As E3 2010 comes to a close, we can't help but shrug our shoulders at a few things we thought were sure bets. Arguably the biggest surprise absence from the show has to be Hulu on the Xbox 360. All signs seemed to point to an E3 unveiling, but nothing regarding the video streaming service materialized at all during the expo.
PSP price drop
Sony gave the PSP a decent chunk of stage time at the company's E3 press conference, but we were a bit disappointed that the portable PlayStation didn't get a price drop. While the standard PSP-3000 can be had for just $170 online, we figured that the PSP Go would drop by at least $50. It didn't, and the Go is still too expensive at $250.
While Nintendo is excused from this one, we did not see enough exclusive games for either Xbox 360 or
PlayStation 3 announced at E3. There were far too many multiplatform games bragging about exclusive
downloadable content, which in our opinion just isn't reason enough to pick one platform over the other.
Don't get us wrong, there will be exclusive titles coming out on each system, we just think there were less
announced compared to last year's show.
2009 was a breakout year for download-only games. Titles like Shadow Complex, Trine, Braid, Trials HD, and
Cave Story not only showed us that great gaming action can still be had on the cheap, but it also reignited
the value of exclusivity. Unfortunately at E3 2010, download-only games took a backseat, almost completely
absent from any major announcements.
E3 2009 had set up the following holiday season with over a dozen blockbuster titles set for release. As E3
2010 comes to a close, we're just not getting that same feeling. Sure, we'll see some games out by year's
end, but a healthy portion of highly anticipated titles announced at this year's E3 2010 won't see the light
of day until 2011.
While the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS shocked no one, we definitely thought we'd get some sort of a
release date and price. Unfortunately, Nintendo had nothing to say regarding such things, leaving the gaming
We can't say we're surprised Nintendo didn't open up the Virtual Console or the DSi Ware shop to the
seemingly endless amount of old Game Boy games just sitting in the Nintendo vault. To us it seems like an
absolute no-brainer, but once again, another E3 goes by and we still won't be able to play Super Mario Land
outside of a Game Boy any time soon.
We know the Xbox 360's main focus is online play, but it's becoming a little too obvious that Microsoft hangs it hat on shooters, too. Fable III was one of the only games that didn't involve fragging, and even that had guns. What happened to story-based, innovative adventures like this year's Alan Wake? We're still waiting for something new that doesn't require teen reflexes and a gunsight.
Don't you hate it when a game is shown off with fanfare and a wonderful trailer, then disappears? The Last Guardian was one of the most promising upcoming titles from E3 2009, an emotional and unique story of a boy and a giant gryphon created by the maker of Shadow of the Colossus. This year it vanished, only to be replaced by an evil clown from Twisted Metal. Why the bait-and-switch? We'd rather have the gryphon.
Well, maybe this is a good thing, considering Nintendo's gotten a bad reputation for trotting out lots of plastic peripherals. Still, no HDMI on a Wii remains ridiculous. The Wii is one of the few pieces of modern hardware that can't interface properly with an HDTV. And no new Wiimote with Wii MotionPlus built in is silly. For now, we'll have to settle for that Black Wii.
Sequelitis hit E3 2010 harder than it's hit in years, with big-name franchises like Halo, Fallout, Zelda and Gears of War smacking everyone with well-produced follow-ups. But where were this year's Alan Wakes, LittleBigPlanets, or Bioshocks? Sadly, nearly nowhere.
Our predictions misfired when we anticipated Nintendo shamelessly exploiting its newly found American Heart Association relationship with the relaunch of "Vitality Sensor." Infamously teased by Satoru Iwata at last year's E3 press briefing, the odd pulse-taking peripheral might have been used for a line of stress-relieving games, or as a Wii Fit accessory. Thankfully, Nintendo stuck to games with puffy mascots this year.
Why did E3 suddenly avoid any mention of casual games such as FarmVille, which recently announced its upcoming debut on the iPhone, or Mafia Wars? Maybe because old-fashioned consoles and handhelds can't compete. We'd still love to see more free/cheap and socially-connected games spread across the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo universe, but right now the only company that seems close to being capable is Microsoft, and they have their hands too full with Kinect.
The Internet remains an alien landscape for Nintendo, particularly when it comes to creating online user accounts and enabling online play. The 3DS promised automatic downloading in sleep mode, but that's hardly the fix we were thinking of to address the friend code nightmare currently plaguing Nintendo multiplayer experiences.
Maybe it was the close proximity of Apple's game-heavy WWDC, but few companies discussed their mobile gaming plans on anything other than a 3DS or PSP. The iPhone has hundreds of compelling developers and the Android platform isn't far behind...but why they were tossed into the ghetto of this year's expo is anybody's guess.