E3 Day Zero - Travelogue
As I write this E3 is beginning its short but spectacular neon burn in Los Angeles as Nintendo fans get their first meaningful glimpse of the Wii in action. I, however, sit at Gate C12, the waxing agricultural midwest sun streaming through the window and warming the base of my neck, waiting for Certis to arrive from points exotic and unknown; as far from E3 in every conceivable way as is possible without becoming Amish. There is always this strange moment when he arrives and we shake hands that is quickly realized and then dismissed where Certis and I take corporeal bodies and interact on this mortal plane, and it is a moment I'm anxious to reach and complete, but in the meantime I must wait and bide my time. The promise of a four-hour flight, wedged into Coach, looms.
But, in LA, the show is ostensibly underway, and the big three are firing their first salvos. Sony has come to the table oddly on the defensive, having redesigned their controller in the wake of well-organized mocking. While we now have a date to anticpate for Sony's big system, we also have a price point that seems both appropriate and ambitious. Will a majority of gamers be willing to fork over the bones to play a PS3? As always that will largely depend on the games, and Sony's ability to create demand and anticipation.
I reserve judgment until I put those six degrees of freedom into my hand, but if I were Microsoft, I might be sitting a little more comfortably in my money chair. While Sony's PS3 will certainly appeal to their existing consumer base, I don't think they showed anything that moved many skeptics.
Nintendo, on the other hand, is looking more and more like a next-gen spoiler, with a well priced system, a control scheme that I'm increasingly likely to call genius, and a lineup of games that will solidify their base. The Zelda demo showed off much of what their Revolutionary [sic] controller is capable. The question is, however, not one of first-party support, where Nintendo historicaly succeeds, but how third-party developers will respond to the hurdles associated with developing for the Wii. Not surprisingly, third-party details were spotty for the press conference, or at least as much of it as I was able to watch before having to dash these words out for you.
Throughout the day I made efforts to put together some more thoughts for you all, and with each attempt events conspired to keep me from you all. Instead of posting a relatively benign recounting of what would seem to you all like a perfectly ordinary flight, and the details of checking into our hotel, I will leave it suffice to say that we've arrived and are preparing ourselves for a busy day tomorrow.
Thanks go out to Guru for taking us out to a spectacular dinner, and regaling us with his fantastic tales.