E3 2013: So This Was E3

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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E3 2013: So This Was E3

With this being the last day of E3, and even on the West Coast in its declining hours, it's always a good time to take a look back and see what we learned from the big event. With new games, new hardware, and new attitudes coming into play, E3 2013 meant a lot of things to a lot of people, so here's a look at what I took away from the big show.

1. Nintendo may have a chance to catch up. While many no longer regard Big N's efforts as being part of the "console wars," Nintendo is still in the market. Perhaps the biggest problem faced by Nintendo going into E3 was a distinct lack of games for its new Wii U platform. And while a poll at the L.A. Times suggests that E3 hasn't done much to influence plans to buy a Wii U, this is likely because a lot of users have already bought theirs. But with several titles on tap and several shown at E3, this may be the opportunity Nintendo needs to get its users back.

2. Sony socked it to Microsoft, but.... Given that plans to buy a PS4 outweigh plans to buy an Xbox One better than two to one on the L.A. Times poll, and given the general spirit of recent events as expressed by recent blog and webcomic comments, Sony will walk out of E3 smelling like a rose. With several interesting titles on tap from "Daylight" to "The Division" and well beyond, including some exclusives like "The Order: 1886," Sony has quite a bit to offer in this generation, not least of all the comparative ease of use in terms of used and rental games, which have proven to be popular with the gaming public. However, there's a caveat here, and a fairly important one.

3. ...but Microsoft still has every chance of coming back. That L.A. Times poll made it clear: for every roughly five people planning to buy an PlayStation 4, two are planning to buy an Xbox One. Microsoft isn't out in this round, merely down, and with several exciting titles to its own credit like an exclusive on "Dead Rising 3", Microsoft may be able to pull back some lead if it can relax its confusing and draconian policies on used and rental gaming to keep in line with customer expectations, while at the same time present some spectacular gaming experiences like it seems they can do. A recent interview with Peter Molyneux described how Microsoft needs to show the gaming public how always-on gaming is a benefit to the gamer, and indeed, that would be welcome news, as I have a hard time seeing just where the benefit comes in in a system that stops working should your Internet access go down for more than 24 hours at a clip.

4. I have no idea where "Fallout 4" is. Seriously, none. IGN actually tried to get this same answer out of Bethesda but Bethesda was not talking. However, some have noted that Skyrim didn't get its announcement at E3 either, but rather at the Video Game Awards. So there still may yet be hope for that sweet slice of post-Apocalyptia to show its face by the closing of the year.

Naturally, there was plenty else to take away from E3 2013. With enough trailers for anyone's taste, a smattering of hardware items--the increased showing of the Oculus Rift is noteworthy in its own right--and enough commentary to fill books, E3 was, as ever, a busy time with a lot of promise for the future. It will be, of course, very exciting to see just how that future comes around, and just what changes we'll see in the gaming landscape between here and there.
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