Well this is it, the Day zero of E3 is finally over and both Microsoft and Sony have finished their Press Conferences. For those who didn’t have enough time to watch both of the conferences New England Gamer has you covered. You can go and check out the Microsoft E3 Press Conference Here, or the Sony E3 Press Conference Here.
Now I had a theory about the two conferences and how terrible the Xbox One reveal was compared to the PlayStation 4 reveal event. Now while I fully agree that the PlayStation 4 reveal was far superior, I believe Sony went about their conference in the wrong way. They had chosen to present their conference via live stream instead of the way Microsoft went, on Spike TV. This led to a massive difference in viewership with the Xbox One’s reveal leading the way. Now this might have been to Sony’s advantage because that large audience watched Microsoft stumble and fall over.
Fast forward to yesterday, Microsoft had an extremely strong E3 press conference, only talking about the games, the one thing their reveal was missing. Sony on the other hand had a weaker presentation but touched upon a few things that put up a great fight and turned the tides of the console war forever. When gamers of future generations look back, Day zero of E3 2013 will be the moment the industry changed.
Microsoft’s Press Conference
Microsoft had kicked things off the brand new Metal Gear showing the trailer immediately followed by gameplay. This was a step in the right direction. Followed by the MGS5 reveal we get a throwback to the Xbox 360 and find out there’s a brand new model to be released today thats smaller, sleeker, and quieter. We are told that Xbox Live Gold will be continuing to get support with hundreds of more games coming to the 360. Xbox Live Gold members also get two games a month starting in July with Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3. Some new titles coming to the 360 include World of Tanks, a free to play title, Max the curse of brotherhood, and Dark Souls 2. We are told that more titles are in development now than any other point in xbox history which is truly exciting. Crytek comes out and tells us about the brand new IP RYSE: Son of Rome with a lengthy trailer mixed into a very awesome looking gameplay. Killer Instinct is making a comeback and we’re even shown some fighting. A new IP, Sunset Overdrive trailer rolls. We see some more about Forza 5 including some gameplay that looks stellar. Minecraft Xbox One edition is also making it’s way. We see a new trailer for Quantum Break another new IP shows and it looks incredible. We even see a new cel-shaded mystery title “D4”. Now moving on we see Project Spark created by Microsoft Studios which is a new game development tool that plays sort of like Little Big Planet. A Twitch partnership is announced while they show the game DVR and editing features included with the Xbox One on top of being able to stream any game directly to your own Twitch.tv channel. Some new information about a friends list cap changing to 1,000 from 100. All of the currency is changing from microsoft points to your local currency, Dollars, Euros, Pounds, etc. We get a look at Crimson Dragon, the same guy who made Panzer Dragoon. Huge audience response from the Dead Rising 3 announcement with a rather lengthy live gameplay session. Xbox Smartglass has some features here, even calling in an airstrike via your tablet. Then we have Witcher 3 which is said to bring over 100 hours of gameplay EASILY. We even get some gameplay of Witcher 3 and it looks like a mix of Everquest and Skyrim. Battlefield and it’s new engine Frostbite 3 comes out and it looks absolutely stunning. We hear about a indie title called “Below”, Halo 5 trailer is shown and is said to be running at 60 FPS. And we get the price, which is the low point of this entire presentation. Four Hundred and Ninety-Nine dollars. ($499.00) and a release date of November. Following this announcement we get to see Titanfall which is Respawn’s new game featuring mech combat.
Microsoft did exactly what I had said they were going to do, after recovering from the Xbox One reveal where the focus was on the general public with their television and media options, they went straight for the jugular and threw game after game after game. We saw some lengthy gameplay demos of a few really cool looking games like RYSE: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Forza 5, Battlefield 4, Witcher 3, and even Titanfall.
This is exactly what they needed, to come to E3 and show the gamers that they haven’t been forgotten and that they were going to continue to be supported with their Xbox 360’s and going forward with the Xbox One. While they are going to provide the superior media and television experience they are going to provide a top notch gaming experience as well.
Like I had mentioned earlier, the one low point in the entire conference was the pricing. $499 is just too high of a price to appeal to the audience that they hooked at the Xbox One reveal and it even turned away some gamers. They did NOT touch on the very deep hole they dug themselves concerning DRM and Game Trading.
Sony’s Press Conference
Sony had quite a long time between the Microsoft Press Conference and their own (9 hours) to make any tweaks and I believe that’s exactly what they did. At the beginning we hear about the PlayStation Vita and the numbers behind it. Some titles coming to the Vita include God of War HD 1 and 2, FF X and X2, Flower, Dead Nation, and The walking Dead with a new bundle. The Last of Us is talked about and its coming out very soon. We get a platformer called Puppeteer. a scary looking ghost game called “Rain” is shown. We see a new IP called Beyond: Two Souls featuring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. A new trailer for Gran Turismo 6, Batman Arkham Origins and a new Grand Theft Auto V Bundle s announced to be releasing when GTA V releases. All previous games after The Walking Dead will be PlayStation 3 games. We finally get to see what the PlayStation 4 looks like and it looks like two black PlayStation 2 slims stacked on top of each other with the one on top pushed forward a bit to look like a rhombus. It can stand vertically or horizontally. And now the media side of things, there’s going to be exclusive programming for the PS4, we hear about television, music and streaming services. A new IP titled “The Order: 1886” looked sort of like a Van Helsing game. We see the same thing we saw at the PS4 reveal, Infamous Second Son and Killzone. We see The Dark Sorcerer which looks like some sort of television thing? New IP “Transistor” is coming to the PS4. A bunch of indie games are shown. “Outlast” is also shown via a trailer. Square Enix comes up shows a completely japanese trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII. We also see a trailer and a little bit of gameplay for Kingdom Hearts 3, which we’re all extremely excited for! Some gameplay of Watch_Dogs is shown. Elder Scrolls Online coming to the PS4 as well. A new Mad Max game. here’s where it all changes, Disc based games have no DRM. Games can be traded and played just like always. You will have to pay for PlayStation Plus to play any multiplayer games. Five dollars ($5) is the new cost, not sure if that’s a monthly price or annually. We see some Destiny gameplay and the price is announced $399 one hundred dollars less.
No DRM, this has been a huge issue for Microsoft and the Xbox One, but it seems that Sony has got this handled with REGION FREE and no DRM for disc based games. The new IP’s like Beyond: Two Souls looks to be pretty interesting. Strange to see movie actors in a video game. The Pricing, My god this is where I believe that the tides have turned. Coming in at $399 is a huge advantage, one hundred dollars less than your main competitor is gigantic. Although I feel this price point was chosen some time in between the Xbox One’s price announcement and their own.
Sony looks to be appealing to the very Japanese audience where it is created but it does not appeal to me as an American. Ex: the completely japanese showing of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. While Sony did show quite a few games at their Press Conference Nothing really stood out and made me say “I NEED THIS” besides Kingdom Hearts 3, and that’s because I loved the KH1 and KH2 so much. As an exclusive, Killzone has lost it’s luster to exclusives of the Xbox One like Halo or Gears of War; and showing the same thing they showed at the PS4 reveal wasn’t very interesting (with Infamous: Second Son and Killzone Shadow Fall). PlayStation Plus is now a requirement to play multiplayer games, while it has gone down to $5 they haven’t specified whether that’s the monthly cost or just a one time fee or what. I understand Xbox Live Gold has a cost, but going from free to paid is a bit of a change for all those PlayStation 3 owners.
Day zero of E3 2013 is an pivotal point in the history of the next generation consoles and I believe that while Sony had a few points in their conference where they just punched Microsoft right in the face, with DRM and Price; that the Microsoft Press Conference was superior in content. Never straying from the games. It took nearly Thirty minutes for the Sony Press Conference to show any game play. After the Sony Conference I had decided that Sony had won E3 2013, but after a good night’s rest I was able to clear my head and really think about the two conferences and have come to the conclusion that the Microsoft E3 Press Conference was better. Now this does not mean I believe that they will win the next gen console war, it means that they had the better conference.
Go ahead, tell me how much you hate me in the comments. I’ll be waiting.