Like a French cop siren...

I meant to actually get home and write up my first impressions of the big E3 revelations on Tuesday, as that was Nintendo's big day, and Microsoft and Sony had already made their presentations. But, alas, as I previously posted, time is a little screwed up at the homestead (that, and the pool is up so I went swimming every evening between watching episodes of Firefly and the Universe). I'll get my shorter opines out of the way first:

Microsoft: Everyone knows I'm not a fan, but from what I hear, the biggest news was in the software arena. Some Kinect games and Halo 4 seeing the return of Master Chief. Yay for the fans. I was disappointed to read that the Star Wars Kinect game isn't the stuff of fantasy. It lags and has to complete its animations before you can input another motion-based command. No, Lucasarts and Microsoft, you're doing it wrong. People want to go all Star Wars kid in their living rooms and they want that shit to happen in real time on their teevees. Do it right. The one thing that has made me ever interested in an XBox were the Star Wars games (Old Republic mostly, as I never got it on PC), but if the biggest possible advancement in motion gaming + Star Wars is buggy? I'm still not getting an XBox.

Sony: The Vita? Really? Life? Playstation Life? Why not stick with what worked for the consoles...a number? PSP2 has a ring and look to it, even NGP sounds better. But fuck it (butt fuck it, lol), let's just roll with the punches here. It looks like sheer win, and I've read that it may very well be able to keep up with Nintendo's next big thing (which of course I will get to), take PS3 games (that are compatible) on the go, near PS3 level of graphics and gameplay in a handheld? Yes please! $249 for the wifi and $299 for the 3G through AT&T? Hmm, I waited a good long while before adopting the PSP...so I can wait again. Seriously, though, Sony sees that people are taking things on the go. A lot of us basically have super computers in our pockets, so powerful that they may imbue you with cancer! Why not make something that powerful purposed for games? I look forward to it, but it's definitely a wait-for-that-price-tag-to-drop-and-more-games-are-on-it type deal for me.

Which can also hold true for...

Nintendo: The Wii U? Did video game marketing departments all just freak out in the last year? I liked the rumor that was floating a few days before the announcement that Nintendo would simply call their new system "The Nintendo," or I was holding out hope for the idea of a new name entirely, but making a sequel to the Wii? With the letter U? I'll echo the sentiments of the rest of the media, this goes against the grain Nintendo so finely polished with the Wii, it feels like Nintendo is trying to put that missing "I" into "TEAM." I miss the NES, SNES, and N64. Gamecube was okay; it was a cube, that played...games... Even the Gameboy has had a fairly even evolution of names, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance...then into the DS (short of course for Dual Screen), DS Lite (it was smaller and brighter), DSi (with a camera, get it? "eye"), DSi XL (see we went from small to linebacker), and of course the newest, 3DS (cause it's in 3D, very intuitive). We'll forgo the Virtual Boy, poor thing. Okay, so people who make console names were just throwing pots down the stairs and writing down what they heard. I can't even talk to the A.N.T. about it without her starting up with "whee-ooo, whee-ooo, whee-ooo." Regardless of goofy names, Nintendo has again made people think about what gaming is and how it should be played.

The U of course stands for "YOU," most games supposedly will be able to be played entirely on the console's controller which has a touchscreen in it, so that other people can watch the same TV you've been hogging with your gaming. Personally I think the idea of taking the game onto the controller will work for those marathon Sunday morning gaming sessions that are interrupted by an insatiable urge to shit. Mario on the pot then back onto the big screen? Sweet. As soon as the rumors were circulating that the big N's new controller would have a screen in it, my mind started racing through the possibilities: menu's and maps in your hands, sports plays being kept truly secret from other players, and something I thought would be rad, binoculars into the gaming world. Hold up the controller to point at the screen and look deeper into the digital environment. Of course, most of this was displayed or alluded to at the reveal. So Nintendo's got another game-changer situation on their hands.

I've thought long and hard on it, and came to the realization that Nintendo has built a living room sized DS. Two screens, one for inputting commands or whathaveyou, and one to display the action. Personally, I think this is awesome.

The problem? The Wii "failed" (which it didn't, by the numbers it is very much a success with a huge install base) because the games people were hoping for didn't play to the Wii's strengths. We got a bunch of waggle shovelware, and it was in relation to the Wii that I very first heard of shovelware. The best games to come out were developed in-house by Nintendo (Mario and Zelda, and to an extent, Metroid {as it was developed in conjunction in its two Wii iterations with the help of other studios}) and, ironically, Sega. Once vicious rivals (Nintendon't, anyone?), these two major houses of gaming have come together, and Sega developed two of the Wii's most spectacular games, in my opinion: Madworld and House of the Dead: Overkill. Madworld did with the Wii's motion controller what every other developer should have been doing, they insisted on actually moving the thing around, and when I would finally get to a boss and perform killing moves? Overwhelming satisfaction. House of the Dead was just full of fun, shooters have been waiting for the Wii's control scheme, and even though it was an on-rails shooter as opposed to the Metroid Prime series' full on FPS, it was like having the classic arcade shooters with their lightguns right in my living room. Not every developer delivered this, or not to the fullest extent anyway. So the Wii U is gonna need some serious outside help to make this thing a true success.

I'm not going to decry the Wii U, I haven't backed off the love for my Wii any (though I do play the PS3 more, but to be fair, there are deeper, longer, more immersive {that sounds dirty} examples of gaming on the Playstation right now, which everyone knows I love my RPG's and such), but as a ray of hope, the new Aliens game coming out for all the consoles will be using the Wii U controller as the iconic radar from the Aliens movie. How scary awesome will that be? And that's what Nintendo needs, people excited to make that controller do things we expect of it. Because what was expected of the Wii has only barely come to pass in a very few examples.

Aside from all of that, E3 wasn't hugely surprising, everything that had been rumored had been confirmed, there wasn't much to make people drop trow and shit themselves. But I'll say this, the Wii U, ridiculous name or not, is already making me reconsider at least one future game purchase: Batman: Arkham City, which I would have thought to just get day one on the PS3. Can you imagine the gadget possibilities of a touchscreen in your hands?

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