Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Post E3 - The Battle for the 2014-2015 Supremacy

Well folks, the big event has passed and all that its left are the reactions to everything that was shown. Let's analyze the stuff that each of the biggest companies presented at the conference and see how well they did with their respective showcases. Anything counts in the fight for the hearts and minds of gamers around the world, so without further delay, lets begin our little recap:

Category: First Party Companies

How it went:
Microsoft content for this year E3 was actually not bad. It featured known franchises like Call of Duty, Halo, The Witcher 3 and Fable while giving us a glimpse of new things like Sunset Overdrive and even the return of the cult classic Phantom Dust and the appearance of some other third party games. This time around Microsoft focused on gaming itself, which is a good thing compared to the blunder they made last year so it is an improvement and their appearance on stage looked refreshed (even the music track at the beginning of the conference sounded like a warrior on a struggle).

On the other hand, the hype and speculation they caused prior to the conference was not entirely satisfied, as not even one of the most rumored games were shown and most of the showcase was based on obvious decisions, most of them already known to the public. In summary a good conference, but a missed opportunity to turn the tables and get the best out of the occasion.

Final Score: 7 / 10

How it went:
Sony's conference went the same path as Microsoft's, but with a game lineup that seems a little stronger. Games like The Order, Little Big Planet 2, No man's land, Let it die, ABZU, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4 and a whole bunch of good indie titles and other goodies like a new DLC for Infamous: Second Son. The only drawback was that after each trailer for a new game we had to see the numbers 2015, meaning the almost all of the games mentioned will be coming next year, which means a pretty dry Christmas season for the PS4.

As for the appearance that the company had for the conference, the first thing that very surely everybody felt was the big hole left by Jack Tretton as he left the company. Also the new CEO kind of lacked the charisma that Tretton had and that was kind of a disappointment, but let's cut the guy some slack, its his first time in that position. Another thing was talking about movies, series and apps. That kind of thing took precious time away that could had been used to promote games and talking about games well... There were no surprises which prevented the conference from having that "boom" effect that it had last year.

Final Score: 7.5 / 10

How it went:
Nintendo's conference was different as it was last year, where instead of giving a physical media briefing they gave us a 50 minute podcast with the newest things that Nintendo had to offer. The showcasing was very good and straight to the point with the occasional hilarious mini sketches made with clay figures (which reminded us all about robot chicken). This year, Nintendo did everything right with their presentation and in those 50 minutes they showed some very ineresting looking games like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Bayonetta 2, Mario Maker, Splatoon, Hyrule Warriors accompanied by real heavy hitter like the real Wii U Legend of Zelda and Xenoblade Chronicles, ending with a small clip of Miyamoto playing Wii U in front of a blurred TV with a game that looked like Star Fox. Later on the Star Fox game became official on the Nintendo Treehouse event, along with two other Miyamoto games that made good use of the Wii U pad in an effort to bring more interest into the heavily criticized controller (see the Legend of the 7 Stars: Nintendo keys to victory.)

Final Score: 9 / 10

Category: Third Party Companies

How it went:
EA's conference had a little more bang this year with a showcase of Dragon Age: Inquisition that clearly showed that the game has really progressed from when it was shown for the first time. The new Battlefield game, called Battlefield Hardline gave a twist to the known Battlefield formula with a more urban setting and a cops vs bad guys scenario even featuring an open beta available on PS4 from the moment the game was shown. They also showed The Sims 4, which is good news for the fans of the series (I know people that still play the previous games a lot as if they still were brand new) also showing a little bit of work in progress for Mass Effect 4 and of course their line of new sport games which is a given for EA.

The appearance of their conference was classy and directly to the point, which is a plus to any third party conference out there. The woman playing the cello was a nice touch and everything ran smoothly

Final Score: 8 / 10

How it went:
This year, the Ubisoft conference went very straight forward, announcing games like Assasin's Creed Unity, The Crew, Far Cry 4, Tom Clancy's: The Division and Valiant Hearts: The Great War and Rainbow Six: Siege. All went well  in an all around conference that sparked new interest for their upcoming games in the way that Ubisoft has done since the first time they stepped on the E3 conference floor.

The conference was neat and complete, showing the games that with the pass of time have made Ubisoft grow from a common third party / publisher to a powerful gaming force. Another story that came up just after the conference was that they did not mentioned the Wii U at any time, fueling the notion that the company has abandoned Nintendo. Ubisoft representatives said this was not true and told people from the gaming media that they still had faith in Nintendo and would be talking about new games for the Wii U at a later time.

Final Score: 8 / 10

To wrap things up

To get this out of the way first, the winner of this year E3 event is:

This is because it was a complete showcase that not only was good, but it basically accomplished most of our expectations and had nothing boring about it, been funny at times and a hype train on others. This Nintendo E3 presentation has started to make the Wii U look like the underdog that is slowly recovering (sort of like the 3DS did before it) and it gave us a lot to talk about, becoming the first time in years that Nintendo actually wins an E3 event and making us all feel like the Nintendo of old has emerged.

It is also important to point out that this year there were NO losers. All conferences were good, they showed their stuff and set the stage for a very busy (and wallet beating) 4th quarter 2014 going all the way to 2015 which will most likely be the year of the mother of all battles in the console war of this generation. The most important thing is that after all is set and done, gamers around the world are the ones with a real advantage with all the games coming up in the future. So sit tight and get ready, because this year E3 event showed us that this generation will be just awesome.

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