This post has been migrated from an old server & blog system. Some things may look strange, such as formatting. Some links and images may be broken. I will try getting around to fixing it ASAP.
No, the title doesn't refer to Christmas, but to E3 2010. It's a magical time where all the console manufacturers and developers come together to show the world what the next year will bring to gaming. In the 90s, when I was a wee lad, my dad's cousin (a former employee of Psygnosis in Liverpool, UK) would tell me stories about going to E3, and all the cool stuff he would see. I was always so jealous and ever since, I have made it a life goal to attend the event. That was a long time ago though, and E3 has become a much bigger event since then, especially since its return from its short invitation-only stint a few years ago. I would love to actually be there yet all I can do now is do what most other gaming fans can do: watch from the sidelines. Anyway, this is what I think about this year's showing:
The biggest surprise was the imminent release of the new Xbox 360 Slim model, which, I must admit, is very nice looking. I am somewhat tempted to pick one up eventually. The decision to finally include a wireless adapter inside the console was a good idea. As long as the noise pollution from the console has been reduced, and the RRoD problem has been fixed, I can definitely see myself buying one. Kinect, formally known as 'Project Natal', was interesting but a little ridiculous. I thought people playing Wii looked silly, but Kinect takes it to a whole new level of ridiculousness. Also, from what I've been reading, not many games will be playable while sitting on the couch. The idea of constantly having to stand and wave around to play a game is not very appealing to me.
Too much time was spent outlining features for non-gamers, like ESPN on Xbox, Zune integration, and video chat with Kinect. I understand Microsoft wants to appeal to non-gamers as well with this, but it almost seemed like they were trying too hard. Having the Kinect camera track your movement is a little creepy. Also, the lack of any core games for Kinect was incredibly disappointing. As for 360 games, no new exclusives were shown... although I must admit, while I am not a Halo fan, Halo: Reach did look like fun.
Sony's showing was okay but I was expecting a little more. There were rumors of a PSP2 being launched at this year's E3 but that never happened. Twisted Metal was a pleasant surprise, although I've personally never been a huge fan of the series myself. It was interesting to see some Move games, but it really just does look like a more accurate version of the Wii. Valve's big "surprise" of launching Portal 2 on the PS3 was a huge letdown as well... it's nearly been 3 years since The Orange Box, where is the conclusion to Half Life 2!?
Sony spent a little too much time focusing on the 3D aspect it's bringing to the PlayStation 3. I am a little worried about this, as many people are simply not willing to dish out $2, 000 for a 3DTV, as well as $250 for each pair of 3D glasses. Personally, I think they should have waited until glasses-free 3D tech was readily available, and until the tech became more widespread. How many people are actually going to be able to experience the PS3 in 3D? I have a feeling not many at all. Also, where was The Last Guardian? That has to be one of my most anticipated titles for the PS3, and I have not heard diddly-squat about it... sadface!
Nintendo really kicked ass this year, winning the hearts of older gamers all over with its trip down nostalgia lane. Donkey Kong Country Returns, Zelda Wii, Kirby Epic Yarn (hilarious name) and Metroid: Other M all look fantastic and make me glad I never got rid of my Wii. The successor to the DS, the 3DS, also looked great. From what I've been reading, the 3D effect really does work - and without glasses too! I think I want a 3DS to play Star Fox 64, just to do a barrel roll in 3D. Awwww, yeah!
That's all I really have to say at the moment. The next year in gaming does look quite exciting, and 2011 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for gaming. I'm excited to pick up Move in September! However, I am not excited to potentially go broke after I buy all this cool stuff...