We've been talking a lot about this ridiculous notion of "who won E3?" as if there's some objective way of determining a victor from a series of press conferences. We could say that Microsoft's was the tightest, EA had nothing really to show and Hardline unfortunately leaked, Ubisoft gave us another year of the Aisha Tyler experience, Sony bookend a superfluous hour of fluff with some really good reveals, and Nintendo brought the whimsical charm in a way that only Nintendo can.
Seriously, that Nintendo Direct was pure fan service.
But trying to analyse these things objectively is super boring, and we have to talk about things like "the mechanics of the perfect presentation" and waffle on about pacing and procedure and there are line graphs (not even brightly coloured pies FFS!) and it's like sitting through that EA presser all over again. "Who won E3?" is not a question that should or even can be answered objectively. We're all different people with different tastes in games, looking for different things from this carnival of interactive entertainment.
My outlook going into E3 was simple: I wanted things to be excited for this year. I wanted Microsoft and Nintendo to give me reasons for investing in their consoles this year. I wanted EA and Ubisoft to make me hyped for October, November, and December, and I wanted Sony to capitalise on their start to this generation with a strong end of year line up. To be honest, all of those happened to a certain extent, but on the basis of my criteria going in, my own personal winner of E3 this year is a no-brainer.
There are no two ways about it. The first thing I did, on Monday night immediately after the press conference, was start scouring eBay for Xbox One deals. I've narrowly missed out on a sub-£300 console in no fewer than five auctions now. Friends of mine have warned me against such actions, reminding me of the time I got drunk and bought two Omnia handset three months before they released in this country so I could try and tell them on for a higher price. It didn't exactly work out that way. But this is different, I'm much more sensible now. Hopefully.
I couldn't give a gecko's nipple about getting Call of Duty: Advanced Warfighter content ahead of everyone else. Don't get me wrong, I like COD well enough, it's always fun and I'm looking forward to Call of Spacey especially this year, but that's not something to sell me on a console. Halo, on the other hand...
I said repeatedly before the show that a Greatest Hits Halo MP experience would probably be enough to sell me on an Xbox One. I don't know of another FPS, or TPS for that matter, that has that kind of pull when it comes to my decision-making. I can't apologise for it, I just love the Halo games that much. I'm not even that good at them! A quick glance at the leaderboards on any of our Halo 4 Game Nights will illustrate just how badly I suck. But they've given me some of my favourite gaming moments and memories over the years, many of them with the writers on this very site, especially when it comes to multiplayer.
So 100+ maps, Halo CE and Halo 2 both with the full Anniversary treatment, throwing in Halo 3 and Halo 4 for good measure,n custom playlists, and a chance to craft our own Legendary Greatest Hits? All on one disc, at standard price? That's exactly what I was hoping for.
And Halo 5: Guardian MP beta coming a month later? Oh Ambassador...
It helps too that -- Burnout aside -- Forza has always been one of my favourite racers. The original Horizon was enjoyable, if a little too earnest in its quest to attract a younger audience with its festival theme and curated music, but its sequel looks spectacular, having the advantage of not being set in a massive dustbowl. Sunset Overdrive looks like a cracking game too, even if the overly-snarky character bit shown at E3 threatens to become a tad annoying.
Next year's E3 will, I feel be more of an awesome matchup, with Sony and Nintendo firing on all cylinders in terms of their seriously big hitters, and I got kicks out of both of their presentations too (though in the case of the latter not quite enough to sell me on a Wii U just yet...there's always Gamescom/TGS, mind). But I have a feeling that I'll be looking back on this moment come the end of the year, pointing to Microsoft at E3 and saying that was the point where Phil Spencer sold me on an Xbox One.
Except I won't be doing that at all... I'll be lining up headshot on Team SWAT and cackling with glee. Marvellous.