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One of the biggest events of the year for people who play video games, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is a magical gathering of tech companies to show off their wares. Not quite a convention, E3 is centered on press releases. Game publishers, studios, and mega-corporations gather together in Los Angeles once a year to show the world their upcoming titles and projects.
The 2016 E3, which occurred from June 14-16, once again pitted the three major publishing studios against one another. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo gathered under the watchful glower of thousands of journalists and gamers to try to dazzle and amaze.
Off the bat, Microsoft wowed audiences by announcing its new system, the Xbox One S. It’s not a next-gen system, but rather an “improved” version of the current Xbox One console. Cheaper than its counterpart, the Xbox One S boasts Blu-ray support, gets rid of the power brick cable, and perhaps most importantly, possesses the ability to stand upright.
Microsoft also revealed a special project known as Scorpio. It’s not a James Bond-style plan to take over the world (we hope), but a new console that will be in super HD and support virtual reality.
The drawback of Microsoft’s presentation this year was its lack of new attention-grabbing games. The best game announced is a title called “Sea of Thieves,” a pirate sim that lets you and your friends suit up as buccaneers and pillage, rifle, and loot.
Sony is always a strong contender at E3, and this year, they didn’t disappoint. With titles like Resident Evil, God of War, and a brand new Spider-Man game (which I didn’t know was coming, but now desperately need), Sony’s library of games far outshone Microsoft’s collection both in quantity and quality.
While Sony seems to be sticking with their tried-and-true system, the Playstation 4, they weren’t without new hardware. Like Microsoft, Sony is deeply invested in virtual reality experiences. Their announcement of the Playstation VR, a headset compatible with their current system, shows how entrenched both companies are in this new technology. Honestly, though, I see shades of the failed “Playstation Move” (a rip-off of the then-popular motion controls that Nintendo was famous for) in this new headset.
Sony and Microsoft may be the two titans that spread their game-based wings at E3 every year, but we can’t forget to mention that little company called Nintendo. Although it remains less involved in the expo than its competitors, Nintendo has carved out a small but dedicated market.
Despite its more modest collection, Nintendo drove audiences wild with the announcement of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” It’s an upcoming title for the Wii: U system that is part of the immensely popular and widely acclaimed Legend of Zelda series. An open world exploration-style game, this new title quickly became the buzz of the expo, nabbing the top spot for E3 games trending on Twitter.
So, who “won” E3 this year?
Microsoft’s innovation and new systems look promising, Sony’s virtual reality whets appetites, and Nintendo continues to shower their fans with love. If you ask me, I’d say the real winners are the gamers.