In the days following E3 the sense that Sony had cleanly and decisively won was almost unanimous. Memes were drafted, fanboy mutinies were promised, Wikipedia pages were comically if hyperbolically altered. Yet that sense was predicated almost entirely on the last portion of Sony’s press conference, where Sony America CEO Jack Tretton invoked his inner rock star and worked his way down a list of all the concerns core gamers had about Xbox One and how PlayStation 4 would avoid them.
The glow that surrounds Sony and the mire that chokes Microsoft remain despite the fact that the dust has now settled, Microsoft has brought its policies back in line with current systems and we can view the proposals of the consoles with an objective eye.
So if we looked back at the E3 press conferences without that rock star moment, and without the specter of DRM and no-used-games hanging over Xbox One’s head, would Sony still have won?
Sony’s E3 forecast is an interesting mix of known quantities with a liberal dose of speculative deduction. As for the former we know the company will be finally showing off the material design of their new console, the PlayStation 4. Sony has also said there will be over 40 games on display at E3 for their three platforms combined.
There have been a few exclusive games already announced for PS4 that are sure to get a closer look at E3, and they are:
There was once a time when game machines were game machines. Try flipping the power switch on a Super Nintendo with no game inserted. Nothing happens. There’s no demos or videos to peruse, no integrated marketing, no way to make sure you can be delivered the latest and greatest game right now despite the unfinished status of the last greatest game you bought. It was a simpler, magical time where you had finite cartridges on your shelf (or in your box, in my case) and there was no real reason to buy any new games if there was still fun to be had with your current ones.
There’s no understating that a lot has changed since then. Fans are more invested than ever in the business and development of their favourite game franchises thanks to a hugely profitable machine of PR and media. Gaming is much more widely practiced thanks to a whole raft of changes to the way content is delivered. In this special time at the dawn of a new generation of home game devices though, the changes to be highlighted here are those that have shaped consoles since the Super Nintendo and its quaint mechanical grey switches.
Starting with the PlayStation 2 and its vital ability to play DVDs, the game functionality of a system has been increasingly partnered with the idea of a home entertainment system (I say it started with PS2 because being able to play audio CDs does not count. Listening to CDs on a television was stupid).
With the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicking off next week, console gamers are looking to Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony to make big announcements and hyberbolic claims about the experiences they’ll be bringing us in the year to come. Over three days I’ll be taking a look at what the ‘Big Three’ are likely to have in store.