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It has been more than a week after this year’s E3, otherwise known as the Electronic Gaming Expo, and exciting times are ahead as the next console generation with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 begins this fall. The console war between Microsoft and Sony have definitely lived up to being one, but things are just getting started for the two giant companies with their new consoles. Some of Entertainment Fuse’s writers have more of their thoughts of what transpired the past couple of weeks from E3 itself to Microsoft’s 180 turn regarding their DRM and used game policies with the Xbox One.
The past couple of weeks have been the craziest I seen with the video game industry in a long time. It is not just the excitement for the next generation of consoles alone, but the fact that gamers are having even more of a voice in terms of persuading big decisions made by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. From the loudest reaction of an announcement that reminds me of old-school Nintendo E3 conferences with Sony’s stance on used games and DRM to Microsoft quickly reversing their policies regarding those same two things a week after following a disappointing E3 in terms of marketing and messaging. Sure, social media wasn't as a big back in the beginning of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3’s lifespans, but that alone has pushed Microsoft and Sony even harder to keep gamers happy.
As far as E3 is concerned, there were surely exciting games present at the show, but most of them personally for me are games that are coming out in 2014. Respawn’s Titanfall is easily the best shooter at the show and quite the shakeup the genre needed in terms of excitement and energy. As a music fan, I was also impressed with Disney and Harmonix’s Fantasia: Music Evolved as Harmonix never disappoints when it comes to pushing the rhythm genre into new directions. Of course, the games that are still coming out this year are still good, but there was nothing surprising to me. Get your wallets ready for this fall gamers, because you’re going to spend a lot if you’re planning to get amazing games and also new consoles if you’re planning to buy them at launch.
Microsoft's conference was not a bad conference. It was actually quite good. The games they showed were arguably stronger than the ones Sony presented. They showed game after game after game, and it was clear they were trying to redeem themselves from the announcement conference a month or two back.
Sony just managed to come out and say EXACTLY what the gaming community wanted them to. It was a big slap to Microsoft's face. $100 less for the price of the system, no DRM, borrowing used games was as simple as handing them to your fellow friend. I will admit however. that Microsoft did have more games that I wanted to play. No matter how strong Sony's conference was.
There were a couple of surprises when it came to games, like Fez 2 (though ambiguous), the inevitable inclusion of Mega Man in Super Smash Bros which was awesome, Tom Clancy's The Division rocked the house down with its seamless mechanics and amazingly detailed world, and Murdered: Soul Suspect, which has you solving your own murder as a ghost that can traverse the environment by walking through walls and such.
Where to begin with E3…well being that I've been an avid Playstation lover since my opposable thumbs were big enough to reach the triangle button, E3 gave me a few chuckles. Between Microsoft’s robotic conference and Sony’s video of how to share games, far more laughs were given to me than I anticipated. On a serious note though I believe that Sony won the E3 console war, which yes maybe because I’m a little bias but also because of the slip-ups and errors Microsoft made with their initial ideas, we all know what I mean by this…Of course some people may refute this opinion, but Microsoft’s recent announcement indicates that even they know they messed up with a few things.
However, when it came to the game exclusives shown at E3 the Xbox One took the round. Between Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, and Dead Rising 3 (hearing the word ‘exclusive’ made me weep a little), Microsoft defiantly clawed back some brownie points. As for game developers efforts, Ubisoft’s Watch_Dogs really impressed me and after one minute of seeing Konami’s next Metal Gear Solid installment I realized what my first next-gen game purchase would be, although they really need to do something about that soundtrack…
E3 did disappoint me a little though, as I felt that there was a certain lack of diversity, as most of the titles shown by developers were sequels. I like a good franchise as much as the next gamer but I would have liked to see more fresh faces making an appearance in the next gen world. Of course it is too early to expect everyone to be unleashing every snippet of idea and creative thought that they have and I’m sure more original games are in the pipeline for both the Xbox One and PS4 but I just wish a few more could have been unveiled or at least spoken of.
On the whole though I enjoyed the expo. The calibur of the games shown was very high, especially graphically and for the first time since talk erupted about the next gen consoles, I am actually excited to get my hands on one. If I have the money I will definitely be spending it on a PS4 when they are made available, but I won’t be getting rid of my PS3 anytime soon as so many good games are still to be released for our current and much better looking might I add, consoles.
I wonder what next year’s E3 will bring, I’m excited already…wait, did I mention Nintendo……………………………..I got nothing.
So another E3 is in the books. Overall I thought it was a fantastic show. Most importantly each conference brought the games in full force this year. At Microsoft's I most enjoyed Dead Rising 3, Quantum Break, Titanfall, and Ryse. The price of the Xbox One was disappointing but isn't enough to ruin the excitement I have for the console. EA looked to continue their dominance with another strong showing. As someone who has never enjoyed Battlefield, the 64 player demo of BF4 had me hooked and I'm definitely going to jump in this time around.
Ubisoft also didn't let us down by delivering once again more great games across all platforms. Whilst not delivering the same wow moment of last year with Watch_Dogs, they still had The Division, The Crew as well as showing more of Splinter Cell Blacklist which I hope can continue the series' strong efforts so far.
Nintendo opted to not hold a conference which in hindsight seems like a good idea as they really would have looked out of place against the two heavy hitters this year. Failed live stream aside, the games that were shown were actually really good. You are never going to get strong 3rd party support on a Nintendo console again, but if you only buy the system for those three to five awesome first party games they you have to be happy. Once the system is cheap and I can buy Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Kart 8, I'll pick one up for sure.
Sony looked to be in the best position heading into E3 after many were underwhelmed with the Xbox One reveal and seemed set to win E3 considerably if they brought the big guns out. Whilst the games side looks surprisingly weak for a company known for its exclusives, it's policies and ultimately their attitude to gamers is what won people over the most. Even after Microsoft's 180 recently, Sony seems to still be the gamer's choice at this moment in time.
Even after both console reveals and strong E3 conferences for different reasons, I am still undecided on both new systems. I believe people that are immediately calling the Xbox One a failure are being completely irrational and that both systems will sell very well over the coming years with no clear winner, just like last gen. For me personally I can realistically only afford one console and right now I still can't make that choice.