Typically, when the last of the “Big 3” completes their press conference, gamers are left with a sense that someone came out a clear winner. For the first time in quite a few years, there is no clear champion being crowned. Many expected Nintendo to walk away from E3 2011 with a clear advantage thanks to introducing a new console. We all usually go crazy over new hardware, but the Wii U’s lineup of games showed that Nintendo, while embracing hardcore gamers, will be behind when the big titles they showcased appear on Wii U long after releasing on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Sony spent most of their conference showing off the upcoming PS Vita. The highlight of the new Sony hardware is the price tag, currently set at $250 USD. The downside of the PS Vita is that it will face competition from the Wii U’s controller which works as a standalone platform when need be. Once again, there wasn’t nothing shown that really “wowed” the crowd. Sony did go all out with the 3D for their show which at least raised the bar for showmanship.
Microsoft made Halo fans happy with a Halo remake and the start of a new Halo trilogy. While unannounced, neither were really that unexpected since the Halo franchise is Microsoft’s cash cow. A heavy dedication to Kinect was on display with major brand names like Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Fable: The Journey among multiple other casual and crossover games. The inclusion of YouTube on the Xbox 360 was supposed to be a big announcement, but considering the availability has been around on other consoles for so long, the news ended up being more of a blip than a boom.
The most surprising thing about this year’s Electronics and Entertainment Expo was the lack of any real surprise. We’re still looking forward to the games that were announced and also to seeing what PS Vita and the Nintendo Wii U can do, but for now we’re left feeling like a kid that opened all his presents on Christmas morning only to find that we got a bunch of clothes.