This year was honestly rather a let down in many ways for the major reveals as nothing really got me too excited.
Winner(s) – Sony
It is just too hard to not give Sony the victory. They had an hour of nothing but gametrailers and there is nothing that can top that. Their ability to talk about the games both before and after the show really changes the game for future E3 conferences, and the best part was that all the games were set for within a year. We didn’t get actual release dates, which was disappointing, but overall it wasn’t games that were years out like last year. Sony really did potentially set up future E3’s for every company by using the conference to announce something, while other events throughout the show keep the focus on them. Microsoft, for example, pretty much vanished on my radar after their E3 conference because we got most of what we wanted at the conference itself. EA and others were even more bland.
Also a winner was Ubisoft. Typically I dred watching their conference because it can be so boring, and I was afraid this year would be nothing but Assassin’s Creed. Luckily they kept it fresh and had easily the biggest surprise at E3 with Beyond Good and Evil 2.Though I’m not sure why they were so obsessed with saying the F word so much, that got annoying. They also brought me back a few years with their awkward dance performance, but it was all enjoyable.
Loser – Microsoft
Honestly this was Microsoft’s year to blow us away and maybe it was because I was expecting too much, but their show was rather lackluster. They have a brand new console that they constantly tout is the most powerful machine, yet didn’t showcase any games to show off that power. Much like Sony struggling to demonstrate the need for PS4 Pro, Microsoft has very similar struggles with Xbox One X. I don’t understand the idea of showing off Xbox One X with timed indie titles that don’t need the power to run, and their actual exclusives were not that enticing. There also wasn’t any big games that made me want to turn on my xbox again. I was mostly disappointed that Windows and Xbox were not talked about more which could have been a huge selling point for X. When you feel the need to make a play on words like “console launch exclusive” then it’s time to start making your own games because you truly are not offering anything different. Midway through the show I noted “what happened to those EXCLUSIVE games they mentioned at the start?” because nothing they were showing was truly an exclusive.
Winner – Nintendo
It’s easy to give Sony the nod and say they won this year’s E3. Heck, I would totally have handed it to them on a silver platter, but to do that would be to not recognize what Nintendo did with their time. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t showstopping, but within nearly every press conference they made their mark. With Microsoft, they became one of the cross-platform avenues for Minecraft, Bethesda re-released Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch, EA showed off FIFA 18 for the Switch, and Ubisoft teamed up with Nintendo to create Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle exclusively for Nintendo Switch. By the time their Nintendo Direct aired, they had already added 4 quality titles to their mobile console.
The Direct itself showed off and announced games that everyone had been clamoring for, for years. Games like Metroid 4, a Pokemon Switch game (Not Pokken), Xenoverse 2, Fire Emblem, Breath of the Wild DLC, and Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo brought their A-game to their conference and everyone else’s. That’s why they should win E3 2017.
Loser: Electronic Arts
Microsoft clearly lost E3 with their befuddled reason for buying the Xbox One X. No exclusive games, an over-inflated price tag, etc. However, there is another company that didn’t quite live up to expectation either, EA. The press conference, itself, was alright. It tried to generate excitement with awkward Youtubers and presenters without charisma, except for The Men in Blazers. If that wasn’t bad enough, they even gave up the right to show off their most ambitious game, Anthem, to Microsoft. The whole show was a snoozefest until Star Wars Battlefront II took the stage.
The event itself wasn’t any better. EA invited more people than they could fit in the venue, causing lines to back up around the corner and people being refused at the door. After waiting in terribly long lines, gamers were forced to play broken Alphas, not ready for public demoing. Once again, the only game that played well was Star Wars Battlefront II but even that was just one level with a few issues. While Microsoft screwed the pooch with their Xbox One X debut, EA screwed the fans just as badly.