“The name of Sony’s next portable console had been doing the rounds for weeks”
The news that Microsoft is rolling out Kinect support for a range of games signals the company’s intention to make its motion-sensitive controller a major part of its strategy. But rather than force the controller’s use in games where it is clearly not suitable, Microsoft has opted instead to include elements of the controller in selected sections of some games.
In Mass Effect 3, for example, you’ll be able to speak lines of dialogue rather than select them on screen with the controller.
It all looked very slick, and with one objective: to make Kinect part of the overall experience, instead of a nice add-on when you want to play more casual games.
Part of the problem may have been that this year, some of the more exciting announcements had already been leaked in advance. The name of Sony’s next portable console, the Vita, was unveiled at E3, but rumours that accurately predicted the name had already been doing the rounds for weeks.
Nintendo’s big news was less about its upcoming Wii U console and more about the controller. But this was the victim of another leak, with most of the pertinent details – such as the touch screen – already known before the stands were even set up in Los Angeles.
Although it has the traditional games controls, the touch screen element is more than a cursory nod to the current competition posed by the iPad and other tablet devices, which are expected to continue growing in popularity.
It also has the potential to sidestep a lot of arguments – it can function as a second screen so you can keep playing when the TV is needed for something else.
However, there was also disappointment for Nintendo fans. It won’t be available in 2011. And players may be limited to one Wii U touchscreen controller at a time.
Nintendo did hold out the prospect of a beefed-up 3DS game library, and some 25th anniversary editions of Zelda.
Games companies may find customers are harder to please as expectations continue to rise.