Porn stars as booth babes? Yup, the E3 of old is back (for better or worse)!
You have to love E3. It's a show where each company tries desperately to top their competition, often in outlandish ways that ultimately blow up in their face. It's a show where some of the biggest news is made, especially when it comes to new consoles and surprise games. It's a show where you can go from ripping the heads off of dragons to playing a dancing game starring a bunch of animated bears. It's a show with large-breasted women that have no clue where they are and what they're doing. And, most importantly, it's a show that allows some of the biggest players in the video game industry to put their foot in their mouth and lie to the game playing public.
Over the last four days we've spent my E3 writing more than a hundred haikus. We called it the Def Gam E3 '09 Poetry Jam, and it combined horribly written poetry with traditional game previews. We talked about all of the press conferences, game announcements and hardware surprises. We went into detail about the booth babes, the price of shirts and James Cameron. It was a massive undertaking that attempted to look at E3 in a brand new way. But now that E3 is over and done, it's time to hang up our poetry hats and move on to the real E3 substance, this brand new episode of They Said What?!? So join us as we debunk five of the craziest quotes heard at E3. Think you can believe what your favorite game company says? Think again!
Quote #1 - The Truth About Super Mario Galaxy
Shigeru Miyamoto: "For the most part up until now on a single console we haven't made two games in a single franchise, but when we first made Super Mario Galaxy for Wii it
The new Super Mario Galaxy looks cool ... but it also looks like the first Super Mario Galaxy!
was the first time we really experimented with the spherical worlds. We had a lot of things we were interested in doing and a lot of creative freedom that we had in that world that we were interested [in doing]."
For some reason, game journalists seem to believe that Nintendo has something to prove to them when it comes to their annual E3 press conference. Just coming out and gloating about being number one isn't enough for these journalists, Nintendo is supposed to come out and do a little dance for their amusement. For the most part Nintendo has decided not to give into our journalistic trickery. Instead they've delivered boring lectures about how they are the only "next-gen" console and how everybody loves them more than their competition. But this year was different. Instead of just gloating, Nintendo decided to wow the audience by announcing a bunch of safe sequels that would get our blood flowing again. Unfortunately they decided to do this by out and out lying to some of their biggest fans.
Hey, wasn't Super Mario 3 on the same system as parts 1 and 2?
Here we have Shigeru Miyamoto outright saying that it's uncommon for a single franchise to get a sequel on the same hardware. He said this while announcing Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to the Wii's very best game. When you think about the last few years, he's right; it is rare for Nintendo to have two games in a single franchise on the same console. After all, there wasn't a sequel to Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 or Super Mario Sunshine on the GameCube, so maybe he's right.
Unfortunately he couldn't be further from the truth. If you don't have two games in a single franchise on a console, then what do you call Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 on the Nintendo Entertainment System? And what about Yoshi's
And don't even get me started on Super Mario Advance 1 - 4!
Island: Super Mario World 2? And let's not forget about Super Mario Land 2 and 3 on the original black and white Game Boy. The truth is, outside of the short-lived Virtual Console, the only two Nintendo systems to not get a Mario sequel in quick succession are the Nintendo 64 and GameCube.
But here's the thing, when you read the quote again you realize that he's not just talking about Super Mario. Instead he's talking about ALL of their franchises. So guess he doesn't remember Metroid Prime 1 and 2 on the GameCube, all three of those Donkey Kong Country games on the Super NES, two completely different Legend of Zelda entries on the Nintendo 64 and so on so forth. While it's certainly true that Nintendo hasn't whored their franchises out as much as some companies, to suggest that they rarely do it is an outright untruth.
Quote #2 - The Truth About Exclusivity
"So from this point on everything you'll see - every single game, demo and experience - will be available ONLY on the Xbox 360."
Moving on to Microsoft, I found the two hour Xbox 360 press conference to be pretty much what I expected. They didn't have too many big surprises, outside of Crackdown 2 and the funky Project Natal. But even
Metal Gear Solid 3, now THAT is a console exclusive!
then we knew that Microsoft was developing something that had to do with motion-detection and how could they not do a Crackdown 2? So, all in all, it was a fairly predictable affair. But there's one thing that caught my ears, something that most people didn't even notice. Of course I'm talking about the above quote, which suggests that Microsoft has a lot of upcoming games exclusive to the Xbox 360.
This John Schappert quote came fairly early on, well before Hideo Kojima "shocked" the games press by revealing his newest game, Metal Gear Solid Rising. John congratulated Hideo and his team for finally making an Xbox 360 title and let the game mastermind explain (in the vaguest way possible) what makes this game so special.
There's just one problem: Metal Gear Solid Rising is NOT an Xbox 360 exclusive! Only a day later Konami confirmed that Raiden's newest adventure (which is totally not Metal Gear Solid 5) would also be coming to the PlayStation 3 and PC. And not just that, but it would be hitting the PS3 and PC day and date with the Xbox 360, so it's not even a timed exclusive. We also now hear that Splinter Cell: Conviction (another game touted as being "Only On Xbox") may be hitting other consoles, too. What's the deal Microsoft? In the imortal words of Ricky Ricardo: "Microsoft, you got some 'splainin' to do!"
Quote #3 - The Truth About Metroid
Reggie Fils-Aime: "But I'll be honest, I read the blogs. And I've been a gamer myself for a long time. I know there are still people out there listening saying, "Okay, great, but I want more." And that "more" is generally associated with publishers NOT named Nintendo. So let me offer three examples of third-party titles with a little harder
I love Samus and her adventures, but Metroid has never been a "Mature" game!
edge. [...] But what about Nintendo itself? Could a new, edgier game also be coming from us? The answer is: Absolutely. And since two heads is better than one, we invited one of the most celebrated teams in the world, one with a proven track record in the mature space, to join us in taking a fresh look at a storied franchise."
Just to get this out of the way, this Reggie Fils-Aime quote is actually not inaccurate. It's not a lie or a untruth or anything, if you read it as it's written then you might not see anything wrong with it. But there's some history to Reggie's words, and that's why I would like to spend the next few minutes deciphering what he actually means when he says that gamers want "edgier" games.
To put this in context, Reggie said the above quote while introducing the newest Metroid game, a brand new third-person action game from the makers of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. He said this quote right after showing us three games that will no doubt be tarred with the M (mature) rating, which is why he considers them to be "edgier." Here
Somehow I don't think this is the fate of Metroid: Other M's battles!
he suggests that Nintendo has their own "edgier" title, Metroid: Other M. The problem is, Metroid has never been an M-rated franchise. That's not to say that they aren't more hard-edged than Nintendo's usual fair, but they certainly aren't full of blood and gore.
This isn't the first time Nintendo has suggested that Metroid was Nintendo's answer to the audience clamoring for M-rated action games. Just last month we chronicled Nintendo's use of combining "Metroid" and "Mature" into the same sentence (see: The Unsinkable Grand Theft Auto? Back in 2002 Nintendo said that Metroid would be one of their "Mature" titles, even though the game came out with a "Teen" rating. Flash forward seven years and we have Nintendo saying almost exactly the same thing, only using the word "edgier" instead of "Mature." Who knows, maybe Samus' newest adventure will be an "edgier" take on the franchise. But even if that's the case, it still irks me to see Reggie trot out Metroid like it's the answer to Grand Theft Auto, Madworld and Gears of War.
Quote #4 - The Truth About Electronic Arts
Jeff Brown: "If you have a career in games or just love to play them, get out your calendar and circle the first week of June. The E3 Expo is bigger and better this year and for EA, the
It's also not a surprise that the upcoming Need For Speed will have a hot model with very little to do in the game (other than look busy, of course)!
expanded format means we'll have more demos, announcements, promotions and blockbuster games than ever before."
For the record, this quote wasn't actually said at E3 this year, but rather a few weeks before. This is Jeff Brown, Director of Corporate Communications at Electronic Arts, who has a habit of spouting out with a bunch of hyperbolic crap from time to time. This time around he suggests that EA would have some HUGE announcements and their biggest showing of all time. Really? The biggest games and demos ever? I guess they must have delivered, right?
WRONG! For the most part, Electronic Arts bored the audience with the same old crap that they announced months earlier. Dante's Inferno? We've known about that game for ages. Dragon Age? Yawn, I played it at PAX last year. A new Need for Speed? Yeah, didn't see THAT coming. Mass Effect 2? Seriously, they aren't even trying at this point. When it comes down to it, the only big surprise (if you want to call it that) was the announcement of a brand new fighting franchise, featuring mixed martial arts. So, why was I supposed to pencil the first week of June in again?
Quote #5 - The Truth About Motion Controls
Wii: The console my grandparents would play ... if they were still alive!
Shigeru Miyamoto: "The fact that both [Sony and Microsoft] are looking at getting the gamer off the couch, taking advantage of motion control, and getting them to control the game by moving their body shows that they have looked at what we have done with the Wii, and now they are moving in the same direction. To that end we are very flattered."
We started with Shigeru Miyamoto and we end with him. Here we have Nintendo doing what they do best - gloating. They've captured the hearts and minds of Soccer Moms (tm) the world over and now feel like they can make condescending remarks to their two other competitors. When they aren't looking like the know-it-all douche bag
Sure it looks like a Wii remote, but that doesn't change the fact that the EyeToy came out way before Nintendo's console!
at work you constantly try to avoid, they are spending their time talking about how they created everything and how great they are. Fine, do that all you want, but at least get your facts straight before you start suggesting that everybody else is copying you.
See, Mr. Miyamoto seems to be under the mistaken belief that he created motion-sensing controls. Well, Shiggy, I hate to tell you this, but Sony and Microsoft have been toying with the idea of motion controls for years. That's not to say that the success of the Nintendo Wii didn't
Even Microsoft's Vision Camera came out before the Wii (by two months)!
push these two companies into experimenting further (and ultimately unveiling the two motion-controlled devices at E3), but there's no reason for Mr. Miyamoto to be taking the credit on this one.
Perhaps he's never seen the EyeToy, the little camera device that Sony introduced to the PlayStation 2 in 2003. This camera sensed your movements and allowed you to interact with your games by using your arms and legs. Microsoft also introduced their own camera-like device in 2006 (along with a free Xbox Live Arcade game). Both of these motion-sensing devices were released before the Nintendo Wii, and in Sony's case it was before Nintendo had even started to think about their next system. What's more, Microsoft had toyed with the idea of a Sidewinder PC control with motion technology back in the 1990s. So get off your high horse Nintendo and only take credit when it's due. You didn't create motion controls, you only made them chic.