Sony’s Conference Might Have Been Better For Consumers, But Microsoft’s Was Better For Gamers

Let me start by saying that if I have to pick a side for the next-gen “console war”, my feet are placed firmly on Sony’s side. But yesterday, I really think Microsoft’s E3 conference was much better than Sony’s. Microsoft had assembled a strong lineup of exclusives and did nothing but show us games. Sony, on the other hand, received their biggest round of applause by making it clear that the PlayStation 4 would allow used games.

The Microsoft conference was just great. It was literally what every E3 conference should be, almost nothing other than new trailers and gameplay. Ryse: Son of Rome looks like it could be the best game ever set in that era, Project Spark looks like what Little Big Planet always should have been and Dead Rising 3 could be the best zombie action game ever. It just has so many goddamn zombies. And that isn’t even half of the exclusives.

This looks like more fun than it should be..

This looks like more fun than it should be.

Going into the day of conferences, I had high hopes for Sony. Sony has been my favorite for a long time and I couldn’t wait to find out more about the new console. Especially after seeing how awesome the Microsoft conference was, I was even more excited to see what Sony had to offer. If Microsoft, who according to the Internet has basically become the Satan of video games, has this great of a conference, Sony must have something great in store for us as well.

Goddamn was I disappointed. Too much time was spent talking about the PS3 and Vita, but that wasn’t it. Sony decided that after the positive reaction the Xbox One reveal received, it was obvious to talk for a few minutes about Sony Pictures and the fact that you can watch other media on your PlayStation 4. I for one know I watching the conference on the edge of my seat wondering if the PlayStation 4 would play Netflix or not.

Sony did show more first-party exclusives, but none of them looked as good as the Xbox One exclusives. That new footage from Infamous: Second Son actually made me want the game less. Deslin seems terribly annoying. Sony also spent a decent chunk of time showing off indie titles. None of these looked even remotely next-gen. Why would you show these off? Nobody is going to buy a next-gen console to play games that look similar, or worse than, many of their PlayStation 3 games.

The highlight of the conference for me was Square Enix, which was a huge surprise. Final Fantasy XV looks very cool. It could quite possibly be a great new direction for the series. Then SE finally announced Kingdom Hearts 3 after all these years. I was happy with the Sony conference after Square Enix was done. But this morning it was announced that these games will be coming out for the Xbox One as well, so this isn’t really a point for Sony. The only new exclusive Sony revealed at E3 was The Order: 1886, which did look really good, but the company just didn’t bring it like Microsoft did. There were just so few Sony exclusives and so many multi-console games shown.

Next Gen Indeed..

Next-gen indeed…

Just to recap, here are lists of games exclusive for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This list is as up to date as I can find.

PlayStation 4:
Deep Down
Drive Club
The Order: 1886
Killzone: Shadowfall
Infamous: Second Son
A bunch of cheap indies

Xbox One:
Crimson Dragon
Dead Rising 3
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Forza Motorsport 5
Untitled Halo Project
Killer Instinct
Kinect Sports Rivals
Loco Cycle
Project Spark
Quantum Break
Ryse: Son Of Rome
Sunset Overdrive

Sony also announced that it would allow used games,and not require any online connection at all. This got the biggest applause of the night, and that is ridiculous. Lastly, it announced the PlayStation 4 will be $399, so $100 less than the $499 Xbox One.

I’ve been team Sony since day 1, and that isn’t going to change. But just looking at that list of exclusives, it really looks like the Xbox One has more to offer for gamers. However, looking at Twitter and almost everything else it seems like almost everyone is saying Sony did an amazing job. Can everyone really be saying that as gamers? Or as cheap consumers looking to save a few bucks? I really don’t get it…

Written by: Ridge

Gamer who swears the Vita is worth it, yet always has a 3DS in his pocket..

  • Luke Frazier

    Ooo, boy. Gotta disagree on so many of your points here, friend. Most directly, you seem to radically discount indie games. My most memorable experiences from this generation did not come from triple-A releases, but smaller titles. Journey. The Unfinished Swan. The Walking Dead. None of these games looked as near-realistic as Uncharted 3, but who cares? Visuals are no automatic indicator of quality. Similarly, neither is quantity. Who cares if Microsoft paid X billion dollars for exclusives if none of them are any good? While I don’t spend too much time reading previews, I haven’t heard anything overly amazing about any of Microsoft’s exclusives.

    In my mind, the important thing here is the internal company philosophy. Obviously, Microsoft is more determined to satisfy publishers. No self-publishing for indies, for example. Game sharing and trade-in limitations. Always-online DRM. All to keep money in publishers’ hands. Meanwhile, like you state in your title, Sony ended the show proving that the people there care about bringing a slew of great experiences to PlayStation fans. By addressing complaints against Microsoft head on, Sony showed the world what really matters. And that is us.

    • Ridge

      I do agree with a lot of your points. Many of my favorite experiences of the last few years were indie as well. The Walking Dead damn near broke me. I’m sure I’ll enjoy many of the PS4 indies that were shown, this just didn’t seem like the place to show them. When the point of these E3 conferences was basically bothqw companys saying “here is why you should go next gen with us53r2l;r5ade

      • Luke Frazier

        I think the simple fact that Sony showed KH was enough for me. Again, it’s a consumer care feeling. Sony knew people have been asking for that game for almost a decade and made sure to secure a spot for it at E3. Meanwhile, Microsoft used Ryse and the like to impress with graphical realism. Personally, I prefer the former approach.

  • KingSigy

    I liked Microsoft’s conference, but the barrage of games totally distracted from the facts we all wanted clarification on; what is with all the restrictions? These games look good and I’d like to play some, but not if I can’t own them or if I can’t play them in the future.

    What’s the point of a great game when it just stops in 5 years?

    Also, Ryse looked terrible. I’m sorry, I can’t agree with you on that.

    • Ridge

      We don’t know yet if/how these games will work once the servers turn off. As long as those games are still available somehow I’m not bothered by it. That whole area is just too up in the air right now though..

  • Stew

    Microsoft made their anti-consumer policies and entertainment box priorities.

    Sure they had some nice games at E3, isn’t that the least we should expect. The fact is many of the most impressive games were bought exclusives fron third parties, it’s already been leaked Titanfall is a 1 year timed exclusive, for me, that was one of the most impressive games.

    The 360 generation demonstrated Microsofts front loading of games, before pushing the media feature and casual game market, it would be nieve to think the Xbox One will be any different.

    On the other hand, Sony game out of the gate by making clear their pro-consumer stance from the off, that’s more important for me as a gamer, as I will own this console for the next 5-10 years. The lower price was a pelasant surprise, but again, this is less important than the long-term policy for consumers/gamers.

    On the game front, it could have been better, but we are all aware of the quality and sheer number of studios Sony have, putting out exclusive, first party content. The fact Sony won E3 by such a dominant margin is testiment to their strength in depth, and commitment to supporting all their platforms.

    For example, the two top developers, PD and ND, didn’t show any PS4 games, but for good reason, they’ve just put the finishing touches to two of the most anticipated PS3 titles, GT6 and the Last Of Us.

    5-6 years from now, I know Sony’s studios will still be producing AAA PS34 content, Microsoft, I’m not too sure.

  • Anon

    Are you a moron? Gamers ARE consumers and Microsoft has a long history of being anti-consumer. This new P.O.S. console is just the next way they expect to bribe more people into giving them more money. Hopefully no one buys this crap and we can all send newly arrogant Microsoft a message. Unfortunately, the idiot Xbot and sheep-consumer are probably going to fall for their crap and help bring down the industry.

  • Carl

    I have to disagree completely, Microsoft showed only one thing of interest – Quantum Break. Everything else looked meh, none of it held any real appeal whatsoever. Dead Rising just looked more of the same, so I’m not bothered that that’s a one exclusive, that Rome game looks to be a God of War clone in a new era.

    And, considering how they had focused on games and social media at the reveal event, Sony had to briefly touch on other things, such as multimedia, here. If they hadn’t, folks would have lambasted them for it. As it was, it was a tight, focused piece of the presentation that didn’t get lost and amble around for a while like Microsofts reveal event did, repeating the words ‘watch TV’ like some cultish mantra. The same with PS3 and Vita, a relatively short burst on those products – indeed, talk about the Vita was absolutely certain since they spend a good deal of time back at the PS4 reveal on how the two were going to interact. It was a tight, solid presentation that covered all the bases in just the right amount and then, after twenty minutes or so, gave everyone what they wanted.

    Some truly stellar games. Killzone looks incredible. The Order: 1886 looks incredible. Infamous Second Son, getting better. Watchdogs, although cross platform, looking good. Destiny looking absolutely knock you out cold brilliant.

    I can’t say the same for Microsoft. The only thing I saw that interested me was the aforementioned Quantum Break – and even then, the mix of live action and game seems a throwback to the late nineties, you can clearly see the difference and its very jarring and possibly game spoiling, which is a shame as its a strong narrative concept. Microsoft have never had many exclusives that interest me anyway, they’ve always been very weak compared to Sony’s IP’s (by that, I mean weak in a concept way: they are flawlessly executed but they’ve never hooked me and made me go “ooh, I want”) IMO.

    As for the huge cheer, that was less a cheer for Sony and more a cheer that the challenger to the One is saying “we won’t do what they are doing, we’ve listened to you, The Gamers, we’ve seen how unpopular that is and we won’t do it.” If Nintendo were the challenger, not Sony, the cheer would have been the same. Or if Sega were still in the console business. That cheer said more about Microsoft and the reaction to its policies than Sony, really.

    • nickcane520

      Damn. Thats a level headed, intelligent response. UPVOTE

  • plsburydoughboy

    I think you may have a point about game announcements, but really, used games is that big an issue. Sony could have announced even less PS4 games than they did, they could have had a 30 minute conference and the reaction would still be the same.

    This E3, at least IMHO, no one is talking about the games.

  • ant9141

    Your forgetting that there are still 2 major game events until the launch of ps4 GamesCom in Aug and TGS! Both are perfect times for Sony to show more of its 1st party games! they have to keep the Hype going into launch! 20 PS4 exclusives in 1st year vs 15 on Xbox one. 12 new IPs on PS4 vs 8 on PS4! getting the picture Sony is holding back on a lot of games so don’t worry THEY HAVE GAMES!!!

  • Nick Nemati

    This stupid mother fucker forgot about the 8 indie games. Not to mention all the exclusives revealed prior to E3.

    • John Joe Silver

      he’s talking about the E3 reveal though if i’m not mistaken? why would he bring up other conferences?

      • da Boss

        Yes, but the indie games were revealed at E3, and the prior console games are relevant because we obtained more detail about them at E3. Not to mention Sony absolutely trounces the Xbox with 1st party developers and thats all that really matters.

  • DudeBro1990

    I have to say I agree.

    I will be getting both the PS4 and the Xbox One, but the Xbox One has a much stronger launch line up. Forza, Dead Rising, Ryse and Killer Instinct all look great for exclusives, then add on watch dogs and Assassins Creed 4, and thats a lineup that is freaking amazing.

    PS4 conference was damn good, but the fact that 80% of their games are coming to Xbox One, just deflates the excitement for me. It was awesome to see Destiny on stage, and Kingdom Hearts 3 almost brought a tear to my eye, but I can have both of those games, plus the MS exclusives…Sold.

    I just think that the whole DRM thing is overshadowing this E3 way too much. I am a gamer, and I care about the games, not the policies.

    • Anon

      You’re a detriment to society if you buy MS’s anti-consumer box.

      • Poner

        If you don’t care about the policies, then shut up. Don’t ruin gaming and its future for the rest of the REAL world. We enjoy our privacy and our liberty.

        • Ant

          It’s quite depressing how some gamers can be bribed with a few nice games (many of which will eventually go mulit-format.

          So much for consumer rights, you rarely get these things back, corporations and governments take more and more as time goes by. This or that DRM policy may not effect you now, but if you don’t stand up, you can be sure a policy in the future will effect you personally

      • DudeBro1990

        Please explain how buying from microsoft is anti consumer, but steam isn’t.

  • Bjoernsen

    I agree with your main point. MS did reveal a pleasing amount of games, perhaps more so than Sony, but I really disagree that Project Spark is what LittleBigPlanet should have been. LittleBigPlanet was very little like that game at all, and had its own merits. Also, Ryse did not look fun. It looks like a QTE-hell. Dead Rising 3 is probably not going to become the best zombie game ever. At all.

    And the bunch of cheap indies are largely made by very talented and merited developers, and are likely to be very well received.

    Having said that, I think MS had a very strong showing, and perhaps revealed a better exclusive line-up that Sony.

  • Old school

    As a consumer or gamer (wait.. aren’t I both?) I feel Sony has positioned the PS4 as very pro-gamer. The hardware design announced in February went a long way in that category . I also believe people were waiting for answers to the unanswered questions from both companies reveals, not just the games. MS confirmed our fears and Sony exceeded our expectations. The author could have “flavored” this article differently if he wanted to give props to MS for showing some gaming muscle. Instead it smells of trolling for hits.

  • shark_tsuki

    The owners of these type websites are cheap marketers who are employed by mshit. None can beat sony in terms of AAA exclusive games. As for mshit; they dont have talented game developers like naughty dog, santa monica, sucker punch etc except one studio (343); while rest are kinect based studios. Their exclusives will go dry after 2 years just like 360. This year ps3 alone can beat xbox one in terms of quality games. Have fun BORROWING your games while we enjoy OWNING our games.

    • Ridge

      Shit, the proper reply to this isn’t in my company handbook. I’ll be back after talking to my supervisor.

  • Adam Xen

    The author is forgetting PS4 exclusives like Planetside 2, Warframe, Daylight, The Witness, and probably a bunch others I’m forgetting. Doesn’t look like the author of this article did much research before defending his precious Xbox One.

    • Ridge

      All of those are coming to PC as well…

      • Ant

        So is pretty much every Xbox One ‘exclusive, other than you MS Studios stuff like Forza and Halo.

        In fact the bought in titles are very likely to hit PS4, i..e TitanFall is near enough guaranteed now in 12 months.

  • killz1996

    funny how you count “cheap indie” games as only one the talk is about games, last time i checked those were meant to be games. Also, many of us prefer the still to come exclusives to ps4 which just rape xbox ones exclusives, inside and out. Such as Uncharted 4, God of War 4, Gran Turismo 6 (GT6 which you forgot to put on that list) . Halo gears of war and all that other shit doesnt even compare to those 3.

    • Ridge

      I would have loved to see an Uncharted 4 or a God Of War 4 at E3. Either would have made a great launch title. That is a big part of why this conference was disappointing. Also Gran Turismo 6 is only confirmed for PlayStation 3 at this point..

      • killz1996

        Yea, what i mean is these exclusives are a good enough reason to buy a ps4, especially the people that have had all the previous ps consoles God of war 4 being probably the biggest hype in gaming history.

  • Zaron Gibson

    Wow, this is a horrible article. I’m sorry but Sony is enticing Indie developers because they make some great, groundbreaking games. They don’t have the funds to self publish. What Sony is doing is allowing studios who don’t have a lot of financial backing to release their own games. This is HUGE. This is GREAT FOR GAMING because it allows small studios to make their own money and publish their own games (not the games the publishers want). If you don’t understand this (which it’s apparent you don’t judging by your snide Indie comments) then you don’t deserve to write a professional article on the matter.

    • Ridge

      I understand everything your saying. I’m just saying when they are showcasing their next gen console they should have shown more next gen looking things. Not indie games that they could easily being to the PS3. That isn’t a great selling point..

      • Zaron Gibson

        It’s next gen because it’s an X86 architecture instead of the hard and time consuming to code for cell architecture. This makes it a LOT easier to make games for. Personally, I was very happy to see the Indie games and they all looked fun, even Octodad. Here’s the list of Indie games announced at Sony’s E3: Secret Ponchos, Don’t Starve, Ray’s The Dead, Octodad: Deadlest Catch, Outlast, Mercenary Kings, Abe’s Oddysee, Galak-Z

        Next gen is NOT just about graphics like you seem to think. Next gen brings about a different philosophy and building the tools and support the developers will use the next 10 year.

      • Farooq

        Funny, you said “more next-gen looking games” and mention Sony Indies, but forgot that GT6 ps3 looks equal if not better than Forza x1, and that dead rising 3 is almost any open world current-gen looking game, haha Ryse looks worse than Heavy Rain/god of war 3-ascension/Last of us… oh oh and its even a QTE based game hahaha.

        Sony catered for all 3 systems this late in current-gen, and did it with a mark, not like MS whose 360 grand exclusive lineup has already been dead 2 years back.

  • Ruscle Jones

    Nice piece. Still exclusives won’t win me over so easily with the DRM and internet check. I play Offline 80% not by choice. My internet provider is pretty crappy. To spend all that money then only use my $600 (cause in the Caribbean we have to get it shipped) console just to play movies won’t fly. Sorry if they want to win me over they will have to get rid of that.

    • Ridge

      The online check is a big deal for a lot of people in the same situation as you. They will without a doubt lose sales because of it. But it is falling into the same category as used games where they are willing to take the hit and backlash so that publishers can stop us from doing things that cost them money.

  • Toby

    I disagree Sony answered questions, was bit bland at stages, but they gave us everything we needed to hear. Gamer and consumer are the same thing.

    I enjoyed the gaming side that M$, came out of their closet to show the world they actually had been doing something besides watching tv.
    It’s a hard thing to call everyone will take away what they want from the conferences.

    I just think M$ needed to come out and give it hardcore fans a reason to trust them, instead they showed us how they can throw money around and just hope that everyone can be brought out.
    Both the conferences seemed unsettled and i could sit here and pick the crap out of them all day but the thing is everyone will hear what they want.
    I’m not totally disagreeing M$ did show more games..
    Not too sure how many of them were playable haven’t looked into that yet.. I know there was a couple mentioned in the conference.

    • Ridge

      They definitely showed that they can throw money at the problem and hope it fixes itself. The bad part is that if that money leads to a lot of good exclusives it might actually fix the problem.

      • Farooq

        Regarding conferences, remember MS came up to ‘kill Sony’?

        They made that point and worked for all the backlash they got word-for-word…

        1. Lets count the exclusives on stage

        2. throw in an ‘indie; and make Phil Harrison lie about how MS has been greatest with indies Hah!

        3. Keep mention of Kinect at the lowest

        They did that with:

        1. cancelling executive interviews after the conference

        2. Not giving out final specs at all(acc to DF, world already knows its 50% less powerful than PS4)

        3. Being 100$ more expensive

        4. Killing the ownership

        So its was MS who went in hyperbole, and damn have they been b!tchslapped.

        Questions have only risen my friend. Sony had already wowed the world in Feb, it was a console reveal. FFXV will almost certainly be a Japan PS4 exclusive, so will be KH3.

        No one can deny, Sony made a gaming machine, MS a tv hub that also can run games, albeit, the quality of Dead Rising 3 or COD: Dogs!

        • John Joe Silver

          a japan exclusive maybe but globally both games are going multiplatform and i’d say M$ are more concerned about the USA as that’s where they are number 1… i wouldn’t be too shocked to see M$ pull out of Japan completely as they can’t seem to penetrate that market at all.