E3 is a constant disappointment to us. This year we didn't even make too much of an effort to absorb any of it until long after it had passed. It's explicitly been why despite our blog age taking over our mental age recently we've been underwhelmed into a shocked silence. One thing is clear though gaming no longer appears to be for us.
Now this isn't just the typical gamer reaction. We aren't the type to jump onto the forums and announce how we hate it all and we're boycotting it all and we're giving up (only to return in a week or two when out favourite license signs an exclusive deal). We're actually real life gamers. The gamers who don't seem to work in the industry, who don't seem to be heard by the industry and who don't have infinitely deep pockets.
Since before E3 the creeping sensation of all this not really being for us has crept in. How anyone can seriously talk about the PlayStation 3 as being a viable platform (or the Vita) is beyond us. The ongoing PC-ification of consoles has been celebrated by many others whereas we're already wary of not really owning our games. The majority of the post E3 buzz seems to be everyone else all of a sudden catching up with this realisation.
However, by far our biggest sadness I guess is that gaming doesn't seem to be about games any more. The last generation was a massive disappointment really. Huge steps were made with online connectivity and downloadable content. Especially in Europe. This can't be understated. But the games? Aside from online connectivity, we're still not seeing anything that couldn't have been done on the PlayStation. Yes things are shinier and there's more things on screen but if anything the ludodiversity is waaaay down. There were very few truly novel experiences and most of them were largely ignored by the gaming masses. There's a few titles on the 360, DS and Wii that really were doing something different and new. E3 was the hammer that nailed this home though. Where were the games from all the developers that were saying that the delayed jump to next gen was holding them back creatively? Nintendo, bless them, are making the same games we still haven't finished on Wii and DS. Some of which (ahem Pokemon) are comfort blankets but we're hardly going to rush out to play the fourth Animal Crossing and the what sixth New Super Mario something? As for everything else we've seen for the other platforms, ummm we've already seen. Generic shooter here, revamped license there. Same. Old. Shit. And you can own it too by shelling out for yet another generation of consoles (shutting out all the older content because if you want backwards compatibility, then you must be backwards too).
No one's thinking outside the box. We've got the ever dwindling pool of genres, the same mechanics, the same commands, the same systems, the same 'open worlds', the same strings and mirrors. Some are looking to the indie scene to save us but our experience is that 90% of the games are just shite, 7% are love letters to older games and 3% of them are one line games (platformer without jumping, rogue in 30 seconds) that barely warrant a play.
We just don't want any of these systems in our house and if it wasn't for the 3DS, which like the DS before it is a beautiful little sanctuary of interesting, diverse and for fuck's sake fun games we'd be heavily investing in spare parts to keep to the PS2, Wii and 360 going for as long as possible.....