Kotaku's Winners & Losers Of E3 2012, Day One

There were a ton of things shown off today at E3, not technically the first day of the show (that's tomorrow!), but counted as such by virtue of the big press conferences that go down.

Some of it was good. Some of it was awful. Let's recap and see which was which.

Monday is often the busiest day on E3's schedule, because it contains not just Microsoft and Sony's big press conferences, but those of EA and Ubisoft as well.

What you'll find below aren't grades on everything that we saw. That's boring. They're just our picks for the day's standouts and lowlights!


WATCH DOGS - Where did this game come from and why won't it take all of our money, right now? A fresh take on a tired genre, beautiful visuals and an intriguing premise made this one of the most impactful, genuine surprises we've seen at E3 in a long time. You can check out gameplay footage and Watch Dog's debut trailer here.

UBISOFT'S PRESS CONFERENCE - Watch Dogs was an individual standout, but most of Ubisoft's press conference - human entertainment notwithstanding - was right on the money, from ZombiU's welcome about face to Rayman continuing his recent renaissance on the Wii U.

You can watch Ubisoft's complete press conference, or just check out some of the highlights from our team on the ground, here.

STAR WARS 1313 - We didn't see much of it, and what we did see was running on a PC, but if you think 1313 is a PC exclusive you're dreaming. This game has "next gen" written all over it, so while official announcements from Microsoft and Sony may have been MIA today, you can always watch this clip a few times to get a taste of what's to come.


MICROSOFT'S PRESS CONFERENCE - The entire thing. Every last second of it. One of the most dreadful press conferences from any company in living memory. Someone on Twitter (sorry someone!) described it as "contemptuous", a strong word but one the company's lack of new and/or exciting announcements (SmartGlass is neat, but comes across as a gimmick) almost deserved. If for some reason you want to watch the conference again, maybe just to see a train wreck in slow motion, you can do so here.

THQ - THQ doesn't even really have a presence at E3 2012, mostly because the company is going through some tough times. It still managed to make headlines today though, and for all the wrong reasons, thinking the flood of E3 news would allow them to sneak out news of the surprise closure of an entire studio. It didn't work.

PLAYSTATION VITA - This was Sony's big chance to reaffirm people's faith in its ailing handheld. Show the world that, yes, the big games are coming. Turns out they're not. Aside from the promising Assassin's Creed spinoff, we got some cross-platform announcements and a logo for a Call of Duty game, and that was about it. Criminally, one of the platform's few shining lights, the excellent Sound Shapes, wasn't even mentioned.


    Really pissed about the lack of attention to Vita. Feel completely ripped off by Sony. I've never been a Playstation guy but I took a chance on the Vita as it looked so promising. I've tried to have faith but I can't help but feel cheated.

      yeah, I was really hoping Sony would lift their game regarding the Vita, but they really haven't.

      It's almost like they go to all of the trouble inventing this damn thing and then entirely forget it exists. Which is a real shame because the hardware itself is impressive and gives devs a world of opportunity.

        There's supposed to be 30 Vita games on the show floor but who knows whether they are just already released games or not.

      Honestly, I don't know why Sony went for the Vita. The smartphone and the tablet have gutted the market for portable entertainment. Not even necessarily through the gaming capabilities of those devices, but just because they're portable devices that let you do something on the bus/train/waiting room or whatever, where once upon a time the only portable entertainment was the book, the walkman/discman or the gameboy.

        This is where you and me differ brother, you're satisfied by just the fact you can "do something" to amuse yourself, where as I ask for something much much more than a simple fling.

        And it is here that Sony caters.

          I own a 3DS, all its predecessors and the PSP and right now, the handheld gaming market doesn't really do it for me. When I travel between home and work, I don't carry my 3DS, I carry my phone and maybe my iPad for some simple gaming or music. I am not going to devote an extra pocket or bagspace for a dedicated console, because the experience is better. Plus the battery life for these things stink, if the purported 5 hours for the Vita is true, I would only be comfortable playing it at home on the couch... where I can otherwise play a console game.

      Sound Shapes? What about Soul Sacrifice. An amazing looking cross between Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. It's currently very playable and even demonstrated at the Sony showroom. Yes, the couldn't spare a minute to introduce it. Game-play videos about it are already jaw droppingly good and much shinier than the AssCreed game demoed.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

      +1. Worst joke ever invented. It's not funny and it never has been and I'm sick of seeing it.

    Someone please explain to me why Microsofts conference was so bad? I mean really there were heaps of great things coming to the xbox?

      Who doesn't like hockey?!

      Its because of Black Ops 2. Everyone hates it also there all a lot of stupid people out there that think E3 is only for games, so when MS talked about Smart Glass (which is something that can be great) and more kinect intergration people started hating on it.

      People should be "hating" sony's conference because little to no vita, THAT STUPID LONG STORYBOOK SHIT went on for ages.

      Everyone is hating MS for timed exclusives when Sony has exclusive content for 3rd party games. Thats even worse.

        What annoys me about that is I guarantee more people bought BF3 on PC or Xbox than on PS3, similarly the Assassin's Creed games have always sold better on Xbox 360 yet these publishers keep wheeling out treats to Sony customers who just use their machine as a Blu-Ray player! (I'd also love to find the breakdown of sales for Portal 2 there were plenty of people on my friends list playing it)

          The world is more than the US. In Europe (bar UK) Xbox is rare, and in Japan it does not exist in any meaningful sense. According to VG Chartz, worldwide Xbox sold 67M consoles, against 64.8M PS3s. For each 100 Xboxs sold, Sony sells about 98 PS3s. By the end of the current generation PS3 will probably have sold more. This is a minor difference, so your statement probably makes no sense.

            sorry, "for each 100 Xboxs sold, Sony sells about 97 PS3s".

      The South Park RPG and seeing Matt and Trey on stage made it worth getting up for me. Overall it sucked though lol

    I dunno about Watch Dogs. It looked okay, but I'd say the best thing I've seen so far at E3 has been The Last of Us gameplay... that just looks incredible.

      Yeah... The last of us was pretty impressive, but as a new ip, watch dogs dose look good oh and that new quantic dream thingy... Um, beyond also look good.

    watch dog looks the pick so far, interesting to see a lot of the demo's using high end spec Pc's, yet no announcment on the nxt gen consoles from MS or Sony......

      * and Last of Us look the picks so far*

    Starwars 1313 looks epic! Not Battlefront 3 but still

    watch dogs looked alright.. but Last of Us was easily the best of the first day, it deserves a mention at least!

    You forgot the recent announcement that Ellen Page will soon be the new queen of gaming.

    I suspect the decision not to make announcements about the next XBOX pretty much gutted Microsoft's E3 plans, but they couldn't really show up and not have a keynote speech. Doesn't seem like they have many big exclusives left for this generation of the Xbox... it's all about the next gen. Sony seem to be ready to go another full year minimum without the next gen console, but Microsoft don't.

      Why do you say that? If anything xbox is starting to dominate this generation not that it was suffering like the playstation but it's edging closer towards the Wii. It surprises me that people seem to think this conference was terrible, it's not their best. It is however miles ahead of Sonys and depending on Nintendos launch line up for the Wii U, the Xbox may overshadow them. Microsoft annouced at least three exclusives Halo 4, Gears of War - Judgment and Forza Horizon and any non exclusive they talked about Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell ect was suggested will have first access for Xbox purchasers. The use of kinect is getting far better and more reliable doesn't interest me yet but soon. Smart Glass from a tv or movie angle is gimmicky however from a gaming angle its brilliant. The nikey part and finishing with Black Ops was poorly done however I'd rather 10-15 minutes of trash then most the conference being trash and a major letdown(see Sony and Vita). We will need to wait till Nintendos to see who steals the show though.

      I agree - although I was pleasantly surprised to see the new Splinter Cell game previewed - although that's coming to PS3 also (which is a good thing because the PS3 players missed out on a good game in Conviction)

      I imagine Rare is currently turning some of those old IPs into new generation launch titles, there's also got to be an Alan Wake 2 on the horizon (honestly they brought American Nightmare to PC so quickly you can sense it was to get on with the next game) and finally what has become of Ruffian studios - they haven't been shuttered so my guess is that Crackdown 3 will be a NextBox launch title also.

      Although it is annoying to constantly hear about how the Xbox is some kind of media centre I will admit I use it a lot for iView and Vevo as well as just streaming video from the PC so they're on the money with that - now if only we had Netflix in Australia...

    Fallout 4 smart glass pip boy, Bethesda are you listening?

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