E3 2011 retrospective/lookback


Editorial Team
Nov 21, 2005
United Kingdom
GBAtemp e3 2011 presentations retrospective


Last year we covered the live shows of E3 and with the 2012 show looming we thought we would take a quick look back at the things revealed during it all and how things panned out.

On the industry/hardware/extra features side of things
Not as much as some years and probably a lot less than is anticipated this year was revealed/discussed but there were some things worth noting.
Not a lot of hardware stuff from Microsoft this year but they promised a Kinect driven dash which they actually delivered although most of their other dashboards were enjoyed somewhat more.
Video streaming including youtube was announced and delivered. As predicted it went the smartTV route and was not as smooth to operate as a PC or even much in line with other cut down tablets but it got something done.
Equally they put a bit of time into showcasing the other streaming features including outside North America and for the most part they delivered here as well.
This year there is speculation of a browser which would be a welcome break from the present standings and may even surpass the offerings from the other consoles.

What was then known as the NGP was now officially crowned the Vita and given a couple of versions and matching prices.
Playstation Suite which was supposed to be a cut down demo of various PSP titles for the likes of Android phones was showcased. There is a semi open SDK out for the Vita now though which has essentially done the reverse and brought cut down phone games to the Vita.
A PS3 branded 3d TV (in practice it is actually a monitor but as most use external decoders the distinction means less than it did in years past) was announced aimed at providing a decent 3d TV for a reasonable price. It released although with much fanfare and was not a bad TV although probably not that competitive in terms of features/quality (a look today says about 300 US dollars for a 24 inch version although a decidedly higher price in Europe).

Project Cafe officially got titled the Wii U.
Although rumblings of different specs and supported engines would appear every couple of months from then on until now the general idea appeared to be a single tablet controller that would come with every console and afford some interesting options. We were also asked to note that the Wii U would be able to do the things the 360 and PS3 could as well (Nintendo actually caught some bad press when some of the trailers were revealed to be renders from other consoles) which is somewhat amusing in hindsight now a few developers have downplayed their expectations/support for the console prior to launch (indeed we just saw Metro Last light not cancelled but sidelined aka condemned to development hell ). It was also the only time several what could be considered reasonably big games were mentioned in big shows.

Different developers showcased different things in different shows and had teasers in one and full demos in the other but the full list stands at

Modern Warfare 3
Halo- Combat evolved anniversary edition
Halo 4 was teased
Ghost recon future soldier
Gears of War 3
Battlefield 3
Resistance 3
Dust 514 - a PS3/vita exclusive with linkup to the space themed very populous online trading/space ship game Eve online
Bioshock Infinite
Far Cry 3
Brothers in arms
Ghost recon- future soldier
Ghost recon online - a free to play version of a ghost recon title

Tomb Raider- Origins Since delayed
Rayman origins
Assassin's creed- revelations
Infamous 2
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Sly Cooper- Thieves in Time
Saints Row: The Third
Star Trek
Medieval Moves

Mass effect 3
Fable- the journey
Star Wars- The Old Republic
Kingdoms of Amalur- Reckoning.

Forza 4
Need for Speed - The run
Driver- San Francisco

Sims 3 pets
Family Game night 4
Kinect disneyland
Sesame Street- Once upon a monster
Sims social
Little Big Planet 2

Tiger Woods PGA tour
Madden NFL
Kinect sports
Dance Central 2
Kinect star wars
Madden NFL 12
Mania planet.
Raving Rabbits Alive and Kicking
Just dance 3
Your shape
NBA 2K12

Uncharted- Golden Abyss
Street Fighter X Tekken
Modnation Racers
Little Big Planet

Nintendo show only
Skyward sword
DSi Zelda 4 swords
Ninja gaiden 3- razors edge
Batman Arkham city

Looking at just a handful of those titles
Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning
Smaller European developers have been releasing very nice RPG esque games for several years now on the consoles the efforts coming from North America have typically been bigger affairs and at the same time risking falling short. Here new developers 38 Studios and Big Huge Games released a surprisingly well executed story driven game (although the DLC is where the idea of story really came to fore) although recent days have seen the company shuttered as the title despite selling up over the million mark failed to make a return on the investment. None the less it caught the eye of many around here.

Ninja gaiden 3
The modern Ninja gaiden series had gained a fair following and was often considered to sit among the top titles it got grouped with (some questionable handheld versions aside) but for many the ride came to an end with this title which although still enjoyed by some failed to make a good impression

Kinect star wars
E3 2010
E3 2011
2012 release

Continuing the trend of forgoing a number and using the title of an earlier game was SSX which took a turn towards the gritty with this release. An interesting online component and quite good gameplay ideas made for a reasonable title but it failed to capture the audience of previous titles.

Need for Speed - The run
Although the very silly story lacked the charm of something like the cannonball run and the cutscenes did not help matters the driving and rewind feature made for nice arcade feel which some felt was missing from more recent entries of the franchise. Certainly it was one of the few since the days of the gamecube that any of us bothered to play it to completion.

Gears of War 3
A leaked beta version appeared a few months later and having played that it seems the E3 showing was very much carefully selected. Still one of the few remaining console exclusives supposedly finished the trilogy with this title and although it might have failed to move the series away from the satire bait it did not do itself a disservice unlike certain other titles.

Sesame Street- Once upon a monster
Critical darlings Double Fine Productions making a kinect only Sesame Street game... it actually turned out pretty good and managed the quite rare feat usually associated with the better Pixar films of being quite enjoyable even if you. Probably not enough to turn the tide back in the favour of kinect but one of the few titles to get anything from it (despite Microsoft spending two presentations in a row with a large portion of the time dedicated solely to it).

A seemingly humour filled squad based spy game reminded us somewhat of a what if Killer 7 went in for zany humour from the developers of Ratchet and Clank and Spyro (also the first time Insomniac games have not developed solely for the playstation) but nothing much more has been showcased since. One of the few things seemingly left to E3 to do something about this year.

So looking back what ultimately was better than you expected, what was worse than you expected, what caught you by surprise and what are you looking forward to learning more about this year?


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