So, as the first day winds down, I thought I would toss out a few impressions of what I thought were the most significant announcements from the early part of the first day, which focused on Microsoft and the Xbox 360. Next, we should expect to see Sony's stuff and then Nintendo's major Wii U announcements, both of which I'll also discuss.
Smart Glass is Microsoft's multi-screen platform that allows Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones and tablets to interact directly with the Xbox 360. This is similar to what the Wii U's tablet controller will offer and something that Sony hinted at, but has yet to implement, with Vita and PS3 integration. Microsoft's offering is the only generic variant of the technology, though, which, while having a higher cost of entry, is also the only one that is likely to work with technology you already have. Examples of Microsoft's tech includes watching a movie stored on your iPad on your TV, or controlling the upcoming Internet Explorer from your Android phone. Game integration possibilities include calling football plays on your tablet that get implemented in the Madden game on your Xbox 360. This could also mean something like a map on your tablet that syncs perfectly with your onscreen actions on your 360, say in Skyrim. The obvious downside though with this is having to put your smartphone or tablet down to pick up the controller and vice-versa, but certainly for media control, it's welcome.
Microsoft has finally reversed their long held stance against it and decided to add a Web browser to their console. It was technically worth them waiting because with some combination of Kinect and Smart Glass, the experience might actually be far more usable than we've seen on competing platforms to date. I still have my doubts about it being as good as a quality PC or tablet experience, though, but at least the potential is there.
More Entertainment Services
NBA, NHL, Nickelodeon, etc., to add to the already large number of audio-video streaming apps and services. Overall, this puts the Xbox 360 ahead as the most complete set top box package, if not necessarily the most cost effective.
The Usual Types of Game Announcements
Halo 4, new Madden, Call of Duty, Dance Central 3, etc. Nothing particularly notable here per se, though many of these do seem to have some type of interesting Kinect and/or Smart Glass integration. I think we're also seeing the current platforms maxed out audio-visually, so hopefully fine tuning of the gameplay can now be focused on for the remainder of Microsoft's and Sony's generation.
By the way, for those who say that Microsoft's presser was "boring," "dissapointing," etc., keep in mind this is the last real e3 for a very, very long generation, and there's no way either Sony or Microsoft could possibly compete with a new console on the Nintendo side, so all that's really left is to do more of the same and try to further expand the appeal of the existing systems to the mass market. It will be Microsoft's and Sony's time to lay it all on the line in e3 2013 for their new consoles holiday of that year.