E3 is generally regarded as the biggest gaming event of the year. It’s Superbowl levels of spectacle mixed with the surprise and consumerism of Christmas. We expect huge surprises as each conference out-does each other for publicity, pre-orders, and the honor of who ‘won’ E3. But does a winner matter anymore? At least for this year it didn’t feel that way.
When new consoles launch however, E3 is much more about winning. Setting the tone with a strong first impression is important when winning over those incredibly important first-adopters.
At E3 2013, Sony capitalized on Microsoft’s no-used-game and always-online PR bungle and leapt out to a huge lead. These two announcements led to hilarious amounts of cheers.
Of course, Sony made their own mistakes at E3, most notably when debuting their behemoth original PS3 to the ludicrous price of $599. Sony banked heavily on the game console becoming a media center and loaded the first model with all kinds of physical card readers, multiple usb ports, and more that ballooned the price.
For E3 2017, I’m not sure if anyone ‘won’, but I would definitely give Microsoft ‘most improved’. They’ve been fighting the public perception that Sony is the place for exclusives and indies. I was impressed by their lineup and as a PS4 owner, jealous that they’ll be the first to play Tacoma, PlayerUnknown Battleground’s (on console), and Ori 2.
The Scorpio also made the PS4 Pro seem like the clear #2 when it comes to premium home consoles.
Sony at this point, focused on the games. Theirs is the last of the big conferences (besides blue-ocean Nintendo) and they must have assumed viewers would be tired of corporate-speak and gimmicky presenters by that point.
Critics point to the lack of new games. Sure, Spiderman and God of War looked great, but viewers looking for the dopamine rush of a new IP were left unsatisfied.
What would have satisfied the critics?
Games take more than a year to create, so blowing the crowd’s mind annually is probably impossible. Shenmue and FFVII Remake were nostalgic fun, but they’re obviously still so far off that we didn’t get any kind of trailer for either.
Nintendo’s Metroid Prime 4 and Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 felt like the most traditional E3 ‘OMG’ moments. They both draw heavily on nostalgia for critically acclaimed and culty-loved games that looked as if they’d never receive a sequel. Those were definitely my most-remembered moments, but with zero gameplay to show for either, it’s another cheap thrill lacking substance. With many years of hype and high expectations to come.
Did E3 2017 Succeed?
An E3 should make you excited for gaming in the near and distant future. As a PS4-owner I’m very excited to eventually play Spiderman and maybe try my first-ever God of War. Days Gone seems a bit too generic to get my hopes up, but there could be a solid story hidden underneath all the motorcycles and zombies.
As a fan of the industry, I’m happy to see the main competitors continue to evolve. Even though EA’s conference was as obnoxious and corporate as ever, at least they’ve realized that Battlefront 2 needed more.
The next important E3 will be when Sony and Microsoft tell us how the console generation format will continue after the Pro and X. If one of them flubs their message to angry consumers, the other could pick up the pieces and run with away once more. Backwards compatibility and price could be huge issues moving forward.
As for your comments? Smoke em if you got em.