E3 2006: Nintendo blows a big chance as Sony proves PS3 games do exist

Los Angeles (CA) - The buzz going into this morning - the first official day of exhibits at the E3 Expo - was that Nintendo pulled off a victory, with an impressive demonstration of a truly innovative controller that ended up making Sony's 4D version look like an afterthought. But a great deal of that goodwill that the Wii might have built up - even if it was an example of cheering for the underdog - may have been blown early on, as Nintendo inexplicably chose to seal off its Wii demonstration area, even as the media were given special permits to file in early Wednesday morning.

The line of reporters standing outside not to see the Wii exhibit, during Wednesday's early media preview session at E3.

With Sony's PlayStation 3 exhibit stationed right next door at West Hall, reporters who weren't all that interested in blowing their two-hour preview window waiting in line at Wii, stepped right next door to preview all the titles that were in playable condition on the PS3 consoles, including Warhawk (the only playable PS3 game thus far using the 4D control), Gran Turismo HD, Resistance: Fall of Man, and Madden NFL '07. There, reporters who had the feeling that Monday's Sony press conference was mainly chock full of unplayable demos that weren't ready for prime time, quickly lost that feeling as they discovered that many titles were much further along than had actually been written up.

Reporters generally had mixed opinions about the PS3 games they did see this morning, with Sega (remember them?) being the big winner. Virtua Tennis 3 didn't draw a lot of attention at first, until someone started playing and actually having fun with it. That drove some of the buzz away from Genji and Heavenly Sword, two swordfighting combat games that players seemed to think weren't innovative enough. Resistance: Fall of Man maintained the highest interest level among reporters, including those who had played it before during the Sony press conference on Monday; and F1 '07 seemed to appeal to the niche of racing gamers that Gran Turismo HD may have missed, with a grittier, more down-to-earth look and feel. More about reporters' first impressions of the real, playable PS3 games later on TG Daily.

No line at the PS3 exhibit right next door to Wii. How come...lack of interest? Not really. All the reporters are behind this panel, playing actual games.

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