E3 2013: Day 1

Sony and Microsoft square off…again: Which machine will become the definitive 8th generation console, the PS4 or the Xbox One?

This year’s E3 is set to encapsulate all the splendor and excitement that gamers have come to expect from the annual event.  The big news items this time around of course are the official unveiling and release of both the Xbox One and PS4.  Both of these consoles are graphical powerhouses which lean heavily on some of the well-worn features of their predecessors.  Yet at the same time, both machines are pushing boundaries in their own unique way(s); for example, online services are emerging as centrally important characteristics, some of which hope to change the way gamers both interact with others as well as receive entertainment in general.  Anyway, without further ado, let’s explore some of the more newsworthy items from the first day of E3 2013…

Finally, the PS4 is unveiled

Sony made big moves during their official unveiling of the PS4; in fact, many seem to feel that they’ve already moved far ahead in the console race, above and beyond Microsoft’s Xbox One.  Perhaps the two most important facts (both commercial and socially) being that the PS4 will NOT do away with support for used games and users won’t have to worry about daily required connections to the internet either.  As expected, the announcement of these newsworthy bits were met with thunderous applause (and probably caused many of the more avid gamers in attendance to nearly faint in the throes of pure euphoria).

PS4

Seriously though, this was a rather brilliant strategic move on Sony’s part, don’t you think?  Now, faced with the threat of a mass exodus (of new and old customers who are more than likely to ready to jump ship), Microsoft might even end up revisiting their digital rights management policies and append them to reflect the desires of gamers.  Regardless, Sony is making friends fast, and with the people that really matter, i.e. – those who actually play and purchase their products and services.   To add insult to injury, Sony CE president Andrew House added that the PS4 will likely be $100 cheaper than its competitor, the Xbox One, as well.  Not to make light of Microsoft’s ill-fate with this perceived Sony win, but one has to ask the question, will the Xbox One soon be known as the EX-Blocks One?  (Please pardon the bad pun there.)

Microsoft Unveil some exciting game titles (see more about XBOX at E3 Day 1 here). On the other hand, Sony also has some interesting titles on the table…

When you have a powerhouse machine like the PS4 to work it’s never hard to find eager and creative game developers to work with, this is clearly evidenced by the titles which Sony presented on day 1 of E3.  First off, there’s “Killzone: Shadowfall” which updates one of the most widely worn series native to the Playstation universe.  Then of course there’s “The Order: 1886” which is both highly stylized as well as highly anticipated by Sony fans.  Also on board are “Driveclub” as well as “Assassin’s Creed IV’ which are sure to turn some heads.

The Order 1886

Arguably, one of the more interesting and potentially revolutionizing titles among the lot however was the psychological horror title “Daylight”, which will utilize a mechanic called procedural generation to create entirely new levels / maps for the game upon successive playthroughs.  Needless to say, this mechanic might usher us into a new era of gaming where you never know what your environment is going to look like when you load up a new game (it’s quite an exciting proposition, don’t you think?).  All in all, “Daylight” seems to be a title that’s being developed in accordance with some of the recent successes springing out of the Indie Horror genre.  It’s a much welcome addition to the forefront and might even elicit genuine fear in gamers (something that’s been sorely lacking in modern horror games which are favoring action in lieu of suspense).

E3 Day 1:  In summary

The main thing to take away from E3 Day 1 is that Sony pretty much took the lead, at least with a perceived majority of gamers.  It’s not hard to see why people might be inclined to turn towards the PS4 at this point given that it seems to provide a much freer and more open platform for individuals to focus on what’s important, namely ? gaming.  The average user just wants to be able to borrow their friend’s copy of some game and plop it into their console without having to worry about paying licensing fees (for used physical media).  Nevertheless, Microsoft’s Xbox One certainly has an impressive line up of titles to its credit, which is absolutely critical.  So it seems in the end that Microsoft might end up pulling people in with its exciting software launches, while Sony is focusing on a more hardware-based appeal that is born of overall value as well as more user-friendly attributes.   All in all, it was a great day and there’s plenty to look forward to tomorrow!  Stay tuned…