E3 2014: Reflecting on the Heavy-Hitters
E3 2014 was a complete video game barrage to my eyes and ears. All the announcements coming out of the show broke my brain. It was impossible for me to keep up with everything. I continue to rummage around the internet searching for things I missed and details on the games that caught my interest. As the feeling of overwhelm continued, the time to share thoughts, excitement, and disappointments surrounding the kick-off of E3 2014 must not wait any longer.
Anyone following the video game industry was glued to their computer screen during E3, and I was no different–at least for day zero and day one. I genuinely enjoyed watching the press conferences from Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Sony. It’s my favorite Monday of any given year. Actually it’s the only Monday I’ve enjoyed for several years thanks to those press conferences.
Microsoft kicked off day zero with a fantastic conference showcasing video games for Xbox One for 90 minutes. Phil Spencer took the stage and opened the show with genuine class, expressing thanks to fans and sharing recognition to developers. Phil also summed up E3 week in two sentences:
“This week, we share a common purpose with our friends at Sony, Nintendo, and the developers and publishers in our industry. That purpose is to showcase the passion, creativity, and potential behind the fastest growing form of entertainment in the world, games.”
This really set the tone for what I expected from the rest of my week. I was on a natural high from that point on absorbing every bit of game possible–even all the shooters. I was actually into Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare too. The indie games really got my attention as well. Even though there weren’t many triple-A games I didn’t know about, the Xbox conference did its job. I want an Xbox One this summer. I have to catch up on a few games before Dragon Age Inquisition and Sunset Overdrive are released.
Filling the gap between Xbox and Sony, I spent time watching Electronic Arts and Ubisoft conferences. I can’t really say I was disappointed with EA’s showing, but were more dev diaries shown than actual game trailers? The lack of a true Mass Effect reveal or the new Bioware IP was underwhelming. The expected EA Sports segments don’t help with keeping my interest either, but my high continued.
Opposite of EA, Ubisoft had a better show of actual games. The Far Cry 4 intro pulled me in by the throat, while Valiant Hearts: The Great War hit me right in the tear-maker. Aisha Tyler has totally hit her stride hosting for Ubisoft. She also makes up great words like “compelative,” a nice mash up of the words compelling and interactive. And her seemingly genuine feels after Rainbow Six Siege was endearing. Though it was an entertaining, and a pleasantly casual f-bomb dropping presser, I still needed a spike in my excitement levels again.
Seeking that spike of excitement before day zero was over, I turned to Sony’s conference. It seemed like that was exactly what would happen by immediately jumping into Destiny. There were plenty of games throughout, including Bloodborne and No Man’s Sky, while closing strong with several high-profile games. Unfortunately as the conference progressed it was apparent that the Xbox conference was my highlight of day zero. Fortunately, Nintendo’s digital event was on the horizon to start day one of E3 2014.
Now, how would I describe Nintendo’s digital event? Fabulous. Cuteness and quirkiness were cranked to 11 for this digital event, and it totally paid off for me. Nintendo entertained with an over-the-top battle with plenty of opportunities to make gifs and memes; the sprinkle of Robot Chicken skits and focus on Wii U games made for a big win. Yoshi stole my heart with Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Zelda fans got a fix with a stunning first look. The relaxed dev stories and slew of trailers gave me plenty to look forward to on the Wii U. Excited? Yes, I am!
Reflecting on the events from the heavy-hitters, Nintendo and Xbox had presentations that showcased great new games and an overall better feel to their messaging. Xbox finally got my attention and wallet on lock again, while Nintendo brought out my smiles and kid-like giddiness to the surface. Sony still brought on the goods, but they didn’t hold up against the others this time around. Just to think, there is plenty more that came from E3 2014 I haven’t covered. Oh yeah, babeh.