Why Sony's E3 Conference Took Home The Crown This Year
Yeah, yeah, we're PSX Extreme so of course we say Sony won. You say that, I instantly retort with a simple, "shut it." I'll tell you flat out who I thought won, as I've done in many years past when Sony clearly didn't win, but I think it was painfully obvious this year.
Look, here's the deal: content is all that matters in this industry. Without the content, which means we're talking about software, all you have are three really big paperweights. Granted, many more factors have come into play in the new generation, as systems like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are fully functional and massively capable multimedia devices. But at the end of the day, we own our systems so we can play the games we love, and as I've said many times before, Sony's software lineup greatly outstrips Microsoft's. Yes, one can claim that with the announcement of a Metal Gear Solid for the 360 and Project Natal, that alone might top Sony's conference in terms of a "wow" factor. But what are we really talking about here? The PS3 is getting Rising, too, and let's not forget that the PSP is also getting Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Furthermore, Sony's motion tech was every bit as impressive as Microsoft's in my eyes, and I'm not the type of guy that puts much stock in motion sensing.
The PSP Go! wasn't a huge announcement in my eyes, but it was big, and the exclusive lineup that continually pleasured our senses during Sony's conference was unmatched. I want Alan Wake as much as anyone and I buy every Halo they make (provided it's not a strategy game), but those presentations of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Final Fantasy XIV, MAG, The Last Guardian, and God of War III were incredible. And they didn't even go all out; we know that Heavy Rain, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time and Gran Turismo 5 are also on the list, and all are guaranteed winners. Even besides the PSP Go!, the new software for Sony's handheld - Peace Walker, Gran Turismo, Resident Evil, etc. - was mighty impressive, and lest we forget, Microsoft doesn't have a portable unit. Getting back to the PS3, I almost rolled my eyes when I heard the name, "ModNation Racers," but after I saw the presentation and remembered what LittleBigPlanet brought to the table, I was immediately intrigued.
When all is said and done, we gamers look down the road and ask, "what will I be playing?" If I have to examine all three conferences and ask that question, the answer is a whole lot more fun to answer when I think about the PS3 and PSP, as opposed to the 360 or Wii. The latter...well, I guess they just don't bother with software for that system, anymore. They never really have after the first year, if people didn't notice. But anyway, even if FFXIV doesn't end up being exclusive, that was a surprise, and the rest of the software kept me excited throughout. This year, Sony wins. That's it. No debate. It was a big change from E3 2007, you know?
6/5/2009 Ben Dutka