No clear winner of this year’s E3 game

Microsoft shows off new hardware as Sony keeps its focus on new games

A fan experiences PlayStation VR at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Rich Polk/Getty Images

A fan experiences PlayStation VR at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Rich Polk/Getty Images

 

The dust is settling on the first day of E3 and already there is a scramble to declare a winner.

Inevitably that means deciding whether it was Sony or Microsoft that captured most attention with its announcements.

For the past few years, industry experts have seen the crown as Sony’s for the taking as the two companies went head to head with their next generation consoles. Where Microsoft was emphasising entertainment with the Xbox One this year, Sony was concentrating on making its console appeal to committed gamers.

And for the Japanese company, the games it announces have been a crucial part of that. It stuck to that approach this year, while Microsoft included more than a few hardware announcements – the new slimline console that will be released this year, the 4K-enabled, virtual-reality-supporting Project Scorpio console that will come in 2017, and customisable controllers – in among the games news.

Apple’s juggernaut

The first day of E3 is always a busy one, as fans and industry experts clamour to see demos of the latest titles.

This year’s event has a different feel to it. There are still thousands of people thronging the halls of the Convention Centre in downtown Los Angeles – last year saw the event break the 50,000 figure for the first time in several years – but there are some notable absences.

The stalwart that has been EA is no longer on the show floor, instead holding meetings away from the main location. Activision also doesn’t have its own stand, instead it is showcasing Call of Duty on Sony’s area.

Nintendo has long skipped the E3 press conference in favour of a direct broadcast to fans, and this year it opted for the Treehouse Live event.

Despite the hardware announcement though, games will continue to be the focus of E3. Among the attention-grabbing titles is a new Hideo Kojima title, the trailer for which featured Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus and a disappearing baby. The creator of Metal Gear Solid made a return to the stage to reveal Death Stranding to a rapturous reception at Sony’s press event.

Ubisoft showed demos of Watch Dogs 2 and used its press conference to announce a new open-world action sports game called Steep that will be available for both console and PC.

Interest

Just Dance For Honor

This year’s show is reasonably heavy on the virtual reality content, from Sony and its PlayStation VR demos to digital artists keen to show off their work.