The three big conferences of E3 are over. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all taken the stage in what turned out to be great displays of where each company is at the video game industry. With Nintendo bringing an impressive look at the first next-generation console, Sony improving on all of the things it already does so well, and Microsoft, well… trying to stay in the game with yet another unnecessary entry to the Halo franchise, it’s shaping up to be an exciting year to be a gamer.
Now, I know that Ubisoft had the biggest and most exciting presentation of E3, but because they are making games for every console, the real competition comes down to the Big 3 of gaming. So how did their presentations stack-up?
Microsoft’s E3 presentation, in all honesty, was abysmal. Sure, they showed a lot of big games, but most of the titles presented were multi-platform titles, like Black Ops II, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Assassin’s Creed III. The only impressive exclusive they showed was the trailer for Halo 4, which proves that the series may see it’s first decent title since Halo 2. Many are saying that Microsoft’s SmartGlass idea is brilliant, effectively bridging mobile devices with the Xbox 360. This allows a user to download a movie or TV Show on their mobile device, begin watching it, and then continue to watch it on their HDTV at home. However, Microsoft is certainly not the first to use this technology, and Sony has already been beta-testing their mobile suite for a year. The announcement that Internet Explorer would be coming to the Xbox wasn’t necessary at all, and just felt like they needed something to talk about to take up time. Unfortunately, Microsoft has clearly ended up behind the rest of the pack. After watching the company’s E3 show, the future of the Xbox seems rocky at best.
Sony had a very impressive show, and while it may not have featured a wealth of gaming information, the games the were talked about were exciting. The announcement, and gameplay footage, of Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two World was incredible, showing off the amazing technology demonstrated previously in their short animated film Kara. Along with new gameplay from The Last of Us, and Sony All-Stars Battle Royale, the PlayStation has some great exclusive titles coming this year, and it’s nice to see the inclusion of Vita support for most of them. While I was disappointed that no knew Vita-exclusive titles were talked about, I was very excited at the unveiling of Sony’s Wonderbook. A lot of people seem to have overlooked this peripheral, but it presents a very unique experience for a younger audience, effectively opening the PlayStation 3 to a much wider market, a brilliant move on Sony’s part. Coupled with the partnership with J.K. Rowling, it’s sure to be an interesting device. The focus also shifted to improving PlayStation Plus, and it’s nice to see a company deliver on its promises in such a big way only a day after they announced the changes. Sony definitely has a lot going for it in the future.
Ah, Nintendo. While they may have gotten a bit of a bad rap from “hardcore gamers” over the past few years, the company knows what it is doing. I was very skeptical about the Wii U going into E3, but I can say that I was genuinely impressed by the third-party support and unique features of the system. Ubisoft alone is developing nine games for the system, all of which are very impressive. With the announcement that titles like Assassin’s Creed III, Darksiders II, Mass Effect 3, and an exclusive enhanced version of Arkham City, are coming to the Wii U, it shows that Nintendo is in no way about to abandon the core gaming market. While the company eventually focused on some casual titles, like Just Dance 4 (which looks impressive and will be a lot of fun for fans of the series) and Wii Fit, they look to be unique experiences instead of falling into the trap of just being more of the same. The showed opened with the always-enjoyable Miyamoto giving what is perhaps the biggest announcement, Pikmin 3, and demonstrated the way the Wii U’s Gamepad screen is used to enhance your playing experience. Nintendo featured 23 titles for the upcoming console, with many of those being Nintendo exclusives, such as LEGO City: Undercover, which surprisingly got the audience, myself included, excited, and New Super Mario Bros U. The company has a lot up its sleeve, and still has more to announce at their 3DS conference tonight.
So who won E3? It’s safe to say that Nintendo is taking home the gold here. Sony did well with the presentation of their upcoming exclusives and the Wonderbook, but the Nintendo conference just had so much excitement in the air, and really gave an optimistic look at the Wii U. Microsoft, on the other hand, really needs to pull itself together and try to find a way to breathe some life into its system.
All-in-all, E3 this year has been fairly impressive. Keep checking Explosion.com for all of your E3 updates.