Another E3 has been and gone, leaving in its wake a trail of video game announcements, hardware reveals, shock releases, and even marriage proposals. Here are the top six moments from the show many are calling 'alright'.
Remember the bad old days when you would hear about a game you liked the sound of, and then – unless you were on staff at a magazine or your uncle worked 'at Nintendo' – you'd have to wait literally years to play it? Or, in some cases – thanks to stuff you don't have to worry about anymore, like PAL conversions – never actually get to play it?
Those days are mostly gone, thanks to all manner of betas and alphas and technical tests and other shit people used to just call 'demos'. Resident Evil 7 was the latest game to get the 'PT' treatment: that is, announcing that it was available to play right there and then. For a series so beloved yet so mired in action-hero bullshit, it was a smart move, enabling Capcom to showcase just how much further it had taken the series back towards traditional horror. Lovely.
Yves Guillemot's not-so-subtle message to Vivendi
Among the bluster and showmanship of the big publisher/platform holder conferences, hidden behind the hype and controversy, you'll often find the odd nugget of genuine truth. Usually it's a developer saying something they shouldn't, often by sheer accident: the brain failing to engage when it should, the tongue lolling and flapping out all manner of Actual Facts while the boss androids look on, helpless. Sometimes, especially in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's case, it's celebrities taking the piss out of the whole thing simply because they can and they should.
But it's not often you see a CEO of a major corporation come out on stage, flanked by key members of his development teams, to show a united front in the face of a potential and unwelcome takeover. Vivendi's attempted purchase of a controlling stake in Ubi is well known – Yves has approached the Canadian Prime Minister to strengthen his case – and yet it was odd, in a show that opened with a dancing giraffe, to see it close with a heartfelt message of defiance on a topic other than terraflops or price points. Yves coded his message, but it was clear to anyone watching that his reference to freedom probably wasn't an allusion to Watch Dogs 2's release date.
Remember Hideo Kojima? The lauded game developer who had been kidnapped by Konami, forced against his will to spend incredible amounts of publisher money on video games he had almost sole control over? Well he's escaped that living hell now, thanks to Sony, and has moved on to his next project, Death Stranding. As impressive as it was that the Japanese platform holder seemed to have said yes to a game where babies turn into oil, that wasn't even close to matching the bizarre majesty of Kojima's reappearance on the E3 scene.
Standing at the top of a slope on the stage, he descended on a staircase of light, with the steps whizzing in from the sides to match every momentous footstep into history. Or, at least, they should have done, but Kojima blew the entrance by walking much too quickly, meaning that the Tron-steps appeared after he was meant to be walking on them, like some sort of mad failed update of MJ's Billie Jean video. Poor Hideo. When will it ever go right for him?
Thanks to the internet we all knew that Project Scorpio, Microsoft's latest games console, would probably be at E3. But we didn't know the details: who would be repping it, how it would be presented (if at all), and what would actually be revealed about it. By the end of Microsoft's conference, we had answers to all that. And, more importantly, we had a declaration that it would have "the highest-quality pixels that anybody has seen".
Now, Microsoft's show this year was pretty slick, but right at the very end the Redmond company forgot the golden rule of video game presentations: that tech-speak just sounds weird on its face, and that jargon should be avoided at all times. Instead, we got a promise that Project Scorpio would feature "fully uncompressed pixels...the highest-quality pixels that anybody has ever seen", which sounds like the sort of empty boast Donald Trump would make if he was a games developer. 'Oh yeah, I've got pixels. Listen, the pixels I've got are so much better than those other ones, they're the highest-quality pixels you've ever seen. Uncompressed, high-energy. Huge. Huge quality.'
John Carmack playing VR Minecraft, appearing more human than every other person on stage
John Carmack is a legend. Not a legend in the 'lads calling each other legend because one of them drank a blue WKD out of a toilet cistern' legend, but an honest-to-goodness legend in his field, a genius programmer who achieved more with his life by the age of 23 than most people will get near to in over double that. He made Doom, and Quake, and paved the way, with his buddies at id, for a lot of the stuff you love now.
Thing is, John Carmack is one of the most technically-minded people on earth (just check his Twitter feed), and has a voice of a man that sounds like he would be helping Homer Simpson get through college if he wasn't building rockets or games tech. It makes him sound rather robotic (if not self-serious). So to have Carmack on stage, wearing a VR headset and playing Minecraft, and not have him be the person most likely to be voted an android by newcomers to gaming is something truly special. There's just something...off about the other two presenters. I mean, look at them pretending to have real-people interactions.
No explanation needed for this one. Just watch it.