E3 hits Los Angeles; Rivalry between Microsoft and Sony

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E3 hits Los Angeles; Rivalry between Microsoft and Sony 

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, is currently being held in Los Angeles, CA from June 9th to the 12th. Video game lovers- get pumped! The expo is held every year and the biggest names in the gaming industry present their new games at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It is an environment of that has a lot to do with the ruthless competition between the top video gaming companies at E3. Microsoft, EA Games, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo each have had, or will have, hour long press conferences in which the top designers and executives present their games and franchises to fans through beautifully rendered trailers. In an environment like E3 and with an audience of die-hard, knowledgeable fans, the gaming companies fight for the spotlight.

            On June 9th, Microsoft conducted the first press conference of E3. Microsoft is known for the XBOX, the gaming system that competes fiercely with Sony’s PlayStation. Their press conference, the 2014 Global XBOX Media Briefing, showcased a large number of games that will be available for gamers that purchase the XBOX One. It was released in 2013, however Microsoft is revamping the system to automatically turn off the Kinect attachment to improve software speed. This flaw of the XBOX was something that put it behind its competitor, Sony’s PlayStation 4.

The gaming companies that were featured in the media brief included Ubisoft, Insomnia Games, TurnTen Studios, Capcom, Harmonix, Lionhead Studios, Project Spark, and Moon Studio. Footage was shown for the following games/franchises: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Forza Horizon, Evolve, Dragon-Age Inquisition, Sunset Overdrive, a small bit of Assassin’s Creed, etc.

Electronic Arts, aka EA Games, focused their press conference on upcoming video games, but mostly presented ‘conceptual prototypes,’ or games that are still in the early stages of development and are years away from completion. This might be an attempt to keep up with EA’s popular competitors by showing innovative ideas and to incite excitement for the future of the company. However, in an industry like games and entertainment, fans are not always willing to wait for a promised outcome. Games that were featured include DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror’s Edge, and Battlefield: Hardline. These games are very different from EA’s usual game lineup, which normally includes Madden, the Sims, UFC, and other sports- centric games.

Ubisoft’s new game, Watch Dogs, recently set the record for New Best-Selling Franchise on PlayStation 4. Ubisoft regularly comes out with excellent franchises, like Assassin’s Creed, so it’s no surprise that their conference presented trailers for many new games that excited attendees, including Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Rainbow 6: Siege, Just Dance 2014, Far Cry 4, etc.

As much as I love the XBOX, Sony had the biggest impact on the first day of E3. In a similar fashion to Microsoft, Sony highlighted the advantages of buying a PS 4 and the games that buyers have access to through the system. Games like Batman Arkham Knight, Forza Horizon 2, infamous: First Light, Little Big Planet, Far Cry 4, Dead Island 2 (Zombies!), Disney Infinity 2 (play with cute versions of Marvel heroes), Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and most importantly for me, Mortal Kombat X. New games included Entwined, The Order, and Bloodbourne. What made Sony the biggest star that day was the amount of exclusives the PlayStation was able to offer buyers, as opposed to the XBOX. Also, the games that Sony presented got more excitement out of the attendees than Microsoft’s presented games, and this could be because the PlayStation didn’t need to change a key part of it’s software to appeal more to users like Microsoft had to. It all comes down to marketing tactics and if the system in genuinely more efficient, and if one system can offer an exclusive perk that the other can’t.

Sony claims that PlayStation users will be able to play games faster, and acquire their games more quickly. Popular games like Grim Fandango will be released for the PlayStation first, and the new Batman and Disney Infinity games will have exclusive levels only available on the PS 4. The only franchise that Microsoft has first rights to is Call of Duty.

Nintendo will present new game releases through a special Digital Event online. Nintendo did not create a new game system for 2014, which means the online presentation will be centered on the games and the trailers, rather than the Sony/ Microsoft drama. The Digital event will go live at 9 AM Pacific Time at the above link.

Now go play some games, ya crazy kids!

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