E3 09: What kind of games are the big three backing for the future?

The facts behind Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo's direction for the next 12 months

Would you concentrate on your target audience's favourite kind of game? Or would you try to cover as many bases as possible?

With the dust settling on E3, we've collated all the data from the big three's keynote speeches and converted it into graphs to show you exactly which pies each companyis proud tohaveits grubbyfingers in. Is Microsoft still pushing shooters? Is Nintendo still about sports games? The answers are all below.

Let's start with Nintendo, who showed the least number of games overallper platform in their press conference presentation. This graph shows the number of games demonstrated or announced for each popular genre.

Remember, this is just covering the companies' own press presentations.So for instance, Ubisoft showed off their Turtles brawler for Wii at their own event, but Nintendo didn't show it themselves.



Look at that - not a single new racing game or fighting game in the Nintendo keynote. And after they made such an effort to appease the hardcore this year, too. Ah well - 'keep playing Mario Kart', eh Cammie?


Above: Yeah, so it was last year, but did she really think we'd forget?

We've classed C.O.P. as an action game as it combines driving and shooting, but even so, that's just one game, and not a proper racer.

The most sobering note is the number of 'non-games' they showed, such as the animation application Flipnote Studio for DSi, Wii Fit Plus and the frankly ridiculous Wii Vitality. At least they didn't save that one for the final big reveal - they so would have done that last year.Sports games come out top for Wii, which isn't so surprising, and DS comes up with a whole heap of RPGs.

Where Nintendo showed a handful of carefully selected games, Sony simply opened the floodgates and showed a lot. Of everything. With a press conference lasting two hours, there was a chance to look at key titles in depth such as ModNation Racers and God of War III. The strength and depth of Sony's line-up is hard to ignore:



Where Nintendo showed videos of people playing launch game Wii Sports and the months-old Mario Kart Wii, Sonyconcentrated on the new.

Of some 35 PSP games and 46 PS3 titles, action games were the most prominent, featuring elements of other genres and blending them to create varied and compelling new experiences. Arkham Asylum, Ghostbusters and The Last Guardian are all examples of that, and all arelooking superb.

Shooters make a strong showing,and racing fans are going to be spoilt for choice over the next year on PS3. And with Gran Turismo on PSP, Sony arguably didn't need to show another handheld racer.There's something for everyone, and lots of it.

Surprisingly, standard shooting gameswere not given much of a showing in the PSP'ssuperb line-up of games. Maybe it's due to the single analog stick. Like the DS before it, PSP showed plenty of RPGs. And the announcement of Final Fantasy VII coming to PlayStation Store was the icing on the cake. RPG fans have plenty to play on the go/toilet this year.


With only one platform to talk about, there were always going to be fewer games on show overall at Microsoft's keynote. But while the quality was undeniable, with superb showings from Modern Warfare 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, the spread was not quite so impressive:



The bars simply aren't as high in this graph. While that doesn't necessarily mean there will be fewer games released on Xbox 360 this coming year, it does mean there were fewer games shown to the assembled press. But with no traditional platform games (3D or otherwise), no fighting games despite Tekken 6 nearing completion and only the multi-platform Final Fantasy XIII to show for the RPG genre, it was a show full of shooting and general action.

It's what the console's known for, certainly, and nobody would argue with the potential quality of Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 or Metal Gear Solid Rising. But none of those games are exclusives.

Project Natal may well have been the most impressive new innovation at the show and has undoubtedly stolen the most headlines, but the depth of Microsoft's traditional games line-up was arguably not quite as strong as Sony's. We do get two new Halo games, though... so don't expect the console war to stop any time soon.

05 Jun, 2009


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Dare you ignore our authoritative snap judgments based upon fleeting first impressions?


Plus video of the PSP Go in action, direct from the showfloor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.

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