Grading The E3 Video Game Promises, One Year Later

A year ago, three companies predicted, planned and promised to you, the gamer, many things about the future of the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS and PSP. Someone had to separate that hype of E3 2009 from the reality of the 12 months that followed. How about us?

PS3 and PSP

Coming in with the lowest grade was the ambitious Sony, whose powers of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable prognostication merited them a C, to the consternation of many a Kotaku-reading Sony fan.

Sony had the biggest miss out of all the E3-promising that was going on (dating their ambitious new motion controller for the spring), missing on several PSP release dates and MAG's, as well as using smoke and mirrors just a bit more than their competition, stating technically true statements that just might have given the wrong impression. For example, Sony had promised more than 35 exclusives for their system without noting that two thirds of those games would be downloadable titles — good games, but not the kind of games that are typically counted when boasting of volume of exclusives.

But, hey, if we were grading for ambition, Sony would get an A. They did not play it safe, predicting a comprehensive digital-release plan for all forthcoming PSP games (which was almost dead-on), a full-fledged Final Fantasy their competitors won't get and, yeah right, the someday release of Gran Turismo 5!

Read all about it and judge for yourself: One Year Later, Did These PS3 and PSP Promises Come True?

Xbox 360

The grade of B went to Microsoft's Xbox 360 expo of anticipation. They made some odd claims, such as verbally labeling such PC-also games as Left 4 Dead 2 and Splinter Cell Conviction as Xbox-exclusive in the same presentation that included a L4D2 trailer that clearly showed the game as coming to Xbox 360 and PC. They had one promised game for 2009, Joy Ride, vanish. Their worst smoke and mirrors moment involved a confusing bit of talk about whether the next big Metal Gear Solid was really coming to their platform (make that the next next one!)

What worked for Microsoft was their showcase of Project Natal which seemed to work fine on stage and just as well in demos we tried out at the show. They didn't goof on a release date and, having not shown new Natal stuff in a while, they can't yet enjoy or suffer comparisons between Natal hype and Natal reality.

Read all about it and judge for yourself: One Year Later, Did These E3 Xbox 360 Promises Come True?

Wii and DS

Nintendo got the highest mark, an A-minus, for its E3 2009 future findings. Best showcase of the show? Maybe not. But for this kind of thing, being conservative helps keep a company accurate and merit a higher mark. Nintendo fudged some of its presentation of MotionPlus, overstating its accuracy. Otherwise, they were spot-on about most things.

Sticking to mostly discussing its own games rather than those of third-parties, and for actually over-delivering on a vow to support user-generated content on the DS, Nintendo got the best grade of the bunch.

Read all about it and judge for yourself: One Year Later, Did These Wii and DS Promises Come True?

***

Every console owner enjoyed a pretty good year of gaming these past 12 months, and Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo each gave gamers plenty to enjoy. As we enter E3 hype season, though, it's best to keep your hopes in check. If this series helps you more accurately assess what kind of hype these companies tend to actually deliver on, then it's been a success.

Let's hope that at E3 2010 all of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's predictions, plans and promises are exciting — and that one year from now, in the middle of 2011, we can declare all of them true.

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