Consoleation Status Report: Heading to E3
In about 14 hours, I’ll be boarding the first of two flights that will be taking me to Los Angeles and another Electronics Entertainment Expo.
This is my third, and I’m just as excited this time as I was each of the last two years. It’s an important show for this business; plans will be set in motion to launch the two newest players to join Wii U on the new-generation stage and there will be plenty of last-gen games to cover that will continue to sell hardware and earn millions of dollars. There’s some pressure to turn this tide of decline and prove the console gaming industry isn’t as bad off as some analysts believe.
My schedule for this year’s show is packed solid. Regrettably, I was not granted appointment slots with the big three this year, but I will still be evaluating plenty of games and accessories. I have time scheduled with Namco Bandai, Bethesda, Square-Enix, Konami, Majesco, XSEED, Hyperkin, Tecmo Koei, Activision, Zen Studios, SEGA, and others. In all, I have 13 meetings in three days’ time. There will be plenty to see and talk about, and I’ll be sharing much of it over at Popzara during and especially after E3. I’ll also be tweeting when I can and sharing Instagram pictures when I can, so if you’re looking for on-the-fly remarks from me on the show floor, following me on Twitter will be the way to do it.
As for the big three, it’s very interesting sitting here just hours before the E3 keynotes begin and surveying the social mediasphere. Sony seems to be in the catbird’s seat, poised to take advantage of a momentum shift. Nintendo is the wild card, having been left for dead by many and having a lot to prove. Microsoft has gone from penthouse to outhouse in the social mediasphere, spewing hatred and contempt for the Xbox One with its killing of game rentals and neutering of game borrowing and trade-ins. If this was a stock car race, Sony would be in the pole position, Nintendo would be somewhere in the middle of the starting grid, and Microsoft would be starting from the rear. While it may seem like Sony has a pretty easy path to success in this new generation, winners aren’t ever crowned based on where they start a race; it’s all about how you finish. We don’t know whether Sony may run into trouble with used game limitations or other things similar to the Xbox One just yet. The wrong news this week could put some heat on the PS4’s tires in the pace lap, dropping it back to the pack. Who knows what Nintendo might do with the Wii U? Price cut? Surprise game reveals? As for Microsoft, with the bad news out of the way, maybe exclusives and fantastic games will be enough to make the negative things somewhat more palatable.
I think that we’re going to see some pretty great stuff this year. I hope that you’re as excited to take it all in as I am. I’ll share more next weekend after I return.