Yesterday was day one of E3 (okay, you probably already new that if you’re reading this blog).
But, while this is my first E3, I’ve been watching E3 from afar for years. I saw E3 rise, and E3 fall… hard. I thought E3 turning into a business-only platform was dumb. E-for-all (the “consumer” side of the show) was even dumber.
That said, I stayed rather quiet on it, because I had never been to E3. Well, now I have, so I can chime in on it.
E3 is back to normal, and I can say resoundingly… that’s a good thing. This is an industry trade show, people who want to take a spin with the latest games (the hardcore gamers) are probably in the industry already. And, if they’re not, it’s still not impossible to get a badge… I know plenty of non-industry people that get in via various channels. Really, all you need is a business license and a couple of other documents (none of it is really industry-specific).
But it’s much more about promotion. The media gets a chance to see what’s next. GDC doesn’t really serve that purpose, it’s mostly for inter-industry networking and hiring. E3 is where stuff gets to shine.
So, I’m glad E3 is back to normal. Hopefully MechaWorks have something to show at the show next year.
While you were at E3, did you have anytime to do some hands on time with some of the games there? I know you’re a Sega fan, did you see anything exciting at their booth?
Also, what’s your take on Project Natal, and the other motion capture devices that were shown at the press conferences? I personally thought Natal seemed a little gimmicky at first (such as the racing game), but maybe it might work better in certain applications.
I did spend some time at Sega’s booth. They certainly had a good presence at the show, but nearly all the titles there were outsourced (in fact, I couldn’t spot one off-hand that was internally developed).
It’s great if Sega makes money off of it, but the substance that defines Sega was absent. Sumo came close with Sonic & Sega All-Stars, but that’s like saying Sonic Team was pivotal in Sonic R. (Sonic Team had nothing to do with Sonic R, beyond providing some limited character modeling assistance).
Project Natal, I think Microsoft’s design team said it best… it’s far from finished. The tech demos are certainly impressive, but so was OnLive in a controlled environment. They couldn’t even make a viral presence at E3.
Natal will probably provide accuracy along the lines of Wiimote. Good, but not spectacular enough to replace your controller for most precision applications (FPS, etc).