19 July 2008

Electronic Three

Well I have to say this year was much better than last year, but the world is still poorer for not having the ability to watch 26 hours of Rich Gallup. Seriously, that guy could be the host of a show about paint drying and I'd watch.

Luckily, Giant Bomb, the world's best video games website supplied the required dosage of crazy fun E3 coverage. The podcasts and videos they posted essentially made Giant Bomb a lot like being with friends at E3, which is of course The Bomb's style - we're all friends here.

Despite some attempts from IGN to steal my "Live Coverage" viewership, in the end I opted to stick with GameSpot. Eckberg, KVO, Rabara, Thorson, RyMac and soem of the others put on a pretty good show, but someone please do something about Kristin Riley. That girl is insufferable.

1Up receives a commendation for their topnotch text-based coverage. I was using their news page as essentially a wire service whilst watching the show at the 'Spot. That said, I preferred their older news frontpage, from before they used a Blog to power it. Ah well, you can't have everything.

As to the actual content...Seems like the publishers want E3 to die. The Platform holders each had some fairly interesting stuff (New Dashboard, several interesting games from SCE and Nitnendo are finally putting out a microphone), but neither they nor the third parties really showed a "wow, holy shit, that looks awesome" title. It's all singles and doubles, where are the home runs?

Highlights for me are Pure, MAG, DC Universe Online, Portal: Still Alive, Animal Crossing: City Folk (w/ Wii Speak), Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead and Geometry Wars: Retro Revolved 2. There are probably others, but whatever.

Konami, what the hell? Silent Hill and Castlevania? Singles and doubles, kids. Where's the home runs? For you, home run means: Metal GEAR!!!

So anyway, this looks like the last E3. All signs point to an untimely demise. For one thing, the banner saying "See you next year"? Missing. For another, I've already pointed out a lack of tentpole announcements. E3 as it stands is unimportant, small and is less and less unique all the time.

I for one loved the good old days of too little sleep, people runnign around a massive and spectacular show floor shwoing off awesome games. Yeah, maybe it was a bit hectic and hard to cover, but it's only for three days kids, you can do it.

You could also restore E3 to its former glory and still make it easier to cover, lemme tell you how:

Keep it invite-only, but make it big again. You could allow some more elaborate displays, make it more engaging, but still restrict attendees - you wouldn't need to limit them as much though. You could get senior retail people back for example, a sector conspicuous by absence this year.

Here's hoping that E3 does stay, even if it is a shadow of its former glory.

Jens Out

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