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E3: Microsoft locks down Christmas as Sony's long game begins

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
E3 2014, Microsoft, Sony

E3: Microsoft locks down Christmas as Sony's long game begins

The E3 press conferences have come to an end and we've much to be excited about. All manner of tasty games and huge reveals broke cover over the last 48 hours -- I'm personally still beside myself with anticipation for Xenoblade Chronicles X and Rainbow Six: Siege --  meaning that we've rarely been more thrilled about being part of the greatest hobby on the planet. We'll be able to play some fantastic stuff, no matter what platform or console we own.

In 2015. Those four little numbers became a recurring theme at this year's conference. Looking forward to the future is all well and good, but what about this year? Where are the big Christmas 2014 exclusives?

On Xbox One, by the looks of it. Microsoft have seized the initiative by locking Christmas down in the short term... while Sony have once again reverted to type by focusing on their classic long game.

E3: Microsoft locks down Christmas as Sony's long game begins

Phil Spencer promised to be "all about the games" this year, and he wasn't wrong. Despite the likes of The Witcher 3, Platinum Games and a nebulous-yet-very-pleasing-indeed Crackdown reveal stealing the show -- plus a whole lot of CG -- Microsoft's presser went big on proving that Xbox One is the place to play right now. This Christmas will kick off with Sunset Overdrive, a massive colourful open-world extravaganza that we desperately want to live up to its boasts, flanked by the bodacious Halo Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 2, Ori & The Blind Forest, perhaps Fable Legendarily Bad Voice Acting and even some Fantasia or Dance Central Kinect flavour courtesy of Harmonix. Project Spark is already in open beta and constantly adding more content.

I daresay the dudebros will also enjoy buying Advanced Warfare DLC early, too, presumably getting a month's unfettered access to a Kevin Spacey laser mech before anyone else.

E3: Microsoft locks down Christmas as Sony's long game begins

Meanwhile Sony still promises that "greatness awaits," but for many gamers, it still seems a fair way away. The Last Of Us... but a bit prettier... DriveClub (a track racer) and LittleBigPlanet 3, which will doubtlessly be as charming as ever despite Media Molecule not being involved. A fair few exciting boutique titles and F2P titles are on the way, but their biggest hitters were all slated for next year, leaving multiplatform exclusive content to pick up the slack. Early CoD DLC versus free Far Cry 4 multiplayer. At least Bloodborne and Uncharted 4 showed us in-engine footage, mind.

No matter how you slice it, Microsoft really capitalised on the here and now. But they had to sacrifice much to do so.

It's the classic difference between Microsoft and Sony: the short-term splurge versus the long game. Microsoft managed to secure the likes of Sunset Overdrive and the Master Chief collection by diverting all of their first-party studios away from the Xbox 360 a year in advance, leaving Gears Of War Judgment and State Of Decay as the only major 2013 exclusives of note. In stark contrast, Sony kept developing for the PS3 right up to the wire, delivering The Last Of Us, Puppeteer, Grand Turismo 6 and more, even as 'next-gen' continually picked up speed. We loved that approach, but the flip-side is that they're still not quite ready for 2014.

It's a pattern we've seen time and time again... though with markedly superior sales figures at present, there's a case to be made that Sony can afford to lose a little ground this Christmas, and Microsoft are ready to make some serious headway now that they're freed from Mattrick's demented obsession with TV and control, and focused on Phil Spencer's lust for games.

Either way, I'll be too busy playing Super Smash Bros, Wildstar and working my way through Persona Q. But that's another story.

Add a comment5 comments
kristianity77  Jun. 11, 2014 at 13:49

Whilst its good that the Xbox One has a few exclusives up its sleeve on the run up to xmas that the PS4 is currently short of, I think the issue at hand for Microsoft is whether multi plat games continue to be publicly ousted as performing worse on the MS platform. That to me is what will do the real damage in terms of sales for them. If people can pick up the next COD, Battlefield, Far Cry, GTAV etc this year, and they all have superior visuals etc on Sonys platform, then that will do much more harm for MS than a couple of exclusives will do good.

I'm not personally saying that frame rate here and resolution differences there should be the be all and end all. It absolutely shouldn't, but you do wonder if that is what is having the biggest impact on people with money in their pockets to buy a next gen console, but being swayed by that, and that alone.

Last edited by kristianity77, Jun. 11, 2014 at 13:53
y7jzdgy  Jun. 11, 2014 at 16:48

Whilst its good that the Xbox One has a few exclusives up its sleeve on the run up to xmas that the PS4 is currently short of, I think the issue at hand for Microsoft is whether multi plat games continue to be publicly ousted as performing worse on the MS platform. That to me is what will do the real damage in terms of sales for them. If people can pick up the next COD, Battlefield, Far Cry, GTAV etc this year, and they all have superior visuals etc on Sonys platform, then that will do much more harm for MS than a couple of exclusives will do good.

I'm not personally saying that frame rate here and resolution differences there should be the be all and end all. It absolutely shouldn't, but you do wonder if that is what is having the biggest impact on people with money in their pockets to buy a next gen console, but being swayed by that, and that alone.
The 360 had the majority of better looking multi-plats and it didn't matter so I don't see why this will matter. Consoles are all about exclusives not about pixel count. Besides, the power of the PS4 is way overhyped there are still games where the PS4 simply can't do 1080p never mind 60fps. If eye candy is so important why not just go PC? 1080p 60fps is the going standard there.

Last edited by y7jzdgy, Jun. 11, 2014 at 16:53
Counterproductive  Jun. 11, 2014 at 16:54

Whilst its good that the Xbox One has a few exclusives up its sleeve on the run up to xmas that the PS4 is currently short of, I think the issue at hand for Microsoft is whether multi plat games continue to be publicly ousted as performing worse on the MS platform. That to me is what will do the real damage in terms of sales for them. If people can pick up the next COD, Battlefield, Far Cry, GTAV etc this year, and they all have superior visuals etc on Sonys platform, then that will do much more harm for MS than a couple of exclusives will do good.


I think that if Microsoft had any more exclusives up their sleeve for 2014, they would have showed them to boost the sales of the now Kinect-free models, and improve their NPD numbers for June. They have a lot of responsibility to their shareholders as well as their board to show results with their new strategy.

Even setting aside that Sunset Overdrive could slip to next year, I don't see how you could expect Microsoft to have pocket exclusives for 2014 without considering the same possibility for Sony (which I also don't believe).

Late  Jun. 11, 2014 at 17:21

Rumours persist that the gap between the Xbox One and the ps4's performance is closing.
I read earlier today that Destiny has been upped to 1080p/30fps, matching the ps4, by utilising resources that were previously reserved exclusively for the Kinect to use.

eurogamer

Last edited by Late, Jun. 11, 2014 at 17:22
Late  Jun. 11, 2014 at 19:33


I think that if Microsoft had any more exclusives up their sleeve for 2014, they would have showed them to boost the sales of the now Kinect-free models, and improve their NPD numbers for June. They have a lot of responsibility to their shareholders as well as their board to show results with their new strategy.

Even setting aside that Sunset Overdrive could slip to next year, I don't see how you could expect Microsoft to have pocket exclusives for 2014 without considering the same possibility for Sony (which I also don't believe).


Seems pretty clear to me that the exclusives up the sleeve that Kristianity77 referred to were those revealed at e3, and not that there are more to be revealed.

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