E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) has just wrapped up in Los Angeles, California (USA). If you aren’t familiar or up to date on everything that went down on Day 0, check here to see what we thought of Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Sony had to announce. There was SO much going on even before the conference started, it was almost overwhelming at times (in a good way).
Now that the dust has settled, let’s look at how the actual conference went, and what we can take away from it.
Nintendo used the same approach as last year, opting out of having a live media event at E3, and chose to do a pre-recorded online “Nintendo Direct” stream on the Internet.
Nintendo has gotten some brutal criticism for being unable to attract more people to their platform due to the tight focus of first party games being very “kid-oriented” and lack of third party developer support. The Wii U has also had trouble selling. Many are unsure of Nintendo’s future and their ability to stay competitive.
However, as much as Nintendo might struggle, sometimes they surprise us all. After their Nintendo Direct event on Day 1 of E3, the Internet was surging with praise and excitement for Nintendo’s upcoming games and newly announced projects, including an open world Zelda game and the highly anticipated Wii U and Nintendo 3DS blockbuster, Super Smash Bros..
As much as Nintendo might be rapidly losing third party developer support, they have shown that their first party games like Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Starfox, and more are still massive IPs (intellectual properties) and should not be taken lightly. The Wii U has been selling poorly, but the release of Mario Kart Wii U has increased the sales of the Wii U game console in the UK by 600%, alone! You can imagine how well it will sell when these newly announced games hit store shelves.
Nintendo absolutely should not be counted out. This doesn’t mean that they still have some very serious long-term troubles with a less powerful “next-gen” console and fading third party developer support, but we still can’t claim that Nintendo is a dying brand by ANY means. They still have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.
Other than Nintendo, there was still a lot to be seen on the show floor. Games, galore! This is a huge improvement over the previous two years. From 2011-2013, E3 was showing less and less games with the impending release of next generation consoles. Many games were in development, but nothing that could be spoken of just yet. Now with next generation consoles here, the floodgates have opened, and there are many incredible games coming soon.
I would hardly say that any of the games announced really push the boundaries of next generation consoles other than improved graphics, but it is still very early on in the console life cycle. There’s plenty of new ideas floating around. there just hasn’t been enough time for them to materialize and really change the industry.
Independent developers (indie, for short) have a much larger presence than ever before. Be on the lookout for self-published games coming to both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this Fall, and next year.
Overall, E3 2014 has been incredibly successful. With strong showings from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, the industry is on pace to have a great year. All of their new content is amplified by the strong indie developer scene and young, fresh, creative talent.
It’s a great time to be following the gaming industry. The entertainment and technological advances on the horizon are a huge feat. Accomplishments that will expand the industry into more households, and put more technology in your living room sooner than you think.