E3 and Gamescom are over. Has anything changed? by Pete Dodd


There was a lot of hype surrounding both E3 and Gamescom this year as both Microsoft and Sony were stretching their legs and moving strongly into this new generation. The tactics of the two companies were very different. Sony has kept many things very close their chest, to the point where we still have no idea what the majority of Sony's Worldwide Studios are working on. Microsoft, on the other hand, has given us a glimpse into the future, with looks at games that could be as far away as 2017. The reason for these different paths is obvious, Sony is in a position of power and Microsoft is trying to catch up. The underdog usually is much more fun.

The big takeaway for me is that I don't feel like E3 or Gamescom really changed anything. This benefits Sony as they currently have a 2:1 sales advantage worldwide, so things staying the same is exactly what they want. It is surprising to me, however, that there hasn't been more movement from gamers towards the Xbox One as they have considerably upped the value of the machine since their blundered unveiling. Tastes may vary but I felt like Microsoft had the better exclusives at launch, and going into this Fall I feel like they potentially have the better exclusives again. For a consumer-base that seemingly propped up the PS4 early on for being "all about the games," that market hasn't responded much to the fact that Microsoft is delivering them.

A large reason for this is that in general third party titles look and perform better on the PS4. The biggest sellers of the launch weren't exclusives, it was the usual suspects... COD/BF4/FIFA/ETC. In the US most of those games are still charting in the top ten each month. Watch_Dogs, which was put out on 4 consoles (plus PC, but digital PC sales weren't disclosed) sold nearly 50% of all copies on the PS4 in the US and UK, with the other 50% split between the Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. Things like this may signal that we have moved into a new era where it isn't about the exclusives anymore. In fact, maybe we haven't been here for a while, the 360's dominance in North America and western Europe may have had more to do with Call of Duty, Madden, and FIFA, than it did with Gears of War or Halo. 

One of the most hyped games of the Fall/Holiday season is Destiny, which is a cross-gen, multiplatform game. Due to marketing promotions, hardware sales, and the belief it will play better on the PS4... the game is likely to be a much bigger seller, and system seller, on the PS4 than the Xbox One. While Sony doesn't have a first party answer to Sunset Overdrive or The Master Chief Collection, that may prove to be inconsequential in terms of diminishing sales. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.  The Master Chief Collection rivals The Orange Box in terms of how much value you are getting at the $60 price point. If that doesn't push the needle towards Microsoft they may be in deep trouble for this generation. I, in no way, mean to say that exclusives have zero meaning to console sales, as I'm sure they will cause upticks for both systems, but the lasting impact is questionable, while a stream of multiplatform games that are continually better on one system is an impact that doesn't stop until there is parity.

What I got out of Gamescom and E3 is that both systems have a lot of games that I am excited to play. I feel like Microsoft had bigger announcements, but we haven't seen that translate into better sales yet. The trajectory has stayed pretty much the same since March (other than May, which was especially awful for Microsoft). Sony has a lead and nothing that happened at E3 or Gamescom seems to have the power to change that. Microsoft is chipping away as best they can, which is fantastic news for those of us who own (or want to own) the Xbox One. They are getting exclusives (timed or not), they are pumping out updates like mad, they are much more consumer focused and have been making changes based off of what their customers are telling them that they want. I love underdog Microsoft. I really do. Unfortunately, I feel like decisions made years ago may haunt them this entire generation. If the multiplats play better on one system over the other, the weaker system may be fighting a battle they can't win. E3 and Gamescom have legitimized that theory for me.

The consumer will benefit from them trying though... just look at the improvements to the PS3 as a platform over the course of last generation. 





Comments:

#1
AskewedOne
While E3 and Gamescom have pushed me slightly more in the direction of getting an Xbox One, I'm still waiting for a deeper price cut. Given the limited amount of time I have in general, a second console currently does me no good. Eventually I know I'll have to get one, but the lack of a exclusive that is an absolute must-have keeps me on the fence.
#2JanItor17
I've said it before, i'll say it again - historically, quality console exclusives have never altered the course for a console generation in any meaningful way. It's never happened before, and theres no reason to believe will start happening now.
#3
Solryn
Nothing really changed for me post Gamescom. After MS I was a bit bummed about the Tomb Raider news (although I own an X1). The other thing that bummed me out was just the meat grinder of neck stabbing, bullet slinging violent games. But, Sony pulled through for me. A lot of the announcements really showed a ton of imagination and variety. To list a few, Wild, Tomorrow Children, Tearaway Unfolded, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. By the end of the show I was a lot more excited about the games I will be playing on my PS4.
#4Anonymous
Gamescom showed me that the X1 keeps getting stronger and stronger and keep showing good will to putting games ahead of everything. I for one as a Day One buyer am very pleased. Sony showed me that I can't wait to get my PS4 hopefully at Christmas and get ready for 2015. Gamescom made me believe that all the "consoles are dead" people are just full of it. Consoles are here to stay baby!
#5
FrodoYolo69
This is likely going to last the entire generation, but unfortunately no one will really know until this holiday season, during November and December when most people actually buy their consoles for their kids. However will kids really care about new systems, if they can play Skylanders, Minecraft and CoD on the 360/PS3? Who knows? I know I certainly don't.
#6
Dewin
Nothing really changed. The large amount of new games Sony showed is proof that Sony had a running start with indies. The Tombraider deal doesn't change anything really. It is good to see MS putting in an effort, also with more indies. But it is hard to catch up to the momentum Sony has.
#7AnthonyUK
I actually disagree, (unsurprisingly) Looking at both shows together showed the weakness of the Microsofts lineup, they have the same tired franchises - Fable/forza/Halo, a bunch of third party games that had exclusive DLC for games that will sell better on the PS4 and then CGI trailers of games that are years off. Sony had new games at E3 announced that will be out by Q1 2015(bloodborne,LBP3). none of Microsofts newly announced games will be playable before holiday 2015. Sony showed of a wider variety and number of games some exclusive, some console firsts, and well.. no Man's Sky. the PS4 has more games out now..far far more..it has more games announced....it has more studios with unannounced stuff..and has better multiplatform games, theres no competition really.
#8
Team Vernia
AnthonyUK wrote:
I actually disagree, (unsurprisingly) Looking at both shows together showed the weakness of the Microsofts lineup, they have the same tired franchises - Fable/forza/Halo, a bunch of third party games that had exclusive DLC for games that will sell better on the PS4 and then CGI trailers of games that are years off. Sony had new games at E3 announced that will be out by Q1 2015(bloodborne,LBP3). none of Microsofts newly announced games will be playable before holiday 2015. Sony showed of a wider variety and number of games some exclusive, some console firsts, and well.. no Man's Sky. the PS4 has more games out now..far far more..it has more games announced....it has more studios with unannounced stuff..and has better multiplatform games, theres no competition really.
I liked what I saw from Sony at Gamescom. Great show with tons of unique stuff for sure. Until Dawn and Wild looks incredibly interesting to me and seem to be awesome exclusives. I also think you're selling MS short. The ID@Xbox catalog looks to finally be in good shape as there were a bunch of titles looking good in that part of the show. Still, that is not the reason I'm going to play Xbox generally, so the Tomb Raider announcement does make the console more attractive for the AAA types. Whether or not you agree with money hats is another issue. Screamride looks pretty cool too. My brother and I are big fans of Roller Coaster Tycoon, so this looks like a fun (and morbid) spiritual successor. The bundles looked nice (CoD one looks amazing), preloading being announced was good thing, and I'm still excited about Quantum Break even if people weren't impressed with the new footage. I trust Remedy and know they will deliver something tailored to my liking. Also, remember MS's presence at Gamescom last yet? Exactly. They didn't even stream a conference. This is a huge upgrade for them.
#9
DrDamn
I think MS blew a lot of their "NEW STUFF" load at E3 so Gamescom became and extension of that more than big new announcements. Therefore it seemed more like more of stuff we had already seen - even if it was new info. It's a very, very solid line-up if a little heavy on the shooty bang bang. Sony's conference I loved for the variety of stuff on offer and some genuinely new and exciting things. Both also had a lot of interesting Indie stuff. @AnthonyUK LBP3 is November this year.
#10Beardybrave
I honestly came away deeply disappointed by the Microsoft conference. Barring a couple of very interesting indie titles, they were mostly sequels and a complete repackaging of 4 games they've already released ( although I will most definitely be buying the halo saga for coops with my better half). Tomb Raider was a biggie, but I lost interest in that after the last one. Optional tombs, pfft. More interesting for me from Microsoft was the tvtvtv stuff they humblebragged about in the background. Dlna, proper TV integration in the UK, /streaming television to a connected device whilst still playing a game on the big screen/( that's HUGE, and I bet most people missed it) . Conversely, Sony , blew me away with the sheer quantity of amazing looking games they packed into a small conference, most of which will be coming soon. Both of them reinforced my preconceptions in that: MS still seems to be playing it safe with their IP, albeit they are doing better by some indies than they did last gen. I hope Sunset Overdrive does well, because I think that will change MS for the better. Sony still seem to produce and embrace the risky games that I enjoy. In short, X1 is stealthily actually becoming an awesome entertainment hub despite avoiding the subject like the plague. But PS4 is definitely still my main games hub and after Gamescom I can't see that changing over the next year. Edit: I will add though. Things like the return of Crackdown are a large redeeming factor for MS. They are slowly regaining my trust.
#11Anonymous
I don't think there was a defining "that changes things" moment, but the moves Microsoft has made since spring should make them much more competitive going forward. PS4's momentum will be difficult to break however.
#12
Dewin
I am not really in the know about the MS line-up. What does MS have lined up for Q1 2015. No trolling. Serious question.
#13
Alex840
Quantum Break and Blues & Bullets are the only exclusives that come to mind for Xbox in Q1.
#14
Dewin
Didn't know Blues & Bullets so checked it out. Seems pretty cool. But it has a release date of May 15th, 2015. So Q2 2015. So Quantum Break is the only big potential, but it has no release date yet. Lets hope they make Q1 and dont slip to Q2 or later. Maybe MS has some aces up their sleeves.

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