This year's EA press conference had to deliver three things for me: a focus on PC gaming, a ridiculously impressive Battlefield 3 demo, and the release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We got two out of three. The demo for Battlefield 3 was a visually impressive, superbly choreographed tank battle that showed off DICE's technology to the fullest. It looked violent, fun, and a step above the competition. In the war between CoD and Battlefield, Battlefield slew Activision's shooter.
Battlefield 3 was a great way to end the presentation, but it was rewarding as a PC gamer to see EA commit wholeheartedly to PC. Almost all of their big games were PC focused. They had a play for the Facebook market in the Sims Social. And with Origin, they're committing whole-heartedly to digital distribution for all of their titles. That means more PC games. In fact, the only game I thought we'd miss out on was Overstrike, the new multiplatform game from Resistance developers Insomniac.
The Old Republic had a low key showing. A new trailer, yes, but no live demo, no release date, and no details of a beta. Just a heartfelt plea from Dr Greg for attendees to come and play it. I think that's fine. MMO's do not play well on the big platform conferences, and I think they're wise to let the game speak for itself. It's just frustrating to have to face questions from non-PC gamers about what TOR actually plays like – when all they've seen is the CGI.
EA today looked like they understood what gamers want. Their games were smart, visually impressive, and occasionally innovative. They're looking strong. What did you think?