Sony won E3, but only by default

The console platform wars are basically down to two: Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 (PS4).  This year, Microsoft and Sony both put on a solid show.  Unlike last year, Microsoft talked games, games and more games.  Ironically, Sony was the one who talked about other media, but it also did a good job showing off games in the pipeline.

Who impressed more?  Let’s take a quick pulse around the web — these are the websites that won the SEO game on a Google search for “Who won E3?”

Forbes

Today was very much a continuation of the narrative — Sony swaggering forward, Microsoft putting itself together. There’s still room for things to change as we move forward to the holiday season, but it’s palpably clear where the momentum is…Sony wins E3, by a nose.

Sony 1, Microsoft 0

Motley Fool

Microsoft emerged from this E3 with the greatest benefit. Its games-centric messaging was effective and well-executed, and the company had the most to gain after last year’s troubled Xbox One unveiling.

Sony 1, Microsoft 1

The Verge

The presentations hint at the trends of the coming year, and more importantly, they let us sum up the entirety of two companies’ prospects in two words: who won? Well, Sony did.

Sony 2, Microsoft 1

Accelerated Ideas

As much as fan boys love to argue, Microsoft edged it this year. They won it because of the number of quality exclusive titles coming this year backed up with a substantial amount of timed DLC. They also have the best genre spread for the next 6 months; there’s a fighter, FPS, open world, racer and an adventure game.

Sony 2, Microsoft 2

ExtremeTech

With all that said, it’s not unusual for one of the console companies to come out ahead at E3 — but this isn’t just Sony winning by a nose; it’s a landslide, and such huge disparities are rare at E3.

Sony 3, Microsoft 2

IT World

Overall I felt like the Sony press conference was just OK. Oddly they didn’t show Drive Club and they mostly shied away from EA and Ubisoft games which had been shown earlier in the day…So this year I’m giving the win to Microsoft…I really liked their focus on a variety of game styles.

Sony 3, Microsoft 3

Gamesradar

Putting on my personal-preference hat (which looks a little like a posh, jazz-era top hat), I’d say that Sony and Ubisoft absolutely smashed it. Of all the conferences, they were the most confident, balanced, and forward-looking. With real verve and swagger, they showed the titles that really made me sit up and pay attention.

Sony 4, Microsoft 3

Destructoid

Who won? It’s a total cop-out, but I’d say we all did.

Destructoid -10

…And all the other publications who made the same trite conclusion.  If the answer is “I’m too scared to make a choice,” don’t write an article with the headline, “Who won E3 2014?”

Nevertheless, press opinion on the Internet seems somewhat evenly divided.

While both Microsoft and Sony had a good pitch, neither revealed anything that made their console a must-buy.  I wasn’t too impressed with Microsoft’s exclusive titles, though I did enjoy the Forza Horizon 2 trailer.

And in case you’re wondering, the track is Revolution by R3hab.  🙂

I’m excited about the Last of Us version on the PS4 as I never got to finish the one on the PS3, but that’s not legitimate praise for a new console.  All the other exclusive titles for the PS4 seem a little tired — how many dark, violent, evil monster games can you do?  Uncharted 4 will prove an exception, but that’s still far away.

There doesn’t seem to be a Titanfall of this year’s E3; i.e. a game that everyone raved about as fresh, exciting and fun.

Among the next generation games shown at E3, the best are likely multi-platform.  Several caught my eye: Batman Arkham Knight, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Witcher 3, Dragon Age and the indie game Inside.  Inside was hauntingly eye-catching.

I am a huge fan of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.  It’s easily the best PS4 game I’ve played so far; and not just because I had interned at Crystal Dynamics, the studio that gave birth to the original franchise.  The trailer for the sequel hits the right notes…can’t wait to play it!

Anyway, let’s get back on topic.  Who won E3?

Sony last reported the PS4 sold 7 million units to customers whereas Microsoft sold 5 million Xbox One units to retail channels over a similar time frame.  That’s a sizeable gap, even if the PS4 is cheaper and in many more markets.  When you’re behind, you have to do much more to catch up and Microsoft failed to do that this E3.

Because both did evenly well, Sony won E3 by default.

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