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Destructoid Discusses! E3 equals meh? Maybe

12:08 AM on 07.22.2008 // Dyson

Once again, back is the incredible ... The thyme animal ... The incredible Dyson G! Next-gen enemy number one ... FPS said freeze! And I got numb.

Okay, so my poor attempt at quoting Public Enemy didn't go so well. In fact, it wasn't very good whatsoever. That kind of makes me sad, only for the reason that Public Enemy was one of my most favorite rap groups of their era, and I wish they were still around, and were still as awesome as they used to be.

It sucks when things aren't as awesome as they used to be. E3 used to be awesome, but from what people are saying; that awesome has passed. Will all the E3s of yesteryear be nothing more than fond memories for people like us? I don't know, maybe we should ...



So guys, how was E3? Have any favorite moments that never made it to print? Any funny stories that "you just can't talk about?" Did Nintendo get beat by Sony and MS? Was it me, or did MS have the same presentation as last year?

Joe Burling

MS announced FFXIII last year?


Alright. Except for that. But I recall that all they talked about last year was movie services, and Halo, and Gears for PC. This year it was movie services, no Halo, and Gears 2. FFXIII the new Halo card for MS?

Jonathan Ross

I didn't go to E3, but I watched all the press conferences.

In terms of "winning", as much as it will pain people to hear this, Nintendo technically won E3.  As they've shown time and time again, they're really the company this generation that knows how to manipulate the media, and they are the only major company that truly saw E3 as an event for the mainstream media, which unfortunately is what it's become.  The announcements they made are the ones that are going to be reported on by newspapers and Time and all the major news outlets, and Nintendo is going to be reaping the benefits.  MAYBE some people will buy a 360 now that they know FFXIII is on it, but overall what Sony and MS announced aren't the kinds of things that are going to move consoles. 

Is Nintendo selling out left and right?  Yep, but that's capitalism.  As a publicly traded company they exist to make money, just like MS and Sony.  If you think any of the big companies really "care" about the gamer, you're unfortunately mistaken.  Some companies have given that perception by choosing to focus on games or genres that appeal to the core gamer, but those decisions were solely motivated by money.  If you want companies that care about gamers, look to indie developers (and maybe Valve.  I love Valve, but I'm still not sure if they truly care.  I'd like to believe they do though.)  I still am holding out a sliver of hope that there are some cool things Nintendo working on that I'll actually care about (although that hope is fading fast), but the simple fact is that off all 3 press conferences, what Nintendo revealed is going to move the most consoles and make the most money.  They won.  The losers are all of us who thought E3 was about us in the first place, since it's become crystal clear it's not.


I think Jonathan has said everything that I've been trying to say over the past couple of days. As an addendum, though, it's worth keeping in mind that E3 is a business summit. All the talk about new services -- and Nintendo's line-up of games -- were designed to make shareholders and executive committees happy. Ultimately, it's really just convenient when our interests and their interests happen to line up.

Topher Cantler

Pineapple soda.

Nick Chester

They made a pretty big reveal about a dashboard overhaul that
effectively completely changes how you interact with the console and
their content offerings. I'm not sure how that's the same as last
year, either. I think maybe you're thinking about Sony, who had a
decent press conference but didn't blow out any major announcements.


I never actually watched the videos. I only took our recaps for info. So assuming that I got the "bullet point" view, the main thrust of everyone's presentation seemed the same. Xbox has movies and Gears, Nintendo is insane, and Sony keeps pushing (the never to be released?) Home platform.

From only seeing things from afar and checking the main highlights, that's the info I've gleaned. 

Joe Burling

Sony focused on exclusive games, PSN and PSP. MS focused on 3rd party, integration and services. Nintendo focused on the crack rock.


Yeah ... I love Nintendo, but really? They haven't wowed anyone since the showed the Twilight Princess trailer in, what, '04? Do companies even make games for us anymore? Even the other two are pushing their digital service crap. I don't care about Netfilx, I want GAMES.

Jonathan Ross

Well, again, E3 this year wasn't about us, it was about the executives, shareholders, investors, and the mainstream media.  And really, it always has been (not so much the mainstream media since in the past the "mainstream" didn't care about games).  In the past when gaming wasn't the massive industry it is today we felt like E3 was for us, but that's because we were the only group buying the games.  E3 is and always has been about the money.  Before, we were the only ones spending the money on games, so E3 was geared towards us.  Now, everyone spends money on games, so companies show what they think will make them the most money.  Nintendo fully understands this.  MS and Sony tried to straddle an awkward line between the core happy and making a ton of money, and as a result they're not going to get the success out of E3 that Nintendo will get.  

Joe Burling

Nintendo doesn't want to make games anymore. They said so themselves. Good games are coming this year on both the 360 and PS3. Sony's games seem to be farther off, but there are a lot of reasons to wait on a PS3 right now anyways, such as the lack of current Trophies and a possible new SKU (come on, we all know it's coming).

From a mainstream media point of view, Nintendo would be successful no
matter what happened at their press conference.

Chad (who's dinosaur sweater was awesome) Concelmo

See? The more I look back on it, the more I think that Nintendo did not do that bad of a job. What happened last year when Nintendo talked about WiiFit -- a game I assume the majority of us here at Destructoid don't really care about? Major news outlets, including CNN, the Today show, USA Today, ate it up. The game was plastered all over newspapers and magazine covers everywhere. As much as I loved BioShock, I didn't hear Oprah talking about it on her show!

Nintendo is one of the most successful businesses in the world right now (even outside the realm of video games) -- a far cry from when they were struggling just a few years ago. There approach towards publicized industries has changed. They are keeping business in mind, not gamers.

I am not saying I agree with this, but it seemed to work wonders last year -- just look at the sales of WiiFit alone! If a new Pikmin, the rumored Kid Icarus, Punch-Out!!, and F-Zero games eventually come out, why does it really matter if they are talked about at a show? As long as I get to play the games, I have no qualms with how video game companies present themselves at an industry event.

I will not truly be worried about Nintendo's dedication to the "core" gamer until more time has passed and no games I care about are being released. That has not happened yet, so I am still happy. :) :) :)

Jonathan Ross

If Nintendo's E3 press conference was about Mad World, it would be a PR catastrophe.

I hit reply too early...

Aside from that obvious Mad World example, yes, Nintendo probably would have done ok for themselves if they had announced Kid Icarus, Punch-Out, and F-Zero instead of a new Wii Sports and Wii Music.  The core would have been a bit happier, but remember that most of the core that cares about the Wii probably already has one, and the ones who don't aren't a large enough market for Nintendo to be eyeing them as a massive source of profit.  Additionally,  I'm pretty confident that the NY Times wouldn't be running stories about Kid Icarus, and that Oprah wouldn't be talking about F-Zero.  Nintendo's press conference was designed to obtain the most media saturation, and based on what they showed, I'm predicting they'll succeed wildly.  Nintendo's press conference was designed for maximum profit.  MSs was designed to show that they're starting to engage casual players, and to rub shit in Sony's face.  Sony's was designed to try to convince people that they still have exclusive games.  Guess which one is going to make the most money?

You also have to keep in mind that most of the shareholders and key players involved with Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony don't give two shits about video games and they're really the people the companies have to please.  If Reggie demanded that the company stop making casual games and focus on M-rated hardcore games, the shareholders would toss him out on his ass instantly.  If the other companies were in similar positions, they'd be facing the same problem.  You can already see that MS and Sony are being threatened by NOT engaging the casual market.  If Jack Tretton stood up and announced "We're only going to sell video games to males between the ages of 18-40.", he'd probably get tossed out just as quick.

Joe Burling

You do realize this site is for hardcore gamers, right? All I hear is
blah blah blah =)

Colette Bennett

I think it's a plain fact Nintendo is not making games for the core gamers anymore. They haven't cared about that since they realized the Wii prints money. I wasn't disappointed at their press conference, because I got exactly what I expected: gleeful talk about how I should be excited about family oriented games.


"I am not saying I agree with this, but it seemed to work wonders last year -- just look at the sales of WiiFit alone! If a new Pikmin, the rumored Kid Icarus, Punch-Out!!, and F-Zero games eventually come out, why does it really matter if they are talked about at a show? As long as I get to play the games, I have no qualms with how videogame companies present themselves at an industry event." (Quoted from Chad)

I agree with all the points, but why can't they also mention that these games are coming out (if they are)? You can give me the full spectrum of your titles, can't you? I'm just saying that if they had announced Kid Icarus and WiiMusic, it wouldn't have taken away from WiiMusic in any way and kept the faithful happy.
Chad Concelmo
I was totally with you Colette after I left the conference, but my opinion has changed over the past few days. Its presentation at E3 aside, is there really solid proof that Nintendo isn't making games for "core" gamers anymore? Has enough time really gone by without any game releases to make "core" gamers happy? When you truly look at the facts I think the answer is no.

I will be the first to admit I am wrong if by next year things drastically change, but do you really in your heart feel that there won't be anymore Zeldas or Marios ever again? I definitely don't think so. Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass: those games weren't released that long ago. They way everyone has been reacting to Nintendo lately it's like the company hasn't released anything outside of WiiFit in years! Look at Wario Land: Shake It! or the new Pikmin. Just the production of those games alone goes against what a lot of people are trying to argue.
Jonathan Holmes
You know who really won E3 this year? 

2D gaming.

Sure, there were still a lot of polygons on the showroom floor, but games like Castle Crashers, Geometry Wars 2, Wario Land: Shake It, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Little Big Planet, Street Fighter IV, the Pixel Junk games, and of course Mega Man 9 all feature the purest of 2D gameplay. For an old traditionalist like myself who once upon a time vowed to quit videogames if they all became 3D, this year's E3 was a like coming home.
Dammit Holmes! Why do always have to be so right about things? I second and third Jonathan's statement. As a guy who just may be into retro gaming (wink wink), the rest of this year is all about my kind of sauce. Can you imagine if the game of the year has to contend with one of the games that Jonathan mentioned. Last year, Portal was almost the big winner over BioShock (it was BioShock, right?).

Maybe on the Chinese calendar, this is the year of the retro!
Jonathan Holmes
I love you too, Dyson. 
Joe Burling
I don't know about "year of the retro", but I do like a lot of the downloadable games that are coming, including Eden, Flower, Portal and Geometry Wars 2.
Hamza CTZ Aziz
Colette Bennett
To address Chad's comments, I do agree that Zelda and Mario games will come, because they make money. I think what's more disconcerting is the fact that stuff like Wii Music seems to be of higher priority to Nintendo at this time. No, they haven't forgotten the core gamer, but we aren't the most essential demographic anymore. Our parents are.
And there you go. So, I know that E3 was last week, but now that all of you have had time to contemplate about last week's events, what do you think? Did Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony fail/win as hard as people are saying? Can there really be a true winner anymore when it comes to E3? Should E3 be held at only at bars and clubs next year in an effort to make it easier to give journalists free booze?

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