Things We Wish We'd Seen At E3, But Didn't

Illustration for article titled Things We Wish We'd Seen At E3, But Didn't

E3 was a disappointment. We covered that yesterday. Didn't meet our expectations, even though they were sensible, lowered expectations. A lot lower than those we dreamed about! You should see those expectations. If they'd come true, it would have been awesome.



- Alan Wake is shown. We still have no idea what's going on, but are also still glad they've stuck with the name "Alan".

- Halo Wars is played on-stage, in real-time, putting to rest any fears that the RTS won't handle too well on a console.

- Ex-Bungie, now-Microsoft man Frankie O'Connor takes to the stage to show off Bungie's new Halo title. It's part Call of Duty 4, part Ghost Recon, all grainy helmet cam footage and blood splatters. It looks amazing.

- Final Fantasy XIII is announced for the 360! Then, in an extension of the same money-making logic, Konami begrudgingly announce that Metal Gear Solid 4 is also coming to the 360. And the PC.


- There's no need for a price-cut from the market leaders, so instead they announce…new colours. From October, the Wii will be available in black, red, lime green and puce.

- The lights dim, the music rolls…it's a montage. Of new, upcoming, good-looking Wii titles. There's F-Zero Wii, Pikmin 3, Starfox Wii, Return To Luigi's Mansion, 4 Swords Wii/DS, Kid Icarus: Rogue Angel Squadron. There's Animal Crossing. There's a glimpse of a new IP: a cute, ageing artist who must fight his way through middle age, and the creative slump that's been brought on by it. At the end? A familiar score, a flash of triforce, a sword being pulled from a stone pedestal. The crowd goes wild.

- A renewed commitment to the Virtual Console is announced, starting with the complete Mother trilogy, which will be released throughout September.


- Following the pleasant, if not surprising unveiling of the PS3's video service, Jack Tretton announces casually that – following the introduction of the 2.43 firmware update in October – all PlayStation 3 models will be fully backwards-compatible, thanks to a nifty piece of software emulation.

- A Remote Play initiative is kicked off, whereby developers are encouraged to ensure that either their PS3 games are somehow playable via remote play, or will at least contain PSP-friendly mini-games or bonus content.

- God Of War III is debuted. And not with some bullshit pre-rendered trailer. It's actually debuted.

- Team Ico's new game is shown off. It's got a muted colour palette, involves a silent protagonist, and looks absolutely wonderful.

- Square Enix finally get their act together and announce a Final Fantasy VII remake for the PS3. The good news? It's a Final Fantasy VII remake. The bad news? It'll be episodic, downloaded from the PSN, will cost $20 per episode (there'll be 117 episodes) and the first won't be ready until 2012.



- Capcom wheel out a surprise guest during their E3 presser. It's Ready At Dawn's Ru Weerasuriya, who's there to announce that, yes, they're no longer working on the PSP. They're now working with Capcom on a PS3 exclusive. Okami 2.


- Sega's key E3 announcement is that, yes, the werewolf segments of Sonic Unleashed are a PR prank, and the entire game will consist of the daylight, Sonic, go-really-fast bits. Oh Sega. You had us going there for a minute!



- Two new Call of Duty games are announced. The first, Call of Duty 6, is Infinity Ward's next CoD title. Set in the far reaches of distant space, it tells the tale of a lone soldier's struggle against a hostile alien invader bent on humanity's ultimate destruction. People still get excited. The second game is a CoD4 spin-off for the PSP called Call of Duty: Albion Prevails, which tells the tale of a young Price and his covert struggles against those cheeky Argentineans and Irish. Includes bonus moustache-trimming minigame.



- Mass Effect 2 is shown. It does not feature slyly-cut "sex scenes". It features full-blown man-on-alien penetration and alien-on-alien nazi sex dungeons.

- Pandemic reveal their Batman sandbox title, which surprises everyone by looking not only faithful to the source, but also good.



@Shiryu: Totally thirding (if that's a word) the Pilotwings love. The 64 version was so weird, and yet, the perpetual drought between good games during that console's lifecycle led me to play it to death back in the day. Rocket boot jumping, hang gliding on thermals, sky diving, the jetpack... ahh so many memories, so many creative offshoots of the vanilla "fuck" curseword uttered when the gold medal was ever so slightly missed.

I'd like a sequel, hopefully with Wii Motion Plus support to truly carry on the frustration I recall trying to perfect those various games and all their fine-tuning.

*Personal disclaimer: I'm of the opinion that fanboyism is for people too poor to afford all three systems. That said, I thought Microsoft had the best showing, Sony is stepping up the arms race with boosts to their product (which I'm totally eyeing as a Bluray player this holiday season)...

...But this article really illustrated how bad Nintendo dropped the ball with its oldest fans. I was six when an NES landed under my Christmas tree, have loved them ever since, but following them into the Wii era isn't too different than what longtime Apple geeks must have felt when their dorky, exclusive anti-PC culture was usurped by trendy scenesters wearing the now-ubiquitous iPod headphones.

I could go on with Apple-Nintendo parallels all day long, but Wii Sports was Nintendo's iPod, and the halo effect of that product essentially reshaped their entire business model, just like the iPod brought Apple out of the trenches of small-biz professionals and into mainstream culture.

Here's hoping for something cool to knock the dust off my Wii this holiday season. At 25, I'd still be happy to find the latest incarnations of those old friends Luke mentioned under the tree.