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E3 musings



At E3 each of the big three consoles hit the stage to excite the press and public with their latest gadgets.


Microsoft was first up and they showed off Kinect (nee Natal), where the 360 uses a camera to turn your body into the controller, along with various games (mostly sports stuff) and a staged Star Wars lightsabre battle. The other big announcement was a smaller, quieter, lower cost, Xbox 360 with built in WiFi.


Nintendo went second with Shiguru Miyamoto showing off the new Zelda for Wii where you have to move the Wiimote / nun-chuck to control your sword & sheild respectively. It looks cool, but might get frustrating since there isn't the same level of feedback you get when using the Wiimote to control an on-screen pointer. They also announced some other interesting games, including a GoldenEye remake. But the big announcement was the 3DS - a new DS with a no-glasses-required 3D screen in the lid, dual exterior cameras (for 3D pix) and an analog slide-stick. It will also play 3D movies.


Finally Sony made their announcements. The first was 3D games for the PS3 (3D HDTV & glasses) required and second was the PlayStation Move, Sony's camera + controller Kinect/Wiimote alternative.


Personally, I found the Nintendo presentation blew the other two away. The 3DS is simply amazing (I can see one in my future) and the Zelda demo was very impressive (and I can't wait to buy it). OTOH, although I have a PS3, neither of the big announcements had any appeal, especially since both are rather expensive accessories ($x,0000 for a 3D TV and $100 per PS Move controller set.) Kinect is much more interesting (although still $100 for the camera), but I don't have an Xbox 360, nor am I planning on buying one (even if the slim is cheaper).


Finally, watching the Zelda demo got me to thinking. Both the Sony PS Move and the Microsoft Kinect are aimed at 1:1 motion capture - so your onscreen avatar moves in synchronization with your moves. But I suspect Zelda treats motion much more like a button press - so if your swing is _mostly_ horizontal Link swings his sword horizontally. But the action is preset. This gives much more room for error and for the software to Do What I Mean, so your actions won't have to be as precise. It will also make any lack of synchronization much less obvious.


Of course, all this new hardware isn't anything without the games. And the games which interest me (Zelda) may not appeal to you.


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I can see me buying a 3DS, at least if it can play regular DS games (especially Golden Sun!!!) as well :)

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I can see me buying a 3DS, at least if it can play regular DS games (especially Golden Sun!!!) as well :)

Yep, the 3DS will be DS/DSi compatible (except for those games which weren't DSi compatible). According to Wikipedia the top screen is 800x240 (400x240 per eye) and the bottom screen is 320x240 while both DS/DSi screens were 256x192, so DS/DSi games will either have black borders or be rescaled.

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The answer is:


D. None of the above. :)


I haven't watched all of the press conferences, but I really don't have much interest in any of the game consoles/portables/titles. Sure, some of the stuff looks cool, but I just don't have the time (or money) to dump into yet-another-game system.


Someday, when the PS3 drops to around $149 I'll buy one (for Gran Turismo 5 and Burnout Paradise), but otherwise I can live without it.


Although I'm admittedly curious to see how Tron: Evolution looks.

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