Six Takeaways from E3 2012

Posted June 12th, 2012 at 9:45 am

With E3 2012 in the books here’s a look at the themes that emerged from the event that go beyond just impressions of the games that were on hand. 

•NBA 2K13 Winning Battle Over NBA Live 13 By Default
2K Sports didn’t have to do much to come out of E3 in even better shape as competition returns to NBA gaming. All that was needed was sit back and let EA Sports implode with a disappointing showing of Live the magnitude of which is actually difficult to achieve in a setting where media tends to give the benefit of the doubt.

•Madden NFL 13 Takes Center Stage; NCAA Football 13 a Backseat
It’s probably a good thing that Amazon is offering NCAA Football 13 for just $45 because Madden NFL 13 is being set up as the premiere product that offers innovation and value. Madden though does have the $15 promo credit to factor in too. Announcements regarding the “Infinity Engine” physics and “Connected Careers” catapulted the perception of Madden this year while NCAA took a hit by instead focusing on gimmicks like “Reaction Time”. EA Sports even pushed out the demo for NCAA during the event to try and change the story for NCAA but it’ll be hard to sell it as a product of the same caliber now.

•Confidence High in FIFA 13 and NHL 13
The follow-up to the fastest selling sports game in history (FIFA 12) is in great shape and wowed those who were shown demonstrations and got some hands-on time. EA also had a first for the NHL series by placing it out on the show floor which is a terrific sign for the quality of that title.

•THQ’s Ship Still Sinking
With the company in dire straits it was recognized that if they were to go under completely the licenses for UFC and WWE would be freed up. In a proactive move THQ approached EA and sold them the UFC license. THQ is looking to handle primarily, or maybe only, their own IP rather than shell out for expensive licenses. WWE could be moved as well though there don’t seem to be many opportunities for that to happen. EA is going to be swamped bringing on UFC and (hopefully) MLB in the coming years.

•Bizarre Situation Regarding EA on Wii U
No sports games were promoted for the upcoming Nintendo console at E3. NBA 2K13 will be on the Wii U in the launch window but it wasn’t shown either. What is particularly weird though is that Nintendo says EA Sports will have titles ready for launch (Madden and FIFA) but Peter Moore is on record saying the company will not put out any sports games this year on Wii U. Introducing a hardcore controller, and the ability to have local multiplayer (even if the framerate gets cut in half because of it), makes the console more friendly to sports. But will the support from third party companies be there?

•Bleak Outlook for the PlayStation Vita
Expectations were that Sony would push the struggling Vita handheld mightily at E3 but the opposite happened. It was almost completely ignored in their press conference. Those who wonder why NBA 2K13 won’t release on the Vita, or why Madden will be based on last year’s version of the game rather than Madden 13, the answer is clear – the system isn’t relevant enough to compel third parties to invest heavily and in fact they’re finding it better to steer clear of doing so for the time being.

  • Guest

    This is exactly why I stayed away from the Vita. I was hugely disappointed in the lack of support for the handheld and the lack of titles for it. It had a few shining moments but I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. Is it really worth all that cash just to play the Show? 

    • Guest

      I need to clarify that I was comparing it to the original PSP.

      • Bdiddy

        I have the vita and the answer to your question is an emphatic yes. I’m in a hotel right now and have progressed my franchise by ~10 or so games this week between flying and sitting up and playing before I sleep. Last year I had to go on a bender in Feb just to complete a full season in franchise mode. This year I’m way ahead and it is all because of the vita. Instead of playing angry birds or temple run in airports, hotels, other boring waiting times I pull out the show and get in a game. I desperately hope it turns around because this is the piece of the puzzle I’ve wanted for all my sports titles franchise modes for years. It has finally come true and people don’t even get the value. So frustrating. 🙁

        • Keith.

          I agree.  I also think that NBA2k or NHL on Vita would be awesome.  As it stands, I’m really looking forward to Foosball 2012 and FIFA 13, and The Show again next year.  It’ll also be nice to finally get YouTube on Vita later this month.

    • Amen_Ra

      Yeah the Vita was for the hardcore crowd. I bought 3 versions of the PSP. 1000 -3000, I’m done with handhelds.

      I even quit gaming on iPad and iPhone, i just can’t find value in that b.s.

  • I hate how NCAA gets treated like a 2nd class citizen. Before next gen systems I would agree Madden was better, but NCAA was still right there as entertaining. Since 360 and PS3 NCAA has been better IMO Madden is just the same they have taken out many things that made the game great. Both games have lost things that made them great but Madden has added way more gimmicks. I enjoy the NCAA demo feel it is very fun even with out that new physics that Madden has(I don’t know much about physics in gaming but it wouldn’t excite me until I play and see).  Now Madden takes away draft classes which they didn’t care for last year and now im hearing no editing players… SMH sorry Madden you won’t be getting my money until they add the great things back and connect with NCAA more.

    • guest

      i thought the ncaa gameplay wasn’t impressive in the demo

      •  I like the feel of it the game is different. Yeah the default difficulty is on Varsity so no challenge but the general feel is different. Leading receivers defenders actually looking for the ball.

    • Amen_Ra

      Yeah I was going to skip on NCAA until that demo dropped.  I’d still bet it ends up playing better than Madden on the field, even without all those bells and whistles.

  • Lonnie

    forgive me if i missed it but pasta did you get to play nhl13? and how much is it improved over 12 to warrent putting it on the show floor?…thanks

    • Keith.

      It’s a surprise to me to learn it was playable on the show floor — I haven’t been able to find any videos anywhere.

      • HornedJOG

        Pasta had mentioned that it was on the floor but they had EA guys doing demonstrations with it instead of just being able to play it freely. Maybe they werent allowing video?

        • Thestorm

          Pasta better recognize madden will take the huge hit word is getting about all the features they have taken out. Just you wait madden 13 will be the biggest loser out of e3 this year

  • Whoa Its Me

    This guy is an idiot, their was a shit load of games at the Vita station. The reason Madden 12 engine will be on Vita 13 is the same reason the PSP engine was always behind a year. That’s the way EA decided to do it. Sony had over 30 Vita games at E3 1st and 3rd Party. Just because the focus wasn’t on Vita a the press conf. all that could have been is a pressed for time issue. Give the full story when you write these articles. NBA 2K13 I agree with you but that’s probably more 2K money issue than anything else. They supported the PSP for 3 years but the game was made in China not No. Cali.