So for day 2, Nintendo and Sony were up to offer their new gaming wares to the masses. Since Microsoft did a pretty good job of being the company to beat with announcements yesterday, I was curious to see what big guns both companies would throw out to stay competitive. Up first was Nintendo.
Wii Motion Plus: Not exactly “new”, Wii motion plus got a lot of face time once Nintendo was done delivering statistics to the audience. Probably the biggest thing for Nintendo is that they have an actual release date and the item is not to be had at a later date as are the motion offerings from Microsoft and Sony. Wii sports resort looks to be a lot of fun.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii: This was a bit of an odd choice, seems like they wanted a Mario party game that got rid of the game board. The game play demo they did on stage made me think of Little Big Planet for some reason. I know they said the inspiration for this came from the re-make of the original for the DS which was a great game, but I’m not sure this title needed to ever be made.
Wii Fit Plus: Well it was kind of expected that this would come out. It would seem there are so many options for getting “fit” using the Wii, is anyone actually using any of them?
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story: This will be a great RPG, as a fan of the previous ones I’m looking forward to this.
Women’s Murder Club: This is an interesting move for Nintendo, looks like they think this will sell to a particular segment of DS users, I’m not so sure.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again: Again this reminds me of Little Big Planet for some reason, pretty cool idea but I’m not sure if I’ll ever touch a copy.
Wii Vitality Sensor: This seems really odd to add to the Wii, but I guess it would be useful for the Wii Fit line of products.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 & Metroid Other M: Obviously the biggest announcements from the show for Nintendo. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a little odd they aren’t going for an Xmas launch but they probably feel they have enough titles for the gaming wallet. The big surprise is Nintendo hooking up with Team Ninja to do a Metroid game, and boy does it look good.
Last but not least, Sony finished up the big three with some rather large announcements. I couldn’t help but feel they are still playing 3rd and catch up to Microsoft and Nintendo.
Uncharted 2: Probably one of the few exclusives PS3 is holding on to which is good for them because the game looks very good.
MAG: Crazy huge squad based game play. This is right up my alley and almost worth getting a PS3. It looks like they took some of the best parts of Planetside and put a modern warfare kind of spin on it. The 25 player battle they demoed on stage looked pretty intense. Wish I was down there to get my hands on it and try a few rounds.
PSP-GO: Yeah the worst kept secret of E3, nothing really unexpected with this announcement, but really is it even necessary? I guess we all have tons of cash to drop on portable game playing devices.
GT on PSP: It’s really cool that the most realistic driving simulator can fit in the palm of your hand and run at 60 fps looking incredible. But I really have to say, how do you play something that “realistic” with using buttons that only work in on/off for steering?
Metal Gear Peace Walker: So I’m a little confused as to how Microsoft was able to steal away a Metal Gear game from the series but apparently there is no love lost between Kojima and Sony. I wonder which game was in the works first? Still I think Microsoft wins out by pulling a previously exclusive series from Sony.
New Eye Toy + Motion Wand: Sony is a bit behind the ball with this one. It would be ok in my mind if they brought something more than a “prototype” and tech demo because to me it makes it sound like this thing won’t be in production until early next year at the earliest and who knows what/when games will come out for it. Going with the “wand” makes it very Wii-like. The good thing is that they are able to utilize lots of power of the PS3 so they can do 1-1 tracking very seamlessly. I’d honestly feel a little sheepish though having to follow shooting virtual arrows after the Wii Sports Resort archery demo.
ModNation Racers: Perhaps the coolest thing Sony showed today besides God of War 3, this looks to borrow heavily from Mario Kart and Little Big Planet, but it does it so well that it’s going to be a really fun title. The track editor looks really intuitive and easy to use. I like the fact that you can literally create what feels like a full track in a few minutes.
God of War III: Obviously their big hitter saved for the end. The final game in the series, this one doesn’t look like it will disappoint anyone at all. The game play they showed today which was part of a middle area of the game was pretty intense.
Other notables from today:
Assassin's Creed 2: The sequel looks amazing, even better than the first. The expansive environments of the first game have been out done here. Today’s demo showed off some new nifty moves and the double hidden blade take down (which was quite awesome!). I’m eagerly awaiting this one.
Mass Effect 2: Another amazing sequel, looks like they’ve taken care of all the little “issues” with the game play I didn’t really enjoy in the first one. Much smoother action and less having to stop and keep the AI partners from getting killed or walking into oncoming fire for no reason. If they can manage to keep the load times low, this will be another winner.
Dragon Age Origins: I’m glad I pre-ordered this one already for the PC. The game looks amazing and one thing not even touched on today is the fact it will have tools for building custom modules which is where this game will really take off once the community has a hold of it for a year or so.
Final Thoughts on Day 2: To rate the big three companies today, I’d say they fell in the same order they presented. Microsoft clearly has their sights set on being the definitive entertainment device in the home living room for games, movies, TV, music. Nintendo is a close 2nd, sticking to their core philosophy which has worked well based on the number of units they have been able to move. It’s clear they want to slowly enhance that base step by step. Sony is making progress but essentially it comes down to them losing 2 big franchises and only adding a motion unit that seems very Wii-like. Sony is huge and not going anywhere anytime soon, but I have a feeling they may just need to start focusing on what to do better for the next console war. I’ll be back again to recap some news from tomorrow’s day as well.