This year’s E3 was once again packed full of action and announcements. Sony and Microsoft went for their big press conferences as usual, whilst Nintendo had an entire day focused on the new Zelda game. Each company concentrated on something different. Microsoft talked a lot about their new technology, Sony focused on new games and game play, and Nintendo was a festival of all things Zelda. Nintendo were smart, and instead of concentrating on the NX and trying to rival the others, they gave fans what they have been waiting for for years, a glimpse at the new Zelda game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (see separate article for details on this).
Microsoft announced their ‘Play Anywhere’ scheme, which will allow players to cross-play their games on the Xbox One and Windows 10, with the saves and achievements all being included for one price. The first of the Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive games shown off was a brutal Gears of War 4. Following the gruesome Gears game play, games including Forza Horizon 3, ReCore, Final Fantasy XV and Battlefield 1 were shown off to the crowds. The Minecraft guys then came on stage, with special guest John Cormack, to present Minecraft on the Oculus; there was no more information on the HoloLens, or even if that was still happening.
A tease of a game from the Limbo creators was shown, but not much else was known about it, before a bunch of indie games were listed. We Happy Few, which had a very Bioshock-like feeling about it that left me wanting to see more, was one of the only non-exclusive games shown. More games presented included Tekken 7, Dead Rising 4, Scalebound (a Final Fantasy-like game with dragons), Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and a Halo Wars 2 trailer. An announcement that Halo Wars beta was available now was also made. The one thing missing from the Microsoft conference was no mention of Crackdown 3, except a brief logo at the end.
Then came the killer for Microsoft; they announced details on their next generation console, dubbed ‘Scorpio’. They had already talked about a new, slimmer version of the Xbox One called the ‘Xbox S’, confirmed to be coming out in August of this year, but unexpectedly they announced 2 consoles. Microsoft claimed it will be the most powerful console ever, with 4K gaming and 6 teraflops of power. With no word from Sony about their next console, there is nothing yet to compare it to.
With that jam-packed conference Sony had a lot to live up to. Whilst Sony didn’t talk about next gen, they did wow people with the PlayStation VR and their exclusive games. The conference itself was impressive, with a big orchestra playing throughout. They showed off a trailer for a new God of War game, as well as a Zombie game called Days Gone that could be the rival to Dead Rising. There was more to be seen of The Last Guardian and an official release date was announced, 25th of October. A massive amount of game play was shown for the Horizon: Zero Dawn, with futuristic robot-like enemies being killed by the female protagonist; Horizon will not be released until February 2017. After that, a trailer for the futuristic game Detroit: Become Human was played.
The main focus of the Sony conference seemed to be the PlayStation VR. Sony claimed there will be 50 games available for the PS VR by the end of the year, and they listed off some big hitters. Resident Evil 7, Star Wars, Batman and Final Fantasy will all have VR games on the PlayStation, as well as others such as the Sci-Fi shooter Farpoint, and even a Call of Duty game. A surprise that left the audience feeling happy was another remake, this time of all three Crash Bandicoot games.
The biggest hit for Sony during their conference, was massive cheers and applause as Hideo Kojima arrived on stage to tell us about his new, PlayStation exclusive game Death Standing. He came onto the stage and said the words ‘I’m back’, before a trailer heavily featuring a character based on The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus was shown. The trailer didn’t give us much information and it left the audience confused, but wanting to know more. Finishing the conference was an announcement that a new Spider-man game is coming, and some more footage of Days Gone.
Like Microsoft, there were a few things missing from the conference, including no word on the PlayStation Neo, no more about the Final Fantasy remake, and no update on Shenmue. There was also no mention of the PS Vita, so it looks like that Sony may have finally given up on it.
Whilst a lot of people were apprehensive about E3 and how well it would do this year, it did not disappoint. A few of the bigger companies had decided not to have booths this year, which had people worried, but the show was action packed full of gaming fun to look forward to in the future.