Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Microsoft at E3 - wasted opportunity

E3 can sometimes be a bit like a visit Father Christmas in a shopping centre. You went in asking the nice man with a beard for an N64 with Goldeneye, but leave his fibre glass grotto with a colouring book and concerns about how he touched you.

Kicking off the major E3 festivities this year was Microsoft with the Xbox conference that happened mere hours ago (or perhaps a day, depending on how proficient I have been). What can I say other than ‘aflibber mubba mimma’ as I try to hold back the tears of rage that have bubbled up to the surface. Maybe rage is a bit harsh, how about, super unhappiness.

After teasing us about major news that will appeal to the self labelled hardcore amongst us, we get a few video snippets of games that we have known about for months and a tide of Natal, sorry, Kinect games that all seem to bear a surprising similarity to Wii party games. There was also the announcement of the 360 Slim, but if you were interested in Microsoft’s conference, you probably already owned one of their chunkier brethren.

It’s not that I am ungrateful for the fantastic Halo Reach, Metal Gear Solid Rising or Gears of War 3 videos, they were spot on. I just can’t help but feel that Microsoft was pretending to have an ace up its sleeve, but instead produced on old, slightly snotty hanky.

Honestly, to say that I am disappointed would be a bit like saying I slightly disapprove of Joseph Fritzl.

Maybe I am just getting caught up in the moment, and really need to sleep on the results to let it sink in. I’m just not feeling the sense of awe and amazement that I have hyped up in my head.

[Some hours later]

After a relatively peaceful sleep and a good mulling over two or three cups of coffee my thoughts are unchanged. Poor show Microsoft. Anything new, like perhaps the first glimpse of Mass Effect 3 might have left a better taste in my mouth. I just feel that this conference was a slightly wasted platform that leaned a bit too close to Kinect for a lot of people’s liking. Still, controlling Forza through mime might be good, if the thing actually works and isn’t just a gimmick.

Nintendo and Sony platform conferences are today. I’m really hoping we see them top the MS conference or this year’s E3 might be another filled with empty promises and pointless late nights.

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