The news: Last year Microsoft was heavily focused on Kinect. We finally got a price, release date, and list of titles to expect.
How it panned out: Kinect launched late last year and is considered a success in terms of sales figures, especially since it has outsold Sony's PlayStation Move. While we liked the Kinect experience, we're hoping this year's E3 conference will shed some light on more innovative uses of the motion-scanning system and the debut of more compelling games.
The news: Microsoft completely redesigns the Xbox 360 and promises better, more reliable performance.
How it panned out: The slick black Xbox 360 "Slim" did indeed launch the following week and now that almost a year has passed, we're happy to report the dark age of the "red ring of death" is behind us.
How it panned out: Sony is clearly banking on 3D becoming the next must-have home entertainment standard, but not everyone seems to be on the same page. Killzone 3 in 3D was shown off last year, and though it's truly stunning when played, we're not sure consumers are willing to ditch their current TVs for an upgrade. That aside, it seems the jury is still out on 3D in general.
The news: PlayStation Move is priced, dated, and delivered.
How it panned out: Generally dubbed a "Wii with HD graphics," the PlayStation Move was able to ship more than 1 million units within a month of going on sale. However, as with the Kinect, there seems to have been a dearth of compelling software for the platform. Sony has implemented Move support with new titles (and past ones with software updates), but we were hoping to be able to play titles that were already teased to us last year. Case in point: where's Sorcery?
The news: Sony introduces a premium PSN service called PlayStation Plus. For $50 a year, PS Plus subscribers get access to exclusive demos, discounted games, and more.
How it panned out: While we think a premium PSN service is a good idea on paper, in practice it doesn't seem like enough of an incentive for PS3 owners to join. Of course things can change in the future, but for now paying for PS Plus just doesn't seem worth it.
The news: Twisted Metal is coming to PlayStation 3.
How it panned out: Sony's press conference finale highlighted the combat racer's return to a Sony console; however, little has been revealed since the announcement. With no details on a release date, we're hoping E3 2011 will supply that vital information.
The news: Say hello to the 3DS and its "loyal developers."
How it panned out: Nintendo bravely released a successor to the insanely popular DS line of portable consoles to mostly positive reviews this past April. However, the platform suffered a severely lacking software launch and a nonexistent online marketplace. Look for both of these gaps to be addressed next week.
The news: A bevy of Nintendo all-stars will highlight the rest of 2010.
How it panned out: Nintendo successfully released solid new titles in the classic Metroid, GoldenEye, Donkey Kong, and Kirby franchises. That said, 2011 has not been kind to the Wii in terms of new software. Could Nintendo's new home console be the cause of that? We think so.