Attendees at Sony's pre-show event were expecting the PlayStation giant to back up last year's big talk with some hard proof that PS3 would be the must-have next-gen console. Despite the unveiling of PS3's motion sensing controller and the chance to play PS3 for the first time, the audience left feeling massively disappointed.
In stark contrast to Sony's snore-inducing performance, Nintendo jump started enthusiasm with a rousing show that gave the world its first look at a whole wash of Wii (the new name for Revolution) games, among them a new outing for Mario and a Wii-specific version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Microsoft used its pre-show gathering to make two huge announcements. The existence of Halo 3 was finally unveiled with a tantalizing trailer, while the fourth instalment to the GTA series was also confirmed for Xbox 360 day and date with PS3.
Wii was definitely the show's major attraction (or is that curiosity?) and anyone wanting to go hands-on with Nintendo's new console had to endure a four hour wait. A total of 27 playable Wii titles were on display, including Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Sonic Wild Fire. A Super Smash Bros. Brawl trailer featuring Metal Gear's Solid Snake also delighted the crowds.
A few fresh faces were on display to help salvage what would otherwise have been a disastrous show for Sony. Assassin's Creed, Heavenly Sword and Resistance: Fall of Man showed a reassuring amount of PS3 promise.
Above: Nintendo stole the show with its Wii and gamers waited up to four hours play it
Microsoft boasted a generous helping of attractive exclusives, with Xbox 360 titles Gears of War, Blue Dragon and Mass Effect all making a big impression. Xbox 360 had a greater presence on the show floor thanks to it being the console used to demo the majority of multi-platform next-gen titles. Army of Two, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway and Indiana Jones were all shown on Microsoft's machine.
But while the show was dominated by shiny new consoles, PC gamers basked in the glory of some incredibly mouth-watering fruits, like Crysis, Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
PS2 was the only current-gen console with any significant presence and boasted a pretty decent line-up to boot, with PS2 exclusives God of War II and Guitar Hero II shining particularly bright.
The biggest talking point at the show was, without a doubt, Sony's failure to roll out its PS3 with any real conviction and the disappointing lack of wow-factor games for the new machine. Wii, in comparison, was on everyone's lips for the right reasons, leaving those lucky enough to play it feeling enthused and excited about Nintendo's new console.
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