I'd share what I thought briefly.
First, you have Microsoft. Going first probably didn't do the company any favors, but at least it got the non-game stuff out of the way a few weeks back. That move provided room for a focus that was almost purely on games, which was definitely a good thing. I was intrigued by a lot of what I saw, even if I wasn't especially surprised (and yes, I even figured out who I was looking at well before the cowl came down and the desert wanderer's identity was revealed).
Until Sony's conference followed much later in the day, I thought that Microsoft might have managed an upset. Certainly, it was the best conference I've seen from the company in... ever. Unfortunately, it was quickly upstaged by a Sony event that drew applause when Jack Tretton announced precisely what gamers have been hoping for: a $399 price point for the PlayStation 4 and the promise that there would be no new DRM baked into the system hardware.
Peresonally, I buy my games new and I have reliable Internet. I don't foresee that changing a whole lot, so Microsoft's approach to DRM and used games didn't bother me all that much. Going into E3, I liked Microsoft more than I feel was typical, and now I like Microsoft more than I feel is typical. What changed? Somewhere along the way, everyone decided that Microsoft is a villain. Me, I don't agree. I just think Microsoft is proud of its relative dominance with Xbox 360 and believes that a $500 price point will work. Judging by the consumer reaction yesterday and today, that was a miscalculation.
As for Nintendo, the company decided not to show a proper media briefing. Then it aired a video this morning that didn't want to stream properly. It finally got through, though, and Nintendo showed very little that came as a surprise. We'd heard of every game already, with the exception of the new Donkey Kong title. The game looks great, but it's no megaton announcement. As for Super Mario 3D World, it feels a lot like a handheld title masquerading as something more. I wrote more detailed impressions about that here, if you'd like to read them.
At the end of this, the second day of major E3 news, who do I think is in the lead? That would be Sony. I plan to buy all of the stuff that Nintendo showed--or very close to it--but I can say the same thing about Sony. Though its approach to DRM and used games isn't as meaningful to me as it is to some people, I still find it to be an encouraging, pro-consumer approach. And the games it showed look great too, as expected, with some great support for indies.
My general summary of the three systems is that Microsoft and Sony have swapped approaches. Microsoft is making the mistakes that Sony made with the PS3--which cost it more than it really could afford--and Sony has come back to the ground and is focused on the sort of approach that gamers are likely to appreciate. Meanwhile, Nintendo seems mostly to be stuck in an enjoyable but predictable rut. I'm glad I have a Wii U, but it's not necessarily the first system I would buy right now if I were left to make a choice based only on this year's E3 showings.
What did you think? Are there any games that blew you away? Do you agree that Sony "won" this year's E3, or are you more inclined to run with Nintendo or Microsoft?