Greets, people! After last time, when we took a look at individual publisher’s press presentations at E3, it’s now time for the Big 3 – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. However, unlike last time, and unlike many other places where you can find coverage of E3, I’m not going to go blow by blow with all the particular news, announcements, and other info from each conference. This is primarily because it’s late, and I’m tired – but also because you don’t need me for that. If you just want to know everything that happened, there are plenty of sources. But instead, here are my general impressions of how each one fared in their particular event.
First up, we have Sony. The purveyors of Playstation had quite the reputation to live up to this year, as their last few E3 press events have been absolutely stellar, culminating last year with having a FULL FUCKING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at their event and unveiling God of War 4. Seriously – these weren’t just press events – they were epic live performance art. So could Sony do it again this year?
So I think the best summation I’ve heard about Sony’s event this year in comparison to past years came from Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller, who said “I think of the last few years’ of Sony events as being grand slams, and this year they ‘just’ hit a home run. So you see it and go, ‘oh, it’s just a home run’ because of all the grand slams but it’s STILL a home run!” Look, at the end of the day, is some complacency likely settling in at Sony? Sure, but they’ve kinda earned it. The PS4 has won this generation of the console war, from an install base perspective. They have an amazing string of first and third party exclusives behind them, and a number still to come. So this year consisted almost entirely of additional footage and trailers of games that we’ve known about already. The primary exception was a remake of Shadow of the Colossus. That said, the principal complaint I hear about Sony’s event is essentially “hey, they had one or two things I liked, but the rest didn’t really do much for me.” Except here’s the thing – those “one or two things” have varied from almost each person. So essentially what Sony did is have something for everyone. To me, that’s a damn good showing. Special shout out to Monster Hunter World!
I have an Xbox One. I love my Xbox One. I don’t think less of Microsoft because they are second in the install base behind Playstation. But when your entire press conference is essentially “here is a $500 upgrade to your existing console, that is capable of 4K but will have no exclusive games, but some of your favorites will get 4K support like, um…Minecraft!” then you’ve fucking lost me. I mean…I don’t have a 4K tv. I’m sure I will one day…but that day isn’t today, or tomorrow, or, you know…soon. So the only way you’re going to get me to give you $500 is to either have TREMENDOUS performance upgrades that I will actually notice, or games that I can’t play anywhere else. This didn’t do either of those for me, and is far too expensive to warrant a mid-cycle upgrade for anyone without tremendous expendable income. Lets assume I DON’T upgrade – that’s 8+ new games I can buy instead of a console. I’m sorry – I know the hardware manufacturers are insisting that “it’s just like a cell phone! Everyone buys the iterative upgrades!” but I’m just not going to support that in the console gaming market. You want me to drop that kind of money? Start the next console generation cycle. Otherwise you’re going to have to do a lot more than handing out godawful t-shirts and talking about almost no games at your conference to get a passing grade from me.
I saved what was, in my less-than-humble opinion, the best for last. Nintendo essentially split its big news between two presentations – but damn did they kill it. Mario Odyssey is going to be fantastic – we all knew that. But Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is going to bring XCOM style tactics to a whole new generation. While the excitement of Monster Hunter World on PS4 took a hit by the announcement that as of now Monster Hunter XX for Switch isn’t coming West, I quickly didn’t care anymore because METROID IS BACK, BITCHES! And not just Metroid Prime 4 on Switch – I mean, that’s great, but for me the killer news was a full 2.5D remake of Metroid 2 from the original GB is coming to 3DS in September. I’ve been waiting for a 2D Metroid since before many of you were fucking born, and the end of that wait is finally in sight! Nintendo essentially announced major Switch entries in every one of their front-line first-party franchises. I love the Switch, its launch has been a tremendous success, and if this software lineup continues as strongly as it has begun, Nintendo is poised to leap back to the prominence that it lost with the Wii U. Strong, strong showing for Nintendo.
That covers the major news from E3, but before I go, I’ll quickly address this being the “first” E3 that is open to the public. I say that somewhat sarcastically because since I’ve been a young EWE, fans have been finding ways to attend the “industry only” show, but this year marked the first year that they were officially invited. While I am sure this was a dream come true for many, I think it could have been handled FAR better by the ESA based upon what I have heard from my friends in the game journalism industry. Those folks work far beyond hard enough as it is in covering E3 every year – essentially it is the largest undertaking they have each year. To a man and woman, each said that it was far more difficult this year due to the unchecked crowding and lines clogging the show floor and making getting to appointments and meetings incredibly difficult. I’m not saying that the public shouldn’t be let in – and even if I did, who the fuck cares what I think – but the ESA needs to contact its friends at events like PAX and get tips on how to properly handle such a mass of humanity for next year.
Until next time, humans! – EWE