OK. Now you can go on vacation. Technically, E3 goes from a Tuesday to a Thursday. In reality, it's preceded by a couple days of news conferences, and trailed by a week of coverage as writers return from Los Angeles and empty out their notebooks. We'll be doing plenty of that ourselves beginning tomorrow. Looking back, it was a hell of a newsy E3, especially for one that hit 50,000 registered attendees for the first time in 10 years. Bethesda Softworks kicked it off with a first-ever keynote jampacked with goodies, from a baller IRL Pip-Boy to a Fallout base-building game you can play right now. Sony uncorked a wish-fulfillment extravaganza that featured Shenmue 3 (sorta), Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and The Last Guardian. Microsoft splashed the pot with a backward compatibility program for Xbox One. EA showcased Mass Effect: Andromeda, put a launch date on Mirror's Edge Catalyst, and offered this unexpectedly sexy moment (OK, that's a joke.) Ubisoft had tricks up its sleeve, too with a South Park RPG sequel and For Honor, a bloody multiplayer swordfighter. That was Monday. Tuesday was mainly a swamp of why-bother keynotes, particularly the PC Gaming Show, though Nintendo at least shelled out for some slick Muppets. But if you want to recap all the news conferences you can see Bethesda's, Microsoft's, Electronic Arts', Ubisoft's, Sony's, Nintendo's and Square Enix's in eight minutes or less, each. It's tough picking five stories to describe a week packed to the gills with news, but we'll try anyway. Welcome to Press Start, a recap of the week in games and gaming culture to get you ready for the one ahead.
Last Week in Five Stories
This E3 was the best in years
This E3 was the best show in years. Not because of big console announcements or surprise game launches. No, this year was different — and better — because there was hope.
Reggie Fils-Aime: Iwata didn't apologize for Nintendo's E3; we make great games
"It was not an apology," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "It was not a statement about the content we're showing, essentially it was an 'I hear you' message." The not-apology, the message, was a tweet sent out by Iwata seemingly in reaction to a tidal wave of negative online reaction to the company's E3 Nintendo Direct this week.
Hands-on with Destiny: The Taken King and Bungie's return to its Halo roots
The story of Destiny since its release is as much about the changes to the game as it is about the game that shipped last year. In many ways, the continuing story of Destiny is about a couple hundred game-makers and several million players learning what each side wants and meeting somewhere in the middle.
HoloLens is amazing, but that Minecraft demo was misleading
Microsoft demoed a version of Minecraft during its press conference by shooting footage through the Hololens hardware connected to a camera. The result was a magical look at the future of augmented reality. All that being said, the demo was incredibly misleading.
Tips on how to make a good Super Mario Maker level, from a 30-year Nintendo veteran
Less is more. That's the advice Nintendo's Takashi Tezuka, who's worked on dozens of Super Mario games since 1985's Super Mario Bros., offered when I asked him what makes a good Mario level.