Postie Perspectives: Big gaming news from E3

Michael Pulis

This week, the annual Electronic Entertainment Exposition, also known as E3, is underway in Los Angeles. Microsoft kicked off the conference Monday morning at 9:30 a.m., followed by EA at 12 p.m., Ubisoft at 3 p.m. and Sony at 6 p.m. Nintendo followed up the next morning with their Nintendo Direct at 12 p.m.

Microsoft’s conference involved the announcement of numerous video games — some exclusive to the Xbox platforms. This is in contrast to previous years where Microsoft advertised the Kinect and revealed anti-consumerist plans for its consoles, essentially punching itself in the throat. 

For once, Microsoft listened to its fans, delivering game after game. Although little footage of hit titles such as Halo 5 were shown, pre-rendered trailers were enough to whet fans’ appetites. New exclusives such as a new Crackdown, Forza Motorsport and even Platinum Games’ original IP Scalebound are a must for a variety of Xbox One owners.

The major highlight for many fans was the announcement of Halo: The Master Chief Collection which will bundle Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 together in one package with updated graphics and online multiplayer.

Sony’s conference resembled Microsoft’s conference in terms of games. A mixture of Playstation 4 exclusive titles were shown in conjunction with a number of cross-platform games. Sony revealed gameplay of games such as The Order: 1886 and Little Big Planet 3 as hard hitters on the gaming front.

Other major announcements included the official beta start date for Playstation Now, the game streaming service, as July 31, and the fact that the Playstation TV would be coming to the West this fall. Of course, Sony’s virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift, also received some screen time. Sony fans gawked over Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Last but not least, Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct conference also played to its fans’ interests. As a pre-streamed conference, it was more visual and straight to the point. Taking on a Robot Chicken -style approach, characters such as Mario and Star Fox appeared on a stage alongside Nintendo of America CEO, Reggie Fils-Aime.

The Direct was filled with joke after joke, including a fight scene between Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwatu, Nintendo of Japan’s CEO, which led to the introduction of Miis as a playable character in the upcoming Super Smash Brothers title.

Other announcements included a new Zelda game coming to the Wii U, a number of indie games and the introduction of amiibos, a Skylanders-like toy figurine series where Nintendo characters can be implemented into other games such as Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart 8. Of course, the Direct ended with a teaser for a new Super Smash Brothers character and a new Star Fox game in the works.

So far, E3 2014 has revealed a good number of interesting games. All three main competitors showcased an impressive lineup, leaving no clear winner. Games are continuously revealed this week as well as new footage of previously announced games.

E3 will continue until 5 p.m. today.