12 June, 2011

E3 2011: Only Potential

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 12 June, 2011

Even with one concrete hardware announcement, I didn't feel much got said at E3 this year.

Wii U

Nintendo announced their new console. Basically it's a Wii HD, and it has a controller with a big touchscreen in it. All we've seen so far are basic tech demos. And while there are theoretically a lot of cool things that could be done with the tech, there were a lot of cool things that could have been done with Wii tech.

The industry is focused on cross platform blockbusters which tack on support for special controllers, if they support them at all. And indies seem to move on after putting a few proof of concept videos online. There's a lack of commitment. Microsoft says they're trying to do better with Kinect, making sure it's being used in all games they publish. So maybe we'll eventually see some face tracking or other useful features come out of that commitment. But I'll believe it when I play it.


There are so many games that it all seems like a blur. A lot of the sequels (Batman, BioShock, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Mass Effect; Uncharted) sounded solid. A few sequels (Brothers in Arms: Furious 4, Prey 2) sounded vastly different from their predecessors, but that might be a good thing. The revivals / reboots (Deus Ex, Devil May Cry, XCOM) sounded like they could go either way.

It's really hard to tell. E3 is mostly trailers and rehearsed playthroughs, so what we see may be very removed from the final experience. It's probably too much to hope for, but I'd like to see more games ready for hands-on demos by the time PAX rolls around. Again, I'll believe it when I play it.

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