It’s been a very big selling point in discussing E3 press conferences. “Who won E3? Who lost it? Who didn’t move the needle from it?” It gets to the point where you are asking it a month in advance. What does one have to do to win at E3? Most of the time, people get sick of asking the question because it gets asked by everyone, and everyone has their own opinions based on what THEY want. Some base it on what megaton gets delivered, if any, and how many there are in a conference, sort of like Microsoft FF13 on 360 reveal or Gabe Newell’s visit to Sony’s stage (the latter, hate to brag, but I called seeing as how it was Portal that was being touted, after all, and Valve was a Western developer). Some people think that nobody wins at E3 because of lack of such a focus on PC as a viable platform (why DOES it seem like the PC gets ignored at E3, anyway? Is it because of CES?).
But here’s my take on who won E3: the platform that can make good on the promises it makes at those conferences!
This means that, until we see GTA5 on PS4, or Bloodborne (which looks amazing), or Sunset Overdrive live up to the hype, or Zelda moving consoles like it should, then we won’t know for sure because we won’t know how those announcements played out.
Say GTA5 doesn’t perform better on the PS4 than on the 360 or PS3 (where it had to stream the city on both hard drive and the disc because the last-gen hardware on either platform couldn’t handle the demand on its own). It was something that Sony hammered. What if Uncharted bombs? Yeah, that’s not going to happen, but what if people are waning on the series, for some reason? Hypothetical, but anything can happen (for starters, whatever happened to that Playstation Coca-Cola promotion they touted some years ago?)
What if Sunset Overdrive turns out to be a complete mess? The controls could be wonky, it could be buggy, the art style could be too distracting, etc. What if, and this could actually happen, the next COD sells better on PC than on Xbox (not sure how it’s selling better on a console than on a platform that FPSs handle better on)? What if people decide that the exclusive DLC is not enough to sway that decision for some people? What if Crackdown doesn’t do well?
Hell, what about Nintendo? Is SSB enough? Is Zelda enough? Could the lack of Metroid be a bad thing (it’s a good thing for me because it means Nintendo didn’t sell out to people who were complaining about Other M just yet)? Zelda as a truly open world is a very good concept, but what if it’s not done well?
Of course, I’m just talking hypotheticals here, and I don’t expect any of those things to happen. What I’m trying to say is that, until you know how the final product handles and is received, then you won’t know who wins E3 because all they have are words and promises that might not be able to be kept. I think the better question is who had the best conference? Which one flowed better? Which built the best anticipation? But not “who won E3?”
In fact, that should be an easy question when you think about it. The GAMERS should be the one who wins E3. We get to have more choices, more games, more content, and more proof that the gaming industry is thriving, no matter which fanboy flag you fly (Sony, MS, Nintendo, PC, or you’re one of those people waiting for the Steambox to arrive), or if you’re an equal opportunity gamer, bottom line is that we should be the ones that “win” at E3!
But one thing is for sure: we shouldn’t be asking what company actually won E3 until they are able to deliver on what they promise at the show. We should be instead saying that they have promised us the world, as they do each year. Now, the winner is the one that actually delivers on giving it to us the way you said you would.
Until then, the jury is still out!