The Big Three video game console makers had three very different perspectives on display during Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 in Los Angeles. The conference, which could be considered the Super Bowl of video game conferences, is arguably the best event for video game makers, publishers and developers to show off their upcoming consoles and games in a grandiose manner.
This year was no exception. The trade show event is only open to the gaming press and generates unreal buzz about upcoming video game releases later this year or in the near future. The conference was scheduled to last 3 days (June 5th - June 7th), but this year, Microsoft and Sony both held their press conferences a day early. Nintendo opted to hold their press event opening day of E3.
Microsoft started their press conference discussing upcoming titles ("Halo 4," increased Kinect voice support with EA's "Madden 13" and Ubisoft's "Splinter Cell: Blacklist"). However, Microsoft shifted focus to several nongaming features involving their console, the Xbox 360. From the "Avatar" like swiping and screen-transfer app with the Xbox Smart Glass to Internet Explorer finally debuted on the Xbox, Microsoft's focus at E3 wasn't on gaming but entertainment. The presentation reveals Microsoft's plan to make their gaming console, the 360, the bridge between tablets, smartphones and home entertainment.
Not to be outdone, Sony kicked off their press conference with a mention about their handheld, the PlayStation Vita, and showed some attention to the Move accessory, but focused fully on gaming. Sony showed off Quantic Dream's newest title, Beyond. The game, which features a character, voiced by Ellen Page (Juno), who can talk to spirits. Sony also showed off the upcoming "God of War: Ascension," as well as Naughty Dog's survival tale "The Last of Us."
Nintendo's press conference revealed intense gameplay from the new console, the Wii-U. The Wii-U gives a much-need high definition update to the standard definition Wii, and adds a pretty slick tablet-like gamepad into the mix. From "Wii Fit U" to the zombie thriller "ZombiU," Nintendo wants to give gamers a unique experience using the new controller.
Even a couple Houston/Austin-area studios got a chance to take part in E3 this year. Houston's TimeGate Studios in Sugar Land has been busy working on the Sega shooter, "Aliens: Colonial Marines," due out early 2013. “Aliens: Colonial Marines" is on display at Sega of America’s booth at E3. TimeGate is also "working on several unannounced future projects,” according to a TimeGate official.
Not to be outdone, Junction Point Studios in Austin announced the November 2012 release for their upcoming "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two." The game, developed by Junction Point and released by Disney Interactive, will not only be on the Wii, but will be available on the Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360.
Overall, if the E3 conference ends with as much energy as the beginning, gamers can expect a year filled with gaming goodness.