: Editorial: E3 2008 Impressions

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Editorial: E3 2008 Impressions

Another E3 has come and gone, and while I wasn't there (I handled coverage from afar while Arnold attended), I saw Sony's press conference and in updating our videos, I've seen many of the games that were on display. Hence, I've formed some impressions. Oh, stop rolling your eyes; they're legitimate, even though I was 3000 miles away!

First of all, I must say I was more than a little impressed with what we saw of Resistance 2 during the press conference. That first video they showed - Massive Monster Gameplay - was just plain awesome, and from what I could tell, it definitely "wowed" the crowd. It was a great way to kick off the conference, primarily for two reasons: 1. it was an excellent gameplay video; not just FMV or CGI, and 2. it reminded us all that the PlayStation 3, despite losing Final Fantasy XIII, still has a lot of great exclusives on the way. Too many people were glossing over R2 going into this year's E3, in my humble opinion, but from what I've seen so far, I couldn't possibly have higher expectations for it. I think it will be more than a match for Gears of War 2, and that's saying something, considering how good I thought the original GeoW was. Furthermore, Killzone 2, still set for February, is just another great reason to own a PS3.

Secondly, I must say, as trivial as it may seem to some, that using LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy to help with the usually boring business and statistics information was very clever. You can hear people laughing in the audience when you watch the video, and it really added a nice amount of understated flair to the presentation. Thirdly, even though I'm most certainly not a fan of MMOs, I have to admit that M.A.G looked absolutely incredible. 256 players at once on a massive real-time battlefield is a concept that even appeals to me; someone who is staunchly set against the idea of the MMO. Something like DC Universe doesn't really interest me, but M.A.G...just, wow. As for one downside I have to harp on, I was really hoping to see more of God of War III, which supposedly has a tentative release date of early March (according to GameStop). The teaser trailer was cool and everything but it didn't quite cut the mustard.

I am not, however, hinting that GoWIII will be surprisingly mediocre; I'm fully convinced it'll be completely kick-ass from top to bottom, and if it's not a Game of the Year candidate in 2009, I'll be very surprised. I'm just saying a wanted a little something more at E3. Returning to exclusives for a moment - just because it's all anyone can talk about these days, after the FFXIII revelation - I can list out a great many more promising PS3 exclusives than I can 360 exclusives. While the 360 does have Too Human, Fable 2, Gears of War (which I still say will come to the PS3 at some point) and another Halo if Bungie does it, that's not good enough. I really don't think that can compete with what we already have in MGS4, Warhawk, Heavenly Sword and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and what's to come with Resistance 2, Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet, M.A.G, Gran Turismo 5, God of War III, SOCOM: Confrontation, InFamous, Heavy Rain, etc. I'm trying to be as reasonable and objective about this as possible, but I can't come to any other conclusion.

Furthermore, if I had to examine the console war now, I do believe the PS3 - for the first time since the launch - is in the best position of the three. Blu-Ray has won, the Network is still free (and gaining on Live with almost every passing firmware update), the reliability is far and away superior, the games are here (with many still to come), the Store is shaping up quite nicely, PlayStation Home could be both innovative and revolutionary, and the PS3/PSP connectivity is always a nifty bonus. If one takes all this into account, and further believes Sony that the PS3 is a "10-year-vision" (and I do), then one must conclude that their flagship console is in a very good position only 20 months after its release. I hope everyone remembers the doom and gloom of the first few months, because the contrast between then and now is so extraordinary, it's difficult to put into words. In th end, I think I saw a lot from Sony at this year's E3 that I had either forgotten about or had never seen before, and when I put it all together, I come up with the aforementioned thoughts.

That's what I've got to say, but if you want more E3, make sure to check out all Arnold's Impressions for each game he got his hands on, the screenshots he will soon have for you, and the special E3 news and videos I've provided to bring you into close contact with this past week's goings-on at the L.A. Convention Center. We did what we could to deliver the best coverage possible; hope you all felt covered. :)

7/18/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

Jed
Friday, July 18, 2008 @ 10:45:08 PM
Reply

I remember the "doom and gloom" months a little too well, but after weathering the storm I'm happy to see how things are and how amazing they will be.

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 12:04:24 AM
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i jumped on the ps3 once Uncharted hit, so i think i came in right around the turn around.

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Fabi
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 2:58:35 AM
Reply

Great coverage guys, next to G4, you guys had the best coverage of all that is PS3, hands down.

@Ben - Do you think Sony won E3? According to everyone on G4, MS won.

I think the 360 had the better conference. But Sony showed more games. But more than a few sites think that MS took it.

I thought the Sony conference started off with a bang, and at that point I could have sworn it was going to be better than last years, but while it had some decent moments, none of it really "wowed" me.

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Qubex
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 8:57:37 AM

They need to split off the business presentation side of things for the journo's and get straight to the games for the world wide audience. You need to please the gamers and fans. The journo's can get all the statistics they like from a Sony webpage especially for them if they want them :) ...too much talking and not enough gaming...

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe"

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Bugzbunny109
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 10:18:26 AM

G4 guys are all Xboxfanboys and girls. Its funny because all they talk about is how good microsoft is, so of cource they are gonna say microsoft won

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Qubex
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 8:53:43 AM
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Well, we all agreed at some point in the past, through our respective posts, that PS3 needed a good 18 months to build. We saw early on the direction Sony wanted to go in. Still feel frustrated though that there was simply too much Hype at the beginning and that Sony has taken too long to listen to their fans. Moreover I really didn't like the SKU changes.

Saying this, the "next gen" idea is coming through now... we see glimpses of it... but I have to still say this... I think the PS3 and xBox360 are a teaser for true "next gen"... with defacto HDEF graphics for all games and a stocking 60FPS without hardware issues and with enough memory to make granny want some... so here it is for PS4 then, in the meantime PS3 is still an entertaining stop gap until then... damn... I have 5 years to wait at minimum :)

My thoughts on the gamevids I saw: 10 = phenomenal

1] LittleBigPlanet | 8.5
2] Killzone2 | 9
3] Dead Space | 8.5
4] The Forced Unleashed |8.75
5] MotorStorm 2 | 8
6] Flower | 8
7] CODV World at War | 8.25
8] FallOut 3 | 8
9} FarCry | 8.75
10] Resident Evil 5 | 9
11] Resistance 2 | 9
12] Quest For Booty | 8.25

...a couple of my scores... after seeing the vids what I would expect anyways... who agrees?

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd Too HoMe"

Last edited by Qubex on 7/19/2008 8:55:27 AM

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The_Chimeran
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 1:38:09 PM

I think that resistance blew my mind away and it should get a 10 (on ur point system) cause it was beautiful slick and :0 . otherwise if littebigplanet went up to a 9 i would agree. Also God of War 3, i know it wasn't gameplay video but i know ur jaws dropped while u were watching it.

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pavlovic
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 9:32:37 AM
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Thank Ben and Arnold for the coverage. Was awesome

If I had to choose in this moment only one console, I would choose the PS3, the lineup for the following months is quite impressive, and the 360's has Gears of War and...well it has Gears of War.

@Fabi: Some say MS won the E3 for the FFXIII anouncement, but from a gamer point of view, I think that Sony show the best games and lineup for 2008 - early 2009. I'll stick with Sony.

Last edited by pavlovic on 7/19/2008 9:35:52 AM

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Nightshade386
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 9:41:37 AM
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I must say I was not overly impressed with Sony's list of exclusive titles that were highlighted at E3. Perhaps that's because they ONLY highlighted Resistance 2 with any real fanfare in their press briefing. Sorry, I don't consider flow charts a true "demo" of Little Big Planet, nor does the game really appeal to me. 30 seconds of CGI Kratos does impress me. Show me gameplay.

God of War 3 will probably be amazing, but if it's anything like the first 2 it'll be a grand total of 8 hours of gameplay. Infamous looked good, but after last years Sony E3 lineup failed to deliever on it's full promise (Heavenly Sword being a grand total of 6 hours, Lair being a critical flop), you'll forgive me if I remain skeptical.

Last edited by Nightshade386 on 7/19/2008 9:45:13 AM

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Qubex
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 11:46:32 AM

No, I agree with you NightShade, you nailed it well... too much other distractions and not enough on the games... and games consoles are made to play games... that is their core function, however, if Sony can nail Home, there could be a very interesting concept in the mix... bridging hardcore gaming with a social twist... we'll just have to wait and see how well it works and whether or not people are willing to spend dollars on buying virtual real estate :)

Q!

"aLL RoAdS LeAd ToO HoMe"

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daylight_dies
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 9:51:05 AM
Reply

i think the people who are saying MS won, and i was initially, were still getting over the shock of FF13. But thinking about it now, the amount of exclusive that sony did show... just wow!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 10:27:06 AM
Reply

It's easy to say MS "won" because of FFXIII, which is why G4 said it...because they're so heavily mainstream now, it's what they do. But Sony showed more games, proved they had more exclusives, and perhaps most importantly, proved they were in a better position.

MS is always all about "look at us now" because of their current lead (entirely generated by that one-year head start). But Sony is all about "look at what we'll be," and that viewpoint has been proven over the past couple of years. Sony has narrowed the gap significantly - not just in terms of sales, but in terms of general console quality, appeal, and functionality - and the PS3 always had more potential. And I really don't think there was anything MS could say to combat that.

I may be biased, but only because I despise how MS does business and how they treat their customers. However, even so, in looking at E3 objectively, I won't say who "won," but I WILL say I think Sony is in the best position (currently) of the three. They haven't always been in the best position and I'm not saying they'll always BE in the best position, but for now...

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/19/2008 10:27:38 AM

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Nightshade386
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 12:35:36 PM

Well, now that FFXIII is coming to the 360, I just saved $400 on a new game system. That's a win in my book.

Say all you want about the 1 year head start, but if 90% of all games are multiplatform, and Sony's a year behind with a more expensive system, then they'd better bring a large catalog of absolutely killer exclusives to the party. Because they're currently not creating a whole lot of incentive for gamers like me to switch over.

Last edited by Nightshade386 on 7/19/2008 12:40:37 PM

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The_Chimeran
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 1:45:01 PM

@nightshade, this isn't really an attack but more of a reality point that i'm seeing. yeah ur right that lots of games are multiplatform but 360 boasted about 4-7 exclusives while sony can boast about 10 exclusives, which include all the different genres from pick up and play to omg he ripped his head off. Microsoft needs to play catch up at this point because they don't have more games, the gap is closing between users, and their network isn't free and has been known to crash during Christmas week.

Last edited by The_Chimeran on 7/19/2008 1:49:53 PM

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The_Chimeran
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 1:51:25 PM

@ben, i completely agree especially about G4 cause they've become so damn mainstream and it seems like a lot of other gaming websites have also, which i can't blame them but i just can't stand. When it comes to the conferences i didn't like MS because it just gloated about them being ahead because they came a year earlier and then it went from demo to demo to demo to demo and that was annoying cause i was like yeah i know about all this already, the gameplay hasn't changed much. and then they ended it with that ff13 announcement that shouldn't really have come as much of a surprise.

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pavlovic
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 12:43:41 PM
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Nightshade, have you heard about MGS4, Socom:Confrontation, Killzone 2, Resistance 2, LBP, M.A.G. and God of War, among others? Make a little research about those games and they might be enough incentive to buy a PS3. And of course the much much reliable system.

I'm not telling to switch, keep the 360 after all is a pretty good machine

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 19, 2008 @ 2:21:56 PM
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Nightshade: There are plenty more reasons to own a PS3, but I'm not one to lecture. If you don't want to find them for yourself, that's your business, I suppose.

As true gamers, I think it's always our goal to provide ourselves with the capability of playing all the best games we can get our hands on. And in all honesty, I don't see how you can do that with owning EITHER the PS3 or 360. You need both. Plain and simple.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/19/2008 2:22:24 PM

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Nightshade386
Sunday, July 20, 2008 @ 12:15:04 AM

I have an 18 month old son and a mortgage payment. I'm not shelling out $400 of my hard earned money for a second game system unless Sony substantial improves it's exclusive catalog. That doesn't make me uninformed, it makes me cash concious.

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Nightshade386
Sunday, July 20, 2008 @ 12:05:21 AM
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To all: I have an 18 month old son

Last edited by Nightshade386 on 7/20/2008 12:12:05 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, July 20, 2008 @ 12:32:33 AM
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I understand wanting to be cash conscious, and I understand responsibility, but the way you were sounding...it sounds uninformed. If you really believe you don't need a PS3 to get the best gaming experience possible, that's not an opinion; it's incorrect.

I own a PS3 and a 360 and while I certainly play the PS3 more, I'm not about to say I don't want my 360. I know what games are coming for it, and that's why I have it. But above, you were simply dismissing the PS3 based entirely on FFXIII (as far as I can tell), and that is not - no matter how you spin in - something that appears "informed." That's all we're trying to say.

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Nightshade386
Sunday, July 20, 2008 @ 11:41:56 AM

Ben: FFXIII was the one game that I've seen so far that could have made me buy a PS3. So yes, for me, that one game losing it's exclusivity has absolutely made me dismiss the PS3 for now. No other exclusives I've seen appeal to me enough to justify a purchase.

I own a PS, PS2 and PSP, so it's not like I have something against Sony. I subscribe to this site's newsletter because I keep hoping to see some games for the PS3 that could change my mind. I just haven't seen enough of them yet. So I'm not shelling out more money for a more expensive console with an inferior game lineup, no matter who's logo is on the system.

The point I'm trying to make here is that there are a lot of gamers like myself who aren't beholden to one particular brand who already bought their 360 at launch. And for a lot of us, Sony's not bringing enough to the table to justify buying their system. Not everyone who bought a PS2 is a Sony fanboy who will run off and buy their new system because it's "Sony." Not everyone who bought an XBOX will buy a 360 just because it says "microsoft" on the box. All that matters is the quality of the games.

Last edited by Nightshade386 on 7/20/2008 11:46:36 AM

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