Electronics Entertainment Expo = E3 2009

Ok. I have G4 tv so I have been able to watch all of the Press Conferences as they were happening and I have to note some of my impressions.

Thus far Microsoft is in the lead as far as ‘Wow Factor’ for the event with Nintendo and then Sony in last place. Why is Sony in last place you ask? PSP Go. In a time when their sales are lagging behing and the 360 is picking up pace their response is to devote time, effort and cash to coming out with what essentially is a new ‘gimmick’ with a $250 Price Point. What should have been a major point in their presentation was a new Price Drop on their Playstation 3 to move more units into homes. That is the only significant way for them to compete at this point. Nothing they announced was a ‘Killer App’ this year despite many of the games looking excellent I have yet to see one that screams “Buy a Console AND this game!” in the same way that Halo and Knight of the Old Repulic did for the XBox. Probably Sony’s best presentation was the new Motion Sensing Eye Toy which does put Nintendo on notice that they can’t just fool around with their attempts any longer. Of course it stands to mention, Nintendo showed actual game play with their Wii Motes and Sony had only Tech Demo’s so Frame Rates could well be an issue.

Nintendo did well in its presentation but very little of it was a startling revelation. After last years E3 they learned their lesson and came to the mat with new Metroid, Mario and Zelda for consumers to sink their teeth into. Perhaps the only ‘hole’ in their presentation was the time they spent going on about Wii Fitness related titles and the announcement of the Wii Vitality peripheral which is essentially a finger tip Pulse Monitor. This year Nintendo as put more emphasis on providing content for the more mature Gamers and if they prove to be successful their sales will see a significant increase among the disenfranchised 18 – 35 year old market which is what Nintendo needs to dig in to.

Microsoft simply had a solid performace all around with the announcement of Natal and some truly innovative Motion Capture technologies not to mention their usual line up of outstanding games like Bioshock 2, Dragon Age, Halo: ODST and the surprise (well ok not a surprise to anyone who pays attention to the game industry but still a feather in their caps) of picking up not only the Final Fantasy franchise (once a Hallmark of Playstation) but also of the Metal Gear Solid  and Resident Evil franchises as well. What this showed me was that Sony is started to slip on its fast track and Developers are looking to Microsoft and the XBox to pick up where Sony is dropping off.

All in all, not many of the Consoles have ‘Exclusives’ anymore and I am not sure what that will do to the Companies in the long term. Final Fantasy XIV Online sounds alot better than it actually is given the hardly stellar response of the gaming public to their first attempt with it. I am VERY happy to see the E3 of old return though. It SHOULD be an over the top bigger than life event as it represents everything to come in the next year.


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