So I’m back for Part 2 of the Console Wars where Sony and Microsoft are at E3 and had to see which of their consoles will gain the most favour. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.
We’ll start with the Microsoft E3 conference. People were waiting for E3 to see which games would be coming to Xbox One and more importantly for more information on the restrictive features which have got gamers irritated. So, I have to say that Microsoft’s conference started really strong with the first look at the new Metal Gear Solid 5 (which I am totally stoked for). Microsoft showed off a lot of games but not too many exclusives. The biggest exclusives I was interested in were the new Halo and Titanfall. Halo has decent popularity among Xbox gamers but Halo ended for me at Halo Reach. But that’s just me. I think they did well with their presentation but they did not delve into the issues regarding the restrictions. I guess it was a good decision on their part to leave it out because I feel they would have been brief on the subject and leave us all with more questions.
Now onto Sony’s presentation. The only big thing I can say expected is that we were left with the lack of the reveal of the PS4 console. Of course it got revealed in this presentation. It got mixed reviews but not the subject I want to address. The games that Sony showed we’re quite good: Destiny, Kingdom Hearts 3, Final Fantasy XV, The Order, 1886, Infamous: Second Son. The indie games looks quite good as well. What was interesting is the Sony had more game footage / demos than Microsoft. And of course, Sony literally won out the presentations for the day by confirming that there will be no used games or online restrictions to games whatsoever. The crowd there cheered like crazy and I was quite honestly floored at first because I knew with those statements and the crowd’s reaction, Sony won E3. And to hammer the nail in the coffin, they announced that the PS4 launch price is $400, $100 cheaper than the Xbox One.
As I recovered from the Sony presentation and absorbed everything, I realized something. Sony pulled off the greatest marketing scheme of the year… by doing virtually nothing. Think about it. They made PS+ mandatory to play online and some of the top games they showed may require some form of online connection to play like The crew and Destiny. Some games that’ll be released on the PS4 by another publisher might have DRM attached *cough* EA *cough*. But all of that was pretty overlooked because Sony using Microsoft’s negative popularity with the DRM or used games restrictions to their advantage.
The irony in all of this is that Microsoft did all this work for a “new revolution” of gaming (which I’ll delve into in Part 3) and got a ton of flack for it. Sony didn’t do too much extra (they did do the game control transfer thingy) and just said they aren’t doing what Microsoft is doing regarding the restrictions and got cheered for it.
So at the end of E3 I tried to find out how many people were going to go for the PS4 over the Xbox One. I checked out Gamespot’s Twitter hashtag poll (on June 18th) of PS4 vs the Xbox One. I took a snapshot of the poll. I have to say, I’m wasn’t that surprised by the results (as you can see on the left).
So Microsoft needed to turn things around and fast because I knew for a fact, where I lived, PS4s were solded out everywhere (with the exception of EB Games/Gamestop) while the Xbox One was still in stock. Fortunately, the week after E3, they had an answer and announced they’d dropped the online restrictions. But we’ll cover that in Part 3: The Reversal. Stay tuned!