E3 2015 will go down in history as the show about giving gamers what they’ve been asking for. Companies finally listening to what the consumers have been telling them. It was filled with surprise after surprise and one amazing game after another. They toned down the snark and cheap shots and just delivered awesome games. In the interest of time we’re just going to be addressing the big 3 shows from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo (although the others shows delivered big time as well). And while we won’t be declaring any “winners” of E3 (hint:it’s us!) we will give them each the obligatory grade.
Microsoft was the 1st of the platform holders out of the gate and they didn’t waste any time by delivering one of the biggest surprises of the show… backwards compatibility! No subscription services, no reselling you your old games, just the ability to play your old discs and digital games. It’s a feature that has been sorely missed this generation and it’s a huge show of respect to their customers. Then they showed off a slury of games. Halo, Tomb Raider and Forza are all arriving this year and all looked very solid. Recore, Rare Replay and Sea of Thieves all looked fantastic and delivered the surprises. And Gears 4 was an outstanding way to finish the show. I loved the original trilogy and this new game looked crazy good. If they had shown Crackdown and Quantum Break (they’re saving them for Gamescom) it would have been a perfect show. Regardless, Microsoft cemented the Xbox One as the hands down best platform for gaming in 2015.
Grade : A-
Sony this year decided to give gamers every game they’ve been begging for short of Half-Life 3. They opened with The Last Guardian which despite still looking like a PS3 game visually will be amazing when it ships next year. Horizon: Zero Dawn looks to be a unique take on a post apocayptic world (robo-dinos!) and was a shot of originality. The long rumored Final Fantasy 7 remake became a reality and Shenmue 3, my single most anticipated and dreamed about game got a Kickstarter (which became fully funded in a matter of hours). Then they topped it off with new looks at No Man’s Sky and Uncharted 4. While I’m not completely sold on No Man’s Sky and Uncharted is growing a little long in the tooth, I’m giving both games the benefit of the doubt for now. If you had to knock the show it would be for a lack of exclusives and that all of these games are 2016 or later. But when you deliver that many big announcements in one show you can’t help but smile from ear to ear.
Nintendo was a very mixed bag this year. They started E3 with a bang with the fantastic Nintendo World Championships. They were such a fun start to the show that I hide high hopes for what else they had to show. Unfortunately what they showed was pretty lackluster. Star Fox Zero finally got it’s official announcement but kind of left me a little flat. Super Mario Maker and Xenoblade Chronicles X both look great but we’ve seen plenty of each before. There were plenty of 3DS announcements including two new Zelda games and a Metroid but none of those really got me excited either. And Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival just made me mad that I’m still waiting for a proper AC title on the Wii U. Sure, the new Amiibo figures looked cool but it’s not like I’ll ever be able to find one. Nintendo takes such a fun approach to their Digital Events that I really wanted to love it, it’s just a shame that they don’t have the games to warrant it.
What did you think of the show? Who had the best conference? Let us know in the comments below!