E3 2012 was certainly one of the more forgettable years in the history of gaming’s most coveted event. The ‘big three’ companies in Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony all had lackluster showings, leaving gamers a tad uncertain and uninspired regarding the next year in games. Here’s five ways they could have improved upon their respective E3 conferences -
DON’T let viewers suffer through musical performances -
We want to see games, not some pop star running around unable to even sing his own song. When Usher took the stage at Microsoft’s expo this year, it left gaming aficionados questioning whether the company really understood the significance of the event. For the most part of the performance I was laughing at my screen – Usher seemingly being unable to sing every second sentence of his song. All companies with a prominent E3 showing, not just Microsoft, should learn from this – keep the focus on games and services, and put the millions of dollars being thrown at musicians to better use.
DON’T emphasize boring features/services over anticipated games
All of the ‘big three’ companies were guilty of this this year. Microsoft showcased “SmartGlass” and new television partnerships with ESPN, NBA, Machinima and more. Hooray! Now I can watch Game of Thrones and actually see the characters’ progress through the episode on the map of Westeros on my tablet, whilst having the option to watch gaming videos or basketball (please note the obvious sarcasm)!
Likewise, Nintendo spent far too long explaining the gimmick that is Nintendo Land, even going as far as ending the conference with lackluster demonstration rather than even teasing gamers with a blockbuster new Zelda or Metroid announcement. Sony were also culprits of this through their Wonderbook demo that felt like it was never going to end, however their support of first-party IPs made up for this.
DON’T aim your conference at casual gamers
Who do you think is watching the live streams? Mothers and their eight-year-old sons? There’s nothing wrong with showing the “casual” market what’s in store, after all, Nintendo proved they are arguably the biggest market through it’s dominance with the Wii. However, when the whole event, year after year, is slowly feeling like it’s losing significance, you’ve got to question the strategies of these companies. E3 should be about getting gamers and loyal fans excited about what’s in store for the next year of gaming – almost everything that was shown this year we already knew before the conference even began.
DON’T have uninspiring presenters
It’s no coincidence that the cameo from Matt Stone and Trey Parker (creators of South Park) on stage at Microsoft’s demo was a hit among fans. Along with Shigeru Miyamoto’s Pikmin intro at Nintendo’s conference, these were the two standouts in otherwise robotic, dull and strange presentations. Would it kill to show some personality?
DON’T lack the surprise factor
Where are the new games? Nintendo had a massive opportunity to blow away their competition with the announcement of new installments in the Zelda/Metroid/Star Fox series, yet Mario was their main focus, and no surprising new first-party IPs were announced. He may be the world’s most recognisable gaming icon, but Nintendo may have shot themselves in the foot regarding their decision to not showcase any new, unexpected (yet extremely anticipated) games. The same goes for Microsoft – Halo 4’s anticipation was to be expected, however new IPs such as Matter and LocoCycle weren’t given enough airtime and left gamers with more questions than answers.
Will the ‘big three’ learn from their mistakes and come back bigger and better than ever at next year’s E3 expo? Or will E3 continue to lose its once-enormous significance as the biggest gaming event of the year? I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing Usher again any time soon.
By Jake Galouzis - Bio