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Hot Topic - Trade Show Turmoil - Who Were The Real Winners This Year?

Hot Topic - Trade Show Turmoil - Who Were The Real Winners This Year?

Written Thursday, September 30, 2010 By Dan Webb
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I found it appropriate for this month's Hot Topic to turn our attention to this year's trade shows and treat it more as a reflective piece and focus on who were the real winners throughout the year. Why is it appropriate you ask? Well that’s simple, because September saw the last of the trade shows come and go, and also because I can directly apologise for our lack of Hot Topic last month. Unfortunately the overwhelmingly busy season saw us miss our first Hot Topic of the year, so yeah, apologies for that. Here we are though, back on track and full steam ahead.

So, the trade shows? Well, from a gamer's perspective, it's safe to say that this year's trade shows were a bit of a mixed bag.


"Welcome to the farce that is the Kinect unveiling..."

E3 2010 started as it meant to go on... with over-the-top pointless choreographed exercises with a focus on spectacle, rather than substance. Yes, we’re talking about Microsoft’s Cirque Du Soleil “extravaganza,” which did nothing but prove that Microsoft has more money than sense at times.

Aside from that farce, E3 2010 was a show of very few exciting game announcements – Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit for instance was a given, although granted, Bad Company 2 Vietnam wasn’t! – but the games on show did hit the right notes. Eidos Montreal proved that the Deus Ex reboot was in good hands, while 2K Marin shocked us with their impressive showing of XCOM. Aside from that though, it was the usual suspects that impressed the most, with Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed, Rage and co. all leaving their mark on the masses of attentive fans and industry folk.

For the most part, the games took a back seat while the console creators were keen to push their expensive technology in a period of what can only be described as economic uncertainty; with Microsoft pushing Kinect, and Sony pushing Move and copious amounts of 3D. Nintendo on the other hand went the other way, focusing on the core games, much to the delight of the masses. Oh, and that fancy 3DS of theirs! That in a nutshell sums up this year's E3 and it's crystal clear that Nintendo cleaned house.

Gamescom 2010 on the other hand was a totally different kettle of fish, and definitely felt more about the fans and the games, than it did about the hype and publishers pushing their products into the stratosphere. BioShock Infinite stole the show, but it wasn’t alone, and with the likes of Ubisoft’s From Dust and Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution impressing again, it’s safe to say that it was possibly more of an impressive show from a software standpoint than E3 ever was.

That’s not to say that the usuals didn’t turn up though - because they were all present and correct - but we like to see new content and debut showings at these events more than anything. As far as announcements go? Aside from Mass Effect 2 going to the PS3, nothing else really stood out and captured the hearts and souls of the masses. It seemed like trailers and release dates were the best most could manage this year.


"Chewing gum. Kicking ass. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen."

I do find it quite odd that the Penny Arcade Expo – PAX Prime to all the cool kids – provided the biggest shock of the year... yes, that Duke Nukem Forever is now in the hands of Gearbox and is on its way to a 2011 release. PAX does have a much larger community-based involvement than any of the shows and that’s probably because unlike the other big 3, the main focus is the consumers with the press just there to make up the numbers – a reason that Gearbox’s Mikey Neumann cited as to why they decided to debut the game there.

Ironically enough, the real winner in terms of major trade shows was the only one we didn't attend - D'oh! I am of course talking about the Tokyo Games Show, which went some of the way to proving that Japanese developers shouldn't be discarded just yet.

In recent years, Japanese developers have been criticising the Japanese games industry for not evolving and playing second fiddle to the West. It turns out that all they needed was a new piece of tech for them to try their hand at and unlike the American powerhouse that is Microsoft, they seem to understand what the current install base want out of Kinect: core games.

Out of one trade show, and one show alone, came more “core” titles for Kinect than Microsoft had shown to date... 5 more that is; including a horror game from PaRappa the Rapper creators; Yukio Futatsugi’s – of Panzer Dragoon fame – Project Draco; Suda 51 and Grasshopper’s Codename D; SEGA’s psychological horror title, Rise of Nightmares; and From Software’s Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour. For once, the future of Kinect is rather more appealing from a traditional core gamer’s perspective than ever before.


"Dante is back after his stint in America's Top Model..."

TGS had a lot more going on than just Kinect though, with the likes of Devil May Cry – we won’t talk about the new Dante! – and even a new Ninja Gaiden coming out of the shadows. Speaking of shadows, there was also a debut showing for Suda 51’s Shadows of the Damned; as well as an unveil for Dead Rising: Case West; a new hack ‘n slash IP by the name of Asura’s Wrath; and two arcade games – Fire Pro-Wrestling and Radiant Silvergun.

Ha, take that E3 and Gamescom!

If anything though, 2010 was a confusing year as far as trade shows go, which is puzzling, seeing as we’re currently in the golden age of gaming, with 2010 being a particularly standout year. Sure, they’re a good excuse to bombard the masses with new trailers, new screens and release dates, but unlike 2009, the big announcements were made elsewhere this year – Gears of War 3 for instance was announced on the Jimmy Fallon show... or should have been.

The question then remains: have publishers cottoned on to the fact that game announcements at big trade shows are relatively pointless, with the whole white noise phenomenon of the show stealing their thunder. Or does it mean that they’ve lost sight of what their audience wants from these events, this year especially? Kinect for instance had the wrong focus at E3 and Gamescom, focusing solely on the mainstream... an audience that don’t give two hoots about whether it’s E3 week or Gamescom week, unlike the fanatical games fans the world over that tune in from their own homes to soak up every morsel of information.


"Fans the world over watch MS’s E3 press conference."

However, it is perfect for them to unveil products to retailers and mainstream press alike, so we can only assume this was their intended objective with this year. Why it should differ from any other year though remains to be seen. All I know is, from a specialist gaming website’s viewpoint, it’s not what we want to see.

From a media outlet standpoint, we can’t really grumble about trade shows in general. Sure, we have to travel to the other side of the globe and get involved in many sleep deprived nights and an insane amount of writing, but we get to bring our completely candid opinions on everything we saw to you at home. Saying that, the appearance of BioShock Infinite, Rage, Gears of War 3, Deus Ex and co. are enough to justify our trips over to cover them. Only just.

Compared to 2009, 2010 paled in comparison from a trade show perspective, with Microsoft and Sony putting far too much emphasis on technologies which are yet to convince the masses. Would it have been alright if they did a bang up job of promoting them? Probably, but they didn’t. I do however believe that 2010 was a blip on the radar in terms of trade shows that wow, and we fully expect Microsoft and Sony to pick up their traditional games-are-win mantra next year, after their technologies see their full release on the market. They better had anyway!

As far as the winners and losers go? Well, I know it’s clichéd, but the gamers – that’s all of us here – are the real winners.

Editor’s Note: Hot Topic is a monthly feature here on X360A, where we take one of the month’s talking points and discuss it until your eye-balls bleed through sheer delight. Now that's intense! 





 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 75
Comment #1 by Mooney910
Thursday, September 30, 2010 @ 10:22:33 PM
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Duke Nukem. Please hurry up.


Forum Posts: 493
Comment #2 by D4B0MB1N4T10N
Friday, October 01, 2010 @ 12:41:28 AM
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still upset that we havent heard anything about a Star Wars Battlefront 3, had my fingers crossed for every show, just hoping something would be announced.


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #3 by TheFragileArmy
Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 09:30:03 AM
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Its Radiant Silvergun, not Silverlight. Too much MS on the brain for you.


Forum Posts: 14870
Comment #4 by Webb [STAFF]
Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 10:13:41 AM
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@#3 - Ha ha, good spot. Fixed. Cheers.


Forum Posts: 2598
Comment #5 by jamie1000013
Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 10:26:21 AM
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Kinect reminds me too much of eye toy and PS3 Move or whatever it's called looks like a knock off of a Wii controller. Seems this year is the best year for gaming though with all the brilliant games coming out. Can't wait for Fallout and Medal of honor.

Good topic.


Forum Posts: 2115
Comment #6 by mjc0961
Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 11:37:54 PM
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"That in a nutshell sums up this year's E3 and it's crystal clear that Nintendo cleaned house."

Agreed on that one. Microsoft's show was basically "Gears 3, Kinect AKA nap time, free new slim console to everyone in the audience goodbye" and they get last place.
Sony had some good stuff, like Twisted Metal (hell yeah!), the Kevin Butler speech, and some Move games that actually look interesting unlike everything Kinect showed. However they also did some stinking up the place by wasting a lot of time showing us pointless trailer after pointless trailer (seriously how many Move trailers did we watch in that show, three?), talking about PSN stats, and worst of all, unveiling that little shit Marcus unto the world. Terrible commercials, junk that crap Sony.
Meanwhile Nintendo does a complete 180 on their previous idea of showing off stuff almost no one cares about and went "here's a crapload of games you'll probably want to play and the 3DS tied to a hot chick, enjoy." Only problems were that Miyamoto had some difficulties playing Skyward Sword and bringing out "Epic" Mickey.


Forum Posts: 4
Comment #7 by Fata1Stryke
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 10:35:25 AM
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@5 Next year's got some great stuff coming too. I am excited beyond belief for February, when we get Portal 2, Deus Ex, AND Bulletstorm all within like 2-3 weeks of each other.


Forum Posts: 4
Comment #8 by Cilpcolp
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 05:51:06 PM
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There are some Kinect games I want to play, mostly the Japanese developed one, but where am i going to find all the for these games.


Forum Posts: 1106
Comment #9 by Pixo
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 06:12:44 PM
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Wait... They have a Teletubbies game?


Forum Posts: 757
Comment #10 by l.maciver
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 06:23:12 PM
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my eye-balls are already bleeding after seein that pic with po and a small boy.


Forum Posts: 14870
Comment #11 by Webb [STAFF]
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 06:29:22 PM
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@#9 - No, it was a tongue-in-cheek jibe that Microsoft got their audience all wrong at their E3 press conference =P


Forum Posts: 480
Comment #12 by boomdizzle 2
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 08:14:58 PM
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@2, the develeper that makes battlefront went bankrupt.....
@9, we can only wish


Forum Posts: 493
Comment #13 by D4B0MB1N4T10N
Monday, October 04, 2010 @ 02:32:28 AM
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@12, i know that, but it doesnt mean that the game can;t be made still.

one can wish and hope tho...

lucasarts would be in their right mind to make it tho, we NEED a next/current gen battlefront!!! plz??!! pretty plz??!!


Forum Posts: 2773
Comment #14 by jtr1gg3r
Monday, October 04, 2010 @ 04:02:34 AM
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Gotta agree, too much Kinect shit this year smothering game announcements.... Hopefully next year we'll see some big announcements...

*cough* GTA V *cough*

Whut?


Forum Posts: 1762
Comment #15 by JJBDude
Monday, October 04, 2010 @ 05:57:31 AM
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Does the Eurogamer Expo in London that's been on the past 3 days not count as a trade show then?


Forum Posts: 211
Comment #17 by High Lord Sigma
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 @ 01:47:36 PM
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Are you guys planning on showing up at New York Comic-Con this weekend, out of curiosity?

Back on topic, I agree with the overall analysis. Nintendo pretty much wiped the floor at E3, and the Wii's game quality is probably going to see a nice increase soon. The 3DS, with its achievements and friends lists, is pretty much the lovechild of the original DS and Xbox Live.


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #18 by Jleek1992
Wednesday, October 06, 2010 @ 02:24:53 AM
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Hmmm Duke Nukem and Revamp of Devil May Cry they might be good.


Forum Posts: 14870
Comment #19 by Webb [STAFF]
Thursday, October 07, 2010 @ 06:02:02 AM
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@#15 - No, EG is purely for consumers and offer very little incentive for the press to attend.
@#17 - Unfortunately not, we're all trade showed out this year now.


Forum Posts: 91
Comment #20 by Darth Taral
Friday, October 08, 2010 @ 04:46:15 PM
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@2 I swear to GOD am I the only StarWars fan alive that thinks the whole Battlefront series even though it was only two games were the worst StarWars games ever made. Which might explain why the develeper that maked battlefront went bellyup and BROKE. Hope to never see another Battlefront game ever again.


Forum Posts: 493
Comment #21 by D4B0MB1N4T10N
Friday, October 08, 2010 @ 06:59:53 PM
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@20- why? what makes you feel that way about them? i love the fact that you can play as so many characters, not just overpowered jedi, ha ha. and vehicle and space battles? thats just pure awesome. any star wars fan would like the fact that they can play as so many characters that they know from the star wars universe.

(looking at SWBF2 case right now, for xbox and ps2)- "The best-selling star wars game of all time!" for the time it came out in of course. i'd say its still up there tho.

and yes, i do have it for both of those consoles, when the ps2 broke i had to get it for xbox lol, it was that great.


Forum Posts: 50
Comment #22 by SOTG Ace
Monday, October 11, 2010 @ 11:42:52 AM
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@21 I agree, I liked the SWBF games. Some of the first multiplayer games I really enjoyed.

Personnally I can't wait for the new games to be release. Seems we are all in a rut playing FPS and RPGs. Looking forward to some new action!


Forum Posts: 26
Comment #23 by SuddenJonatan
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 @ 07:16:58 PM
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DUKE!


Forum Posts: 19
Comment #24 by wickedclowns95
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 @ 05:09:08 PM
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Dante's new look is too feminine. First picture of him I saw I thought it was a girl. Also, why change him that significantly?


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #25 by looter83
Monday, October 25, 2010 @ 07:38:06 AM
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I think they want to girlie up Dante so nobody can compete with the Duke.


Forum Posts: 330
Comment #26 by ch9209live
Wednesday, November 03, 2010 @ 03:05:10 PM
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@20 actually, Battlefront does have great feel of star wars, same is with LEGO star wars games (mostly because of humor), but any other star wars game: meh (ok, Jedi Academy and Star Wars battlegrounds are great too, and well SWG and force unleashed)


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #27 by XRumerTest
Friday, April 22, 2011 @ 07:21:54 PM
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Hi there,

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
Ranofer s charat1
Quotes from the story of sundiata1
Me follo a una menor1
Pictures ricky hendrick born 19801
Replica philippe starck ak47 lamp2


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