E3 2013: Aftermath

Although at the time of writing this, E3 isn’t “technically” over, the biggest news has already been made. For me, this has been one of the most exciting and memorable E3s in recent memory. There were many surprise announcements and a lot of games to be excited for. I feel much of the skepticism over the next generation of consoles has worn off. I have a lot of things to say about E3, but I think I should talk about the biggest news first. Last week I went over what Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony needed to do at E3. Coming out of E3, all three companies were successful.

Sony absolutely knocked it out of the park with their press conference. Sony finally revealed the look of the PS4 as well as a price and a release date. At $399, the Playstation 4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One and $200 cheaper than the launch price of the Playstation 3. Sony’s strategy for E3 was excellent and adaptive almost seeming tailored against the criticisms of the Xbox One. Sony wants consumers to compare their console to Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony’s new console has answer for everything that the new Xbox offers. The PS4 will play used games and will not require an internet connection at all. Single-player games can be played offline and physical games can be lent freely among friends. Furthermore PS4 games are not region-locked. Meaning games can be bought, or even lent across continents.

Microsoft has until “Holiday 2013” to get their act together.

While it failed in comparison to Sony, Microsoft still had a decent showing at E3. Microsoft did well in terms of exclusives. Respawn Entertainment’s new IP, Titanfall is a Microsoft-exclusive (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC) as is Dead Rising 3. Two major franchises, Kingdom Hearts 3 and the recently re-branded Final Fantasy XV will also be available on the Xbox One. While it didn’t have as much good news as the PS4, the Xbox One has much more appeal now that Microsoft has shown more games. Even though the Xbox One will have to sell despite itself, don’t write it off as a complete failure. The Call of Duty franchise for example, continues to make money each year despite rampant criticism each year. The biggest obstacle the Xbox One now faces is the price. The Kinect being bundled in with the console is a huge reason why the console is more expensive but Microsoft can’t exactly remove the Kinect considering how much money was spent on R&D. Microsoft will need to find their mainstream audience, which will likely happen given Microsoft’s new direction.

As for Nintendo, while not having an actual press conference they also still had a strong showing at E3. A new installment of the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. franchises are coming to the Wii U, which should kick-start the Wii U. This is ironic, because the previous installments of these franchises landed on the Wii back in 2008 and helped the system reach Nintendo’s hardcore fans. If history repeats itself, the Wii U will finally break out of its current slump. A new Zelda was also announced… for the Nintendo 3Ds. At the very least Nintendo is maintaining a firm grip of the handheld market. However Nintendo will need more games if they want the Wii U to sell. Like Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is in a better place coming out of E3 than going in.

The 3DS also struggled to sell when it was released. Nothing a price drop and a new Zelda game couldn’t fix.

As recent as last week, there was a shared skepticism over the next generation of consoles. Sony has shown why a new generation of consoles is relevant; the Playstation 4 has complete justification to exist. Unlike the Xbox One, the PS4 is not being “forced” upon the gaming community but rather presented as an option. A possible next step that may be taken at a customer’s convenience. This is a philosophy of customer convenience is reflected in the features of the PS4. The social media is Sony’s answer to Xbox Live Gold; specifically features like Live Chat and Xbox Live Friends. Sony wants their players to be able share memorable moments, and even games with their friends. Gamers can lend games to their friends or trade in their old games. Sony wants their customers to be happy, with the both service Sony provides and the library of games. For these reasons, and for the games they showed, Sony has undoubtedly won this years E3.

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About Sam Hale

Autistic, young adult and lots on my mind.

Posted on June 13, 2013, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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