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E3 2013: The Next Gen Battle Started, Who is Winning?


So, E3 came and is now over. After finally watching the conferences of the Big Three, I decided to cast some thoughts on the matter. Of course, they all wanted to be the best, with the biggest games, the best offer. A new generation of the console wars starts later this year, so, I was thinking: who is better positioned to win? So letís start withÖ


Nintendo was the first one to make its move, with the ridiculous named successor of the Wii, the WiiU (hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaÖha!). I really wonder how they decided the name was the best choice. Wii 2 at least would convey the feeling of a successor. WiiU, and the fact they put the gamepad, their tablet controller on front and prominent in its, box, sounds like an accessory. And we all may have heard at least one retailer story about consumers confuse if the WiiU is a new machine or an accessory. †SoÖ

What were they thinking?

Nintendo arrogantly decided that the 100 million Wiis sold since 2006 made every one of those people a loyal fan. They also decided the cheap pricing and different control schemes were another reason for their success, and that people wanted an all new different form to play. It does make sense on a superficial analysis. What they failed to see is that the Wii was a one hit wonder, just another fad that people have gone in droves to be in the trend and forget as soon. Wii sold most in its short first half lifespan and then become almost forgotten after.

Nintendo wished to repeat its success, and invested heavily in the gamepad, but not great came from it. It is neither intuitive nor easy to show off as the Wii is. We donít have many games where using that second screen show how better it is to have it there. Most WiiU owners I know love it just so they can play games on the screen and keep the TV free for others.

Nintendo WiiU have being selling poorly and many 3[sup]rd[/sup] party publishers are just ignoring it, and heavy hitters like FIFA are going to be absent on the console later this year. Nintendo is looking to be turning the WiiU a box that only play their own games, and while it will not kill Nintendo itself, it may put the WiiU in a very bad position.

What they did at E3?

Not much. They made no press conference this year, and with good reason. Their 40 minutes Nintendo Direct showed they only had a handful of Nintendo games to show. They didnít even price cut the system or revealed a surprise new IP. While the new Mario looks a fun, good game as most Mario games are and Bayonetta 2 sounds interesting, most games they show were actually expected, like Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Those Nintendo Directs are great to reassure WiiU owners that the great Nintendo games they likely bought a WiiU to play in first place will come, but it makes neither previous Wii owners nor people who arenít huge fans of Nintendo games wanting one.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

A 3rd place, with likely GameCube numbers at the end of the generation. The GameCube sold almost 22 million units, which shows how big the actual Nintendo biggest fans community really is. With its price of US$350 for the premium package, the one most people would want, it is dangerously close of the PlayStation 4, and dangerously far of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 prices. Coming the Holidays, people will have both cheaper options with a big library of games and a not that much more expensive option of more powerful hardware that have better multimedia and online capabilities. Without a mass media marketing campaign, Nintendo have very little hope that their wait and see strategy will work.

What they should do?

Price cut. Stop selling the basic package that nobody wants and sell the premium one at that price, while bundling a game like Mario Kart to it. Also, stop sitting in the pile of money they made with Wii and DS sales and start using it to make the WiiU more desirable. When Sony had little 3rd party support with the PS3, they didnít sit in their asses hoping things would change. They made the games themselves.

Nintendo could also use that money to pay for 3[sup]rd[/sup] party support, so spending a little money now to be able to get a lot later would do wonders for them. Nintendo canít just release a new, more powerful WiiU. So they need to stop waiting and do something. Otherwise they will likely be at the bottom, and while Nintendo will not die, the WiiU can.


Microsoft went to E3 with an uphill battle. They needed to get away the bad taste they left in the mouth of their most loyal consumers, the people who bought a 360 to play games, after showing the Xbox One (which goes up there with Nintendo for worst name ever) and concentrating too much on the non-gaming side. Their DRM policies and need for online connection to access your legitimately bought games also was a bad move for them. They needed to get the love of their fans back.

What were they thinking?

That showing game after game after game would fix it. And in a way, they were right. †Games make the system, any system. And they had a strong showing. Metal Gear Soli V, Dead Rising 3 and TitanFall were all great showings. For a second, their stupid DRM and Kinect and TV would look worth it if you could play those games.

To be fair, Microsoft probably researched a lot about how to please their fans and yet trying to gather new consumers. They probably concluded that most of their consumers, the ones who bought a 360, where always connected anyway, love TV and had plenty of money to buy their new box. And in a way, nothing they did is actually wrong in a business side and could reward them in the long term.

What they did at E3?

That price tag was too much. After being vilified for months even before their reveal of the box due to the DRM, Kinect and almost everything else, they asked a whole US$500 from gamers to enjoy the machine they were asking to always have a connection to give their permission to you to play the games you paid money to play. They also made a lot of stupid statements after, who only made them looking worse.

They also showed a lot of 3[sup]rd[/sup] party games, and if anything we all learned that 3[sup]rd[/sup] party game exclusives donít remain exclusives forever. TitanFall is already rumored to not really be a Xbone exclusive forever, and it will be available on PC, so no real need to buy the new Xbox for it. And they yet had to show a single benefit of their policies for the consumer, which they failed and keep failing. Oh, and remember, the Xbone is region locked, will be available only in 21 selected countries and if you canít mask your IP, you will not be able to play games even if you import one.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

Hard to tell, actually. Many 360 fans will justify accepting the higher price tag and the online policies so they can play their favorite Microsoft games. Others, specially the mass market MS wants, are likely to not even know why those policies are bad for them. The Xbone will likely sell well at the holidays, but after that their high price will be hard to swallow. Not only that, when all the problems their DRM policy starts, and they will, it can damage the brand.

I canít see Microsoft getting always with it at that price tag. If the console was cheap, or the games were cheaper, they could have being in a better position. As they are, I can see it selling well in the United States, the market they likely based their whole decisions, but all that TV stuff will make them no favors outside the US.

What they should do?

Microsoft put them in a hard place. They probably canít simple scrap the Kinect to cut costs and sell the Xbone cheaper, and they likely made a lot of 3[sup]rd[/sup] party deals for exclusives on the promise of killing the used game market. So, their only options is to make their executives to stop damaging the brand every time they open their mouths to defend it and to make a huge marketing push to make it seems the bad things will work in favor of the consumer.

Another thing they can do is making the deal with a cable provider to make the Xbone a US$99 machine through subscription, making it seems like a great deal since you could have all you need in a subscription, like LIVE Gold and an internet connection. But that depends of deals in every country they want to sell it, so the Xbone is likely to succeed in its homeland, but not everywhere else.


Sony has being riding in the good graces of their fans and gaming fans since February. They showed lots of games coming, the specs, and they shut their mouths about DRM, making people wonder, but not damaging them in the process. And after Microsoft made them a hug favor of shooting their feet, Sony had the easiest way to impress the audience and conquer the show.

They could also have killed themselves if they made all the wrong announcements, like a DRM policy, bigger price point and unwanted features. Sony was in the position to win, but the question was would they use the opportunity?

What were they thinking?

That after messing up badly with the PlayStation 3, they needed to make everything right. They listened to the developers and their needs, they asked them to help plan the PS4, they wanted to have more games so they courted the Indies and they wanted to keep costs down, so no new expensive tech.

Also, they held the console final design and many details for E3, so they had a lot of information to share, and their show was one of the most waited of the show. They knew they needed a good showing to keep the entire positive buzz afloat.

What they did at E3?

They passed quickly on the PS Vita and PS3 new and upcoming games, so they could reveal the final hardware for the PS4. It wasnít vastly different from the Xbone, more like a PS2 made love to a PS3. But they knew the plastic wasnít important. They showed plenty of games, including a heavy emphasis in the Indie developers. They showed some new IPs too, something all the fans of games love. Then they started all the good news.

Sony will keep their DRM policy the same as the PS3, so if publishers want to keep the online passes or make online only games like MMOs, they could. Sadly, multiplayer will be paid, which is bad news. But them they announced the price, US$399, and all seemed well.

Cheaper than the Xbone, no problematic DRM policy, no region lock. Sony did all the right moves they needed and showed plenty of games while avoiding the pitfalls Microsoft made for them and fell in.

What they likely will achieve with their showing?

More positive buzz, the preference of the gaming fans and a competitive edge over the Xbone. Sony has the cheapest machine without many of the hooks Microsoft created. †They also have a plethora of first party titles, 3[sup]rd[/sup] party support and Indie support. Meanwhile, they still have the media capabilities to avoid seem to offer less than the Xbone.

Sony is in the best position ever, and all they needed was to listen to the people who matters: the game makers and the players. All those factors make them likely to come on top and if they donít screw anything up in the way, to keep them there.

What they should do?

If Sony wasnít hiding any bad surprises at E3, they just need to invest in market, specially to show off why they are better than their adversaries and keep making games coming, avoiding anything like the drought the PS Vita and the WiiU suffers.

Sony did everything right and if that doesnít goes over their heads, they can return as the number one again.
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About ManWithNoNameone of us since 10:30 AM on 03.24.2011

Ok, let's see... Well, I am Brazilian, speak both portuguese and english(none of them properly ;) ), have 32 (Yes I am old, shut up) and work at a cable manufacturer. My first videogame system was an Atari 2600 when I was 8yo, then the Sega Master System at 11, a PC, then all the Playstation Family(PS1, 2 and 3 and the PSP).

Nowadays my primary gaming platform is the PS3 and my favorite game is Battlefield Bad Company 2, so if will wanna play or get some help with a trophie, my PSN ID is Man_w_no_name. Feel free to ask me to add you as a friend. My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy VII and the worst I have ever saw is Danger Girl for PS1.

Aside gaming I love movies, books, anime and manga, Doctor Who and weirdness. So that is it. Hope to find good friends here at Destructoid.

Thanks to falsenipple for the header image! It is awesome as the creator.

PSN ID:Man_w_no_name


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