E3 2014 has come and gone and while each E3 always has something to love, everyone always likes to debate. Who won E3 this year? Well, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what each company showcased this year and find out!
Josh: I’ve never been the biggest advocate of Microsoft gaming but this year they really went big. In the past they have typically bogged down their pressers with unnecessary segments featuring media outside of gaming, but this time it was 100 percent games! While I wasn’t interested in a majority of them there were a few standouts. Insomniacs Sunset overdrive looks stellar, both visually and gameplay wise. If the next gen Ratchet is anything like it than i will be the first in line. The new Halo Collection was nice but nothing that hasn’t been done before and the second season of Killer Instinct will be nice for fans of the game and genre. Everything else was quite niche and nothing I particularly have an interest in but it was nice to see Microsoft branching out from their usual stable of first and third person shooter fare.
While I wasn’t a fan of everything they showcased they did have something for everyone. The press conference kept momentum from beginning to end and had a clear focus throughout. If they can continue to build upon the success of this years E3 than Microsoft may be able to take back the crown from the PS4.
Daniel: There was actually a lot of good stuff from Microsoft this year in my opinion, which is strange to me as they often focus way too much on Kinect and their other casual properties. Some games they showed off that caught my eye were the amazingly beautiful and style filled Sunset Overdrive, the crazy DLC for Dead Rising 3, and Crackdown. The new Scalebound IP from PlatinumGames is intriguing, but I’d like to see more before going all in with my hype. In my opinion, Microsoft was second place this year, while there still isn’t something I decisively want to buy an Xbox One to play, Microsoft had a moderately strong showing. With a variety of games shown, decent exclusives, and no downtime during their press conference, it was actually a good watch.
Josh: Coming in as a huge Sony fan I had high hopes for this presser, and while it wasn’t the worst conference I had ever seen I was hoping for more… a lot more. Last year Sony mopped up the competition, focusing on the gamer and giving the fans what they wanted where the competition felt complacent with babbling about other forms of media and home entertainment. This year Sony thought it would be a good idea to copy the Microsoft of yesteryear and spend a big portion of their time talking about stuff that would have been better relegated to a blog post. The new ‘Powers’ TV show sounds promising but it had no place on stage where new and fun game experiences should have been shown off.
Out of the games they did show off their was something to be desired. At the conference itself we only got a bunch of pre-rendered trailers and a short gameplay segment featuring mostly cut-scenes (though they were beautiful). The Order: 1886 is one of my most anticipated titles, for it to be reduced to a series of quick time events of cut-scenes is a bit disappointing. The new Uncharted was given a full title but no details were given in terms of specifics, once again a disappointment. We did get a full demo for LBP3 but I’ve never been a fan and what they showed off didn’t win me over. The most intriguing reveal came courtesy of From Software (developer behind the ‘Souls’ titles), Bloodborne. While no gameplay was shown off at the conference there were behind the scenes sneak peeks that had everyone buzzing coming out of them. We even got some early leaked footage that promised some enthralling ‘Souls’ action. Still a shame we didn’t get any actual footage in the presser though.
In the end, Sony dropped the ball this year. Failing to mention the Vita in any important capacity and leaving out the vast majority of their first party studios left me wanting where they usually have me completely satisfied. What they did show off was cool, but in no way is it indicative of any final experiences. I guess I’ll have to wait till Gamescom to scratch my Sony itch.
Daniel: Sony’s conference this year was weak, weak, weak. While there were a few games I cared about in the mix, there was almost no gameplay shown off. Some games like The Order: 1886’s showcase (barely any gameplay, it was mostly limiting set pieces and QTEs), left me pretty disappointed. Let’s not forget the disaster that was this year’s E3 facepalm moment, Sony talking about the Powers TV series that they’re sponsoring for 20 minutes that seemed like an eternity. There was Metal Gear Solid V which looked great, but that was leaked that morning so the surprise was ruined, and while I am moderately excited for Uncharted 4, we already knew it was coming and only got a CG trailer with no gameplay! LittlebigPlanet 3 looked okay, but nothing I haven’t seen before from the other games in the series or other platformers on other consoles. The indie game showing was alright, but I rarely get hyped for games like that. The Vita was also ignored for the most part with the exception of the announcement of Playstation TV, which really doesn’t help the Vita sell at all. I usually look forward to Sony’s press conference as I do enjoy a lot of games for their console, but this year they really dropped the ball.
Nintendo’s Digital Event:
Josh: While typically not a fan of Nintendo I have to give props where they are due. Nintendo blew it out of the park this year, offering legitimate glimpses of a number of in development properties and hinting at even more to come later in the year. I may not have been excited for everything they had on display but their constant stream of content and breadth of genres really cemented them as the developer to beat this year of E3. Not being an owner of any Nintendo products this generation, I find myself wanting a WiiU and 3DS for the upcoming Smash Bros. and the brilliantly beautiful new Zelda (I’m a sucker for cell shading). Bayonetta 2 is also looking fantastic, the fact that the original comes packaged with silly Nintendo extras makes it all the more enticing.I also really appreciated the fact that Nintendo was willing to go outside of the box this year. Instead of returning to a regular press conference format they chose to expand upon their digital event from last year’s E3. This allowed them to perfect their message and pack in as much content as they wanted without having to worry about run time and the problems that plague all live broadcasts. Plus, they could get away with pitting the two biggest names of their corporate platform in a death battle on live TV ( Reggie totally should have taken that)! Nintendo pleased their core audience with a plethora of game announcements and stole the show when everyone had them down for the count.
Daniel: I may be a bit biased here, but Nintendo did everything they needed to this year. With a great lineup of games for the WiiU coming up already, all they really had to do to win was show more of what we already knew about. But almost everything Nintendo showed off this year was something I am looking forward to, and they even announced MORE games that will be coming next year on top of what I already knew I wanted, that are going to ensure I’ll be playing my WiiU for years to come.
Starting off with Smash Brothers and then ending off on it as well was a great way to bookend their great variety of titles like Yoshi’s Woolly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, the New Zelda, Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, and the surprise new IP Splatoon, which looks to be an incredibly fresh take on team-based shooting style games. While Nintendo didn’t focus on the 3DS much at all, it’s still doing strong with an already great built up library of games, and with a new Pokemon game on the horizon, I think it was the right choice to give the WiiU the spotlight this year. The Robot Chicken sketches that were peppered throughout the broadcast and the Smash Invitational/Nintendo Treehouse stream that took place over the entire week, truly showed that Nintendo is aware of what their fans want, and are even willing to laugh at themselves if necessary. This is something that Microsoft and Sony never really grasp, and I think it’s one of the thing that gives Nintendo it’s edge. Nintendo is my clear winner for this E3.
Well those are the opinions of us here at OTL News, feel free to leave a comment below about who you think won this year’s E3!