E3 2012 Winners and Losers

With all the E3 press conferences done and over with and the last day of E3 upon us *sad face* it’s time to start talking the obligatory winners and losers. So sit back relax and let’s heap praise on the winners while we scorn and heckle the losers.

We’ll break this down scientifically, well as scientific as a mad scientist, separating the categories into the big press events, the hardware, the games and the people of this year’s expo. So without further ado it starts.

The Press Conferences of E3

Winner – Ubisoft

Easily the most interesting and varied presser of the week, Ubisoft blew away the competition by showcasing its range from yearly IP’s, stalwart franchise making a comeback to a brand new IP that blew everyone’s mind. When your lineup includes Assassin’s Creed III, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rayman Legends and the unveiling of Watch Dogs you’re coming out aces. Not only did Ubisoft have the best games lineup they managed to tout support for each console maker without missing a beat. Having the best lineup and telling your business partners you have their back in one fell swoop means you’re in it to win it and Ubisoft wins this round by knockout.

Runner Up: Nintendo 3DS

Loser – Nintendo

They have an exciting, intriguing new game system coming out in about six months and none of their competitors are announcing new hardware. Flawless victory right, right? NEGATORY! Nintendo had three separate conferences and still couldn’t get things right. The pre-E3 conference created an internet sensation in Non-Specific Action Figure, but left far too many questions unanswered.  Their WiiU presser was light on specifics – release date, price point – but did feature a few good looking game prospects, but nothing that will set the world on fire. Their best press conference was their last one, for the 3DS. What a flub, a clear path to domination and Nintendo just self-imploded.

Runner Up: EA

The Hardware of E3

Winner – Nintendo 3DS

By far Nintendo’s best presser they showed tons of games with incredible potential. Notably most of the games showcased are coming in 2012, very impressive. Games shown included Castlevania: Lord of Shadows – Mirror of Fate, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Disney’s Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and lastly another Mario offering in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Bottom line Nintendo gave us a reason to want to play a 3DS.

Runner Up: Microsoft Xbox 360

Loser – PlayStation Vita

For all the positive reasons the Nintendo 3DS won think of their opposite and you’ll begin to understand the humiliation that was Vita’s E3. Sony treated the Vita like a bastard child largely ignoring it in their press conference. This, even though the console has yet to get a foothold in any of the major markets since its December 2011 Japanese and February 2012 North American debut. To say the Vita’s launch was soft is to underestimate the erectile dysfunction of a 90-year old man. What the Vita needed was some Viagra, what it got was note from its doctor to go fuck itself. Sony might as well brought a Vita console on stage and shot it execution style. With a lack of support both consumer and developmental, a lack of compelling games and a high entry cost this was Sony’s chance to turn things around. They didn’t and now the Vita will have to live with the consequences.

Runner Up: WiiU

The Games of E3

Winner – Watch Dogs

By far the most unexpected and surprising reveal of E3 2012. Watch Dogs look like a hybrid of Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell. Its premise (privacy, digital footprints and the vulnerabilities that arise living in a digital era) grabbed our attention, it’s gameplay captured our imagination (everything can be hacked, information can be used as a weapon) and the fact that it will support drop-in/drop-out multiplayer left us asking Ubisoft to just take our damn money! Watch Dogs proves originality is alive and well, now we wait and pray that it’s every bit the game we’re hoping it’ll be.

Winner – Halo 4

You’d think a game with the number ‘4’ attached to its name would be suffering from fatigue. Not so with this new Halo. It looks like the time off and change in studios has been kind to Master Chief. I’ve never considered myself to be a Halo fan and I’ve been suffering from a bout of FPS fatigue but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the beginnings of this new trilogy.

Winner – Beyond: Two Souls

Quantic Dream dropped a bombshell of their own during Sony’s press conference in the form of Beyond: Two Souls. Not only does the game look visually amazing – It also has Ellen Paige attached as the lead for both voice and likeness. What little we did learn (Beyond is going to be a game about a young women who has a supernatural companion and that the game takes place throughout 30 years of her life) had us at hello.

Loser – Wonderbook

Not even JK Rolling’s sorcery could save this train wreck and yet Sony proudly spent about 10 minutes on its presentation during their press conference. All the while the PS Vita sat on the sidelines asking for its father to complete him.

Loser – Nintendoland

Okay Nintendo we get it, you’re king of the casual market when it comes to home consoles. But your press conference was going so well! You showed us a Mario game, impressed us with ZombieU and let us know you meant business with reimagining’s of Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed III and Mass Effect 3. Then why oh why did you bring things to a screeching halt with your digital amusement park/tech demo that if you have half a brain will be included with the WiiU. Worst yet you insult our intelligence by telling us that we don’t understand the WiiU and that Nintendoland is the prophet of your WiiU gospel.  Uh, right because the pre-E3 conference, the countless demos Ubisoft showed and the games we just saw weren’t clear indications of what your new console can do. That and the digital game of tag looks so much fun.

The People of E3

Winner – Ellen Paige

There can only be one and Ellen Paige is Queen of the hill. She’s so in the zone she doesn’t technically have anything to do with a game to be in it (The Last of Us). If that wasn’t enough she’s literally in one of the most spectacular revelations at E3, lending her voice and likeness to the lead character of Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls. When we review the scoreboard Ellen Paige has the “lead in two” of E3’s most coveted games, has an Academy Award and is a Hollywood starlet. Yeah, I think we have a winner.

Runner Up: Nate Bihldorff

Loser – The Gamer

E3 is supposed to be like all the major holidays wrapped into one, but this year’s conference much like last years and the year before was full of meh. EA, Microsoft and Sony had dreadfully boring press conferences. Nintendo failed to impress even though they had the only piece of new hardware at the show. And the industry just seems like it’s a serpent swallowing its own tail by showcasing the same games in different skins. It was a ray of sunshine to see Watch Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls and even the changes to Black Ops 2. But it’s not enough we need to challenge ourselves to be better. Dammit what ever happened to kicking ass and taking names? We love this medium because of what it can be, but we’ve become so corporate that our vanguards only care only how much profit they can wring from a franchise before they discard it. I can appreciate all the good mega publishers have brought to the table but they’ll learn soon enough that we need to balance profit margins with creativity if we want to keep this burgeoning industry from catering in on its self. I probably don’t stand alone in my hopes that they don’t learn their lesson the hard way.

Runner Up: Toby “Tobuscus” Turner

You think that’s it? Did I forget to mention anything, do you not agree with anything I’ve said? Or are you just looking for more coverage. Well you’re in luck because we want you to get what you want. Need to mouth off leave a comment and let us know what you think. Not enough check out the forums to compare notes with your fellow gamers. And if you haven’t got enough E3 check out our E3 2012 wrap-up on this week’s episode of The Last Podcast. Remember for more winners, losers or anything you might have missed keep it locked to RRbgames.com

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