Man, 2010 is going to be AWESOME!
E3 is usually where the industry learns about all the biggest games of the year. At E3 2009, though, that year we're learning about increasingly seems to be 2010.
Both Sony and Microsoft showed off new motion controller prototypes targeted for "Spring 2010" and (unofficially) "Fall 2010 at the earliest," respectively. Nintendo announced new 3D Mario, Zelda and Metroid games for the Wii, none of which are coming out this year. Square showed off the first gameplay footage of Final Fantasy XIII and announced the new PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy XIV, both coming in 2010. Hideo Kojima's endlessly teased Metal Gear Solid: Rising got a wide open 2010 release window.
The intriguingly LittleBigPlanet-like ModNation Racers? 2010. EA's newly announced mixed martial arts game? 2010. Rockstar's PS3 exclusive Agent? 2010. Alan Wake? 2010.
God of War III? 2010. Crackdown 2? 2010. Ghost Recon 4? 2010. Halo: Reach? 2010. No More Heroes 2? 2010. Mass Effect 2? 2010.
I'm sorry, I thought this was E3 2009.
Sure, there are plenty of big 2009-targeted titles being shown off on the show floor (way too many to list, in fact). And it is nice to see publishers aiming some releases at the usually empty first quarter of next year, rather than cramming everything into the 2009 holiday season. But sitting through press conference after press conference over the past two days, I was amazed at how much of the industy's focus has already shifted to projects that won't see the light of day for at least seven months. Increasingly, this year's show seems filled with early looks and mentions of games that aren't really far enough along to merit early looks and mentions. Knowing this industry, a lot of these projects will be changed substantially and pushed back even further before they finally see a release.
In short, don't be surprised if E3 2010 feels a lot like E3 2009 redux.