Oh yes, E3 2012 had much to offer. It's just that expectations were higher then they had any right to be. We knew Microsoft and Sony wouldn't have any new hardware on show, we knew Nintendo had the Wii U and thanks to a bucket load of leaks beforehand, we knew pretty much every game that was to be shown. Ubisoft's Watch Dogs was a pleasant surprise. But we knew what we were getting and in that regard it was a year of known quantities. Yet more Gears of War is on the way in the form of Judgement. There is another God of War coming to Playstation 3 and waves of frustrated shouts of 'What the hell?' met Dead Space 3 and it's move to more co-operative action... yeah I still don't get that one either.
And then there's Nintendo. After a poorly presented, but informative pre-E3 video showing off some of what the Wii U can achieve with online functionality. I was excited to see some games, after all that's what Nintendo promised, hardcore games for the hardcore gamers. Oh boy did we get our hopes up. Let's be fair, we had every right to. Nintendo promised us last year that the Wii U was targeted to third party developers who would meet the need of the so called hardcore gamer. What did we get instead? We got Batman: Arkham City (with a very special new costume you know) and Nintendoland. A game most have already played through at least once, and a mini-game collection. Pikmin 3 looks splendid, but that was pretty much it. Honestly folks, at the end of that press conference I think I had lost the last drops of faith I had in Nintendo.
It was going to be difficult for Nintendo to screw up at E3 2012, with the Japanese company being the only one showing new hardware. Yet somehow they did exactly that, they screwed up. Now it would be wrong to entirely judge the Wii U from what Nintendo had to show. It's only fair we keep open minds, it's just that now Nintendo have to work even harder to win the hard earned cash of gamers. I still worry for the Wii U. It's a console that as a lot against it. It's not made a great impression so far and with Microsoft and Sony expected to announce new hardware next year, the Wii U could be left behind. It's as if Nintendo don't know if to bet on the more hardcore gamer, or the casual crowd that helped the Nintendo Wii become such a success. Between a rock and a hard place.
A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE!While much of E3 was predictable, it wasn't without one or two pleasant surprises. One such surprise was an exciting potential glimpse at the future. Star Wars 1313 was the talk of E3, and for good reason. LucasArts released a few stunning gameplay videos along with a slightly more in-depth look at the game on Spike TV and Gametrailers. Yes I know it basically looks like Uncharted in space, but what's wrong with that? Hell, the idea of a Star Wars game in the same vain of those wonderful Naughty Dog thrillers as me all rather excited. Gameplay aside for a second, Star Wars 1313 was a glimpse into what future hardware might offer us as gamers and it's only right to be rather excited.
Now LucasArts stated the game was running on Nvidia hardware, so PC for sure at least in that demo. But there as been much debate if it indeed might be a sighter into what we can expect from the next generation of hardware. No doubt many developers have their hands on hardware representing say the next Xbox or PS4 and it was clear that many publishers/developers are now looking into the next generation. So it's quite possible that Star Wars 1313 might just be set for unannounced systems, and if it's any indication we might be in for good times. Jeff while discussing 1313 said that instead of the next gen offering 60 frames per second experiences, it's more likely that developers will stick to 30 FPS but offer more visual splendor and Star Wars 1313 certainly seems an early sign of that.
Of course we're speculating, and as I said speculating really gets us nowhere. We'll just have to wait and see what the future holds. Hopefully we won't have to wait to long with both Sony and Microsoft expected to unveil their next generation of hardware at next years E3 event. But as gamers, we have every reason to be excited. E3 2012 might not have been a thriller, but it did give us a look at what we might be playing when the next cycle of consoles comes around and in that regard E3 2012 was pretty darn fascinating.
Most exciting of all, is that it might only be a taster to what we get next year... I can't wait.
Thank you for reading.