The first day of the 2013 rendition of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition was as important to the industry as it was to its main players. After all, we’re entering a time of change and conversion the likes of what has never been seen before, due to all of our accumulated data and both the options and restrictions posed by new hardware. However, because we didn’t know a whole lot about either of this holiday season’s console debuts, the door was wide open for one of the two companies to gather, steal and create momentum, paving the way for a presumed lead in monetary sales.
Looking back on the day that was, and its heavy schedule of news-filled press conferences, none stand out more than Sony’s. Actually, to be more accurate, nothing stands out more to me than the final portion of that event, as the large majority of its overall runtime was a bit ho-hum. Frankly, it wasn’t until we got the facts that things really took a turn for the better, and Sony became E3 2013’s undeniable champion.
While both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 look poised to offer some great experiences at launch, troubling economic times and consumers who like the as is system on used games were factors that Sony wholeheartedly and respectfully accepted. They evaluated their approach based on those conditions and thoughts, which led to a phenomenal starting price point revelation for the PS4. Not only that, but it was announced (on-stage and through a hilarious YouTube video) that used games will be able to be shared between friends and fellow gamers without restrictions – at least when it comes to Sony’s first-party software. That was all I needed to hear before declaring Sony the absolute victor.
Having been an Xbox 360 user for years now, it pains me to see how much Microsoft has hurt itself by turning its back on those who fund its video game ventures. Although I went in expecting both the PS4 and Xbox One to launch at $499.99, and wasn’t thrown off or frustrated when Microsoft revealed that figure for their device, their reliance on DRM makes me angry. That’s because, like many, I feel that I should be able to do what I want with a game that I own. After all, I’ve paid the money (or put a lot of time into a thorough review to help get the word out) and should be able to lend it to a friend if I so please.
I appreciate how much Sony seems to care, despite being a big business that needs to make money in order to survive, and I hope that Microsoft will find its way soon. I’m taken aback by Microsoft’s new ideals, and am deeply bothered by them as a gamer who can’t stand missing out on good games and great exclusives. I don’t like supporting such draconian DRM, but I do not want to miss out on the great games that will only be available on the Xbox One.
Now, with the above being said, I still want to speak about Nintendo. Reggie and his peers needed to come to this year’s extravaganza with a plan to win back the faithful and the hardcore, whose dollars, interest and time have helped Nintendo be successful since the 1980s. Did they come up with and execute a great strategy? Yes and no. I think that the Big N is positioned better than it was, with some great-looking exclusives, but I still worry about the Wii U and its lack of games. Exemplary titles have been few and far between for all of the company’s television-connecting consoles over the last three generations, and it doesn’t seem like that will be stopping anytime soon. It’s too bad, but it’s true. Hopefully that will change, however.
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