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E3 2013 | Next-Gen Console Comparison

By
Posted on June 11, 2013 AT 06:59pm

The E3 media briefings are over. The reveals are complete. The dust has settled. It’s time to look back and define some winners and losers from the battle of the buzz builders.

Though many people wouldn’t, I’m including Nintendo in my round-up. Why? The “Let’s Play” event they hosted today (6/11) was – at least to me – the most press conference like “non-press conference” that I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend. With that said, lets begin.

Microsoft

The team at Microsoft presented a strong line of games for their new console, including some surprising exclusives like Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 and Insomniac Games new IP, Sunset Overdrive. With an understanding nod to the community, they showed off a new Killer Instinct game (thank you Rare) and a spiritual successor to one of my personal favorite games – Panzer Dragoon – with Crimson Dragon. The tech demo’s didn’t disappoint – every “in-engine” reel was more visually stunning (and I swear louder) than its predecessor. Knowing that the game support was there, that multiplayer and matchmaking mechanics had been addressed, the only question left to answer was price.

The pause that fell over the Galen Center when the $499 price point was announced lasted only for a few moments, which I believe was due to nearly every journalist in the room flocking to social media to gauge the community reaction.

The fact that it happened at all surprised me. In essence, the Xbox one is a bundled system – a console with a Kinect.

If you expected the console to come in at $399 MSRP, and add a Kinect (which currently retails for $99) you easily reach the $499 price point.

As a gamer, some of the licensing details concern me – moreso because of potential ease of use issues than anything else. As an industry observer, I still can’t quite find the logic in releasing a new Xbox 360 SKU 5 months before the launch of your non-backwards compatible next-gen box. But one thing is for sure, you couldn’t escape Xbox One news yesterday, so the briefing did its job.

Sony

I had to hand it to Sony – very little about the Playstation 4 was leaked on the internet before the briefing on the 10th, so much of what was said and shown was surprising by simply being fresh and unknown.

The support for independent developers on the PS4 was warmly received (trust me, you owe it to yourself to check out Octodad: Dadliest Catch and Don’t Starve) and new IP’s The Dark Sorcerer, The Order 1886 and Mad Max quickly and elegantly show off the power of the new platform. With additional title announcements including Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV and Jack Tretton’s comments on how DRM will continue to be treated on the PS4 as it has been on the PS3, and the $399 price point for the new box ($100 less than the Xbox One, $50 more than the top-end Wii U) and buzz was definitely built for the brand.

Nintendo

At the “Lets Play” event, Reggie Fils-Aime introduced several different developers to briefly chat with a select group of journalists about several of the titles announced at their webcast earlier in the morning. Games like Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker HD, Super Mario Bros. 3D World and Bayoneta 2 seemed to generate the most buzz, and frankly, felt long overdue on the system.

Supported by titles like The Wonderfull 101, Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Super Smash Bros. 3DS paired with an immediate hands-on session and Q&A session with each developer, #NintendoE3 was trending on Twitter faster than you can say, “It’sa me, Mario.”

In the End

The winner was the gaming community. Both new consoles bring an impressive wealth of new IP’s, powerful hardware, and online multiplayer improvements that should make the next few years of gaming really exciting.

Each brand sent Twitter and Facebook into a tizzy with nearly each announcement and demo that was made, and continues to feed the buzz engine as I write this.

Pre-orders for the new systems started off very strong according to Gamestop and Amazon, so the old addage was proved to be true – any press is good press.

Rochelle has been writing about, talking about, and arguing with anyone who will listen to her about video games –professionally – for more six years. Co-Founder, Designer, and Podcast Co-Host at ElectricSistaHood, Rochelle fancies herself rather geeky. Follow her on twitter @NinJaSistah


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