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The unspoken truths of E3 2009

E3 is an explosion of information, and if you’re at its epicenter you’re likely to be momentarily blinded by the brilliant flash of gaming dynamite. But as the smoke clears and the debris falls back to Earth, the smoggy LA landscape becomes littered with questions. Now that we’ve had some time to pick through the remains of E3’s decadence, here’s what we’ve deduced.

Exclusive announcement deals are silly

Console exclusives are silly on their own, but even sillier are exclusive announcements. You must have noticed that Metal Gear Solid: Rising was announced at Microsoft’s conference, but despite being multiplatform, wasn’t even acknowledged by Sony. As was The Beatles: Rock Band. Sony, on the other hand, got a big Assassin’s Creed II trailer, while Microsoft ignored the game’s entire existence.


Above: Exclusive game? No. Exclusive announcement? Stupid

It makes sense to distribute gameplay footage to different conferences – no one wants to see the same presentation twice, but the fact that Microsoft and Sony didn’t even make reference to any of the multiplatform games showcased at their rival’s conferences suggests that backroom deals were made. We can’t say for sure whether or not money exchanged hands for these exclusive announcements, but it’s not as if the industry is above it.

Sony’s crowd was unusually raucous

Roughly the same group of writers and editors attend each conference, so when the crowd reacts with only moderate enthusiasm to the biggest announcements from Microsoft and Nintendo, but goes absolutely ape-shit over every tiny bit of PS3 news (not PSP, the crowd was quiet for that), we get a bit suspicious.

The Uncharted 2 demo was amazing, but did every little glance at the landscape warrant cheering and uncontrollable applause? Again, we can’t say for sure that there were plants in the audience, but it’s not as if Sony hasn’t pulled silly “guerilla marketing” stunts before.


Above: This should be the look on the face of anyone covering all three conferences – beaten, tired, and ready to be cynical

Before the “bias train” rolls in to toot its angry horn at us, we wouldn’t put it above Microsoft or Nintendo to pull the same crap – we just happened to notice it at Sony’s conference the most. Maybe it was just the mimosas served beforehand.

Everyone is jumping on the “me too!” motion-control train, they know it’s shameless, and they don’t care

Microsoft and Sony might not admit that they saw Nintendo’s success, decided they wanted a piece of the pie, and then immediately began developing their own motion control systems, but that’s exactly what happened. And they don’t care how much we’ve criticized Nintendo for abandoning its diehard fans, and they don’t care whether or not you can actually make entertaining, deep games using this technology, and they don’t care if their systems become flooded with awful, gimmicky games. In fact, they’re totally cool with all of that, as long as they can print money.

It doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. Project Natal has promise, though we’re still not sure that it can replace the relaxing feeling of sitting back with a regular, old-school controller. Sony’s glowing balls look impressive as well, but again, with all this technology, very few seem to be asking, “Uh, hey, does anyone really want to stand in front of their TV and swing this thing around?”


Above: The future of gaming?

You’d think Wii’s success has already answered that question, but it really hasn’t. Nintendo marketed Wii brilliantly - so brilliantly that I had to get one for my mom for her birthday. Guess what’s collecting dust?


Above: Hint – it’s this

So is motion control the wave of the future? Maybe, but they’ll have to find a way to make it more than just a gimmick, and that’s not what they care about right now – right now they care about making sure the bandwagon doesn’t leave without them.

Ever want to see the bottom of your avatar’s foot? BAM! Yeah, that’s gaming.

The PS3 could always access Facebook and Twitter

The integration of Facebook and Twitter was a good move for Microsoft - these services will be used. Hey, sometimes the laptop is across the room, the 360’s already on…so why not see who’s eating Shabu Shabu or “OMG had a crazy day! Lol!” as long as you don’t have to get up?

But of course, the PS3 already has a web browser. Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t been great about marketing all of the PS3’s features, and the UI isn’t the most intuitive. The PS3 is powerful, and it does a helluva lot, but because it isn’t being promoted as a user-friendly entertainment device, Microsoft gets cheers for announcing support for something the PS3 could do all along. This industry is more and more about marketing.

54 comments

  • sensualCentipede - June 11, 2009 9:12 p.m.

    great article tyler! I used to get into facebook with my ps3 when my pc broke so take THAT microsoft!
  • fionnoh - June 11, 2009 9:36 p.m.

    screw the ps3, even the wii had an inbuilt browser.
  • Samael - June 11, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    @Jacob816 Look! They got a new video player! YAY!
  • Samael - June 11, 2009 9:45 p.m.

    Wait...or did Tyler just link the gamevideos player?
  • LionheartAce - June 11, 2009 10:10 p.m.

    LOL, the air tastes like boogers? Not going to L.A. anytime soon then. Yes, PS3 has web browser that could access those bullshit websites ( that I have accounts on ._. ) all along. I love my PS3...
  • Defguru7777 - June 11, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    Please, everyone, enough with the motion control bullpies. Please
  • jmtinfinitet - June 11, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    Air smells like boogers? *SNIFFS* Smells like some bomb ass chronic to me.
  • SincualaS - June 11, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    next E3 in vegas. that motion control crap would pique my interest if it was being demonstrated by topless showgirls
  • PinkLenny - June 12, 2009 12:14 a.m.

    Why did they show the natal tech with the avatar when it clearly wasn't ready. And i totally agree about the motion tech demo for sony it was so akward I literally could not watch more then 5 minutes of it
  • PinkLenny - June 12, 2009 12:15 a.m.

    @tylerwilde motion control is not the future of gaming its the future of making money with a console
  • dweller - June 12, 2009 2:18 a.m.

    Yeah the Wii does have Opera for $5, but both it and the PS3's web browser suck really bad. Flash works half the time on PS3 and doesn't work at all on the Wii. But it did motivate me to install my PC to my tv.
  • nik41507 - June 12, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    SUCH A LIE!!!!!!!!!!!! The air does NOT taste like boogers. And I have lived in LA my whole life AND HAVE NEVER BEEN REAR ENDED!!!!!! your just a bad driver. And the reason it's spread out is.............. ITS ALSO A COUNTY!!!!!!!!!!! COUNTIES ARE BIG!!!! The sky is NEVER smoggy at ALL. You took a picture of THE SINGLE MOST POLLUTED NIGHBORHOOD! And yes, we DO have the best parties. don't dis MY city. Go pick on New York
  • MGS4SolidSnake - June 12, 2009 3:15 a.m.

    or0997 - 3 hours 50 minutes ago Yea but in this current console generation 360 is the most fun and actually makes games. Sony doesent have an ass to poop out games and the Wii only makes Mini games. Microsoft is probably the most corporate ass holes of all time, but at least they are doing someting. i dont get y people say that xbox exclusives r so much better then ps3(i have both)...xbox has halo(people like it but it really isnt that great), gears of war(good game), l4d(good)and some more that i cant think of...ps3 has killzone(good), mgs4(good), god of war(will be good), lbp(good)...they both have good sets of exclusive
  • Samueltehg33k - June 12, 2009 3:40 a.m.

    You forget the wii has a browser aswell, i can be cynical too :P
  • McSpermie - June 12, 2009 5:41 a.m.

    gaming dying, really quick. It's turning into all about money and soon they will be no good games left, the only games allowed to be made are the ones that will sell to the public, and hold their attention for about 5 minutes before they go buy another one. I can't really accept that right now but it's inevitable... Thanks Nintendo, you ruined gaming. Hope the money was worth it.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - June 12, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    "motion control is not the future of gaming its the future of making money with a console" @PinkLenny they have embraced it as the future of gaming, but that doesn't mean it is - they'll soon unembrace it. :)
  • Howetzer - June 12, 2009 3:57 p.m.

    First off, I want to say this is an awesome article. One of the best I've read here. Way to go guys. @Sabtos, the more I read of your posts, the more I realize that at least you see whats going on, also "lol" to your excellent satire. @McSpermie , same as above. You guys get it. I'm glad more people are coming to see what the hell is going on and hopefully more people will start to care. @thor0997 - way to show off your extreme knowledge of things.(That's called sarcasm - look it up.) MGS4SolidSnake had good points so I didn't even have to address your ingenious post. All in all, a good day.
  • thor0997 - June 12, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    @howetzer Its true that PS3 has gotten good games THIS year, but I was talking about throughout this generation. PS3 has ramped up this year, but before it was rather lacking. I see that he mentioned a game that isnt even out yet. Recaptcha: Bowery Painful
  • crumbdunky - June 12, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    Exclusives aren't silly are they. Nintendos first party games are the best on their system and the same goes for Sony and to an extent MS as well.If MS allowed Epic,I know technically a third party but the three game IP is published by MS so it's as exclusiove as anything)the kind of time Sony allows devs then we'd maybe see the 360 pushed as hard as PS3 and making games just as good looking etc. Exclusives should be a showcase for the console they're on-showing all of what's possible and Sony do this best. Maybe it's because MS don't have as many in house devs/studios and want more market share that the games are more rushed out than elsewhere but, still, it would be nice if the next Gears/Halo looked more like the Epic bullshots than just a little better than the prevuios outing, wouldn't it? AC2 was shown by Sony because of the connectivity with PSP and /Sony wanted to show this still happenung-likewise Ubi so no money will have changed hands will it. On the whole, though, E3 is a press jumket which just wastes cash and doesn't even seem to impress the media anyway. Scrap the whole bloody thing and spare us the lead up months of leaks and guesses and the three week hang over dissecting who "won" something you cannot win.
  • TURbo - June 12, 2009 8 p.m.

    Exclusive deals are lame, they should sell as much as possible on all systems.

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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