I have to admit that I was pleased in regards to several upcoming offerings for the 360 and Wii during this week’s presentation. While Sony put out some things, I’m just more interested in the two mentioned companies for this outing (that said, I’m still waiting for Dissidia for PSP).

Microsoft

The biggest thing was Project: Natal and Milo to me. Natal sounds a bit like either the EyeToy or Sega’s Activator peripherals, but I’m sure the technology has advanced a bit since then. I watched the preview on Xbox Live last night, and conceptually, if it does what it claims, it could be really cool.

Milo was… creepy. That’s not a bad thing despite my choice in adjectives. It’s creepy in that accurate way Seaman was, where he man/fish hybrid could understand you and engage you in a fairly responsive conversation. Milo can read facial expressions, tone of voice, “see” things you do. The demo seemed cool, then the last few seconds got amazing. It’s made by Peter Molyneux (of Fable I and II fame), and he always makes big claims. As long as Milo doesn’t follow me around complaining that he doesn’t have a ring on his finger, it should be interesting (Play Fable II. You’ll more than understand the context of the previous sentence).

Beatles: Rock Band – I’m not going to lie. I’m a HUGE Beatles fan. This game is a Holy Grail to me, and seeing Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr come out to talk about the game was pure glee. The trailer… well, look at it:

The 360 is getting some exclusive DLC, so outside of Ghostbusters, this is my big purchase of the year.

Left 4 Dead 2 – Out of the blue, a little unexpected, but considering I’m still doing “Survival” with my friends online means that I’ll be all about this. It looks to be more of the same, with not too many changes (outside of melee weapons, and a few new Infected), but I’m sure it will play just as frantically.

The 360 is also getting Facebook and Twitter stuff, more HD stuff, a new Metal Gear game, some excellent XBLA games (TMNT: Turtles in Time, Monkey Island, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2), so it’s enough to keep me sated with the big box.

Nintendo

I’ve said many a time that Nintendo has been asleep for the better part of a year now. They definitely stirred with Punch-Out!!, and with E3, they’ve fully awakened. Good call on releasing Final Fantasy IV: The After Years the first day of the show. The 2D wonderland on the Wii is killing me in a good way. Nintendo can go back to basics all they want to.

Speaking of which….

I’ll let the videos speak for the “Big 3” from Nintendo:

Wow. Two Mario games so soon? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Mario game, but give a few other franchises a chance, Nintendo. Like Left 4 Dead 2, both look “more of the same”, but you know, a good game is a good game, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m not looking forward to both.

Metroid the Other M (Monkeys? Midgets? Marsupials? Mashed Potatoes?) looks great. I have grown to enjoy the FPA Prime games, but a Metroid in 3rd person is just too good to pass up, and this one looks very cool.

There’s also Endless Ocean 2, Sin & Punishment 2, as well as the expanded audience fare of more Wii Fit, Wii Sports, and some finger thingy, that looks like what patients have to wear in the hospital. Not sure if the connotation is what Nintendo has in mind.

All in all, Nintendo had a worlds better show this year, by doing something that I knew they needed to do since last E3: Provide a balance of classic style games with the new stuff that the family folk go nutty for. And they did. and it was good. Penny Arcade sums the feeling up pretty well with this comic. 3rd party fare is a lot better for the Wii as well, with more exclusives, less ports, and less party games, and baby and horse simulators. It’s about time publishers started treating the system seriously, or just simply understanding what to do with the system and making decent games. Incidentally, check out the Nintendo Channel. They actually updated for E3 news, and they have a ton of excellent (if pixellated) videos.

Sony…. I still just haven’t found the impetus to get me to buy the system, other than a lower cost Blu-Ray player.

I miss attending E3. My last one was 2006, when the Wii debuted. I always had a good time (even during the ones in Atlanta), and while it’s a little rough to not play the games, and hear about my friends still in the industry enjoying the show, the console based news is by and large excellent and timely.

The show’s not over yet, and I’m sure there’s a few pleasant surprises left in store over the next few days.

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