E3 2011 Press Conferences: Final Grades

All the big press conferences are over, so to wrap up that angle of E3 2011 up, here’s my final grades for each:

Electronic Arts: B+. They didn’t have any amazing reveals, and the Star Wars: The Old Republic segment was disappointing, but I liked the lean and mean approach to their demos. Nine big-name games in an hour, 5-6 minutes apiece.

Nintendo: B. The more I think about Tuesday’s demo, the more frustrated I get. After an underwhelming day of press conferences on Monday, Nintendo had a chance to blow the doors off E3 with one of the all-time craziest hardware reveals. Instead, halfway through the presentation, people were still unsure if Wii U was a full console or just an add-on touchscreen controller for the current Wii, and if it would support HD graphics? The announcements were obviously big, but a terrible job of crafting what should have been one of the best E3 briefings in years.

Sony: B. Not a spectacular showing, but Sony’s done far worse. They got the PSN awkwardness out of the way quickly, Uncharted 3 looked good, they didn’t go crazy with the Move or 3D stuff, and of course they had the big reveal of their new portable, Vita, at a solid $250-300 price point.

Ubisoft: B-. This was sort of like the EA press conference – lots of games – but the demos were longer, the games weren’t quite as good, and we also had annoying presenters and awkward jokes that fell flat.

Microsoft: C+. So much Kinect, so many awful, uninteresting demos, virtually nothing new for the core gamer to get excited about. And while the YouTube and kids stuff makes all sorts of business sense, it still made me kind of sad to see how Tim Schafer has gone from classic LucasArts adventures to making a Sesame Street game for Kinect.