That’s a good question. This year I got to the end of the E3 press conferences and didn’t have a clear winner in my mind. It’s proving to be much harder than anticipated in deciding which of the publishers put on the best conference, so let’s go through each of the ones I watched and see where we end up.
Definitely not this year’s winner. As much as I like Battlefront and was interested in some of their other offerings, the EA conference itself was just average.
This year Microsoft had a new console and a ton of things to show for it. Maybe a little too much. Anthem was a great game to end the show with, and there’s plenty to like about the Xbox One X, aside from the price, but I do think Microsoft’s conference was too long. Still, Microsoft had a good show overall.
Even with my bias against Bethesda games I don’t see how one could argue that they were the best conference. If Bethesda had announced something on the level of the next Elder Scrolls game, then maybe we could talk about them winning E3. Maybe. The whole Bethesdaland thing was a novel idea for a conference, however, and I hope other publishers take a nod from Bethesda and maybe try something unique in their future presentations.
The Ubisoft conference is a legitimate contender for the best show this year, which is something I didn’t think I’d be saying prior to the start of E3. The show mostly went well, Ubisoft had some good games, and they ended the conference with a huge announcement that fans have been craving.
It’s no secret that I do most of my gaming on PlayStation, but as much as I would love to see Sony take the E3 crown for the third year in the row, I can’t in good conscience say they were the best this year. Yes, there was good content in their conference, but a lot of it came from games that we’ve known about for awhile and they lacked a true megaton announcement to set the world on fire. If the Sony conference had ended with the reveal of Bloodborne 2, then I might be telling a different tale.
I hesitate to include Nintendo in the running for the winner of E3 because their conference is not a traditional show like those of the other publishers, but it feels even more wrong to leave them out, so I’m throwing them into the ring along with everyone else. This year’s Nintendo conference delivered a lot of announcements on core Nintendo titles and has their fanbase frothing at the mouth, so I’d call their show a success.
With all of that said, I think we can narrow the contenders for the winner of E3. EA, Bethesda, and Sony are out, leaving Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Nintendo still in the running. Of these three, Microsoft strikes me as weakest, mainly because they overstayed their welcome with a conference that was over 90 minutes long. The sticker shock of the Xbox One X’s price doesn’t help them either. That brings us to a title fight between Ubisoft and Nintendo. The victory here will be by mere inches, and I can already hear the fanboys on both sides sharpening their knives to kill me if I make the wrong call. Hmmm… whom do I pick? Both had good content and big announcements. Both had shows that flowed fairly well. Oh man, this is a tough call. Uh, alright, I’ve made my decision. This year’s winner of E3 (according to me) is…
As I thought about this, both Nintendo and Ubisoft were going close to blow-for-blow with each other until we got to Ubisoft’s final announcement. The reveal of Beyond Good and Evil 2 I think is a bigger deal than anything Nintendo had to offer. Also, two of Nintendo’s big reveals—Metroid Prime 4 and the next core Pokemon installment—were nothing more than announcements of games in development and showed absolutely nothing of the games themselves, so they don’t pack quite as much of a punch. Thus I give a small edge to Ubisoft and declare them the winner of this year’s surprisingly bloody E3 slugfest. Congratulations to Ubisoft on emerging victorious. I’m sure that being declared the winner of E3 by a no-name writer on an obscure website means the world to them.
Also, if anyone knows of a bunker where I can hide from the Nintendo fanboys for a few weeks, let me know.