Guess Who Won E3

Enjoy your glory, Jack, you are E3 2013's MVP.

E3s of past have always been insane. They always capitalize on the alluring effect of getting a glimpse into the future. The past two years have been dull and I've always said, “Yeah, this was kind of a whatever show. Just wait until we get into the next-gen.”

Finally that happened.

Universally everyone is saying this has been a fantastic show thus far. While it's debatable if Microsoft really wowed gamers or if there were too many shooters or not, this whole show has proven that videogames are still very much alive. 2013 hasn't just given us a glimpse into the future, but solid evidence that this industry we love is about to get some fresh energy injected into it.

First we had Microsoft's Press Conference. They showed a shit ton of games as promised but I would've also enjoyed seeing some of the system-level stuff. We saw Sony demonstrate the PS4's UI back in February, yet I don't have a good handling of what the Hell a XONE looks like.

Despite being the first guy that would shit on a Kinect-heavy press conference, Microsoft could have been well served dishing out some details on Kinect 2.0 and demoing some games. Kinect 2.0 (is that even the official title?) is technically an entire platform itself. Two years ago the original Kinect was treated as its own platform with a unique identity and given the full circus any new console gets. I don't know if this is indicative of low confidence in the new(er) motion sensing tech or perhaps Microsoft knows people like you and me just want to see titles like Titanfall.

I can't wait to see what Kojima does with an open world.

Microsoft started the show with a showstopper with MGS5. I think Afghanistan has a lot of environmental and historic elements that can play well within the context of a videogame. It looked gorgeous to boot! Metal Gear has always been very linear but has always held onto some fun elements that break linearity such as the memory card thing in the original MGS and the fight with The End in MGS3. I'm stoked to see Metal Gear break out of its very linear environmental design. With that, I feel Hideo Kojima is truly out of whatever sanity cage may have existed.

A lot of folks are excited for Project Spark. If it plays as advertised I will be the first in line for it. However, I'm awaiting to see how that game actually operates in a real environment before placing any pre-orders. I'm skeptical of how well it works or if whatever you create will be fun. Aside from that I'm excited to see Swery's new episodic game but everything else was kind of “meh”.

Microsoft showed up with what they thought were the big guns. While titles like Titanfall are impressive, the XONE doesn't appear to have any personality. Microsoft's robotic presentation and their idea of just tossing out game announcements like dog food is alarming. Not to mention the $500 price tag.

Next we had third parties. I felt EA's event was very by-the-numbers. Battlefield 4 was super impressive, but a known and familiar quantity. Seems like just a prettier more technically competent Battlefield 3, but for me that's enough for now.

Ubisoft was knocking out of the park with new properties.

Yet Assassin's Creed has simply run out of steam. I'm at the point where I'm honestly confused whenever someone is excited for a new game in that franchise.

Jack Tretton is E3 2013's MVP, hands down.

Sony's press conference started out dull with “megaton” announcements like TellTale's The Walking Dead coming to Vita. But the conference slowly started gaining momentum until the Sony train couldn't be stopped. Not even by a price point of a new console.

After playing a 15 minute demo of Transistor at PAX East this year, I can confirm that it plays insanely well. That game's commitment to atmosphere is astonishing. SuperGiantGames is shooting for the stars with the full package of smart gameplay, awesome music, and a creative art style. So far, they look that they are going to be successful.

Of course there will be indie games on the XONE, but Sony positioned themselves as the console for the people. They won hearts and minds putting the likes of Octodad on stage and if the reports are true, this console is super easy to develop for and indies can self-publish with ease. Anything that gets rids of the behind the scenes clutter and paves an easy avenue for indie developers to express themselves has my vote.

Given all the games, Sony was clearly going for the kill. They virtually put up every bit of bad press Microsoft was getting and saying the PS4 will be the opposite. The shear insanity that ensued after Jack Tretton announced the PS4 will allow used games and not impose controversial DRM plans will probably go down as my most memorable E3 moment ever. My phone almost crashed with the Twitter response.

It was then GiantBomb moderator Marino tweeted: “If Sony says the PS4 is $399 the roof is coming off that place”. I instantly realized that Microsoft was down. Sony then went on for about 10 more minutes bullshitting. We were all awaiting the price. I could feel that at that point Jack Tretton felt on top of the world and was living in his moment. He knew he “won”. Tretton delivered his final blow that he technically didn't even need. Yet he unleashed that $399 blow.

At that point I stood up from my couch and just yelled, “WHHHAAAAATTTT!!!!! Shit this videogame machine down, it's over!” It was the equivalent of a flawless victory in a fighting game match. No videogame thing has ever gotten a verbel response out of me outside intoxicating Rock Band nights.

Jack Tretton Divekicked Don Mattrick.

Don't get the wrong impression. I don't get into this “console war” bullshit. But I love competition. It's sexy to think that these companies are in a bloodbath for my dollar. I'll end up with both consoles anyway, but the show is entertaining. Simply how well Sony executed its middle finger against Microsoft was brilliant.

A lot of folks are asking me what console I'm getting. Right now there doesn't seem to be a big reason to get anything this November. Most of the PS4 and XONE's games are cross-gen. However, if you're crazy like me and want a new shiny toy, I'm getting the PS4 for the PSN Plus benefits and smaller price tag. I made the commitment to pre-order a PS4 and if I happen to find a XONE this holiday I'll grab it.

Still waiting for news on Kickboxes.

So who won E3? You did. We did. The game industry has been kind of lackluster the past two years. Thankfully the new generation appears to be pouring some energy in the mix and we're all getting great games out of it. What makes videogames amazing in this era is the incredible volume of options and power the consumer has. All major avenues to consume game are totally viable and offer their own uniqueness without heavily sacrificing anything.

So whether you share some weird allegiance to a corporation, sticking with Steam, or an insane person that just buys everything, sit tight because you have so many great things to look forward to.

@stevenbeynon

35 Comments
35 Comments
Posted by poisonmonkey

Nice blog, very interesting.

Posted by mandude

I couldn't agree more. I feel like I'm ten years old again, waiting for the PS2 to come out.

Posted by Irvandus

"It was a good day"

- Icecube

Posted by MrSpaceMan

excellent point! Lots of great games this year.

Posted by Solh0und

I'm glad to hear someone finally acknowledge that this isn't about consoles....it's the GAEMS!!!

And yes, Ass Creed ran out of steam.

Posted by spraynardtatum

It was definitely a flawless victory.

Edited by big_jon

Who is we? I hope MS picks up their game, but they showed a fair few awesome looking games so I don't see this as a "Vlawless victory", competition is good though, maybe they will stop being retarded now and realize that they are not on top because of their name anymore.

Another huge thing here, it seems to be implied that Xbox live will now be hosting dedicated servers, this is HUGE!

Posted by YOU_DIED

@solh0und said:

I'm glad to hear someone finally acknowledge that this isn't about consoles....it's the GAEMS!!!

And yes, Ass Creed ran out of steam.

I think the reason that the discussion has been focused on the consoles is because people want to know which console won't get in their way of trying to play games, used or otherwise. Though, I'm sure there is a minority that really cares about which company they side with (god knows why). So really, I think the majority still cares about the games.

Posted by tourgen

We are getting a Mad Max game! From the Just Cause guys! How weird and awesome.

Edited by EarthBowl

Fantastic Blog and I absolutely agree with you in saying that the gamer won this E3. Competition can be and should be seen as a positive for the consumer (especially towards gamers), but to have seen it at this level from these press conferences made me somewhat proud for not just my hobby, but for the longevity of an entire industry we hold so close. This was a wonderful read and I share your enthusiasm. Long Live Gaming!

Posted by mrfluke

only thing i dont agree with you on

"Yet Assassin's Creed has simply run out of steam. I'm at the point where I'm honestly confused whenever someone is excited for a new game in that franchise."

i still dig the series, it enables games in areas in times/eras you don't really see, its just the whole modern day piece they blew it for me with how they fucked it up in 3.

Posted by Cymatics

From what I can see, all I give a fuck about is the games, EA won E3, They are giving me more Mirror's Edge, Battlefield 4, and Battlefront Titanfall, Dragon Age 3 which imo have some hopes..

Second is Ubisoft, with The Division and Watch Dogs, cause I find those to seem very very interesting. and some Assassins Creed.

Third is Microsoft, they seem to have more games then Sony, and Sony is forth.

Anything that is for PC I will be playing on PC, for the consoles them self, couldn't care less, but if my internet is down for more then 30 min, I'm going to go ballistic, I'm not going to care about my Xbox. Used games is a joke, please kill it of asap and give the devs money.

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

We(Gamers) won E3 as a whole. There's so much cool shit coming out. The only losers will be our wallets.

Posted by JamesJeux007

You summed up my feelings about E3 so far perfectly well. I don't really have anything else to say. Great read :'D

Posted by TooSweet

Nice write up. It was indeed eventful beginning to E3. I've been talking to co-workers all day about E3 and which directions things can go for Microsoft and Sony. I also pre-ordered a PS4 but I can't help but feel that I want Microsoft to step back and look at what they have and make some changes. They have some awesome features all negative parts aside. But we really need all systems to be competitive and strive to be better. I'd love to own all consoles for the next gen just like the current one. But between PS4 and PC gaming plus the 3DS I think I'll be pretty set. Nintendo has some nice items coming as well. I'm still tempted to get a Wii U just so I can play Earthbound.

Edited by eskimo

I disagree, the whole event was overshadowed by the hostile policies that the new consoles will be embracing. I hardly noticed the games amongst all of the anti-consumer infrastructure that the console makers are setting up.

- Paid subs for online multiplayer spreading to PS4

- The attack on used games.

- The always online console stuff.

- The lack of backwards compatibility erasing our last gen digital purchases.

- The continuation of region locking. (edit -well Sony have just announced that the PS4 is region free for games, so that's some consolation)

To say this everyone thought this event was universally fantastic is simply not true. They're just shovelling out the same shit they had on the last gen consoles and locking down their platforms even more.

Sony and Microsoft appear to be living in abject fear of their customers, and they're starting to seem crazy and desperate. I had a distinct anti-gamer vibe from the whole thing. It boggles my mind that you would think this is a win for gamers.

Edited by TheBlackPigeon

@tourgen: I know, right?

Hopefully they'll have some kind of an online multiplayer mode. That way, I can find you and say....

Edited by EpicSteve

@eskimo said:

I disagree, the whole event was overshadowed by the hostile policies that the new consoles will be embracing. I hardly noticed the games amongst all of the anti-consumer infrastructure that the console makers are setting up.

- Paid subs for online multiplayer spreading to PS4

- The attack on used games.

- The always online console stuff.

- The lack of backwards compatibility erasing our last gen digital purchases.

- The continuation of region locking. (edit -well Sony have just announced that the PS4 is region free for games, so that's some consolation)

To say this everyone thought this event was universally fantastic is simply not true. They're just shovelling out the same shit they had on the last gen consoles and locking down their platforms even more.

Sony and Microsoft appear to be living in abject fear of their customers, and they're starting to seem crazy and desperate. I had a distinct anti-gamer vibe from the whole thing. It boggles my mind that you would think this is a win for gamers.

Did you pay attention to Sony's press conference?

Edited by shinjin977

You guys are crazy not getting a ps4. Mad Max games guys!!!!! from the Avalanche studio guys!!!!COME ON! You guys are inhuman. Joking aside, I am completely hype up about all the indie spot light this E3, they are the future guys. One of those guys will go on to make a new Last of us, Halo, Kotor, FF. Support them!

Posted by FinalDasa

Hell yeah! Great to see some straight up enthusiasm for video games instead of the usual cynicism and anger filled debate.

What it comes down to is fun games and that's it. Any competition between companies only helps us, the end consumer. So the Microsoft vs. Sony battle isn't about picking a side, it's about watching it all play out and reaping the benefits as a consumer.

This is E3 has been one of the best!

Moderator Online
Posted by ArbitraryWater

I agree. The true winners of E3 are people who like video games.

And sony.

Edited by eskimo

@epicsteve: Nah I just read the news articles and watched some extracts, haven't watched any of the press conferences in their entirety. You're right though in pointing to Sony, but I was so blown away by the arrogance of Microsoft and the ineptitude of Nintendo that I just can't believe Sony will deliver on all it's promises. I'm not happy about the sub fees for online multiplayer. The region free and used game compatibility is good, but these are things that we should take for granted now being touted as features. It's like they're boasting that the console won't punch you in the balls every 24 hours. I just don't feel very encouraged at this point.

The games themselves don't seem nearly as revolutionary as the businessing thats gone into these new beasts, but as with everything the proof is in the pudding, and I'll be waiting to see what happens on release.

Edited by YukoAsho

It's interesting, honestly. Microsoft is embracing the most anti-consumer practices ever at a time when 3rd-party exclusives are a thing of the past. Unless they plan to rebuild the first-party stable they spent the last few years tearing apart, I don't see a reason for the Xbone to maintain much success after the initial first-holiday rush. At least Nintendo has top-tier first-party talent to rely on.

@eskimo - Sony HAD to make a big deal about not imposing system-level restrictions, simply because every pundit and gamer believed that it was simply inevitable that Sony would follow MS' lead. To assuage gamers' fears, Sony had to make a clear, bold statement that things would be no different than they were with the PS3. As for paying for PSN multiplayer, there are three reasons I don't mind:

1) XBL Gold was simply superior to PSN this generation. Anyone without fan bias could see that.

2) Since I'm abandoning Xbox Live due to not wanting an Xbone, it's not so much spending more money as moving the money somewhere else.

3, and most important) Sony has the fucking decency not to lock Netflix behind PS+. There was never a real reason you had to pay XBL just to use the Netflix and Hulu subs you were also paying for. That was highway robbery, not building a better online environment.

Posted by Demoskinos

Seeing the giantbomb chat come fucking UNGLUED was so amazing.

Online
Posted by THRICE_604

Sony played second fiddle the entire generation and rightly so at the beginning. I was confirmed Xbot for most of the gen till the last two years or so when I grew tired with Microsoft and rediscovered my love of Sony. The PlayStation was an important part of my life.

I wasn't that into video games as a kid until I played Final Fantasy VII and had to have a PlayStation. It was this gateway into a something bigger that I didn't know I loved. Later the PS2 was my escape during a really difficult period in my teenage years with troubles at home. It wasn't just a brand to me it became something more. When I was older Sony wasn't doing the right things and all my friends had 360s so I moved to the Xbox and was content for awhile. I had a PS3 it just was a Blu-Ray player for a really long time. Three 360s later and a growing distaste for the way Microsoft was handling things it just drove me back to a Sony who had just found its footing and was coming back hard.

Seeing them now its actually a really great feeling. Seeing Sony heading back to the top brings back all those memories of the old days when gaming just seemed a little purer.

Edited by EpicSteve

@yukoasho said:

It's interesting, honestly. Microsoft is embracing the most anti-consumer practices ever at a time when 3rd-party exclusives are a thing of the past. Unless they plan to rebuild the first-party stable they spent the last few years tearing apart, I don't see a reason for the Xbone to maintain much success after the initial first-holiday rush. At least Nintendo has top-tier first-party talent to rely on.

@eskimo - Sony HAD to make a big deal about not imposing system-level restrictions, simply because every pundit and gamer believed that it was simply inevitable that Sony would follow MS' lead. To assuage gamers' fears, Sony had to make a clear, bold statement that things would be no different than they were with the PS3. As for paying for PSN multiplayer, there are three reasons I don't mind:

1) XBL Gold was simply superior to PSN this generation. Anyone without fan bias could see that.

2) Since I'm abandoning Xbox Live due to not wanting an Xbone, it's not so much spending more money as moving the money somewhere else.

3, and most important) Sony has the fucking decency not to lock Netflix behind PS+. There was never a real reason you had to pay XBL just to use the Netflix and Hulu subs you were also paying for. That was highway robbery, not building a better online environment.

I'll end up with an XONE. Non of their policies effect my lifestyle. But it's almost like they're going out of their way to make people not want to buy their console.

Posted by TooWalrus

@big_jon said:

Who is we?

We, the people.

Edited by Marcsman

Considering how much money I have to shell out for the nex gen. I don't feel like a winner. But I'm still excited about it.

Posted by EpicSteve

@marcsman said:

Considering how much money I have to shell out for the nex gen. I don't feel like a winner. But I'm still excited about it.

Our wallets lost E3.

Posted by Jimbo

Jack Tretton will fucking kill you and then bring you back to life and high five you for naming him MVP.

Sony press conference was great. I'm not even much of a console gamer, but it would have been such a bummer to go into the next gen with both consoles going the Microsoft route.

I have a feeling this Assassin's Creed could surprise a few people. If there's enough depth to the naval side of it, to the point where it can be played almost like a modern day Pirates! if you want, I think that 'game within a game' could be enough even for people who are sick of Assassin's Creed. It could be a great game despite not being a great Assassin's Creed game.

Posted by GaspoweR
Posted by natetodamax

It was a great time. I watched the press conferences with a group of friends with an awesome theater setup, and there was plenty of cheering, groans, and gasps throughout the day (coupled with the always fantastic reactions on Twitter).

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

PC is another silent winner, I love that the consoles view it as a neutral ground so while MS and Sony continue to be at each other's throats, the PC will continue to reap the rewards.

Edited by bgdiner

Great blog, this really summed up my feelings about how I, as a consumer, feel about E3 and the upcoming holiday season. After Microsoft's horrible press conference on the 26th, I was incredibly worried that the publishers would dictate the agenda this year. Sony's announcement felt like that moment in an action movie where the hero saves everyone while everything explodes behind him. Not only did they save the day, they salvaged any confidence I had lost upon Microsoft's disastrous announcement. I don't want Microsoft's console to fail, because that would result in the loss of thousands of jobs for employees that had no control over Microsoft's policies. However, I do hope that Microsoft rectifies its policies so that, by the time we get to the holiday season, there is some fight for my dollars. Right now, however, there is no fight; Sony wins by a landslide, and Microsoft should be worried.

Edited by EpicSteve

It was a great time. I watched the press conferences with a group of friends with an awesome theater setup, and there was plenty of cheering, groans, and gasps throughout the day (coupled with the always fantastic reactions on Twitter).

Some guys watch the Superbowl. Idiots like us get off on corporate press conferences. :)