After years of threatening to go, I’m finally at E3. Technically, I’m not there right now- I’m sitting in a hotel. Also, I’ve only actually been to the LA Convention Center to pick up my pass. E3 doesn’t start until tomorrow.
Today was all about media briefings and press conferences. I went to two of them, the Xbox and EA shows.
As someone who enjoys playing games, I’ve a pretty jaded view of the video games “industry”. What was once the dorky pass time of the socially awkward is now mainstream big business. Whilst the game’s were shitter, I kind of miss those days. But those days are gone. As Phil Spencer said this morning, games are the fastest growing form of entertainment ever.
So this morning, as a headed down the street in the Xbox courtesy bus, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that the cops blocking the road were not doing due to an accident, they were doing it to allow the fleet of buses carrying attendees to the Xbox show a priority route to the Galen Center.
I’ll be honest, what with the internet, you could easily cover the E3 Expo without the need for a thirteen hour plane trip. I’ve done it before. All the media briefings are available online and the PR teams are working overtime knocking out perfectly timed press releases to tie in with the E3 announcements.
But it doesn’t convey the spectical of it all. It was only seeing the Xbox show literally stopping traffic this morning that I realised just how far my little hobby as a ten year old had come since the days of my Sinclair ZX81.
It was interesting that Microsoft showed of a few games that will probably look a lot better on the PS4 and PC than they will on the Xbox One. With Dragon Age: Inquisition having exclusive Xbox One content and Call of Duty: Advanced Combat having DLC coming to Xbox first, it wasn’t about who had the most awesome console- more like who has the deepest pockets.
Showing off Rise of the Tomb Raider was an odd one as well, for the same reason.
Skipping Forza Horizons 2, Evolve and even that groovy Dead Rising 3 DLC (which I’m bang on as soon as I get home), Sunset Overdrive looks interesting, even if I have still got the bitter taste of Fuse in my mouth. I’ll be taking a good look at that on Wednesday.
The big woo-hoo was Halo: The Master Chief Collection. With this Microsoft show themselves to be all about the fans. Halos 1 through 4 with 2 getting the anniversary upgrade is great news. What a package.
One thing that I really noticed was how the new-get graphics are starting to come through, producing some amazing visuals- a step up from what has gone before. Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed looked particularly amazing.
EA predictably (and rightly) wheeled out their sports titles, promising more emotion etc. The colours are still over saturated making the visuals far from photoreal.
Dragon Age: Inquisition was shown off, which should keep the swords and sandles pointy hat brigade happy. There was also a bit about Mirror’s Edge- which, like the first one, looks OK.
Star Wars Battlefront looks awesome. Early days, but I hope that DICE do the frachise justice. A glimpse at a new Mass Effect game reminded me that I need to finish 3 and 4.
EA’s big announcement was Battlefield: Hardline. The cops and robber spin-off was particularly cool being set in LA, where I was. The immediate beta announcement was cool, as was the crafty unveiling of a shit load of demo pods in the Shrine Auditorium.
On the the whole, all very cool. Shame I missed out on the Ubisoft and PlayStation events, but I’m tired enough as it is.
The real fun begins tomorrow.
PS sorry for the lack of pictures, but I’m doing this on a tablet, and it’s a bloody nightmare.