Revisiting E3 2013's press conferences: did they deliver?
by Robert Workman, shacknews.com, Jun 6, 2014 12:00PM PDT
With E3 2014 just days away from happening, the excitement for upcoming games couldn't be greater. We'll actually get to know about a majority of them before the event takes place, as companies like Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft will hold press conferences to showcase what's coming up. Although Nintendo won't be holding an actual conference, it'll get its own time before the show, hosting another Digital Event that will broadcast on the Internet.
Press conferences can be great, but do the companies really deliver upon their promises? There have been instances where we've seen something announced, only to see it wither away. Take Microsoft, for instance. It changed its tune about the Xbox One almost entirely once Sony announced a lower price and better accessibility for its PlayStation 4.
Join us now as we look back at 2013's big press conferences, to see if the companies indeed lived up to the hype.
Nintendo took very few risks with its E3 2013 presentation, but it didn't really need to. The company concentrated on an area where its fans were anticipating the most, and that's games. Between the new Pokémon titles, the introduction of the amazing Super Mario 3D World and the first teaser footage for Super Smash Bros., it did a very serviceable job. Some games under the indie tent, like Shovel Knight and Ballpoint Universe, haven't come out yet, but most of the other games have.
Overall, the show did what it was supposed to, and this year's Digital Event should do about the same. We're looking forward to it.
If one company managed to genuinely surprise with its E3 press conference, it was Electronic Arts. Not only did it focus on a number of its most popular games, including Titanfall and Need For Speed: Rivals, but it also unveiled a number of big shockers, including the debut of Star Wars: Battlefront, a new Mirror's Edge, and the multiplayer-oriented Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Sure, some of the show was packed with fluff, but overall, they did a very serviceable job leading into the following game year.
With various surprises on tap for 2014, and the gameplay debut of Battlefront planned, EA's show should once again pull out all the stops.
Ubisoft's press conferences have been a crapshoot over the years, between the likes of Mr. Caffeine and James Cameron talking for what seems like an eternity without any game footage from Avatar. However, its 2013 showcase wasn't half bad, with many anticipated titles getting some time on stage, including Rocksmith 2014, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. For good measure, the company unveiled a genuine surprise with The Division, an all-new game that will no doubt get plenty of spotlight at this year's event.
However, there's still room for the company to top it with this year's briefing. We'd love to see a hint of Beyond Good and Evil 2, as well as the new Prince of Persia game coming from the team that gave us Child of Light. Please?
Of course, Microsoft's primary focus during its pre-E3 press conference was the Xbox One. The company talked to no end about the many features for the system, including Snap TV compatibility. However, it also saved room for the games, like Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5 and, a surprise that came out of left field, Killer Instinct. For good measure, a Halo teaser enticed us to learn what was next about Master Chief, which turned out to be Halo 5: Guardians.
For this year's event, look for Microsoft to concentrate more on games, since we already know that 40 apps are on the way to the system later this year. That means more Killer Instinct, a better focus on Guardians, and other surprises.
Despite the great presentations that other companies provided, Sony easily won the best press conference award for 2013, mainly due to the magnitude of announcements it had. The Order: 1886, The Last of Us, and Kingdom Hearts III (finally!) were big highlights, along with a cavalcade of independent titles that offers the kind of diversity that fans were looking for. However, the real cheers came from Sony's confirmation that the PlayStation 4 wouldn't be limited with used software, along with a lower price point than the Xbox One. $100 cheaper, natch.
This year, the company has its work cut out for it in terms of press conference hosting, but it'll rely quite a bit on games, indie and mainstream, as well as a few exclusives.