Another E3 has come and gone and gamers the world over are reeling in a euphoric haze after devouring way more gaming news than is ordinarily considered healthy. This year’s E3 ran from 15-17 June 2010, and over those few days all the big names in the industry dropped tons of information on what we can expect from them over the next few months. Gears of War 3Hardware was revealed, games were announced, things were demoed and company bigwigs tried to garner good PR by hobnobbing with real Corley Motors Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft customers.

As with all E3 expos there were highs and lows and lots of awkward moments that left people cringing (this year’s Konami press conference immediately springs to mind). What reveals and announcements rocked our little worlds, and which ones made us want to rock ourselves in the corner instead? Read on as we cram the best and worst of this year’s E3 into no more than 1000 words. Deep breath!

Arguably the biggest reveal was Nintendo’s new 3DS handheld, and ironically it wasn’t even a true reveal seeing as they announced the unit in a boring press release a few weeks prior to E3. Regardless, we now know what the unit looks like and what it’s capable of. You can head over to Geoff’s news post for more details on the full specs, but for now we can say it’s a stunning little piece of technology that is only going to cement Nintendo’s already colossal dominance of the handheld gaming market. Apple better watch out. Now all we are waiting for is an expected release date and information on whether or not the unit will ship with a hot woman strapped to it.

Gran Turismo 5

Microsoft’s largest hype-creator was obviously its detailing of Kinect, the camera input peripheral they announced at last year’s E3 for the Xbox 360 (you know, in case you’ve been off the planet for the last year or so). Other than the unit’s new name, there wasn’t much else. Possibly the juiciest part of Microsoft’s presser was a 4-player co-op demo of Gears of War 3 presented by the man himself Cliff “Dude-Huge” Bleszinski. Female gamers the world over swooned, we’re certain of it. Now whether that was because of the impending return of the burly Delta Squad, or the fact that Bleszinski himself was playing, men will probably never know.

No other Microsoft reveal could have had as big an impact for us in South Africa than the announcement that Xbox LIVE will be heading to every country that sells the Xbox 360 – yes we are totally included in that. And to make things even better, Microsoft South Africa has confirmed that migration of our profiles will be possible.

Portal 2Meanwhile, at Sony’s press conference, nothing that mind-blowing was really announced. The company didn’t make much of an impression and the vast majority of what they showed the masses had been revealed a while ago. Alright, so maybe that isn’t entirely fair: they did finally give Gran Turismo 5 a release date of 02 November 2010, and a new Twisted Metal and Sly Cooper collection was announced. Sadly, there was no mention of Team ICO’s much anticipated The Last Guardian and fans holding their breath for an announcement of a re-mastered Shadow of the Colossus and ICO were left to turn blue (I’m one of those, so if this piece ends abruptly it’s because I’ve past out from oxygen deprivation).

The best part of Sony’s participation at this year’s E3? Why, a hilarious five minutes with Kevin Butler. While his tongue-in-cheek inspirational rhetoric was scripted to death and at times a little corny, it at least showed the world that Sony has stopped taking itself so seriously over the years since the PlayStation 3 launched. The best moment of Kevin’s speech was a deliberate downplaying of the console war: “And though we may pledge fanboy allegiances to different flags, deep down inside we all serve one master, one king, and his name is gaming! Forever may he reign!” I love this guy; he should run for President of Everything.

Oddly enough, Valve’s big reveal (which was teased in the weeks leading up to E3) was made public at Sony’s press conference. Yeah you read that correctly; this mere months after Valve boss Gabe Newell went on record to bash the hell out of the PlayStation 3. The much speculated news? That Portal 2 will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and will feature Steamworks functionality through the PSN. Don’t worry, we agree: Valve needs to be lynched for getting our hopes up and then giving us this as a “big surprise announcement”. Where the hell is our Half-Life Episode 3 already? Perhaps Gabe should be called Princess Peach from now on, given what a massive tease the bloke is. Not that we’re bitter or anything.

Rage

As far as games are concerned, we have to admit that id’s Rage is looking fantastic. Gameplay was shown off and in general the game is looking stunning. The environments and animations are incredible to look at and it’s clear that id’s new technology is proving to be quite an amazing achievement. Of course, the best part of the whole thing is that the demos were running on Xbox 360 consoles, and the frame rate was solid. This is good news for those who were anticipating having to upgrade PCs in order to run the post-apocalyptic driving shooter.

Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood also looked decidedly delicious, even though the gameplay section demoed the villa from Assassin’s Creed 2 getting completely destroyed – hey, we just spent about 18 hours getting that thing back together and filling it with expensive art and feathers. What the hell Ubisoft?

Brief we know, but that’s all we have room for now. Be sure to pick up the August edition of NAG magazine as there will be an extensive E3 supplement included. Until then, browse around the website and NAG forums to see what else tickled people’s fancy.