Summer Game Fest is all but over with the big publisher shows. As usual, there is a little review of who delivered the best and who was able to win over the fans.
Now that the curtain has closed again at Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Capcom & Co., everyone seems to be in agreement, especially on the internet. Sony has to step on the gas again after Microsoft seems to be fishing more in the Japanese market and is also more interested in its players.
Sony fails in appearance
Looking at the shows alone at first, Sony is the big loser this year with a boring presentation of a string of marketing trailers that basically didn’t say much. Instead of big E3 shows, a video editor was used at best, who cobbled together the roughly one-hour compilation and sent it live. Even PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan’s pre-recorded speech sounded like a repeat of years past. The official opening show saved it a bit for Sony in the end, but can’t you expect the same from the platform owner and market leader on top of that?
At least Microsoft made an effort to let the developers behind the games have their say, while the traditional extended version of the showcase provided further input. Finally, Ubisoft brought the developers onto their own stage and personally presented the upcoming productions to a small live audience, similar to Capcom, albeit as a pre-recorded show. Devolver Direct once again delivered the most ingenious presentation, showing that you can also entertain on a small scale and announce games with a lot of humor and your very own way.
Certainly you can’t compare the current shows with previous E3 presentations, but you could tell very clearly who is looking for at least the closeness to the fans and wants to score points with personality. Unfortunately, Sony has completely lost that.
Microsoft is fishing in Sony waters
All the trappings aside, Microsoft launched a frontal assault on Sony territory. The Xbox Showcase revealed a surprising number of Japanese productions, including real caliber Persona 5 Tactica and Persona 3 Reload. With Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth finally there was another Japanese heavyweight on the stage.
If you compare the general selection of games, Microsoft was also able to score with a good selection of first and third party games, even if not all of them offer the substance that a Final Fantasy 16 or Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The focus at Sony was increasingly on the live service games, which are still viewed very critically at this point in time as to whether the concept will even work out in this mass.
Of course you know that studios like Naughty Dog, Santa Monica or Bend are working on something. But right now, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to get your hands on any of that any time soon. On this point, one can praise Ubisoft, which showed almost exclusively games that are about to be published. Featuring The Crew Motorfest, XDefiant, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Skull and Bones or Prince of Persia: Lost Crown offers a wide range of genres that should soon have something for everyone.
All in all, we certainly have some exciting months and years ahead of us and there will be no shortage of good games on any platform. But what is currently missing, especially from Sony, is a more personal relationship with users, but also more solid announcements and tangible games instead of vague marketing presentations from the assembly line. Worse was only the Future Games Show, which rained down over 50 games in 90 minutes. After all, there were also gameplay scenes to see here.