The lights are on
The press conferences that kick off E3 allow companies to set the tone of the show, highlighting new games, services, and generally getting gamers excited. Sometimes these events go very well, and other times they are horrible disasters. How does this year stack up? Well, it certainly won't live in infamy, but it also didn't drop any jaws.
Despite a flood of news and trailers, no one company wiped the floor with the others this year. Everyone had solid, steady showings with a mix of sequels, new IP, and surprises. Of course, each one was good in different ways and for different reasons, and we have the full breakdowns for each one.
Microsoft opened its show saying that games would be the focus, and it kept that promise. We didn't have to watch any painful Kinect demos or listen to anyone drone on about sports and TV. Instead, we got to see big names like Assassin's Creed: Unity and Evolve in action. We also got introduced to some new projects like the Phantom Dust reboot and a new Crackdown. That's just scratching the surface, though. For the full story, read Mike Futter's analysis, plus a conversation between GI editors Matt Miller and Ben Reeves. You should also watch our video recap with Jeff Cork and Tim Turi.
EA did a good job showing gamers some things to look forward to this year and beyond. Battlefield: Hardline got the most attention, but we also learned a few tidbits about Dragon Age: Inquisition, the new Mass Effect, and the new IP from Casey Hudson's team. EA also revealed the Criterion (of Burnout fame) is making a new game, and we also got a look at the new Mirror's Edge. For some firsthand impressions, watch Ben Reeves and Kim Wallace discuss the event in our video recap.
As always, Ubisoft had some weird moments...like a Kinect fitness game, or a stage full of people wriggling around to Just Dance on mobile. However, the company also had games we cared about, like Far Cry 4 (the game on the cover of our current issue, which you can read right now). After that, we got compelling glimpses of Assassin's Creed: Unity, The Division, and The Crew. Most surprisingly, Ubisoft revealed Rainbow 6: Siege, which seems to harken back to the series' roots. Watch our video recap with Kyle Hilliard and Bryan Vore for complete impressions.
Unlike Microsoft, Sony didn't exclusively feature games. The company made announcements regarding the PlayStation Now service, the Vita TV (now renamed PlayStation TV), and an original show based on the comic Powers. However, Sony also had plenty of time to show some software. Bloodborne, Little Big Planet 3, and Dead Island 2 were new game announcements met with enthusiasm, and No Man's Sky was a surprise hit that had people talking. The announcements didn't stop there, so read Mike Futter's analysis for the inside scoop – or watch Mike and Tim Turi discuss it in this video recap.
Nintendo did not have a traditional press conference, instead streaming a pre-recorded presentation. However, the results were the same: We were treated to glimpses of a new Zelda for Wii U, Monolith's Xenoblade Chronicles X, and (of course) Super Smash Bros. Nintendo also gave more details regarding its upcoming figure technology, Amiibo, and promised that exciting applications are already in development. The 3DS played a conspicuously small role in the Nintendo Direct presentation, but that may be for the best. To find out why, read Mike Futter's analysis.
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