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E3: Reviewing the 'Big Three' press conferences

12:38 PM on 06.05.2012 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Nintendo's press conference has just shut down, meaning we've had our big three shows to kick off E3. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all shown their hands and revealed that they've got cooking for the year, and it's safe to say that there are a LOT of opinions floating around. 

So, how did each company do? Did anybody "win" E3 this year, as we arbitrarily assign championship to faceless corporations? Well, Destructoid is on hand to review and rate all three pressers, because needless scrutiny is what gaming's all about!

Microsoft

Microsoft was, in a word ... shit. There's no way around that and no point beating about the bush. The company seems to have truly given up as this generation draws to a close, relying on a bunch of television shows and sports, sports, SPORTS in order to drag itself through a tortuous hour of nonsense. 

The show was, in essence, identical to last year's waste of time. Halo 4, a sliver of a look at a new Gears of War, then Kinect and sports forever. The fact it closed its show with a huge demo of a third-party multiplatform title says it all -- Microsoft is spent this generation. It's having one more Halo and one more Gears to end out, and other than that, it's stopped caring. At least about games. 

If, however, you want half a dozen video streaming services to watch Dr. Who as you watch Dr. Who while watching Dr. Who, you're covered! Oh, and SmartGlass was at least interesting, if a bit of a weak attempt to steal the Wii U's thunder. 

South Park looked hot but, again, it is third party and multiplatform. Hardly a coup, especially with Parker and Stone mocking the host company.

Grade: F

Sony

After the mindless pap that was Microsoft, Sony had a fairly easy act to follow, and it helped that the company opened its show with a montage of videogames. Actual videogames, fancy that! The opening montage showcased the PlayStation's properties superbly and really shows the strength of the company's titles. Say what you will about Sony, it has a wonderful range of brands.

It was a solid show. Nothing mindblowing, but almost consistently polished and interesting. All-Stars Battle Royale is a shameless Smash Bros. clone, but I am okay with that, God of War: Ascension was more of the same, but high in quality, and The Last of Us was an astounding closer. Beyond looked intriguing, but with no clue as to how that lengthy cutscene was in any way interactive, I shall remain skeptical of Cage's snake oil.

Let us just forget Wonderbook, though, because fuck Wonderbook. It was just EyePet, made far less endearing, and the amount of time dedicated to it was dreadful. But hey, I can now play Final Fantasy IX on my Vita ... soon. 

Strong effort from Sony indeed. 

Grade: C+

Nintendo

Nintendo had a fun time this year, and some very heavy hitters. Opening with Pikmin 3 gave it an immense lead as Nintendo went out of its way to please the crowd as much as possible. While we did not get a slew of megaton announcements, there seemed to be few stinkers. Even dark horses like LEGO City Underground looks promising, and NintendoLand, while silly, could be a laugh. 

I will say that the number of ports already eyeing the Wii U is concerning. The Wii suffered due to a bunch of slapdash porting and it seems publishers are already savoring another quick and easy buck by shoehorning touchscreen controls into old games. That is not Nintendo's fault of course, but it is nonetheless sinister.

Still, some cool stuff was shown. ZombieU is very exciting, especially thanks to ZOMBIE REGGIE! Still, it is odd that the 3DS was shunted away to its own show at a later date. I understand that Wii U was the star, but the 3DS deserved more center-stage love than what it got. Ah well.

Nintendo had the best presser, in my opinion, though it was, like Sony, more solid than amazing. Microsoft's weakness really made the others look far better than they might have under different circumstances. Still, enjoy your slender victory, Nintendo! You earned it.

Grade: B-



Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

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