Through the grapevine

I’m just going to put this out there: E3, or the Electronics Entertainment Expo for the uninitiated, kind of sucked this year.

I’m just going to put this out there: E3, or the Electronics Entertainment Expo for the uninitiated, kind of sucked this year. Once a year all the major (and minor) video game companies descend upon Los Angeles to show off their new wares, but 2010 just didn’t seem to be a year worth getting excited over.

Out of the big three, Nintendo was the only company that brought its A-game, with the unveiling of the 3DS (a glasses-less, 3D upgrade to its handheld Nintendo DS system), a new Donkey Kong Country, Zelda and Kirby for the Wii. Sony and Microsoft both seemed equally bamboozled with their motion controllers (and Sony with 3D games) with few actual honest-to-god no-gimmick titles.

Third parties were in a bit of a slump too, with a glut of sequels and me-too titles populating the show floor (EA, Sega, Konami and Square-Enix notwithstanding).

But the biggest disappointment of all was the lack of big reveals at the show—other than a few scant seconds of gameplay from Metal Gear Solid Rising, the unveiling of InFamous 2 and a handful of others, all the heavy hitters you wanted to hear more about this year (like Team ICO’s The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XIII Vs. or Arkham Asylum 2) were conspicuously absent.

So what has the industry been talking about in the weeks after the show? Read on, gamers, for some post-show rumblings…

Playstation Move poised to overtake Microsoft’s Kinect?

2010 is, evidently, the year that motion controls are invading video games. With Sony’s Move controller (basically looks like a Wiimote with a rubber ball or a vibrator attached—your choice) launching in September for $50, Microsoft’s pricey, hands-free Kinect system—listed on Amazon for $150—seems like it might not be the most popular item when it’s released for the 2010 holiday season. And even though the Move doesn’t have a super amazing lineup yet, at least we can look forward to blasting non-zombies in Resident Evil 5 (again) and, uh, blasting generic baddies in a new Time Crisis. That sure beats the hell out of…Kinectimals.

Playstation Plus launches, Hulu coming to PS3

It’s been a Sony-centric week for PS3 fans, who had their first chance to try out PSN’s new Playstation Plus subscription service this week. Much like Xbox Live gold accounts, the service costs $50 a year and gets you access to new content like exclusive demos, 60-minute game trials, free PS one games and other assorted PSN crap. I’d hold off on forking over your hard-earned cash until they get some better subscription incentives, though—you don’t even get to keep all Plus content once you’re no longer a member. In other news, Hulu’s new subscription-based service is coming to PS3. $9.99 nets you a month of whatever network shows you can’t already stream in HD with Netflix.

Nintendo slips up on 3DS launch announcement

Appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the 3DS would be out next near. Then, following the on-air statement, sources close to Nintendo of Japan said that what Fils-Aime said was in fact a mistake. Could this mean that the 3DS could be out in time for the 2010 holiday rush? Nintendo isn’t talking. But somehow, it seems likely.