What is E3?
E3 stands for the Electronic Entertainment Expo and is one of the Video Game industry’s biggest events in the year. It occurs every year at or around the beginning of June, starts on a Monday and is usually held in the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Various video game companies and publishers/developers alike come to E3 to showcase the games they have been developing and is usually an event to make new announcements. The main three companies which are usually focused on are Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony mainly due to their home consoles.
Microsoft at E3 2014
Microsoft tend to go first when E3 starts as they usually have the first 9AM slot on Monday. Microsoft usually use their time to show off the yearly Call of Duty games as they have a strong relationship with Activision (publisher of Call of Duty). This relationship is key to Microsoft appealing to the mass market of casual gamers who play shooting games and tend to buy only a few games in the year. Microsoft has also unveiled various games via it’s ID @ XBOX initiative focusing on independent developers creating low cost, unique games.
Microsoft chose to push it’s focus towards the core gamer rather than focusing on multimedia aspects like it did at last year’s E3 convention. Microsoft seemed to have learnt from it’s mistake and have listened to the consumer this year. An example of this is the Halo Master Chief Collection which has 4 Halo games, all remastered as well as various extra content. The feat of this collection is that it includes all the multiplayer maps also. The collection also allows the player to create their own playlist of levels from 4 games which is very unique.
Sony at E3 2014
Sony’s 2013 conference was a hit with the core gamer and is evident in its sales for it’s most recent home console. The only issue with gamers was that the line-up for first party games was weak and was made worse with various games being delayed such as Watch Dogs from a launch game of November 2013 to May 2014.
Sony used their time to focus on the gamers and exclusive content. Destiny, which is produced by the developer who made Halo, was one of the main games showcased with exclusive content. Sony have also bundled the game with a new white PS4 console for slightly more than retail. This will be great value for money for the end consumer.
Entwined is an exclusive Sony PS4 game which released on the same day of Sony’s press conference. This shows that the Playstation brand is able to cope with new game announcements and give the product quickly to the gamers.
Sony expanded it’s product offering such as Playstation Vita TV which is already available in Japan. Project Morpheus, Free to Play games and a few films announcements were also present. The final trailer shown by Sony was a trailer for Uncharted 4. This was an important trailer to show as the developer who is making that game has had a lot of re-shuffling of staff members and layoffs who focused primarily on that game. Showing a trailer for Uncharted 4 was a good move to ensure that gamers know it is still in production and not cancelled.
Nintendo at E3 2014 (kind of)
Nintendo have opted to do a digital presentation for the past couple of years which seems to work for Nintendo. They have not had a conference since 2012 physically at E3 and has online, direct videos instead over the year. This allows Nintendo to give gamers access to the announcements globally without any restrictions.
Nintendo are very laid back and have an outgoing direct video. They showed off gameplay from new like Yoshi’s Woolly World and known titles such as Super Smash Bros Wii U and 3DS. The majority of the time was spent speaking with Japanese developers who have been working on these games. Due to the format of which Nintendo present themselves at E3, a lot of the content is best shown outside of the 40+ minute video and are shown as small trailers.
Nintendo have used their resources to show off their games. It is very important that Nintendo give what the gamers are looking for which are core games like Legend of Zelda and Mario games. These are usually the system sellers which Nintendo need gravely as they are currently last in this home console generation.
What is next?
The video game industry has become more and more mainstream since the Nintendo Wii was released as well as the advent of mobile gaming and gaming on the go. It has allowed various ages of consumers to play games and in a variety of formats. The average consumer will be focusing on this but these conferences are held back for the hardcore gamer. These gamers are the main reason the industry continues to thrive as they are most likely going to the have high attach rate for games.
The next gaming convention is in August for the Game Developers Conference in Germany. Various European developers use this convention to give updates on games which are due to be released in Spring the following year.