This is an accurate graph of Mircosoft's approval ratings at the end of each of their E3 conferences... I'll explain why near the end, anyway...
How is it going everyone? I’m MAS8705 and it is time for me to get back to what I do best (besides gaming): ranting. Today’s topic is one of opinion, however I think we all can agree that it is something that can make or break our ideas of what we will want to buy for the upcoming year: E3 Press Conferences.
Oh yes… if you are a gamer you know exactly what I’m talking about. When E3 rolls around, you are up bright and early like it's Christmas morning to watch as Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and every other publisher and developer tell you why they are awesome, showing you what you're going to get if you do your business with them. Really, E3 week is the Gamer’s “Golden Week,” because let’s face it, you want to see what you are going to get come the end of the year and what you will be seeing in the near future.
However, as much as I would love to explain the whole history, I feel that it would be best to talk about the “bad history” of these conferences. Why “bad history”? Because, no one recalls the good announcements (unbelievable then, but “meh, that was cool” today), and we all can remember those "lovely" moments when the bad choices were made, and instead of being invested in what they were talking about, you just find yourself laughing as to how bad and ridiculous the stage performance is.
While I would love to go back and show all the conferences, let us begin with the one that seemed to start it all. Kaz, take it away!
599 US Dollars, Giant Enemy Crabs, Massive Damage, Ridge Racer, and so much more. No doubt that Sony had a bit of a rocky conference that year, but they can look on the brighter side, as at least nowadays you don’t see them making these same silly choices as much. Funny how it seemed that it all started back in 2006 and just continued from there.
Moving onto 2008, it turns out Nintendo begun to hit a few speed bumps of their own.
Yes, Cammie didn’t help much that year, although to be fair Wii Sports Resort wasn’t that bad, but then… Wii Music… I love Nintendo, but that demo was a pretty bad. I mean, I'm sure it did sound like a good idea, but this was just awkward to watch. Again, much like Kaz, the “Reginator” didn’t let this slow him down and soon Nintendo went back to blowing our minds. I suppose after you release Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you are bound to lose steam somewhere.
Now that leaves one other company left to talk about, but before we talk about them, let’s also look at some of the other hilariously bad conferences. Konami’s 2010 conference was as hilarious as it was awkward.
“One Million Troops” (which I will say right now is a lie), masked wrestlers slapping each other, and… well, let’s just say it was a trainwreck of a conference.
And let’s not forget about Ubisoft. Funny just how much we have to put up with before we finally get to watching that brand new Assassin’s Creed title. While 2010 did have that very awkward “battle tag” and an uninteresting host, 2011 had Mr. Caffeine and let’s face it, he made Cammie look like Reggie. But don't take my word for it...
I'm just going to quote a top comment and say, "cocaine's a hell of a drug." At least his doodilites and the mispronouncing of Clancy's name does make for a good metal remix.
Anyway, now let’s talk about the last of the Big Three. Sadly when you compare Microsoft to Nintendo’s and Sony’s conference, they haven’t really done anything to “wow” us. Let’s analyze their last three press conferences really fast.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The Beatles Rock Band, Shadow Complex, FFXIII (announced on the XBOX360), Halo ODST, and many more great announcements
Tony Hawk: Ride
Not a bad start at first, and hey they just announced this new thing that makes you the controller called: "Project Natal." Looks like it has potential, I can’t wait to see what happens next year…
Call of Duty: Call of Duty: Black Ops (first to be shown)
Metal Gear Solid: Rising (before it was sent to Platinum Games and before the name change), Gears of War 3, Halo: Reach, and so forth.
Hey, this is pretty good so far, however guess what happens next? We get, and I wish I was kidding here… 50 minutes of Kinect. Well, it can’t be all that bad right?
At least they tried to bribe people with a newer smaller Xbox 360. Anyway, I know that Sony’s conference in 2010 was boring, but this was just… Gah! Please tell me that I did not just watch this! Now to be fair, Dance Central was really the only upside to this demonstration, but this (as a whole) was painful to watch. Well, as long as Microsoft learns from this conference, I’m sure they will do a much better job next year. I mean, they can’t possibly mess up twice, right?
After starting off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we get to see the newest Tomb Raider (with a heavily breathing, younger Lara Croft) and…
Wait, we are on the Kinect already!? We didn’t get 20 minutes in and we are already talking Kinect?! Well, at least they are only talking about “Giving commands” to the Kinect, and hey we have Mass Effect 3. OK, maybe I did jump the gun a bit, maybe they did learn their lesson. Maybe we are going to see some really incredible…
WHAT!? Are you serious?! So we get the ability to play shooting games by opening our palms, Kinect Sports continues to rip off Wii Sports, Double Fine makes Sesame street games (which I won’t rip on since I like Sesame Street), Star Wars Kinect continues to not make sense, and people who are clearly acting instead of playing.
Oh, and let’s not forget, what is considered to be the biggest slap to the face to some fans: the announcement of Halo 4, and essentially 5 & 6. Hard to believe you can announce four Halo games at one time... Now again, don’t get me wrong, it will probably be awesome, but really it was a game series that said, "Finish the Fight," and for us to find out the fight never got finished after all, what do we say then? They could have at least tried to continue with a different protagonist or something like they did in the other spinoffs.
So really how can I summarize the Microsoft press conferences lately? Sadly, it is pretty much the same thing: Show the next Call of Duty game (E309- Modern Warfare 2, E310, Black Ops, E311- Modern Warfare 3), the next Halo game (E309-Halo ODST, E310- Halo: Reach, E311- Halo 4), and have an hour to show off the Kinect and have it end with fans facepalming as they ask themselves, “what the hell happened?”
Sadly for this upcoming E3, I fear that we might get the same thing. We will start off with Black Ops 2, end with Halo 4 (or be shown near the start), and have another hour-long Kinect filler session that will make us ask, "what the hell just happened?" for a third year in a row. I really do hope I am wrong, and I hope that after Microsoft’s Conference, I get to write an apology article to say that I was wrong, and you guys were great, and so on and so forth. Besides, there isn’t that much we can predict with Microsoft right now, so maybe we will actually get to see that happen.
However, the possibility of Microsoft going 3 for 3 in regards of disappointing conferences seems too great right now. Even if they do a decent job this time, Nintendo has the Wii-U ready to show off and Sony has God knows how many exclusive titles to show, including PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale AND their "special surprise announcement," so Microsoft will no doubt be in an uphill battle this year.
Will they succeed, or will they crash and burn? Personally, I pick the latter, but again I really do hope I’m wrong.