Attending E3 for the first time was an experience that I will never forget. The games, the announcements, and the sheer chaos of the event has to be seen to believed.
If there was one thing I returned back to South Africa with it was even more love and passion for what I do every day, and E3 2017 proved to me that no matter how many pixels you pump into a screen, it is the games that matter most.
This year’s E3 event was strange, as every major developer and console manufacturer were all doing something different. Microsoft’s Xbox One X was the major hardware announcement of the show, Sony’s first-party game lineup was the best around, and Nintendo’s pure gaming experiences on the Switch clearly proved that you don’t need 4K and HDR to make a game worth playing.
While it is understandable that technology needs to move in a new direction – a powerful and visually captivating one – it all relies on having a series of titles that make it worth the ride in the end.
Nintendo’s brand-new titles for the Switch at E3 this year were Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Both of these titles are in development and set to release later this year.
It is important to note that both games run at a 720p 60FPS, but that was the least of my concerns while actually playing them.
Both games oozed the unique Mario essence that we all love from Nintendo, and no one even cared that they were running at a lower resolution at all.
Nintendo is doing its thing without worrying about pixels, and it goes to show that while we are all fighting over what looks better on what platform, games like Super Mario Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of the Wild have gained the potential to be Game of the Year winners.
Again, these are games that do not make use of 4K or HDR. They are simply just honest and true gaming experiences.
Sony’s lineup was another hit this year, with titles like God of War, Days Gone, and of course Uncharted: The Lost Legacy being the stars of its show. Sony has one of the best, if not the best lineup of games in the industry right now, and they proved this.
I strongly believe that the tables have turned in the gaming market over the past few months.
We now have a Microsoft which are trying very hard to find its spot in the market with their 4K Xbox One X, and its difficult to tell where this device fits in to the merged PC and console Play Anywhere ecosystem.
Saying that however, it is nice to see the company moving in a new direction to offer better visuals than the Xbox One offered.
We have Sony, which was pretty confident with what it has in the pipeline. There was no fluff or padding at their press conference this year, just more and more games.
Sony even left out some of the most anticipated titles from their showcase, like Ni No Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom, Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, and even GT Sport. The company did not touch on any indie titles either.
It was interesting to see Sony’s strong emphasis on PS VR, with new games and experiences revealed during the show.
Lastly, Nintendo’s popularity has skyrocketed to a point where they cannot keep up with the demand for the Switch, and there are some major stock shortages across the United States.
Again, this is a console that puts the gaming experience in front of the pixels and we can see this in their library of titles for the device.
This year’s E3 event was a clear indication that each company is now on its own path to do something great for its fans.
Sony has a great lineup of titles, Nintendo’s Switch console has finally gained momentum, and Microsoft is trying to offer a 4K experience to high-end console gamers.
Instead of everyone trying to do the same thing, we finally have the diversity we need in the industry.
In the end, it was Sony and Nintendo who walked away with their heads held high after a stunning showing of games at E3.
Microsoft launched the Xbox One X, but its lack of first party games fell short.
Many of the company’s new titles you can buy on PC and other platforms, which makes the console just another place to play a certain game instead of a destination for those exclusive experiences.