E3 – the trouble with backseat driving

As much as I’d love to offer some serious, considered commentary on this week’s E3, I can’t.  I’m not there, obviously, and so everything I’m hearing about it is 100% hearsay.   I watched streams of the Microsoft, EA and Ubi presentations, but missed both Sony and Nintendo – and those would seem to be the 2 most important ones of the show.  Still, I’m a man with opinions, and so here’s my take on the week so far:

1.  First thing’s first – Giant Bomb’s podcasts have been amazing.  The first night featured an extended, uncensored conversation between Jonathan “Braid” Blow and Microsoft’s E and Stepto which got heated, a little bit, although still being respectful – I’d like to think that it was viewed as “constructive” on both sides.  The second night featured a riveting discussion between the outspoken David Jaffe (God of War, Twisted Metal), a programmer from the Uncharted team, and 2 dudes from DoubleFine, focusing on any number of interesting, “inside-baseball” topics – the development process, the creative process, the marketing process, the trouble with today’s games journalism, etc.  No idea how they’re going to top it tonight, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

2.  Everyone else has moved on by this point, but it bears mentioning:  when all is said and done, Mr. Caffeine was perhaps the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen.  I sincerely hope that guy’s out of a job by the end of the week.

3.  I have absolutely no desire for a Wii U.  I think it’s a colossal misstep for Nintendo.  And it’s got the dumbest name I’ve ever heard.

4.  The Playstation Vita is a damned sexy device, and I have to admit that $250 for the wi-fi only model is a very appealing price.  But I still think that the iPhone has fundamentally changed the handheld space, in almost every way that matters, and I can’t help but feel that I wouldn’t really play it all that much.

5.  Hearing lots of positive things about Uncharted 3, Batman, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, and Skyrim.  I am intrigued by Battlefield but maybe not enough to actually spring for it.  I am less intrigued by Modern Warfare 3.

Beyond that, there’s not much I can offer that you can’t see for yourself.  In the meantime, I can say that I’ve played the first 20 minutes of Infamous 2 – it’s pretty much the same game as last time, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.



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