Did Sony Win E3, Or Did Microsoft Lose It?
I think I know what Sony's thinking right now: "Man, that was just way too easy."
I mean, if you really stop to consider the situation, Sony didn't necessarily do anything special to steal the reigns from Microsoft at E3 this year. So it begs the question - and it's a question sports journalists ask all the time - was E3 won by the victor (clearly Sony) or lost by the unfortunate loser (Microsoft)?
Sony appears to have Microsoft at every turn but in truth, it's not really because Sony is doing anything drastically different than what they've done before. They'll still give us great exclusive software, we'll still have a wide variety of games (does the Xbox One have any games that don't involve shooting?), and we've got the same rights we had before. You know, none of this DRM or online requirement crap. Heck, if you want to be pessimistic, we didn't see that many new AAA exclusives at Sony's conference, and the fact that we'll need to pay to play online (via PlayStation Plus) is a definite downer.
Honestly, if that's all Sony went in with, one could easily see Microsoft matching or even surpassing that. But it's amazing how badly they've misjudged everything going into this generation. They're pissing people off left and right and remember, they're going into this generation as top dog in the US. Now, you're hard pressed to find anyone who would take the Xbox One over the PS4. In fact, even those who had fully intended to own both consoles are second-guessing themselves. I know I was pretty well convinced I'd have both systems but right now, you couldn't pay me to have an Xbox One. Okay, that isn't true. But I wouldn't pay for it.
The sheer amount of restrictions, regulations and mandates boggles the mind, and I'm really not surprised that Australia has already labeled it a "surveillance device." Throw in other factors, such as multiple developers saying the PS4 has far more potential (50% more, according to some estimations), a $100 cheaper price tag as compared to the new Xbox, and an upgradeable hard drive, and this becomes a rout. But again, outside of introducing a much cheaper machine than many expected, I'm not sure Sony had to do much to win this year. They just sat back and watched with consternation as Microsoft served this generation up on a silver platter.
Of course, I'm not about to make lengthy predictions. But heading into this holiday season, Microsoft better have some sort of highly effective damage control plan. Because if they don't, Sony will just take the ball Microsoft dropped and run with it.
6/11/2013 10:40:51 PM Ben Dutka