Finally this year's biggest gaming event comes to a close in Los Angeles.
And what an event its been. Every company had something big to offer the consumer, wither it be almost photo realistic graphics, a large price point or a innovative controller the audience walked away content, knowing that next year and in-fact this year is going to be a huge year for video games.
So lets start with some brief points as to what the company's had to offer us the consumers:
With its successful 'Live' Internet gaming service claiming teenager's social lives, Microsoft announced that it is launching 'Live anywhere'. Live Anywhere connects: Xbox Live, Windows Vista, MSN Messenger and mobile phones alltogether to create something that companies such as Viacom and Verizon who are heavily investing in Instant Messaging, are rather nervous about, and rightly so.
Bungie software creators of the Microsoft exclusive Halo franchise did what many people were expecting, and showed footage of the rather stunning looking Halo 3 in video format. This game is going to be the key game for Microsoft when the game is predicted to be launched in spring 2007.
The infamous Peter Moore, Microsoft's vice president of interactive entertainment came out on stage and announced that the huge crime franchise Grand Theft Auto 4 has secured a day one release for the Xbox 360, and is then later due for release on the PlayStation 3.
It's certainly been an interesting E3 for the company which revealed some interesting news on its PlayStation 3 console, and the direction the company is looking to focus on in the future. It was revealed the PlayStation 3 will come in two different packages; the first is the standard pack which will retail for $499, the second is the full pack which will retail for $599. The $499 PlayStation 3 will have a 20-gigabyte hard drive but lacks a memory card slot, built-in wireless and HDMI, the favored connection for high-definition televisions. Those features come in the $599 model, which includes a 60-gigabyte drive. This has raised many an eyebrow in the media, with huge publications commenting that the price point is to high for a machine that doesn't offer much more then the Xbox 360 which currently retails in the states for $299.
Microsoft's Peter Moore made a surprising comment on Sony's pricing situation. Speaking to gaming publication Kotaku he said “Tell me why you would buy a $600 PS3? People are going to buy two (machines.) They’re going to buy an Xbox and they’re going to buy a Wii… for the price of one PS3… People will always gravitate toward a competitively priced product — like what I believe Wii will be — with innovative new designs and great intellectual property like Mario, Zelda and Metroid.
Finally the thing that rattled most gamers cages was the fact that Sony came out and claimed they had added an innovative stance on their Dual Shock 3 controller. The now infamous 'tilt controll', which as everybody could see was Sony's way of trying to imitate the Wii's freehand controller, but it actually didnt offer anywhere near the same amount of freedom. Rumours from various sources, such as a senior member of the giant gaming publisher and developer; EA stated that this function was added at the 11th hour, and that the news came to them as a shock when Sony announced it at their E3 press conference.
Its certainly going to be interesting to see how the public take's to the console, when its released worldwide in November this year.
Without trying to sound biased here, Nintendo walked away from the conference head high as the obvious winner of E3 from the media's point of view. The wait to play on the company's forthcoming Wii console reached up to 6 hours, while at the same time it was reported that you could quite easily get a hands-on with the PlayStation 3 units that Sony had dotted around their booth.
The only real thing that disappointed gamers with Nintendo's performance at E3 was the fact that the company didn't announce how much the Wii console would retail or a launch date, though the vague fourth quarter 2006 was all that was given at the companies press conference.
But judging from the innovative controller, fantastic games, and the great third party support, and rumoured low price point, It made it very hard to see how Nintendo could go wrong in the next generation of gaming.