Console Wars, Part Deux-E3 in L.A. This Week
Following a week of Apple news from its Worldwide Developers Conference, this week will be consumed by the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Monday marks the first day of E3 2014, and because of leaks and announcements ahead of the event, gaming fans know some of what to expect.
Gaming is starting to receive a new standing in society as a whole, and there is no better place to see what the future of the industry holds for consumers than E3. New technologies like virtual reality are beginning to take over, while Microsoft continues to fight Sony in the console wars.
State of Gaming
The gaming industry has begun to radically change as more people buy consoles or follow competitive gaming on sites like Twitch.tv. Even though PC gaming is thriving, E3 will have a major focus on console gaming, since the Xbox One is trying to dethrone the PS4 as the top console. Since launching last year, the PS4 has maintained a steady lead ahead of the Xbox One, but Microsoft wants that to change.
Microsoft has already altered its product lineup to include a $400 Xbox One that doesn't include a Kinect, but that change may have come too late to significantly boost sales. Since launch, Microsoft has touted the Xbox One as the definitive entertainment device, while Sony has continued to market the PS4 as primarily a game console. During E3, Sony is expected to capitalize on its lead with new PS4 exclusives to counteract the Xbox's price cut.
A report from Nikkei Asian Research was published Monday that also showed Sony's success in the console gaming market. For the first time in eight years, Sony beat Nintendo in terms of sales, which only means that Microsoft's chance of displacing Sony is slim. Both Sony and Microsoft will introduce exclusives during their respective press conferences at E3, though it is unlikely that any announcement will significantly change the console market.
In the weeks and months leading up to E3, virtual reality popped in and out of headlines as a result of Kickstarter projects and acquisitions. Since the Oculus Rift debuted at E3 two years ago, virtual reality has been a major part of the event. That is also true this year. Both Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus will be demoed during E3 alongside new virtual reality games.
The hardware included in the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus is nearly identical, so price, availability and game selection will drive purchases of both once they hit store shelves. Virtual reality games are expected to be a major part of E3 this year now that developers are nearing completion of full-length games rather than just the clips and trials that have been released so far.