By: Jestin Jund
Well, now that I am home and its over, I've kind of taken some time to reflect on the whole situation. I think too much attention was centered around the new consoles, when in reality, there wasn't much to be centered on. I think that the majors felt they needed to push something out specifically for this show, and I don't feel it's time to go to the next generation just yet. While graphical improvements are nice and such, we're not seeing a jump in technology that creates amazement. For instance, going from Snes to Playstation, and so on.... those were shocking moments for gamers, and none of that was here this year.
New consoles aside, I do want to focus on the games of current gen. It's my honest opinion that this year is going to be a great year for current gen system owners. Games like Shadow of Colossus, FEAR, and Okami impressed my pants off, and I think that the media should spend more time on those titles rather than sifting around in the controversy sand. Some companies were pure flops this year, but I think that is in part to the known fact that the next gen systems would be the center of attention. The PC also made a strong showing, and reaffirmed that there is life after Doom 3 and Half-life 2. We should see a ton of real time strategy, MMO, and first person shooter action in the following months, and most of what I saw looks very promising.
I am confident next year's E3 is going to surpass this one because we'll get a real feel for what these new systems are capable of doing. I give Microsoft some credit because they were the first to really allow people to see and play games in action. Although the games themselves weren't particularly impressive, Xbox 360 gave us some hope that the system would be ready by their prospective release date. As for everyone else, the controversy just continues. Currently, we just find ourselves asking questions, and pointing fingers, and that always leads to nothing. There is just too little conclusive evidence to really decide who is going to take the next console war, but forum flamers and fanboys will tell you otherwise.
This was my first E3, and overall I had a great experience. When you first arrive it's rather overwhelming, and you start to feel bad that you just don't have time to give every game the attention it deserves. I think journalists and show goers know exactly what I am talking about, and it is very apparent that sensory overkill gets to the best of us. You forget about the pleasure of game immersion and begin to become more concerned with what you are missing elsewhere. The fast pace atmosphere, and competitive marketing of each booth deters you from really experiencing a game. For some companies, this is great, as their product is not worth experiencing, but for others I can see where E3 is a struggle for them as well. Money talks, and if you don't have a loud voice, you certainly won't be heard.
In the future, I hope to see a more grass roots approach to E3. Instead of turning it into a circus (some of the sexiest animals Ive ever seen), let E3 be a place where gamers and media can relate with the industry, rather than be sold to. It is a shame that so many show goers get so consumed in accomplishing certain tasks, or grabbing free gear that they forget what the show is all about: the games.