With E3 at a close, I wanted to give my thoughts now that the dust has settled. The one thing that everyone should take away from this year is that we are in for some treats. Last year was full of promises and the “future” but with little on the horizon for gamers to actually get their hands on. While we still saw many projects that are a ways away, this year had a strong focus on titles we will (hopefully) be playing at the end of 2015 and early 2016. This was an exciting E3 to watch and was reassuring for gamers. Video games are looking strong, and companies are ready to compete for our patronage.
I’d like to begin with getting the garbage taken out. Square Enix, EA, and Ubisoft were decent showings, but their bite was taken and bought to be shown on the Microsoft and Sony stages. The true disappointment was Nintendo. Perhaps with their stellar showing from the previous E3 announcements or whether simply the lack of news had everyone dreaming big, Nintendo felt extremely lackluster. For me, the “Metroid” title completely told me how Nintendo is faring right now. They are at a complete disconnect with their audience and making the games that they want instead of catering to the fans. With a struggling console, Nintendo needed to show their stuff. Nintendo has always been different and innovative, but they need to find a way to also give the gamers a piece of what they desire.
Sony and Microsoft seem to know exactly what it takes to pump up the consumer though. Final Fantasy 7, Last Guardian, and backwards compatibility have all been wants that have been repeatedly spoken by the gaming community. The reaction was real and heartfelt. While these items are great, they have been on the docket for so long that I don’t think the thanks should be as huge as they have been of late. Yes, we wanted these things. Yes, we are excited they are coming. We should not, however, give them a pass for stringing us along especially in the case of Team Ico’s almost mythical, elusive title.
I was truly pleased with Microsoft’s approach to E3 this year. Not only was stage time nearly exclusively dedicated to games, but games that are coming to fruition soon. As a preview member, I have been playing Super Meat Boy and BattleBlock Theater with backwards compatibility since the announcements with zero complications. Those are games I can play now and everyone that has similar titles can enjoy this year. Scalebound, Quantum Break, and Crackdown certainly have the eyes of many consumers. Instead of showing half baked products, these were pushed to Gamescom, and they showcased things that could be played in the coming quarters. There weren’t any show stoppers, but having an array of games that are imminent and plenty is a very attractive picture.
Sony showed some truly awesome looking games. Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely an exciting piece of action that I’ll have my eyes on. The only problem is… when am I going to get to actually see any of these? With the exception of the bevy of multiplatform, third party titles they showcased, most of the games they were showing were either kicking off development or coming out much later than this holiday or early 2016. After the shock and awe started to fade from the spectacle of their announcements, I started to feel a smidge lacking from what they shared. If anything, I am just looking forward to seeing how much will be a repeat showing at next year’s show.
Although I tend to notice and comment on the hiccups and shortcomings, I am absolutely thrilled with what I saw overall this time round. No matter where you play (even Nintendo) the industry seems to be hitting their stride. This will hopefully be the first year of many great E3 showings. With AR and VR technology looming, I have no idea what next year will look or feel like. I just know that this E3 is a great first step.