So let’s see how I did with my predictions, and how Microsoft did overall.
1) Kinect was about 3/4 of the conference. Really disappointing. But expected. Some of the demos looked really unimpressive and from the sound of the various liveblogs out there, the only people who were excited were microsoft execs. I was kind of wrong in one thing, I thought they’d do less Kinect than last year when in fact they did more. Disappointing.
2) Cirque du soleil wasn’t there.
3) Gears of War had a pretty good sized showcase, but wasn’t all that exciting since there wasn’t anything all that new.
4) New Halo ‘just to reassure people that Halo isn’t dead’. Exactly as expected.
Let’s do a quick ups and downs:
- Way too much Kinect. Let’s face it, if you had asked nearly ANY serious gamer what they wanted out of E3 for Microsoft, Kinect would not have been high on the list.
- Modern Warfare 3 was really underwhelming.
- Watching Ghost Recon Future Soldier’s kinect gameplay(not the gunsmith) looked really really awkward.
- Lack of any exciting exclusives except Gears 3. Forza holds no appeal for me, and none of the Kinect titles looked at all interesting to a core gamer.
- Bing – The search engine we all love to hate, for the motion control console we all love to ignore!
- Gears 3 footage didn’t really show much that hadn’t been seen before.
- Fable Journey looked incredibly stupid.
- Kinect Star Wars looked really awkward and didn’t seem to be at all what anyone was hoping for.
- Tomb raider looked intriguing enough to be worth watching.
- New XBox Live features – Live TV, UFC – will be huge for people interested in that.
- Dance Central’s sequel looked impressive for people interested in that.
- Mass Effect 3’s voice support with Kinect actually seemed like a useful gaming application for Kinect – mostly since it was just an addon.
- Gunsmith for GRFS was pretty cool, and responsive.
- Unique children’s content through Kinect such as Cookie Monster and Disneyland, if responsive, could be pretty cool.
The good parts this conference had were all fairly minor, and most of them were really not of interest to core gamers, so as a gaming conference Microsoft’s was definitely a low point. For general entertainment, there are some unique aspects; and for children’s gaming this could be huge. But those two don’t really ring true with what E3 is mostly about, so it feels like their focus was all in the wrong place. For an hour and a half conference, maybe 15 minutes were interesting to me, and maybe 25 could be interesting to any core gamer. Really a disappointment. On the plus side, it really sets the bar low for the rest of the conference.