EDITOR: Hey Rick! I want you to do a piece on how Microsoft beat Sony at E3 this year. Are you available?
ED: Alright, but like what else did Sony bring to the table?
R: OMG, so much stuff! There was God of War--
ED: You said that already.
R: There were like, dudes hanging off of wires...
ED: Takin' you a minute, huh?
R: Alright, let's do it.
That's not exactly how our conversation went, but it's close enough. Coming into this article, I was fairly sure in the superiority of Sony's E3 conference over Microsoft's. But if you take a close look at both shows, it's pretty obvious that Microsoft trounced Sony at this year's E3. Sony had plenty of games that showed promise, but their show had a lot of blind spots. Sure all of Sony's games looked fun, but (for example) they had next to nothing slated for 2017. Maybe next year the formidable company will take their E3 press conference more seriously.
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15 Sony Pays No Respect To Their Legacy
The one thing that Sony has done to burn a lot of PS4 owners is ditch any kind of backwards compatibility. Sony tried to keep the PS3 as backwards compatible as possible, and I gave them my business and bought a PS3. But when the PS4 just dropped their backwards compatibility, I was pissed. Microsoft, on the other hand, has decided to pick up the slack. It boggles the mind that Sony has given up the opportunity to make even more money. I'm glad to see that Microsoft announced that it was going to be making old Xbox games backwards compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox One X. At least someone remembers that we spent money on their stuff before and would like to get more than one console generation's worth of enjoyment out of it.
14 Sony Won’t Let Minecraft (Or Rocket League) Be Played Cross Platform
Microsoft has made it their mission to bring Minecraft to as many machines as possible. Now that everything the iPod Touch to Nintendo Switch has access to come version of Minecraft, Microsoft has decided it's high-time all these players be allowed to play together. Imagine it: You can play Minecraft on your Xbox One with a friend on Nintendo Switch ... Sadly, Sony won't let their user base join in on the fun. Not only is this a hostile move against PlayStation fans, but it will have long-term negative effects on the industry at large.
Moreover, (it's a tad extraneous, I know) but the seminal make-anything-you-want simulator isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Microsoft is owning this 100% and deciding "why the hell shouldn't there be a Minecraft in 4K?" And I mean, whatever, great, do the thing, make it happen.
13 Who Needs VR?
The one thing Microsoft really didn't show any plans for was the VR craze. Sony, on the other hand, covered some ground with VR Skyrim, a game where you play No-Face from Spirited Away helping Ori in a scarf go places, and (inexplicably), a side-scrolling action game ... Yay?
Honestly, there still isn't much to get excited about from VR, and I think Microsoft made the right move in focusing on exclusives and games that we could actually get into without sinking more money on a VR setup. And while Sony showed off stuff that only the gamer with the most money to burn could play, Microsoft made sure the little guy who saved his pennies for an Xbox One X would have a huge amount of stuff to play.
12 Microsoft Actually Had New Games To Show
Another point: what was there in Sony's conference that hadn't either been previously announced?
Shadow of the Colossus remake, you say? What's that, like the second time this game has been updated?
Monster Hunter: World? Oh, that amazingly successful series we knew would be getting a sequel sometime soon?
Face it, there wasn't anything at Sony's conference that blew us away. We knew what they had, and they showed it to us. Microsoft, on the other hand, threw game after game at us. Yeah, we knew about some of them, but finally seeing things from Sea of Thieves, a Cuphead release date, and other out-of-left-field indie crazies like The Artful Escape and even Life is Strange 2: Electric Boogaloo were titles that caught our eye, lit them up, and made them dazzle.
11 Xbox One X Is A REAL 4K Console
YouTuber John Bain (aka TotalBiscuit) had an idea for a drinking game at Microsoft's E3 Presser: "Drink everytime you hear someone say '4K.'" He joked at the end that if someone actually did, they'd be dead of alcohol poisoning. While he wasn't wrong, there's still something good about Microsoft's commitment to the tech of the future. When the Xbox One X ends up dropping in price, it'll be the cheapest, most powerful console on the market. And there won't be any worries about whether or not it can play on the most powerful systems, because Microsoft builds their consoles with the future in mind. It's expensive now, yes, but it's an investment in a console that's designed with longevity in mind. And they're not shy about letting you know how committed to that future sight they are.
10 Anthem: The ACTUAL Destiny 2
A lot of people were saying they had problems with the new Mass Effect game in terms of animation, subpar story, and art style. A lot of people also have the same problems with Destiny, an adorable FPS-fan's first MMORPG. EA told us this year that the people behind the good Mass Effect games were going to be making a game called Anthem that would be totally awesome.
At the Microsoft press conference they showed it off and it looked beautiful, action-packed, and fun. It seemed like there was going to be some semblance of story there, much more than what Destiny offered, anyway, and that Jetpacks were going to be a key feature. I mean, how can we not miss here?
9 Terry Crews Says Crackdown 3 Will Be Awesome And That's All I Need
Listen, we live in troubled times. Wars, famine, the environment, world leadership. These are truly precarious times. It's in times like these that we need a hero to guide the way for us, to tell us that yes, indeed, these dark days will pass. The light will shine once again. Things are going to be better.
For me, that hero is Terry Crews.
Call it silly. Call it celebrity worship. But if there was a guy out there I'd trust with my happiness, it's that big pile of muscles and vocal chords. Crackdown 3 looks like it's going to be a really great time, and if the creators got Terry Crews to come on board and do his thing to promote the game, I have to believe that it's going to be something as awesome as we've all hoped it would be.
8 It Actually WAS A Press Conference
One of the most annoying things about this year's E3 was how barebones a lot of the conferences ended up being. It wasn't like they were from companies who have never actually been to an E3 before. They know how this is supposed to work. You come out, you show a thing, then you talk about the thing. The worst part about seeing an awesome new trailer is not having your inevitable questions answered after you see it.
PlayStation's press conference was quite simply "intro from suit, hour-long video, outro from suit. Thanks for coming!"
And for that, we give them a standing ovation? We get people doing the "worship" thing in the audience? Jeez, at least the Bethesda conference was awesome for the people that were there.
7 Kill 100 Of Your Closest Friends With PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
Everybody's favorite new shooty-bang right now is a little title on PC called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. It's an up to (no joke) 100-player free-for-all battle-royale-style shooter, and every few minutes the map gets smaller, so players have less room to move around in, making the situation more and more tense as the battle goes on. It's amazing to watch, and I can only imagine how much better it is to play.
And now, it's coming to Xbox One. Xbox players will be able to take their battles online like thousands of PC players and destroy friendships and other people's nights as they relentlessly whack people in the head with a frying pan.
6 Microsoft Acknowledges Cars Exist
Saying this upfront: I am not a cars guy. I don't care about cars in games, I don't care about cars in real life. I just know enough cars to make sure mine doesn't blow up.
That's why when I saw the Forza Motorsport 7 announcement, I wasn't very enthused. I mean, how can you expect me to be excited by some guy yelling "CARS!!!" for five minutes when I've never really given a damn about cars before? However, I'm not going to begrudge those fellow gamers around me of their love of cars and cars games. Let them have their fun. It's not like I saw anything like that from Sony, which was all "Games. Not all games, just some games."
5 Game Pass Deal = Best Deal
Alright, no one likes paying money for games that we've already paid for, but if you're going to do it, Xbox's Game Pass is pretty much the most bang for your buck that you're ever going to see. PlayStation Now costs twice as much for a bigger catalogue, but the problem is that you can't own any of those games you play. Game Pass allows users to download the games for a discount, and then gives users another discount on DLC. And Microsoft will only add more games to the service as time goes on, so you know that part's going to sweeten as time goes on. We've received confirmation that at least five games are going to be hitting the service per month, and all it costs is $10 bucks a month. There's no beating that, especially from PlayStation.
4 Metro Exodus: Days Who?
Anybody else get shivers when the Metro: Exodus trailer dropped? The music, those visuals, that actually threatening zombie bear...
Days Gone, on the other hand, was so silly and boring that they had to hang people on a wire from the stage just to make the main character walking through a bunch of hanging zombies interesting. They're zombies, dude. We know one of them is going to jump out and attack us. Please try harder.
Oh, you're going to use a Quick-Time Event? How quaint. I'm going to go to the bathroom real quick, get back to me when your post-apocalyptic game can actually make me say "Oh wow, that's really pretty." Metro Exodus promises not only to be visually arresting, but dark and touching in terms of story.
3 Microsoft Actually Cares About Indie Development
While Sony's "press conference" ended up being mostly familiar franchises and things we already knew about, Microsoft once again took it upon itself to introduce a ton of new games that we've never heard of from developers we didn't even know existed. We saw games like The Artful Escape, shown above, that look simultaneously ridiculous and intriguing.
The thing is, it's not the first time Microsoft has done this. They've been showcasing indie developers for the past several years, shining the spotlight on games like Ori and the Blind Forest (whose sequel was announced this year), State of Decay, and Dust: An Elysian Tail. For whatever year it's been in a row now, we're seeing new, interesting concepts and original ideas. And in a market flooded with sequels, remakes, and gimmicks, it's always a breath of fresh air.
2 Xbox Has Cockney Orcs. Where Are Playstation’s Cockney Orcs?
Speaking of sequels, the coolest one to drop in Microsoft's conference was Middle Earth: Shadow of War. The sequel to Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor looks like it's going to be more of the same, but with more added to it. That, in essence, is what all sequels should strive to be.
The one thing these games are doing for the genre here is making sure that the hordes of enemies you're fighting are in their own ways likable. They all seem to have their own personalities, motivations, and goals, something you usually don't see in giant open-world beat-em-ups like this.
1 You Can Actually Play Xbox One X Games This Year
I'm sorry, Sony. Was that a low blow?
Every single game showcased at Sony's E3 event was slated to be released in 2018, at least the ones with a release date! Adding insult to injury, Sony head Shuhei Yoshida said it was because they were afraid of backtracking on their promises.
Microsoft, on the other hand, was not afraid to give their word. We saw release dates for dozens of games. It's like a nail in a coffin each time we saw dates for games like Forza 7, Crackdown 3, and my personal favorite, Cuphead.
What do you think? Have I made my point? Was it paper-thin? Let me know in the comments, I'm sure they'll all be wonderfully constructive, even the negative ones.