It's been a long night for those of us south of equator covering E3. The awful time schedules are thankfully complimented by the excitement that surrounds the event on a yearly basis.
I don't have any issues waking up to report on and watch the press conferences, and I'm grateful that this year brought some pretty awesome games and footage to the fold.
Microsoft started things off in style with Halo 4 gameplay footage, which was definitely inevitable and certainly expected by the Xbox faithful.
It was a cool little introduction and certainly added plenty of support to 343 Industries's input to the Halo universe. The game looks great, and Halo (and Xbox 360) fans should definitely be excited.
Black Ops 2 gameplay footage was another inevitability, although it hardly impressed. The gameplay was slow and boring, and not especially revolutionary. The presenter certainly could've have added some voice-over, or perhaps even showed a level with a bit more action, rather than just long-distance sniper kills.
Splinter Cell: Black List looks superb running on the 360, while both Gears of War: Judgement and Forza Horizon kept things grounded with some first-party love for the console.
The reveal of Xbox SmartGlass showcases how far Microsoft is willing to evolve the console, and the "Xbox" branding, which was suspiciously void of the "360" moniker throughout the event, seems to be expanding in many different directions at once, which is a good thing for gamers.
Throw in a little Tomb Raider love, and "core" gamers were certainly fed plenty of great gameplay action. Microsoft gave a solid conference in my opinion, with very little talk and hype, and just plenty of edge-of-your seat gameplay action, which I loved.
It was disappointing not to see some new exclusives, although Ascend: New Gods, LocoCycle and Matter all look cool.
Sony's press conference was a bit different. Microsoft certainly seems to have toned down on the talk and hyperbole, while Sony seems to thrive on it. Thankfully, the company hypes itself up well, and completely within its right to: its first-party lineup rocks and only continues to get stronger.
Developer of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dreams, looks set to once again raise the bar with video game storytelling, as Beyond looks simply stunning. Add in a little Ellen Page spice and Sony almost won E3 right thar!
The revelation of PlayStation All-Stars coming to Vita with cross-platform play compatibility with PS3 makes the game an exciting online competitive prospect, while Call of Duty Vita, while inevitable, is certainly the type of game Vita needs.
Far Cry 3's four-player co-op looks incredibly intense and fun, while God of War IV looks set to once again raise the bar high for third-person action games. No one does it better than Kratos, and the press conference trailer proves that.
Then there's The Last of Us, which looks better with every new video and screenshot. Naughty Dog's highly anticipated new game is intriguing and fascinating to follow, and is definitely one of the biggest games of 2012.
Personally, I find little to fault with both company's press conferences. While I'd have preferred to have seen more Vita love, the announcement of 60 new titles, as well as PS One Classics, is incredibly promising.
Disappointingly, there was no sign of PlayStation's supposed cloud-network, although we might hear and see more about that as the conference moves onto its second and third days.
As for Microsoft, it didn't blow us away, but at least it didn't focus on Kinect too much, and it gave us some big gameplay footage for blockbuster games we were yet to see in action.
I enjoyed both, and they certainly had me excited for what the rest of 2012 and beyond bring for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Vita.
By Gaetano Prestia - Bio
What did you think of both conferences?