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Was it good for you?

Right. Start again. This is supposed to be a quick few thoughts on E3 2010 but quickly turned into a ramble on Kinect. That ramble has now been spun out into its own post going up in the very near future.

So, E3 2010, good eh? Wasn’t it?

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the right question, of course it was good it was a big huge gaming expo after all. The question I’m searching for should be was it disappointing? Even that doesn’t seem quite right, how can loads of great games being shown off disappoint?! How about… did it meet your expectations?

Each year I bemoan my inability to head off to LA and take in the spectacle that is E3. Not because I want to go networking with industry types but because I want to experience the utter madness of the launch events and be surrounded by the not-yet-released and newly announced games. But that is where my expectations would have sadly been left a little wanting this year.

There’s no denying the raft of spectacular and must have games that were on show this year. Fallout: New Vegas, Halo: Reach, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, Fable III, Medal of Honor, Gears of War 3, Dead Rising 2, Brink, Crackdown 2, and Call of Duty: Black Ops to name but a few(!) of those I am looking forward to.

Now read that list of games again. You’ve heard of them all haven’t you?

There in lies the problem. Almost every game or piece of hardware on show was already firmly on my radar. It was great to see new trailers and find out more information on Title-X but I really wanted something unexpected to wow me. I understand in an age of leaks and online journalism it is pretty difficult to keep things secret for long but still. The only titles I wasn’t aware of pre-E3 were the new Silent Hill game and NeverDead, both from Konami. No doubt there were more but none within my scope of interest. And I suspect these too were probably already known to many just that I hadn’t stumbled across them!

The same can be said of the new hardware announcements. Nothing I didn’t already have some degree of awareness about. Nintendo’s 3DS came close, I knew and had heard very little on it. Once again it appears Nintendo have got it right – introducing 3D to their already successful and established platform but ultimately keeping it simple and, more importantly, fun. Now for the obvious. I can’t talk about E3 without mentioning Kinect and Move. I have little interest in Move so more or less skimmed anything from Sony on the subject. Being an Xbox fan I was much more interested in Kinect and there’s nobody who can say it isn’t an impressive piece of kit. Technically it blows the competition clean out of the water but to be honest it’s big Cirque de Soleil showcase and subsequent presser left me feeling rather flat about the whole thing. Last year it was positioned as a real game changer, literally, with far reaching implications and possibilities. Nobody saw it coming, it was genius. Fast forward 12 months. After a very long build up the result was rather anti-climactic. The problem was too much was revealed the first time around. All that was left to show this year was an unfortunate name change, a new form factor not a million miles away from the dev kit and the games you’re going to be playing on it. None too surpassingly these were nothing we hadn’t seen before on the Wii which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. Even the announcement of a new ‘slim’ Xbox wasn’t enough to appease me (it didn’t help that I’d bought an new Super Elite only 6 weeks ago). Again, the rumours had been circulating for a while and really took the wind out of the sails when it was officially announced.

Ultimately there might not have been any real stand-out revelations but when you have so many talented developers and great publishers flooding the market with fantastic games you’re never really going to get a ‘disappointing’ E3. I may have been left a little underwhelmed overall but I’ll take solace in the many great games I’ve got to look forward to in the next 18 months, and if anybody would like to take me to E3 2011 then by all means do!