Let’s meet our volunteers:
Si Stevens, Adamski UK, Billy (aka gogul1), Craig Hallam, (aka craigieh & craigieh28) and Sarah.
What were you thoughts on the Microsoft conference?
Si: Can you say learn from your mistakes? As much as last year was all about the hardware this year was all about the games and they looked nice, they looked really nice but was there anything to make me want to rush out and buy the One .
Overall, a few exclusives but nothing huge. Microsoft decided to go for the polar opposite of last year and I don’t think that’s to do with them “listening” as they kept trying to drive home to us but more if they show just games Sony, in their advantageous position of presenting last, have nothing to take the piss out of. Personally I am hoping that we see some more techy stuff announced over the next couple of days – Enviroroom anyone? – to bring the balance.
Adamski UK: Certainly focused on the gamers this time round, which is what Microsoft needed to do. Showing the diversity of titles and broad demographic targets.
Forza 5 is still the only title thats really pulling me towards the Xbox One.
Lots of looking at the past with Halo Redux – almost like a case of ‘shit, we got fuck all coming out, what can we fill the gap with which is low cost for us, but high value for our customers?’
Billy: Games, Games, Games. Good solid push throughout on upcoming titles. Definitely a major improvement from last year but that’s not hard.
Craig: Well, Microsoft did what I said they would in my prediction post on the forums: Games, games, games, and aggressively so. If the aim of their conference was to get more people to take up their console, they may have found a plus one in me. It was fast, focused and clear – Xbox’s new head Phil Spencer has jettisoned the Kinect in favour of simple gaming, following Sony’s marketing push of ‘for the players’. The only winner in this scenario is the consumer. The humility and the humbleness Spencer showed endeared me to their new direction, as did many of the game they showed, especially Sunset Overdrive, perhaps my surprise of the show.
Forza Horizon 2 is intriguing, as I loved the original despite not being a massive driving game fan, and the Halo collection is incredible value, though I wish something similar was done for ODST, the most innovative Halo title, and Reach, my personal favourite. Not as many interesting exclusives, but enough for me consider a purchase of an Xbox One. Because of Crackdown…
Sarah: Even though Microsoft’s performance was markedly better than last years, with more emphasis on games, there wasn’t much in the way of exclusive content; if you’re not a Halo fan then you’re out of luck.
However the fact that many of their titles are actually set to be released this year will probably work in their favour. At least they have listened to their fans and realised where they’ve gone wrong.
What were your thoughts on the Sony conference?
Si: Sony showed more exclusives than Microsoft but showed an equal amount of games that I just don’t care for currently. However, and this is written as my second conference seen and with a few more to go, I think I have seen my most anticipated game but more on that later.
Adamski UK: A structured show with a short bombardment of statistics in the middle for the buyers and retail representatives watching. Diverse selection of titles and capabilities of product and services.
Good to see Project Morpheus represented and PlayStation Now getting closer – showing to the audience that Sony are still developing software and hardware – which I think is what Microsoft have been known for, behind the very creative Nintendo.
Billy: Good PS4 presentation touched on PlayStation TV and Morpheus. Will definitely buy a PSTV if the PS4 streaming actually works.
Bit dull in the middle but good push on upcoming games, no major surprises though.
Gutted Vita still can’t catch a break and be supported by some of Sony’s major IPs. It looks primarily to be an indie console relegated to supporting partner for PS4. It can be so much more.
Craig: I had the advantage of viewing the Sony conference after the fact. Twitter comments hinted at a very uneven and very unbalanced show, but being able to look purely at the games, the announcements, and the facts, it seems very solid. Highlights include Bloodborne, another involving, time communing and demanding RPG I will only play a fraction of, Little Big Planet 3 coming for Christmas 2014 (though not being developed directly by Media Molecule) and most of all, No Man’s Sky, which from the range of websites I peruse and podcasts I listen to, is the closest thing to a game of show there can be.
Also of note is Sony’s commitment to free-to-play titles. the announcement of 25 titles in the next year is significant because is further extends the library of the PS4, something that has been noticeable in the first 6 or so months of the competitors life cycles. The merits of these various free-to-play games can be debated, but with titles like Planetside 2 and the upcoming Loadout, this commitment can only strengthen the appeal of Sony platform.
I do think it’s time for the snark and the snide towards Microsoft to stop though…
Sarah: Sony’s exclusives weren’t all that impressive and it was clear they were trying to push the PS4 as more than just a games console.
This could be a step backwards after Microsoft’s poor performance sales-wise in the last year but Sony are obviously in a comfortable place where they feel they can start pushing the console’s other abilities.
What were you thoughts on the Nintendo conference?
Si: This is going to be controversial but Nintendo just doesn’t do it for me. The only two Mario games i have ever owned were Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart. I have never played a Zelda game (see Matt you are not alone)I had a Wii but never purchased any first party “games” – Wii Sports came with the console and Wii Fit was just a lesson in leaning, I get the same amount of exercise leaning for my next handful of Doritos.
I go into the conference with an open mind but I just don’t think I will be scrabbling to pick up a Wii U. Super Smash Brothers with Mii’s as well isn’t a selling point and Nintendo Skylanders to Infinity will probably appeal to some collectors but with two little monsters running around I will be scanning my kids after they have eaten Mario.
Well I was going to write words like I did for the other conferences but literally nothing grabbed me here. Nothing made me think I need to get a Wii U in my life which is a shame because money wise the Wii U is probably more in my price range than an Xbox One if I’m honest.
Adamski UK: It doesn’t interest me personally, so I haven’t seen it yet.
Billy: Did not watch it. Have been disinterested in the majority of what Nintendo do for a long time.
I going to guess here:
Craig: it’s speaks volumes to me that watching all the commentaries on Giant Bomb, this was the one that seemed to generate the most genuine excitement. I still feel that Nintendo, by doing these ‘Direct’ feeds, are ahead of the game in some way, and that we will see this practice more in the future.
I’m going to say that I am huge 90′s Nintendo nostalgia freak; I still have such fond memories of the SNES and N64. I haven’ owned a Nintendo console since the later machine, and am currently going through a hankering for a Nintendo fix.
So take it with a small pinch of salt when I say I am very excited about the prospect of going out and buying a WiiU. As someone who hasn’t been a Nintendo participant for a while, I am very excited by what I saw. I am also a busy professional person who is getting tired of games that demand so much of your time and energy to either enjoy or succeed at. I am viewing the WiiU as a very desirable gaming option.
Zelda; Smash Bros; Kirby – all looked to have that Nintendo magic. The big N need to play to their strengths and not mimic the big boys, and I think they did this very well.
Sarah: Awesome! They gave us everything that we want and more. I was throwing money at the screen and now need to fork out for a new telly.
The tone was light hearted and I enjoyed the little skits by Robot Chicken which showed Nintendo are able to laugh at themselves.
The games presented generally looked fun and interesting, and the Amiibo figures especially gave an added “oooh” factor to their presentation. Nintendo are often a step ahead in terms of technology and they clearly know how to please their fans.
What about the other presentations, anything stand out for you?
Si: Sunset Overdrive – Liked the look of this last year, love the look of this this year. Over the top balls to the wall Tony hawk inspired combo creating third person shooter. Does it look as good graphically as all of the pre-renders we have seen thus far – HELL NO, does it look like one of the most exciting games in a long time – Damn Straight. If I get an Xbox One this is one of the first games I want to own but I don’t think its strong enough to make me want to go and reach for my wallet just yet.
AC Unity –4 Player multiplayer campaigns is an interesting concept but I can’t help think that with the right team this will work well ala Payday but with the wrong team this will just a be a frustrating lesson in stealth fuckupery
Grim Fandango – I’ve said it many times, great gaming is great gaming and this is great gaming. I Can’t wait for the release of this. Memory lane here we come. Hopefully with this sort of exclusive and the obvious partnership that seems to be happening between Disney and Sony I hope we see Full Throttle and Day of the tentacle over the next couple of years.
Star Wars Battlefront – very little footage but what we did see looked amazing and the brief story behind how far DICE is going to make this as authentic as possible really makes me wish this is a great success.
EA PGA Tour 15 – The roar of the Tiger has gone but I have always loved getting lost in the realism of EA PGA games, the wildlife wandering going about their business, the blades of grass swaying left to right always makes for one of the most realistic golf gaaaaah what the fuck is that? A battleship sailing THROUGH my golf course. Ummmm can I pass this year please.
Adamski UK: What no females in Assassins Creed Unity!?
Billy: EA’s wink at a new mass effect was not expected but welcomed.
Craig: EA’s press conference was notable for it’s lack of concrete releases. Everything seemed way of, and hinted at a company paring down operations. We may be seeing a very different EA in the next 5 years.
Sarah: Ubisoft had a strong presentation with many big titles revealed, Farcry and Assassin’s Creed among them.
What game or games most impressed you?
Si: No Man’s Sky – What exactly did I just see here. An exploration game? A discovery game? A space game? All of the above? The concept excites me but I think I want to see more before I lay down my cash for this one. Ok Shaun starts speaking and instantly sells it to me. A procedurally generated universe that is so infinite that every player will start on a different planet and even the game devs don’t even know how much is out there. If this is true that is freaking amazing. My god the taster after the speech looks unbelievable. Day 1 purchaser right here.
Adamski UK: No Mans Sky looks like it could be a very immersive experience, although I’m not sure how much repetition would be involved. Titles like Evolve and Fable making use of the ‘villain/monster’ mechanic – hope this spreads to other titles. Bloodbourne had an impressive amount of blood & snot! Oh, wait a minute…..Star Wars Battlefront!
Billy: Arkham Knight. The Order 1886. Assassins Creed Unity (the environments not the multiplayer hoohah)
Craig: No Man’s Sky without question. I hope there are no smoke and mirrors with the game, and from what I’ve heard the developers talk about, it may deliver on the promise of those stunning trailers.
Witcher 3 continues to show evidence that indicates it will most probably be my game of 2015. I adored Witcher 2 (and the first game on PC, despite its rough edges), and if the trajectory continues the will be astounding.
And Sunset Overdrive looks a hell of a lot of fun. The initial reveal trailer last year did nothing to excite me, but that game play demo looked great fun.
Sarah: The Legend of Zelda, Far Cry 4, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Mass Effect
Who won E3 and why?
Si: Just like last year in my mind there is a very clear winner from E3 2014 and it’s a simple choice. Is it Microsoft coming back to reclaim its crown? No. Is it Nintendo with their printing money machine amibio or whatever they are calling their skylander thing – No. Have I gone all fanboy and decided that I made the right decision 8 months ago (well yes I have decided that I did but) No. The winner of E3 is simply us. I defy any one of you reading this to have watched the conferences, read the news and watched the trailers to have not got excited at least 3 times and have at least two titles that you are seriously considering buying. If this is the true start of next gen I can’t wait to experience the full 5 year ride.
Adamski UK: For me…the gamers.
2015 has the potential to be a golden age of video games.
I wonder if we look back at previous console releases, how many years AFTER the release of a console, is the most profitable and features the most critically acclaimed releases? Ooh, that’s a good idea for another article eh Dave?!
Billy: I’d give it to Sony again for progressing not just PS4 but new tech too.
MS was great as well but mostly were making up for last year. Think they’re even now so will be great to see what E3 2015 has to offer.
Craig: Sigh. I hate to say it, but I think we won. Companies are falling over themselves to get you to like them and their products, and the choice available is mind boggling. If you don’t feel the need to play everything (and I know how that feels!), you have a wonderful range of games to suit your needs.
Sarah: Nintendo because Zelda.
They are entertaining, don’t take themselves too seriously and there is generally a level of professionalism and passion unmatched by the others.
So there we have it, the official MLG opinion on E3, add your thoughts in the comments!