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E3 2018: No Winner Between Microsoft and Sony

I'll say it now, I don't think either Sony or Microsoft did better or worse than the other. They both took different approaches to their shows based on their existing positions in the market, and they were both successful in what they set out to do.

Let's start with Microsoft. Their position is shaky. There's doubt in their ability to churn out the kind of exclusive content that makes the Xbox One truly worth owning. To quell these fears, Microsoft did a few things:

1. They had Phil Spencer work a bit of his PR magic to wind up the crowd.
2. They emphasized the number of games and specifically how many were exclusives.
3. They showed as many games as they could to leave the impression that Xbox One is where the games are.
4. They put an emphasis on acquired studios to create a promise of more future exclusive content.

It was a solid approach considering the Xbox One is suffering right now from a lot of doubt from critics and fans alike of Microsoft's ability to actually provide exclusive content that sets Xbox apart from Playstation. It wasn't a perfect approach though.

So many games were announced, the actual exclusives were lost in the in between for the most part. New studios were acquired but with no games currently in development as new exclusives. There was very little game play from the majority of the revealed titles. The number of actual full exclusives was still very small, which may be why so many third party games were crammed in.

Microsoft did a lot to restore some confidence, but they have a long road ahead to restore faith in time for next generation, which they've already admitted they are deep in R&D for at this time. That said, this E3 presentation style was really their only choice. They needed to bring the games, and so they did.

Conversely, Sony took a more relaxed approach to their conference. They're the top dog right now by a significant margin, and it has pulled off a lot of the E3 pressure to have big reveals ready and to swallow up major third party announcements. Sony is in a very nice spot right now where they can really focus on their games and let them sell even more systems based simply on how good they are.

With this in mind, Sony did a few things:

1. They kept their conference low energy. They didn't come out swinging with PR speak, and they didn't stop after every trailer to have the developers try to build hype.
2. They had very few new game reveals, and nothing new from their first party studios. Instead they focused on their major games currently in development that had been previously revealed.
3. They kept the conference relatively short and to the point.

It was the logical approach. Sony is at an in between point in their development cycle where their major studios have either just released games, are very close to releasing games, or are deep in development on currently announced titles. They couldn't realistically produce E3 ready megatons at this time.

That said, their conference may have been too relaxed. Securing one or two more third party reveals would have gone a long way towards making the show feel more full, and at least a little stage time to build hype couldn't have hurt. I understand letting the games speak for themselves, but still speaking a bit for the games never hurts.

In the end, I did walk away from Sony's conference much more knowledgeable of what I could expect in terms of PS4 exclusive content. It could be argued Sony did a better job of establishing why a PS4 could still be worth investing in going into 2019 than Microsoft did the Xbox One.

All of that said, the end conclusion is that the two very different shows were just right for Sony and Microsoft this year. They both could learn from the other in reaching a better middle ground between volume and substance, but the extremes presented on each side highlighted the goals of each company well.

This year wasn't a matter of winning E3, but either building or keeping trust. It didn't create the best E3, but it was hardly the most disappointing for either side. We can likely expect a very different E3 next year.

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Community126d ago
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BeardedDrachen126d ago (Edited 126d ago )

Xbox had a more entertaining E3 that brought ‘hope’ to Xbox’s future.
Playstation had a mess of a conference in terms of presentation, but the exlusives shown were amazing.

At the end of the day, I can play every multiplat game shown on Xbox’s stage on my PS4.. And I’ll be able to play 5 big exclusives on PS4, (Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us 2, Deathstranding, Spiderman).

For me it’s mainly about the exclusives games, and Playstation beat MS in that regard.

chrisx126d ago

exactly my sentiments. it's all about the games and 98% of what ms showed I'll play on my Ps4. easy PS win for me

gamer7804125d ago (Edited 125d ago )

You can play the 3rd party games on ps but they all will look best on Xbox. Ms had the most variety and games. Also the biggest announcements. Unless u really just like brutal graphic violence above all else dont see how you could say Sony won.

capjacksparrow125d ago

Correction; they will look best on Xbox One X, which a minority of Xbox owners actually have. You see, they have their fans brainwashed. That's the whole point of their EXCLUSIVE/WORLD PREMEIR loudmouth jargon. It's all showy so that it distracts you from the fact that the only thing they have for the next year is a racing game and some DLC for Sea of Thieves. And let's not forget, since the majority of Xbox One owners own the standard XBO, technically, most people will be playing a superior version on the PS4/Pro, since both consoles are powerful than the original XBO.

Like the original post said, all the good stuff is multiplatform. Xbox fans act like people are going to rush out for an Xbox (when they already have a PS4) to play better looking multiplats on MS's most expensive version of their system... which doesn't make sense. If anything, you'd get the cheapest system to play their exclusives (unless you have a ton of money to throw around), but the only exclusive they've had that's broken 90 this gen is a Forza game. Only one.

Now, Microsoft announcing 5 new studios is awesome for them, and in the future, hopefully their 1st party studio will be robust, to help keep the other console manufacturers on their toes. Their show was flashy and fun (though I could do without the sneaky PR speak) and better paced than Sony's. That being said, though Sony's conference had terrible pacing, it mostly had stuff I wasn't getting anywhere else. MS's show was great for anyone watching, because most of their games could be played by anyone with either console, Sony's was great for PS4 owners, so at the end of the day people with a PS4 won out. Sony probably made a gamble and bet MS would show off a ton of third party so they wouldn't have to, and it was a good bet.

gamer7804125d ago

@capjacksarrow Correction: "Correction" is to be used when something is incorrect. What you stated is a "clarification".

But it still stands if you want the best looking version of a 3rd party game u need the console with the most power, which is from Microsoft.

capjacksparrow125d ago

You're right, that's exactly what needs to happen when MS goes on stage, clarification. They tell half-truths to attract people to their console.

SickSinceSix125d ago

Correction, multiplatform games will play best on high end gaming PC's.

UCForce125d ago

You know you can also play those games on PC, right ?

Z501119d ago

Best on XBOX ONE X to be clear.
But, if people cared about that. The XB1X would be the best selling console, imo.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 119d ago
UCForce126d ago (Edited 126d ago )

@BreadedDrachen Next E3 is going to be different for Sony and Microsoft.

Krangs_Uncle126d ago

The format was awful for Sony. But the exclusives are what separate a winner and loser at E3. All the multi platforms announced at the MS conference are an announcement for Sony too.

Elda126d ago (Edited 126d ago )

Though the PS4 conference presentation had a lack of energy they clearly had substance which consisted of compelling killer exclusives. MS conference had the energy but lacked in the exclusive dept with nothing new & unique just the typical 3 but they showed off lot of multi-plats that folks can play on either platform of their choice.

welly300125d ago

Microsoft had the better conference but sony win because of the quality of its exclusives.

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