E3 Ennui - Is It Just Me?

Maybe I’m just in a blah mood this week, but I can’t seem to get the slightest bit excited about E3 so far and I’m not sure why.

Part of it, I think, is because I don’t expect any big surprises. Last year was the announcements of the next-gen HW which was at least somewhat exciting, even though there was relatively little actual gameplay footage on display. We also got more about the last of the big-name releases for the then-current-gen HW (e.g., KH2).

There will be a last hurrah on the current-gen (like FF XII and God of War 2), but it will definitely pale in comparison to last year. There will doubtless be new games on the Next Big Three, but I feel like all the major stuff has already leaked. Obviously, there will be new title announcements this year, but I haven’t heard buzz on anything I expect to find a pleasant surprise. [Of course, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I knew about it in advance, now would it?]

We’ll see if I end up eating crow by the end of the week.

But it’s more than that, I think. Maybe I can no longer get worked up by grainy screenshots and low-res promo videos. Maybe I’m more interested in what I can play now, rather than what’s coming down the line. Why do we spend so much time & energy pining for what we don’t have rather than appreciating what we do, anyway? Maybe it’s just been a while since anything “cutting edge” really caught my fancy. The Xbox 360 has been out for six months and I still don’t particularly want to buy one.

Or, like I said, maybe I’m just in a blah mood this week.

But last year, I was at least looking forward to the new console announcements, if nothing else. I wanted to know what the Big Three had planned for the next generation. There were at least a few games I wanted to know about. This year just gets a big shrug from me.

Anyone else feeling E3 indifference?

I’ve definitely had zero interest in E3 the past couple of years, but with the vicious next-gen console wars going on this time, it’s pretty fun.

Eating crow by the end of the week? The crow was cooked and served up before you even wrote your post. Nintendo has already destroyed your argument.

There seem to be a number of camps-- the “I’m too jaded/cool to get excited about anything at E3, it’s all hype, we’ll ultimately be dissappointed by the finished products, so what’s the point of investing myself emotionally in anything the companies are pushing?”

And the big media, “Check out this EXXXXXXXXXTREEEEEEEME new game that will make you hip/cool/desirable to women, and certainly you’re not a pasty couch potato because the video game lifestyle is where it’s AT!”

I just like games. It’s fun to see them on hardware that I can’t afford, and I get three days to geek out.

So I’m having fun without buying into the hype, I guess.

Thats what I was thinking. The Nintendo release has me more hyped then previous years (perhaps since the mid-90’s when E3 really used to grab me).

Maybe it’s the absensce of booth babes?

I thought that Nintendo was the best out of the three, but it didn’t tell me much new. A couple of new games, with good to ok graphics, and a couple of hardware changes. No concrete date or price. Five tons of cool DS stuff, but I don’t care about that, as it was coming anyway, given the size of the DS market.

The best part of the game was when the four of them played tennis on stage. Most of the rest of it was known.

What this e3 was missing was a full body blow by one console manufacturer to another. No “$299”, no Revolution unveiling. Part of that was that things are way too far into the manufacturing stage for upsets.

Software was alright. New Mario, new Zelda (which was already known about). Microsoft did well with software, but it was mostly sequels and already known releases.

Sony screwed up, badly. Although part of this is leaving the presentation on an absolute crappy note of the price point. Still, sequels and already knowns as well, with nothing even remotely interesting to me besides FFXIII. I don’t care about racing games.

A lot of info about the Wii has leaked out - sorry, but they practically write themselves - in the last year: what more will Nintendo (or Sony or MS) say they haven’t already told us? Yeah, yeah: wait `til the end of the week. But my point is right now I’m not really looking forward to whatever Nintendo, or Sony, or MS, has to say. I’m not excited about E3, and I’m wondering why.

Like I say, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve got gamer fatigue or burnout or something. All I know is I still like playing games just fine, but right now I can’t seem to get worked up about E3: not in a “I’m too jaded cool for hype” sort of way, more like in a “man, I’m worn out” sort of way.

Actually, the speaker on the Rev controller was news to me, and it showed just how much Nintendo was doing to increase feedback, immersion, and accessibility.

When the inevitable Star Wars game comes out, the damn controller will make a lightsaber noise! How cool is that?

The speaker is neat. Not “OMG TEH FUTURE!” neat–just a small but genuinely good idea.

I havent been super excited about an e3 in a few years. I also havent missed one for like, six years. This one? I can’t get in (music is suddenly judged to not be part of a game, thanks e3 management), and I’m excited enough to be bummed as hell about it. I want to check out Wii.

I’d be more excited about most everything if devs made it a point to only debut their stuff at the E3 before it will ship. Lots of games look pretty incredible but most sound like end of 2007 releases.

The PS3 news conference was comedy gold. The reaction made the audience during the Colbert routine seem positively boisterous.

Thinking about it some more, this feels like a very conservative, “safe” E3: we’ve learned more details about the Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3, but none of them have been “OMFG!” type revelations like last year’s. Well, apart from the PS3’s price, maybe, but definitely not in a good way; and the “$500 to $600” price point has been rumored for months now, so really all it does is confirm what we suspected all along.

Likewise, I’m sure there will be plenty of new title announcements, but it mostly feels like the Big Three are playing it safe, with franchises and sequels, so again, no surprises there. Again, I’m hoping something really cool and unexpected gets announced before the end of the week, but right now I feel sorta “meh” about the whole shebang.

Also, like Kevin says, stuff tends to get announced more than a year before it’s released: it’s hard for me to get worked up about games I won’t get to play for, say, 18 months or more. With so many games coming out all the time, it’s almost impossible for me to maintain my enthusiasm for a title for that long: e.g., last year I was pretty gung-ho over PSU, but my interest has waned so much, it might be dead by the time PSU finally ships this year. More interested in what’s available now than what’s far away on the horizon.

Maybe I’m losing some of my technolust. I’ve been disappointed with the Xbox 360 so far: not the hardware, but the lineup of games have left me pretty lukewarm, especially when so many of them are cross-platform. I enjoy CoD 2, Oblivion, and even Quake 4 to a lesser extent…which I can play just fine on my PC. There aren’t enough exclusive titles for the 360 I want to make me need to buy one.

That’s sad. If Nintendo’s conference didn’t rock you to your very soul, maybe it’s time to find a new hobby. Because you’re just not feeling this one.

Bob, it didn’t rock me either. I feel that there wasn’t anything new at this year’s E3, also. Yes, the Wii is a revolutionary new control mechanism, but we’ve known that for months. We saw some new games, some live play examples, and a couple of mentions of the Virtual Console, and then it was over.

Don’t confuse excitement for the show for excitement for the console. The console is an awesome revolution in control, the show was ok.

The show was amazing. Reggie could have walked up, shown the Mario Galaxy footage, and walked off, and it would have been better than ok. Throw in the tennis bit and you’ve already got amazing.

I’m more excited about this year’s showing than I have been in a couple of years.

Wii looks fantastic,
360 seems solid,
PC looks like it could have a killer showing this year,

The tennis bit was probably the best moment of E3 so far. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and having someone who hadn’t played the wii before walk up and play tennis without any problem.

Nintendo basically confirmed that Wii was everything they said it would be. What they didn’t do is give any surprises.

Granted, with Microsoft giving a rather ok conference, and Sony kicking itself in the nuts, they really didn’t need to pull out the big guns, like price or anything.

Maybe it’s my inherent cynicism, but I find it hard to believe that Nintendo would have taken the risk of some clod getting up on stage and bumbling through the tennis match. I figure the three finalists either got a run-through with it or practice with some sort of mock-up. The prize was the match with Nintendo’s Big 3.