When walking around the show floor, you are constantly walking into crowds. You might find gaps of empty walkways, but thats rare as the hottest new games fill up everything. People were standing in line to play almost everything, except tablet titles. A lot of the big studios brought casual style tablet titles along for the ride and set them up on display. NVidia even put a huge focus on their new Shield experience, while Microsoft had a good portion of their booth set up for Windows Tablets.
Yet, people were avoiding these areas like the plague. I was given a booth tour of Konami’s titles and people were waiting for literally every game. People were even standing around waiting to just see a Metal Gear trailer, yet walk around to the side where they showcased their new IOS titles and not a single tablet was being used.
Head over to the Microsoft booth and you could barely get into the area where Xbox One was, yet off to the side where they had not only Halo playing on their new tablet, but a give away for a free one, and there was hardly any interest. There were some people standing in line, but they had a rather long setup for the line, and there wasn’t a line.
Lastly NVidia went the new casual route, and targeted some tablet and mobile users with the Shield. They had the most interest of all the tablets and mobile games on the show floor, but even that was easy to get to. Every time I walked by the booth I was easily able to get my hands on a Shield, there was never really a line to use one. Yet every time I wanted to try a new console I had to wait in line.
I remember a few years ago when Sony showcase the Vita at E3, they also had a massive interest in the Xperia Play. The booth they set up for it was rather crowded at all times, and a lot of other places showcasing some tablet titles had interest too. Yet new consoles come out and the entire focus goes to that.
So was the whole “mobile games will take over” push being killed by the new consoles? Or was the push simply there because mobile devices were new and we were all tired of our current consoles? Either way, if next years E3 stays like this I think it will be clear that gamers want gaming machines with actual titles. Sure we may play on tablets at the same time, but I don’t think they will be replacing the high end tech of new games any time soon.