|E3 2009: Why Microsoft won|
|Posted: 08.06.2009 12:26 by Mike Bowden||Comments: 9|
So the dust has settled on yet another E3. We saw games galore amid demonstrations of Microsoft and Sony’s new attempts to break into Nintendo’s motion-control videogame space. We saw Jack Tretton and Don Mattrick wow the crowd with what can only be described as megaton announcements which shocked and surprised the gaming media the world over. 2009 was a great E3, of that there is no doubt.
However, the question marks still seem to lie on the subject of “who won” the conferences. Which firm had the best show, and why? Well, in this author’s opinion it was a close run thing, but Microsoft edged it. In fact, it was a lot closer this year than the last three years when Microsoft blew Sony out of the water year after year. Most memorable of course was last year’s Final Fantasy 13 Xbox 360 announcement which was probably the most astonishing reveal of recent times. MS didn’t quite reach that level of excitement this year, although the boys from Redmond again showed Sony that Xbox 360 is here to stay and the supposed “market leaders” still have a lot to do in order to catch up.
The fundamental reason behind Microsoft’s triumph is expectation. We, as gamers, look to E3 to get excited about what’s coming out in the future. That’s the whole reason for the conference itself: a platform for the big boys to persuade us to buy their games and/or invest in their consoles. Although team Microsoft and team Sony both showed us what we have to look forward to in the future, Microsoft edged it by showing us not only the games and tech for next year, but we saw great looking titles that are coming ‘this’ year.
Microsoft got the balance just right. We have the last bastion of the survival/horror genre Alan Wake dated for “Spring” next year and the eminent BioWare RPG sequel, Mass Effect 2 coming out in what looks to be January. We also had the brand new Halo prequel, Halo: Reach dated for “Fall” next year. Crackdown 2 was also trailered and dated for 2010. That’s ok. That’s around four future titles worth keeping an eye on. However, where Microsoft differed from Sony, and exactly why they won this year’s conference is that they had other exclusives planned for 2009. Forza 3, Halo: ODST, Left4Dead 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction are all coming in this year. We don’t have to rip out the remaining pages in our 2009 calendar as MS is starting the party now. That’s what E3 is all about: generating excitement for the now and for future. Sony could only live up to one of these criteria.
Microsoft also showed us the first footage of the excellent-looking Beatles Rock Band along with the announcement of Xbox 360 exclusive content. We saw the outstanding Modern Warfare 2 again with the revelation that two multiplayer maps could only be found on Xbox 360 and last, but not least, Hideo Kojima finally walked onto a Microsoft stage announcing that the next iteration in the coveted Metal Gear franchise was also coming to Xbox. What more could you want?
So, looking back through this opinion piece it’s clear to see just why Microsoft won E3. Some sections of the Sony fanbase will surely disagree, but I’m sure that after reading this article even they will have to admit that Microsoft got the balance right and gave gamers a real treat. Sony’s line-up was strong, but offered very little other than Uncharted 2 to look forward in 2009. With Microsoft, we have games for now, and games for tomorrow, showing us all that it’s never a better time to own an Xbox 360 – and that’s what E3 is all about.