Sony’s leading the next-gen console charge with the PS4 on November 15th. Microsoft will follow with XBox One a week later, on November 22nd. Their marketing departments are, no doubt, firing on all cylinders.
They’re both enjoyable and notably similar: a montage of high-budget, live action, game-related scenes strung together with a music track. But Microsoft’s is a much better commercial because it uses an extra 30 seconds and actually shows people using the console in new ways and shows game footage. Sony’s commercial could be for any console, any set of games, movie, or anything – it simply ends with “Greatness Awaits,” a release date and the PS4 logo. Confident, sure, but not informative at all to the average consumer.
Nintendo didn’t have the standard E3 press conference, but had a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct video and game demos at the show. 3rd party support appears to be recoiling from Wii U development, but I’ll be honest, I want pretty much every Nintendo game they showcased. And while I’m being honest, full disclosure, I’m a bit of a Nintendo fanboy.
Nintendo showed all the games they said they would and had one new game reveal, but lets go through these chronologically.
Sony’s conference started kind of slowly and generally had much more talking than was necessary. They finally revealed the appearance of the PlayStation 4 console, a modern looking, slanted box; not nearly as large as the XBox One and it can be placed vertically – I like it. There weren’t nearly as many games as in the Microsoft conference. A new game, The Order: 1886 was teased; a Victorian Steam-punk setting with …werewolves? Yes, please. inFAMOUS Second Son looks good and I’m sure Killzone: Shadow Fall will be a competent and pretty shooter and Knack looks decent. But nothing I saw made me think I must have “Next Gen” on day one (though that remains a strong possibility, regardless).
Microsoft started things out exactly how they said they would: games. Lots of games for the XBox One were shown, many exclusive (thanks to deep pockets), and many look very promising. It was a really strong showing overall, but I was particularly impressed with Titanfall.
The XBox One will be available in November for $499. The high price point was expected as the new, more powerful Kinect is included. It would be interesting to learn if Microsoft is selling units at a loss and how much of one.
Microsoft didn’t comment further on their controversial online requirements, which makes them all the more likely to be set in stone.