Well, E3 is finally over. Okay it’s actually been over for some time now. But it was such a big show that I wanted to make sure that I took everything in and knew what I wanted to say. Even now I imagine I’ll forget to talk about a game or two. There are simply too many to keep track of.
Not that I’m complaining. You all know how it is, with past E3’s there’s always been that one game that steals the show. Last year it was Watch_Dogs (and deservedly so). But this year there were plenty of surprises and noteworthy games to keep everyone talking about something.
Let’s get started with the obvious stuff: the press conferences. While I plan on talking about some games individually, it’s important to note the overall tone of the conferences. They tend to inform the rest of the show and as you all know by now, they did more than just that.
After Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal, they said that come their E3 press conference they would show nothing but games. And to their credit they followed through on that. They even managed to gather some third party exclusives in the shape of Ryse and Dead Rising 3. Hell there was even a trailer for a new Halo game.
It’s worth noting briefly that that Halo game wasn’t called “Halo 5”. I do wonder why that is since they called the last game “Halo 4”. It seems odd to break the numbering scheme now.
I also feel the need to mention the large technical difficulties they had during the show. I can only imagine how all the people back stage are freaking out, trying to fix it before it becomes too awkward. Alas, they never managed to fix the sound issue for Crimson Dragon and they simply had the cancel the Battlefield 3 demo. My heart goes out to those guys, nothing has got to feel worse.
Lastly, there’s the price. What can be said? It’s $500. I bought a PS3 when it was $600, but that was also seven years ago. Nowadays I spend my money different ways and on different things. Microsoft’s game offerings along with their attempt to take over the living room aren’t enough to pull me in.
Overall though Microsoft’s press conference was was fine. With the exception of Metal Gear Solid V, nothing truly blew me away. Unfortunately MS’ conference was still stained with all the recent press about their used-games and online policies. This led to most people being a bit down on the conference, as they were expecting some mention of the elephant in the room.
EA took the stage next and showed off a lot of stuff I wasn’t too interested in. Sports just aren’t my thing and I don’t care too much for Dragon Age. Despite that, Titalfall looks pretty fun and I’m excited for Mirror’s Edge 2.
Of course we were all frothing at the mouth over Battlefront. Now that DICE is developing it I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on that one. Too bad it’s only just started development though. It’s most likely something we won’t see until 2015.
Ubisoft was easily the most boring conference of the day. With the exception of “The Crew” and “The Division” there wasn’t much to pay attention to. We got some CG trailers for Watch_Dogs and Assassin’s Creed 3, but nothing too exciting. I was impressed the most by “The Division”, something I’ll talk about in my next post.
I think that Ubisoft could improve their conferences by getting rid of their celebrity hosts. Sure, Aisha Tyler knows her stuff. But nothing says pandering like hiring a celebrity to host your conference for you. All of the companies have one of the higher-ups host and that works out pretty well for them.
And to close out Monday night, we had Sony. Their conferences are always the longest one and this one was no different. They began with some brief mentions of the PS3 and all of the cool games coming for that system. Unfortunately we did have to suffer through Sony’s brief attempt to get people excited about their media offerings. Their only problem was that they chose someone who had clearly never been on stage before, or read any teleprompter of sorts. It slowed the momentum and no doubt made several people stop watching outright.
But then came the PS4 stuff. First off, we saw the box. It’s finally there for people to look at. Personally I never understood why everyone got up in arms over Sony not showing the box back in February. The Wii is one of the ugliest consoles I’ve ever see and the WiiU looks like nothing more than an external harddrive and people still buy them (well, they bought the Wii). For what it’s worth, I do enjoy the look of the box, but I don’t think that would ever made my decision for me.
We got our look at AC3 and Watch_Dogs from Ubisoft. We got some amazing trailers from Square Enix, and a slew of indie games. By the end, everyone was already stoked. But then Jack Tretton came out and laid down the final blows. He announced Sony’s used games and online policies for the PS4. Simply put: there are none. The crowd went nuts. It’s amazing too, because Sony managed to turn the tide against Microsoft by simply leaving things alone. By not changing something, they accomplished way more than anyone expected.
It didn’t end there obviously. Tretton then proceeded to announce the very comfortable price point of $400. Despite having a job, I am a college student which means I still trade in games. So coupling that with the exclusives Sony has down the line and the great price, I see no reason to make the PS4 my console of choice. In fact the next day I went out and preordered one myself.
Sony’s conference was one filled with excitement. From the time they started talking about PS4 games to the time they announced their price, I was thrilled. It was the most excited I’d been since Gabe Newell came out and announced that Portal 2 would becoming to the PS3. Surprises like that don’t happen very often in the industry anymore and it’s always a pleasure experiencing those.
In my next post I’ll discuss Nintendo’s E3 briefing along with all the games I saw and enjoyed from E3 2013.