By Nolan Patrick Smith
Photographs by Jason T. Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victor Valley)—This week’s E3 Expo brought news of games, accessories, licenses, and more, but one thing overshadowed the entire event: the next generation of home consoles. With Sony and Microsoft hot on the heels of announcing their new systems, and with Nintendo fighting to stay in the game, it was an E3 to remember.
Microsoft had a lavish booth setup with the centerpiece being around the X-Box One. Billed as the all-in-one entertainment center, the system marks the first time Microsoft is using a Blu-Ray drive, making it easy to watch your Blu-Ray discs right on the system, as well making the video game discs capable of holding much more data. The major drawbacks for the system include the price ($499) when it hits stores this holiday season, as well as the need to connect to the Internet once every twenty-four hours in order to play a game. Used games were another hot button issue as fees may be tacked on in order to play them on the new console, as was the absence of backwards compatibility with X-Box 360 games. Nonetheless, Microsoft had the crowd hyped for exclusive titles such as Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 answered back swinging, as it announced that its system will debut for $399, $100 less than Microsoft. That, combined with the announcement that there will be no online connection check in required and that used games won’t be charged a fee, has many proclaiming the new Sony system as the winner already. But what many aren’t seeing is that the X-Box One includes a Kinect camera, and the PS4 doesn’t have the camera in the system package. Depending on how much that will run, the prices might be closer than many imagined. With titles like a new Killzone, a new Infamous title, and the announcement of the much-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, Sony showed plenty to make Microsoft worry this holiday season.
Though Nintendo released its next generation console last year with the Wii U, the fight for survival was on at E3. With new Mario games, a new Donkey Kong adventure, new entries into the Legend of Zelda franchise, and a new installment of Nintendo’s greatest fighting game, Super Smash Bros., the house of Mario showed that it’s not going out without a fight. Their booth, as always, was very inviting, user friendly, and interactive, much like their consoles have been. It is going to be an uphill battle his year, but Nintendo has a shot of surviving with their strong showing this year.
Next, we will cover the games of E3 in depth, and see which ones took top spot on the grandest stage of them all for video gamers.