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The unspoken truths of E3 2009

What happened to our third-party sizzle reels?

At previous E3s, the big three would show off a long, exciting video showcasing all of the awesome third-party games coming in the next year. This year all they wanted to talk about was new hardware, tangential new features (like Microsoft’s Facebook support), first-party titles, and a few select third party games. All Nintendo gave us was three third-party games we’d already seen.

Above: Yah we know

Where was the excitement? We’re used to walking away from the conferences saying, “Wow! There were, like, 30 awesome games in that reel.” No more?

As usual, there are apparently only a few decent presenters in the whole industry

Peter Moore, Jack Tretton, and Tim Schafer seemed pretty cool and calm. Most of the presenters, however, fumbled over lines, looked nervous and inexperienced, and didn’t project the kind of confidence we’d expect from such big, powerful companies. Nintendo’s Cammie seemed out-of-touch (and boring). Reggie was… Reggie. Sony’s motion-control demonstration was painful to watch. Kudo’s Project Natal antics were internet-meme-quality stuff. Microsoft’s big celebrity guests, Beatles Paul and Ringo, looked bored and aloof. James Cameron was long-winded – as cool as Avatar looks, we can only hear about it for so long.

Games industry, please, enroll yourself in some public speaking seminars.

No one likes LA

Sorry LA, you might be fun for a one-night stand (sure, all the best parties happen in LA), but you’re not our ideal location for a conference. Our team got rear-ended trying to drive on your maddening streets. You’re smoggy, you’re tiresome, you’re spread out, and guess what… WE’RE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. 1up, GameSpot, GamesRadar US, Official Xbox Magazine, PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Nintendo Power, Capcom, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment America, EA Redwood City… the list goes on.

Above: The air tastes like boogers

There were rumors last year of a move to San Francisco, but it didn’t happen. Oh how we’d love to be able to go straight from our office to the conference…that just makes too much sense, doesn’t it?

Jun 11, 2009

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Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer