Microsoft's press conference wasn't their best E3 presser by a long shot. It, unfortunately, failed to predominately focus on the core gamers, which is the point of a press conference during expo. That said, they did manage to conjure up some great unveils; namely, world premieres of gameplay footage for quality titles.
Halo 4 - Microsoft opened their press conference in the strongest way with the world premiere of the campaign of 343 Industries' Halo 4. We saw. We were amazed. We now eagerly anticipate November 6th.
Tomb Raider - Making its second consecutive E3 appearance during Microsoft's press conference, Crystal Dynamics once again showcases an impressive gameplay demo of their Tomb Raider reboot. Sure, it immediately drew comparisons to Naughty Dog's Uncharted series but there's no doubt that the iconic Square Enix franchise has its own identity.
South Park: Stick of Truth - Not only did South Park creators make Microsoft's E3 press conference much more entertaining, they showcased an extremely intriguing-looking South Park game. The pair stressed that they want players to feel they're in an actual episode of the cartoon and that transition seemed to have panned out perfectly in their E3 presentation.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2:
You're really going to close the show off with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? Really? I understand that the Xbox 360 and Call of Duty are synonymous with the high sales on the platform and Activision's profitable relationship with Microsoft (timed-exclusive DLC), but to close the show off with the game was a bad decision. Granted, the gameplay of the title, which was the world premiere, impressed many due to the new direction Call of Duty was taking but why not showcase that at the beginning of the presser and leave the juggernaut that is Halo 4 until the end?
Microsoft paying Usher a ton of cash to dance at their press conference (and dancing is all it was) showcased how the company are totally losing it. Core gamers, which is what E3 press conference is about, want to see Usher dancing around instead of seeing quality titles? Appalling.
Yes, we understand Kinect has sold more than 10 million units. Maybe 20 million. But Microsoft hasn't supported the motion sensor peripheral ever since a few months following its launch. So, with the motion war all but dead (there wasn't any considerable focus on PlayStation Move during Sony's E3 presser), why keep showcasing the ability of Kinect? The device is predominately geared towards the casual audience, who don't even watch E3, let alone know what it is. As previously stated, E3 is for the core audience and Microsoft, as they did last year, failed to acknowledge that. Examples of Kinect functionality for software at the presser was, out of all games, FIFA 13. No, thank you; I'll stick to my controller.
SmartGlass may seem like an innovative piece of technology, turning your TV and tablet into an extension of the Xbox 360—but it adds nothing for gamers. Microsoft would've been better off showcasing the tech at CES instead of using E3 as its platform.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist:
If anyone says Splinter Cell: Blacklist looked "cool" or its returning to its roots, you have my permission to give them a slap. Ubisoft's unveil took place at Microsoft's E3 press conference via a gameplay demo and it undoubtedly looked like the title borrowed a disturbing amount of components from Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
FIFA 13 - One of EA's most consistent commercially successful series, FIFA, was inevitably present at the company's E3 press conference. The gameplay trailer debut was present and we saw our first glimpse of what to expect from the umpteenth football title. The aforementioned trailer went on to become one of the most viewed trailers of E3 with well over one million views.
SimCity - Maxis' reboot was undoubtedly one of the strong points of EA's presser. The PC exclusive has fans rightly hyped with the city-building simulation title looking like the best installment yet. Roll on February, 2013.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted - I know, another Need for Speed game; another franchise for EA to milk. However, this racer's return was a positive due to the developer being Criterion Games. They created 2010's critically acclaimed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, as well as the 2008 smash hit Burnout Paradise.
Dead Space 3 - As expected, Dead Space 3 was shown via its debut gameplay footage. In it, we saw how the co-op component worked and it sure did look to be a worthy addition to Visceral's franchise.
UFC license purchase - EA took a smart decision in purchasing the UFC video game license from financially troubled THQ. UFC Undisputed 3 shipped several million units for the latter, and, with EA's MMA flop, it was a smart decision to gain the license for UFC.
Battlefield 3 Premium - If I had, say, coffee in my mouth while they were making this announcement, I would have spit it out in disgust. $49.99? I really would have hoped DICE were in better hands with a better publisher.
No new IPs - EA failed to make any AAA IP announcements, and instead focused all their effort on existing franchises.
Watch Dogs - This new property revealed by Ubisoft without the doubt won them E3. The stunning title was showcased via a several minute long gameplay demo and we can't wait to see more of the intriguing IP.
Assassin's Creed 3 - The umpteenth Assassin's Creed installment made its gameplay debut during E3's press conference and fans certainly weren't disappointed.
Far Cry 3 - Although it was mainly focused on women's breasts, Far Cry 3 still managed to leave a lasting impression.
Flo Rida - Unfortunately for Ubisoft, they had to deeply damage their press conference and follow Microsoft's route by bringing on Flo Rida who performed on stage.
Hosts - Why do we need cheesy hosts? Where is the logic in that? You have a great line up of games to show, but don't keep it strictly professional with hosts that could have been bested by a two year old dog. I understand Tobuscus, the co-host, is a big YouTube personality and the way he acted in that presser was how he actually is in person. But, what was the need in hiring these two numpties?
Sony's E3 press conference was arguably one of the best. What lacked in game announcements/surprises was more than made up by the stunning gameplay footage we saw of The Last of Us, as well as the debut footage of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls, starring Ellen Page (although the game's unveil was a new announcement, the PS3 exclusive was fully leaked a few hours before the presser).
Professionalism/strictly catered to core gamers - Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft, there were no unnecessary, stupid additions to their press conference. Instead, Sony focused almost entirely on the core gamer, which is what E3 press conferences are all about.
The Last of Us - I really didn't think they'd be able to surpass my expectations but Naughty Dog certainly did exactly that with the world premier gameplay footage of The Last of Us.
Beyond: Two Souls - It's awesome enough that David Cage is heading Quantic Dream's next PlayStation 3 exclusive after the phenomenon that was Heavy Rain, but for the title to star Ellen Page? Roll on 2013.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale - Big Daddy and Nathan Drake were unveiled as the latest additions to the already-stellar line-up of fighters in SuperBot and Sony's brawler. We can't wait to see more of Sony's competition to Super Smash Bros.
God of War: Ascension - Alright, so they maybe should have showed off the multiplayer component during the presser as opposed to revealing it during the game's announcement a few months before E3. Still, we were impressed with Kratos' return on the PlayStation 3.
Wonderbook - Yes, it's a cool concept and some PS3 owners love Harry Potter (me included; don't tell anyone, though). But it's not for the core gamer. It's as plain and simple as that. If they devoted perhaps a minute on the announcement then fine; but they didn't - instead, they spent a considerable proportion of the conference on Wonderbook.
Nintendo's press conference started well but then continued towards a downhill spiral. Many expected the company to base their E3 presser on the Wii U and they did; just not in the way many expected.
Pikmin 3 - A pleasant start to the press conference.
New Super Mario Bros U - Any Super Mario game is always a positive.
LEGO City: Undercover - GTA-styled Lego game? Sign me up.
ZombiU - I have to admit Nintendo/Ubisoft might have an interesting new IP on their hands.
Why not reveal the price? After their E3 presser, Nintendo America president Reggie revealed that the launch price of the Wii U will "pleasantly surprise" consumers. So why didn't they reveal it during the press conference, while the world was watching?
Complain that there's not enough time and then waste most of the time showing gimmicks.
Lack of release date - We know there's a holiday release scheduled but a release date announcement for the Wii U was heavily expected.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - The original reboot did a good job of providing a decent action platformer. We can't wait to see what MercurySteam is molding with the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Platinum Games' direction for this Metal Gear Solid spin-off seems intriguing to say the least. A hack-and-slash title with Raiden as the protagonist should be enough of a reason to be interested in the game and its E3 gameplay footage certainly solidified that.
Zone of the Enders HD footage - The HD collection of Zone of the Enders was displayed with a trailer that left fans yearning for more.
No new AAA IPs - While they showcased several stellar titles, Konami failed to reveal any new AAA IPs.
Resident Evil 6 - Capcom showcased Resident Evil 6 during Microsoft's E3 press conference with its gameplay footage premiere and it certainly didn't disappoint.
DmC: Devil May Cry - Ninja Theory's work on a reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise seems to be tracking along well, and, despite the naysayers, Dante looks like a badass.
Lost Planet 3 - If you've seen gameplay footage of Lost Planet 3, then you'll notice it more or less looks like Lost Planet 2 with the only exception being a change of developer. Spark Unlimited don't have a reputation of creating the best of games yet, and, unfortunately, that trend may continue with Lost Planet 3.