When E3 attendees entered the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, they were greeted by a giant Kevin Butler graphic, showing off Sony's new PlayStation Move motion controls.
Fallout and Homefront
There were plenty of other outdoor graphics as well, including these sprawling banners for Fallout: New Vegas and Homefront.
2K Games takes top honors in the banner category with this Mafia II graphic.
The New Xbox (360 Slim)
Microsoft fired the first salvo at E3 with its press conference the day before the convention actually started. While the reviews on its presentation are mixed, Microsoft won attendees over by giving everyone at the meeting a free Xbox 360 Slim. The new console is significantly smaller than the original, and promises better heat management. New features also include integrated wi-fi, integrated optical audio, and a sleek new form factor.
Sony Finishes Second
Sony's press conference went over better than Microsoft's, but was still lacking in interesting news. Killzone 3 does look exciting, however, and playing in 3D (we watched it in 3D) should be a blast.
SLS AMG Gullwing Anyone?
Gran Turismo 5 has been a long time coming, and to amp up the excitement for the title during its presser, Sony had a real SLS AMG Gullwing from Mercedes Benz outside.
Butler in the Flesh
Giant graphics aside, Kevin Butler, Sony's "fictional" VP of Hype and Excitement, made an appearance on Sony's stage.
Nintendo Wins E3
For Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, E3 press conferences are about winning the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere, and every year there is a general consensus on which company had the best press conference. This year it was Nintendo, hands down. From the 3DS announcement to the plethora of new titles coming our way, Nintendo dominated the console competition. Here we see Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto playing through Zelda: Skyward Sword live on stage.
Zelda for the Masses
Watching Shigeru playing Zelda is always a treat, but Nintendo also had play stations set up at its press conference for all attendees to enjoy.
Gran Tursimo 5
Sony Europe had a great Gran Turismo 5 racing setup in the meeting room upstairs. Unfortunately this racer just slammed head first into the wall...
the masses have been clamoring for a Twisted Metal title on the PS3 since the console launched, so its nice to finally see Sweet Tooth married to the Cell Processor. Look for the new Twisted Metal in 2011.
Activision put on quite the concert on Night One of E3. Right next door in the Staples Center, artists including Eminem, Rihanna, Jane's Addicition and Deadmau5 put on a spectacle, with many of Activision's titles acting as the backdrop.
Dead Rising 2
The original Dead Rising was a breakout hit for Capcom back in 2006, so a sequel is welcomed with open arms. And hey, any game with dynamite strapped to a football is fine by us!
Dead Space 2
It's another big sequel year for video games, and Dead Space 2 is no exception. From what might be our favorite game at E3 this year, EA had Issac (the protagonist) walking around the show floor in his new Advanced Mining Suit. Dead Space 2 hits early in 2011.
Everything was going swell at E3 2010, and then the Cuban army invaded. Many gamers and journalists were lost in the ensuing carnage.
No new Bioshock announcements this year, but the statues are still awesome!
Speaking of statues, this Halo Reach exhibit was one of the first things attendees saw once they entered the LACC's West Hall.
E3 is all about presentation, and some of the booths are simply incredible. The booth for Power Gig: Rise of the Six String, a new music game coming out later this year, had quite the theater signage in the South Hall.
Leggo my LEGO
The series of games based on LEGO has been a huge success over the last few years, and the Harry Potter franchise is no different. I wonder how many pieces it took to assemble Hagrid...
Sonic is Back
Yes there have been plenty of Sonic games over the last several years, but Sonic is finally back in his purest form. Sonic 4 goes back to the beginning, giving the side-scrolling speedster a graphics boost while maintaining that satisfying Genesis-style play.
Marvel vs Capcom 3
Iron Man and Ryu are finally back together again with Marvel vs Capcom 3. Based on the same engine as Street Fighter 4, MVC3 promises to be one of the most exciting fighter titles of 2010.
It wasn't all video games at E3. This AR Quadricopter Drone vehicle from Parrot uses an iPhone for a controller, and gets 11 minutes of flight time on a single charge.
Battling in the Sky
No strings attached, the AR Drones are fairly easy to fly. These models have rubber bumpers on the outside to protect the blades during crashes.
Is there anything cooler than the Lightcycles from the new Tron movie and game? One of them found its way onto the E3 show floor.
One important aspect of E3 is awards. Many sites have entire award lists for E3, from Game of the Show to Best Shooter, and so on. Bulletstorm, a new title from Epic and EA, grabbed its fair share of awards and nominations.
The Razer Starcraft Peripheral Initiative
Razer, working directly with Blizzard, the developer of Starcraft which is now working on Starcraft 2 due later this year, revealed a new line of Starcraft-ready peripherals, including the Spectre, Marauder and Banshee. This mouse, keyboard and headset all have special Starcraft specific functions, including several lights that activate and can change color when certain things happen in-game. Meaning, if your base gets attacked while you’re not looking, the Marauder keyboard can flash red warning lights and let you know immediately.
The Razer Pro Xbox 360 Controller
Microsoft did a great job with the Xbox 360 controller, but it isn’t perfect. Razer decided to make it pro-gamer worthy, meaning adding another set of shoulder buttons, twist controls to set the stiffness of the analog sticks, and illuminated buttons for easy night-play. Razer added that, and of course updated and enhanced buttons that are more clicky, a comfortable rubber surface and proper weight for a wired controller. Wired, of course, to minimize all possible lag.
SixSense, Razer True Motion Controls
When Sony revealed Move, we weren’t that impressed. SixSense, a small company working with Razer on a magnetic-based motion control system, has nearly completed and fine-tuned their device to provide the best motion controls we’ve ever seen. Not only is it one-to-one with no post processing, the lag time currently sits around 7ms, compared to the half-second of Kinect or Move. And, SixSense spokespeople say, that’s only for the current hardware. They expect to get it down to 2ms by the product launch this holiday season.
Midi In, Midi Out
When Madcatz won the licensing agreement to make nearly all Rock Band peripherals, the company pulled no punches. It created this Midi controller to plug into real musical instruments to allow them to partake in Rockband 3. Not every instrument will work with this product--which is being jointly made by Fender and MTV Games--but many good ones will.
Rock Band is now supporting another instrument: a keyboard. You may not know of many rock bands that rely upon a keyboard nowadays, but they’re often there in the background. This full two-octave keyboard is not only wireless, but it has a stand, and the hardest difficulty level will have you using the whole keyboard to hit specific notes, instead of just the standard five. This whole Rock Band thing isn’t just about learning to play fake instruments anymore.
Rock Band is finally teaching us how to play real guitar. First step, buy a pro guitar with 102 buttons (that’s six buttons per fret and 17 frets total). Second step, play the modes which teach you how to actually use it. Step three, become a worldwide phenomenon. Hey, it could happen.
No Thanks, My Glasses are Built In
Nintendo upped the ante with a 3D-ready console, no glasses required. 3D perception on the 3DS so far seems fine, as long as you're playing under good lighting condition. The console itself is about the size of a DSi. For more on the 3DS, check here.
Let’s Do Lasertag Again, Shall We?
The last time we did lasertag at home, it was the 1990s and the fun lasted a few hours before all the equipment went to the garage to collect dust. Ubisoft has decided to step away from publishing games to try its hand at the real world with BattleTag, which is basically lasertag with social networking. Not only will all your stats be uploaded after a game, but it comes with minigames and connects via Wi-Fi.
Time to Get Fit
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is the ultimate in videogame workouts for, at least as far as we’ve seen. Using the Kinect cameras with Micrsoft's Xbox 360, Ubisoft’s game can help players get in shape by suggesting specific workouts tailored for you. It can measure your height and distance, and plenty of options and gametypes will allow players of all shapes and sizes to get a workout in.
Reduce Stress by Playing Games
Apparently, videogames not only help us lose weight, stay healthy and make us smarter, but they can now help us relax. Innergy, an upcoming title that uses a finger sensor to monitor the pulse, aims to help people relieve stress, which Ubisoft reports has huge health benefits. We’ll be the judge of that, though anyone interested in taking 15 minutes a day to chill out probably doesn’t need a videogame to do that.
Plants vs. Zombies Danceoff
The best description for E3 is in this picture. It has fighting, humor, cuteness, the walking dead, and dancing. Police sirens going by only further that point.
Time to Kinect
It’s all about throwing buttons away, or so Microsoft says. Kinect comes fully stocked with two cameras and a microphone, and reacts to the movements of your body and sound of your voice. Use your hand as a cursor or command the Xbox to do things, such as pause video and play games. We hope next year it will make dinner.
E3 comes to an end, but the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) is already planning for next year. See you in 2011!