In Which I Bitch About E3 2012

So. E3 2012 has only just started, and I’ve already reached my conclusions, varied as they are. Get ready for a TL;DR.

Microsoft…eh, whatever. They announced SmartGlass, which could, in theory, help Nintendo more than Microsoft, as developers would first create games for that, then use that familiarity to approach Wii U games. Besides that, more of Kinect, voice controls, and more shooters. I have a 360, but will never get a Kinect.

Sony had a pretty solid conference, although they really only announced two new games. Plus their Smash Bros. clone. (which leads me to wonder if the actual upcoming Smash Bros. will feature similar Wii U/3DS crossplay) They announced nothing new for the Vita. The Wonderbook thing looks like a gimmick, and I’m doubtful it’ll go far beyond the Harry Potter stuff.

Nintendo came along today and talked about Wii U games. New Super Mario Bros. U was a given. Pikmin 3 was something Miyamoto confirmed last year, but it was great to finally see footage of the game. It’s what I’m most looking forward to, after their conference.

Batman Arkham City Armored Edition doesn’t seem to be that different. Not making too great use of the controller.

Then Nintendo announced NintendoLand and I wondered if I had somehow taken drugs. I remember something being said about Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Animal Crossing, those three being grouped together, and being rather confused. That entire thing looks maybe inspired by the PlayStation Home thing or whatever, with minigames mixed in. Maybe Mario Party inspired. I’m not that interested in it. There was Luigi’s Mansion mixed with PacMan, and I suddenly had a guy explaining for ten minutes how Pac Man works.

In the end, E3 2012 was sequel after sequel after sequel, with originality barely to be seen. I tuned in to the last five minutes of the XBOX 360 press conference, and saw a new Call of Duty game. EA’s conference was a bunch of sequels and new sports games. SimCity was there, but that’s hardly a new game, just a new attempt at that old franchise. (Oh, and that new Madden NFL game is going to feature a “virtual Twitter feed”? Why? Who would ever want that?)

I’ve felt a disconnect from the “mainstream” gaming industry for years, now, and this year’s E3 just made that all the more obvious. I don’t like shooters, and those are all over the place, now. If you took the trailers for the various shooters and removed all the branding, could anyone tell them apart? There are no new ideas (well, there are, but those don’t receive a lot of attention). Sony mostly focused on rereleases. Nintendo and the Wii U? Seems like an interesting idea, but they seem to be focusing on multiplayer with it, and…well…I don’t care for that, because I never have anyone to do multiplayer with. So much focus was put on social networking for games, especially by Nintendo with their MiiVerse stuff, that…well, I don’t play games to hang out with people.

Nintendo still has their 3DS event tomorrow night, so we’ll see what gets said there.

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