2013 Year in Review

Anticipated sequels and exciting new titles come to E3

Year in Review: While the Xbox One and PS4 took center stage at E3, games like Kingdom Hearts 3 and Mirror's Edge 2 stole the show.

by

This is the second of four articles looking back at highs and lows of 2013. You can read Part 1 focusing on the console reveals here, but this time we travel back to E3 2013 and explore the immediate aftermath of the big console reveals.

Sony and Microsoft revealed most of their console plans prior to E3, but millions of gamers still tuned into the June gaming conference to learn the most important details: when are the consoles coming, how much will they cost, and what new games are on the horizon?

Microsoft started the E3 press conference circuit, and they delivered on their earlier promise to focus on games. The spectacle of their new console may not have translated into any gameplay innovations, but seeing games like Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, and Forza 5 showed the graphical power Microsoft’s console would be able to deliver.

The Xbox One would still require an Internet connection at least once every 24 hours, but Microsoft also talked about their family sharing plan and their commitment to creating a cloud-based gaming future. Within the same household or with friends, more than one account would be able to play games even when they were purchased digitally, and if you visited someone else’s house, you’d be able to download a game to play even without the disc.

Finally, the price for the Xbox One was revealed at the somewhat expected $500 with preorders available immediately. All bundles would come with a controller and Kinect sensor, but as revealed later, they would not come with a pack-in headset.

Sony’s conference took place later that same evening, and after revealing their own slate of games and a focus on making it easy for indie developers to bring their games to the platform, they addressed users' complaints with Microsoft’s Xbox One directly. The PlayStation 4 would have no online requirement (though similar to the Xbox, multiplayer would require a subscription), and used physical games would work just fine. Finally, the console would be $400 -- $100 below Microsoft. However, this price did not include the upgraded PlayStation camera that was also shown in some stage demos.

The presentation won over several of the GameSpot staff who felt that Sony seemed to be listening to consumer feedback and addressing it directly with the new console. There was still a lot of time until the consoles launched, and a lot could change, but Sony showed that they’d learned from the missteps of the PS3 launch and weren’t going to make the same mistakes again.

Nintendo, meanwhile, already had their next-gen console on the market, so their press conference was a scaled-back affair. In line with the recent Nintendo Direct videos, Nintendo instead released pre-recorded footage with demos and trailers to show off Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, Super Mario 3D World, and Wind Waker HD.

Nintendo also addressed sales concerns for their console and took the blame for lower than expected totals. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said, “We have been unsuccessful in coming up with one single software with which people can understand, 'OK, this is really different,'” (a perception issue which the company is still fighting to clarify).

But all of that took place before E3; the actual show was still all about the games. A short list of some of the biggest stories included:

But the most attention-grabbing story happened right after E3: Microsoft’s policy about-face. Finally bowing to fan pressure, privacy concerns, and constant criticism, the company reversed many of their previous Xbox One policies and also abandoned the family sharing program (Microsoft has since hinted that a form of the family sharing program could come back in 2014). The Xbox One would no longer require an online connection or a plugged-in Kinect, and physical games would have no built-in DRM restrictions.

It was a dramatic reversal from a company that had spent so much time defending their decisions. Former Xbox boss Don Mattrick explained at the time, “While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds."

However, Microsoft maintained their $500 price point claiming that the system was “over-delivering on value against other choices.” Mattrick said, “Any modern product these days you look at it [and] $499 isn't a ridiculous price point. We're delivering thousands of dollars of value to people, so I think they're going to love it when they use it."

With all the excitement of E3, it’s hard to imagine a AAA game also coming out at the same time, but that’s exactly what happened this year: The Last of Us, GameSpot’s PlayStation 3 game of the year, released right around the same time as the show. But even that game ran into controversy. Actress Ellen Page, who was starring in Beyond: Two Souls, a separate PS3-exclusive, claimed that developer Naughty Dog "ripped off" her likeness. The uncanny resemblance persisted even after the character that resembled Page was altered prior to the game’s release.

The next shift in the collective gaming consciousness (and Part 3 of this series) will look at Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V juggernaut and the reveal of Valve’s home console project, the Steam Machine.

Discussion

96 comments
00LiteYear
00LiteYear

Saying a system is over-delivering is just a poor excuse for over-pricing.

franky111
franky111

2014 is looking like it's going to be a great breath of fresh air for gaming. Let's hope the microtransaction plague is eradicated from full-retail games! Vote with your wallets, fellow gamers!

soulless4now
soulless4now

E3 2013 gave life to some good memes. Thanks, Don Mattrick. 

djmo121
djmo121

That guy looks like Sergio Busquets!

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

can we please!!! just get a FF7 remake? Also MGS and the original MG series would be nice too.

ncogneegro
ncogneegro

Lets hope the coverage is on the games and not more stories about how women are mistreated by male gamers.  Because last year I was sick of hearing about that shit.  Complete non-story.

magicmo
magicmo

Much as I love waiting for E3 to come, I hate missing out on the press conferences.  This past one I managed to see every press conference, but only got one emblem for my efforts.  Love the floor show and seeing how huge it has gotten over the years.

Praditya Lesmana
Praditya Lesmana

I'll just wait for the GameSpot's review and score to see whether the gameplay is good or not :)

coaltango
coaltango

Im so looking forward to Destiny & Infamous not to mention The Order 1886

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

If were talking about E3, dont forget that despite how much its popular to hate them, EA had an amazing Press Conference especially with an out of nowhere project of Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare, which im really excited for.

LexLas
LexLas

They are both important, a great game won't play well without a great console. Can't have one without the other, just like a Reeses Pieces. 

berserker66666
berserker66666

Dark Souls II, Witcher 3, Elite Dangerous. 2014 complete.

Sheik2
Sheik2

Anticipated sequels? MGSV and Zelda U. Everything else is shit.

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

Huh, didn't realize Kingdom Hearts III was going to be multiplat, not that I mind. The more people who play these games, the better.

eray1986
eray1986

Does anyone have any idea how long MGS: Ground Zeroes will be? Have there been any rumors or anything? Are both Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain mini games? Or will they both be full games? Or will only phantom pain be a full game? i'm a bit confused

Malek Hafidh
Malek Hafidh

Well, it has already been announced and developped for years now, but we haven't seen so much about it for some time.

Ramon Terrell
Ramon Terrell

Judging from the ending, I'd say we'll get our wish. :)

Random_Matt
Random_Matt

I am not fond of Xbox one and yet i love Fable, just looked at Fable legends for the first time, what a predicament.

ranma1_2
ranma1_2

Witcher 3 is the best game in history, you can see that from the trailer.

Malek Hafidh
Malek Hafidh

I would like to see Beyond Good and Evil 2

Logan Farley
Logan Farley

Where is Fallout 4 , Left for Dead 3, Doom 4, and Haf-Life 3.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

I'm eagerly waiting for some more information on Mirror's Edge 2.

snaketus
snaketus

@LexLas Well it will play better on PC. No console needed.

Sheik2
Sheik2

@eray1986Both are different releases. Ground Zeroes is the prologue of The Phantom Pain, and thus it will be a much shorter game than the last, with the price of 30 dollars retail and 20 dollars digital. Still, will not be not a really "short" game per-se, since it will still have several hours of gameplay. According to Kojima, The Phantom Pain will be 300 times larger than Ground Zeroes and it will have 100+ hours of gameplay, without counting the multiplayer aspect it will have. Ground Zeroes will be released on march 18 2014 while TPP doesn't have a release date yet. You can search more info at metalgearinformer.com

ziproy
ziproy

@Random_Matt That's what happens when the head of your company is forced out by a soul-less corporation...a Fable action hack-n-slash that no one was asking for to follow the Fable forced-kinect light-gun carriage game....which no was also asking for

_Witchunter_
_Witchunter_

@ranma1_2

if (!ranma1-2->trolling())

     me->doFacepalm();

ziproy
ziproy

That's what the entire community is asking...

ranma1_2
ranma1_2

else if @_Witchunter_ =  (antitroll trol){

int i = 0;

while (i< i +1){

system.out.println (" .I.")


}

RicanV
RicanV moderator

@Random_Matt You sure you don't enjoy repetitive boredom? Because to be fair that's how many of the comments are. In fact I am the repititivist boredomeist here.

_Witchunter_
_Witchunter_

@ranma1_2 @_Witchunter_ Yeah, I understand the infinite loop showing a representation of male reproduction organ, it's just that the variable is unnecessary. Also, that's completely legit Java there, so no three languages. Btw, thanks for the hint, I mistakenly wrote minus instead underscore. It will compile now!

ranma1_2
ranma1_2

@_Witchunter_ @ranma1_2 your wont even compile either, i wasnt ieven trying, i know you need a boolean  and to create a new object, but the last apart is an infinite loop diplaying " .l."  and i mixed like 3 programming languages in there.  

_Witchunter_
_Witchunter_

@ranma1_2 @_Witchunter_ That would not even compile! You're trying to assign user to user group (you're using single =, not == for comparison). Also, you're wasting memory by introducing unnecessary i variable (because that condition will always return true).