Gaming expos continue to go from strength to strength in 2010. After last year's explosion of new conferences and events worldwide, this year has seen record attendance numbers and expansion. While E3 and Tokyo Game Show dominate the headlines with their seemingly endless supply of new reveals, there has been a general shift towards public-focused events with the likes of gamescom and the Eurogamer Expo, as well as PAX adding Boston to its roster. We look at the all the big announcements and surprises from the big three, and their place on the industry stage.
Nintendo's conference the following evening was practically the opposite. The first reveal of the 3DS was something that wowed everyone, especially since it was playable at the event itself via a fleet of booth babes. There was also announcement after announcement that treasured franchises would be making a return, such as Donkey Kong, Kirby and Zelda. But the biggest surprise of the show came in Sony's conference, with Valve's Gabe Newell appearing on stage to confirm Portal 2 with Steamworks' support on the PS3 despite publicly dismissing the format several years earlier. It also had concrete PlayStation Move launch details, the reveal of premium service PlayStation Plus, a Gran Turismo 5 release date and reveal of a new Twisted Metal game.
While the sheer quantity of announcements cemented E3's status as the industry's premier gaming event, the leaks across the board have no doubt cheapened the anticipation factor, especially compared to the surprises of five or ten years ago.
Meanwhile, competitor Sony proceeded with a full-on conference that was crammed with reveals. New SKUs, new Ratchet & Clank and Resistance games, and ITV Player support were among the announcements. Third parties also peppered gamescom with their own reveals: EA's surprise reveal of Mass Effect 2 for PlayStation 3, Artisans for Diablo III, Virtual Tennis 4, and Stephen Merchant for Portal 2 were some of the highlights.
Tokyo Game Show 2010
After a weak showing in 2009, Asia's premier game show provided some of the most interesting reveals of the year. The big story was the long-awaited confirmation of the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus remasters for PS3, which will feature a 720p resolution, Trophies and 3D support when it's released next spring. Alongside that was The Last Guardian's first showing for over a year, with a new trailer and a confirmed late 2011 release date. A third Valkyria Chronicles title was announced for the PSP by Sega, as well as a true sequel to Dreamcast MMO Phantasy Star Online for PC in 2011.
Finally, Microsoft announced five new Kinect games aimed at core audiences - including a new Steel Battalion title and a spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon - while Sega Saturn rarity Radiant Silvergun was confirmed for Xbox Live Arcade. Microsoft's core focus at TGS was a strong departure from its E3 lineup, and the strength of announcements from all publishers proved that the flailing Japanese games industry is far from beaten.