It’s that time of the year again. The moment when console gaming enthusiasts all around the world are itching to see what the big labels of the gaming industry have in store for the upcoming future.
Electronic Entertainment Expo (or more widely referred to as E3) graces us again this year where well-known video game publishers such as Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft come forth to introduce and advertise their upcoming games and game-related merchandise to a large audience at the Los Angeles Convention Centre (LACC) from the 14th to 16th of June.
Being one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world, the crowd garnering for this event reaches up to quite a large number of attendees, with last year’s E3 hosting 52,200 people. This is not even including the amount of international fans around the world who stream this event via various sites and even need to stay up due to different time zones, including myself.
But is the hype worth it?
As an avid console gamer, E3 is of course an event I look forward to and wouldn’t mind sacrificing my precious sleep hours just to see what this industry has up their sleeves for upcoming games but this year left me feeling rather downhearted.
Unlike E3 2010 which I stand firmly in saying it is by far the best E3 to date, there was nothing truly groundbreaking and here are 4 reasons I say E3 2016 is an utter letdown.
1. New Consoles Are A No-Show
With the advancement of technology sees the arrival of 4K televisions and new innovations such as virtual reality. Ever since the Playstation 4 and Xbox One launched back in 2013, console gamers have been expecting to see the emergence of new-gen hardware which would be able to adapt these advancements for better gaming experiences.
Naturally, E3 would be the best platform for developers to present their next-gen products but this year’s E3 saw no physical consoles, only announcements which aren’t as solid as we want it to be.
Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, had already informed Playstation fans on the existence of an updated Playstation 4 Neo console which offers greater power for 4K-compatible games and advanced virtual experiences via the forthcoming Playstation VR headset. It just wasn’t ready to be presented at E3 which although was nice enough for him to inform fans beforehand, still left a gaping hole.
Microsoft made announcements of the two new versions of its Xbox One console. One being the new, more compact version called Xbox One S which launches in August and the other being the anticipated Xbox One Project Scorpio with a significantly more powerful update and supports high definition virtual reality as well as games designed to exploit new 4K Ultra HD technology, which is set to be released Dec 2017. But again, nothing concrete was really shown.
Also, another E3 has passed and the Nintendo NX which has been rumored for release this coming fall is still non-existent, which leaves fans speculating another delay. And how long can these companies keep fans waiting before the anticipation and interest dies away?
2. Playing It Safe
Besides the hardware, the other main highlights are of course the games themselves. Each conference had their own shindigs and presented them at their respected slots but it all felt whelming at best. Most of the games shown had already been announced prior to this year what was shown could be classified as updates on the progress so far, which is not really something we expect to see at E3.
Aside from the reboots and sequels, there were some interesting new games announced such as Prey by Bethesda, Death Stranding by Sony and Sea Of Thieves by Microsoft. But it is not substantial enough to excuse the fact that there’s not much to look forward to. Perhaps developers chose to keep it more low-key to focus all their attention on the games already announced but unlike last year’s E3 that was full of new game announcements, this year was considered average.
3. Insubstantial Trailers
Trailers depicting new information and gameplay are the best methods to amp up interest. The reaction given by the audience after the FF7 remaster announcement shows how impacting a trailer can be. However, this year failed to meet that same shock value as the videos shown during the conferences were mediocre.
Most of the trailers consisted of slight gameplay with barely much content on the overall atmosphere of the games, making it difficult to judge appropriately on what to expect. With the line ‘in development’ tagged on most of these e-trailers, it serves as the only notice we are getting on the progress of these games so best to not put up much hope on seeing these games being made available anytime soon (not to mention there’s still a number of games from E3 2015 that have yet to be released to this day).
4. Leaked Information
As with most major conventions, leaks are something that are difficult to control and is bound to happen as there are some out there with dire impatience. Because of this though, a lot of the excitement and anticipation was sucked away when leaked information began pouring through the internet at least three days prior to the gates opening for E3 2016.
When you have a long list detailing which games were lined up to be present at each conference along with images of some of the next-gen consoles being developed, it’s difficult to even pretend that the desire to see what’s in store still burns.
Despite the overall lackluster announcements and average conferences, there were a few gems announced at this year’s E3. Some of them include The Last Guardian finally getting an actual release date, the new entry into the Legend Of Zelda series, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild as well as not one, but three Crash Bandicoot remasters for the latest consoles.
The general overview however, is very lukewarm and I find E3 slowly losing the initial spark that entitled it as one of the most sought after gaming conventions. Call me an old-timer but perhaps my interest in the gaming industry differs from what the big developers deem as the next best thing. With promises of new games but nothing concrete to back them up and endless rehashing of older hit games to feed off the nostalgic crowd, here’s to hoping next year’s E3 will step it up a notch.
What are your thoughts on E3 2016? Let us know!