Hmmm, how to start. I guess I was really expecting more from this year and yet at the same time I'm not completely disappointed with certain aspects of this years showings. Before really taking off with this article I would like to point out that when it comes to ""winning" this year's E3 I'm only counting Sony and Microsoft in the fight; that isn't to say Nintendo failed. Nintendo did the smartest move for them, escape the would-be bloodbath that is the "showing off of new consoles" battle and just showed people games that they want to see, thus saving them time, face and lots of money. I'd also like to point out that if publishers are going to show up and hold conferences then they are also up for win/loss judgement. so without further ado I give you my thoughts on this years E3.
Microsoft started the show already down a peg by announcing their plans to stop the used game market from taking advantage of them. Then they have a pretty boring show with not a lot to prove why I should put up with their new, not quite, DRM standards. Sure the new Metal Gear game looked good, but then again it's not exclusive to the Xbox One, despite the quick slip up by Major Nelson. Killer Instinct was a cool reveal, but it's not enough to sell a system, at least to me. One of the coolest things I saw that intrigued me was Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, a game that looks like Pixar meets Limbo with it's own ingenuity. The bonus to that game? It's coming out for the Xbox 360! Another game that caught my interest was Sunset Overdrive but there wasn't enough known about the game to really make me NEED a new console.
There were some other games that just didn't jump out and impress me, maybe if they were current gen I would be a little more thoughtful of them, but they just didn't scream next generation to me, which at this important juncture is an important necessity. Dead Rising 3 impressed with the amount of bodies on screen, but the series looks like it's left it's quirky, comedic feel behind it for a generic zombie survival game. Had they branded this as the action shooter for the Walking Dead series I would have been slightly more intrigued, but without that quirk, Dead Rising 3 looks pretty dull. A quick Halo tease and some Forza weren't enough to hold my attention and of course make me forget about the fact that I don't actually own anything that I buy from this company. And then the hammer fell on the nail of the coffin that was the Xbox One in my eyes, the price. Not only is the body of this Xbox huge, it's price tag is pretty hefty as well coming in at $499 (not to be mistaken with $500, think of the savings!). I found that Microsoft didn't show of anything that was worth that kind of money to me, nothing I couldn't get by spending a little extra money and getting a newer PC.
But I must move on and so I'll go onto the Sony show. While I'm still not on board with getting the PS4, it is more intriguing to me than the Xbox One. For one they ended their show with a promise that things wouldn't change on the used game front as well as not having to be always online, a nice way to cap off their show. They showed off a lot of stuff that we're seeing on other consoles, Batman, a bunch of indie games, and so on. Again things didn't look overly next gen, or at least what I think next gen should look like, but some stuff at the other shows (EA and Ubisoft) did show off some stuff. They did show off the look of the new console, sleek look, still too boxy for my tastes, but that ain't what sells a console. The fact that it's small is nice and that does add points to the PS4. Another thing that adds points is the price coming in at $399 (again $400 being an unsightly number). It was also nice to see that Sony wasn't giving up completely on the PS3, with some announcements for it. Beyond Two Souls is looking way more action packed than I was expecting and is has my attention much more than before. Some of the graphics they showed off were more impressive and Destiny by Bungie looked like a ton of fun to play and gorgeous to boot. I can see where some of the appeal is in next gen I'm just not sure if it's a necessity yet. Sony really did impress me, enough to make me consider a "next gen console" when before the show I couldn't be bothered. The price is pretty close to right for me and with some extra game announcements I can see myself getting one of these systems sometime in the future. So out of Sony and Microsoft you should be able to tell who took it home in my opinion by now, if you can't it was Sony. But they weren't the only people to show up.
EA also performed well showing off some stuff that proved that next gen would be worth investing in. While I'm not a huge FPS guy the new Battlefield blew me away and got me quite excited about the PS4/XboxOne's abilities. Didn't see enough of Dragon Age to really get stoked, but if it's better than 2 I'll be happy. And now I'll admit that I have never played Star Wars Battlefront (never had the system to do so), so when the quick trailer came on I wasn't as excited as most people probably were, but that isn't to say I'm not happy for all my friends who are super stoked about this title. It's also the first we're seeing out of EA after Disney gave them the Star Wars license, so good move on their part. Titanfall, not impressed. I can see this game ending up like Brink and that scares me. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare looks like a ton of fun and I look forward to seeing more from that game. And a quick comment on EA Sports, your games are getting too complicated; you've been here before and had to take a big step back and I feel like we're approaching that time again. If I wanted to play sports I'd go outside, if I want to be good at them I play games. Lastly, Mirror's Edge! Holy cow! Nice finish EA, real nice. The short parts of the game that were seen look amazing and word on the street is it's an open world experience this time around. Exciting I know.
Then there's Ubisoft... The Division looked good, real good, I'm just not sure what it is exactly. Something to keep my eye on. Watchdog looks just as cool as it did before. Splinter Cell got a seizure inducing trailer that told everyone nothing. I personally could care less about Assassin's Creed anymore and then Ubisoft presenter was again a complete moron who should never speak publicly again. And then the tease at the end, "we have one more thing to show you". AND IT'S NOT BEYOND GOOD & EVIL 2?! What is wrong with you people?!
Sorry about that. In any case, EA took the winning place when it came to developer conferences, hands down. they could have shown 64 player Battlefield and walked away and still won.
And of course Nintendo. I'm very glad I own a Wii U every time Nintendo does a Nintendo Direct and they haven't failed me yet. New Mario games, revamped Wind Waker and of course Super Smash. Donkey Kong looked great and Retro is the studio to pull that game off again. The 3DS also got some love, Pokemon love and of course Super Smash Bros. love. Biggest news here is that Mega Man is in a fighting game again! And it's Super Smash! The game is looking stellar and now we get to have some fun while they keep teasing us with character releases. Nintendo has me wanting to play so many games and I really think not doing a giant conference worked in their favor. There were no real expectations and they had no technical difficulties (other than the live stream being laggy), but if you watch the recorded show it's flawless.
This year's E3 changed my opinion of "next-gen" which is what it had to do. It also changed my opinion on which console I thought I would have on my shelf eventually. Sony and EA won the confernces and Nintendo impressed in their own ways. I refuse to watch another Ubisoft conference if they have that woman hosting. and I refuse to even look at the Xbox One until Microsoft goes back on pretty much everything the've said over the last week. Definite image shifting all around the industry after this show, with Sony, Nintendo and EA coming out on top.