E3 2014: The Next-gen begins in 2015
As predicted, E3 2014 has been all about the games. Microsoft and Sony's press conferences were dominated by big names like Tomb Raider, Uncharted, and Halo. Nintendo wheeled out Zelda and Mario. And there were indie titles too, like the breathtaking No Man's Sky, and Abzu. The one thing they all had in common? 2015. Yes, we got that dazzling array of games to play on our shiny new consoles we'd all been pining for, but it's a long wait until we can actually get our hands on them.
While it's true that the games announced at E3 often aren't released until the following year, the introduction of new hardware at last year's show has meant a longer wait than usual while developers get to grips with the shiny new hardware. Games like Dying Light and The Division that were announced to such fanfare last year are still in development, with an unspecified 2015 release date attached to them. If, like me, you jumped on board the next-gen bandwagon early, this is frustrating trend.
As my esteemed colleague Martin Gaston reported last week, Arkham Knight, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Order: 1866, Quantum Break, Dying Light, The Division, and Mad Max have all had their release dates pushed back to 2015. The E3 press conferences added the likes of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Rise Of The Tomb Raider, and Bloodborne to the pile of games we won't be able to play until next year. No doubt Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo were hoping a glut of game announcements would move more units, but--with a few exceptions--I'm wondering why anyone would pick up a new console when their seemingly most impressive games are so far off release.
Big hitters that are seeing a release this year like FIFA 15, Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Dragon Age: Inquisition are appearing on older platforms, in addition to the PS4 and Xbox One. Making a game that scales across so many different platforms isn't an easy task, and there are sacrifices to be made in order to make games that work on the older hardware. When it comes to games that are appearing only on the Xbox One and/or PS4 (and maybe the PC too) this year, games that I consider truly next-gen, your options are far more limited.
With the first wave of PS4 and Xbox One launch titles long behind us (some better than others), there hasn't been much to fill the gap since. That E3 confirms this year will remain largely a transitionary one simply widens that gap. Sure, Assassin's Creed Unity, Evolve, and Super Smash Bros. might move a few new consoles later in the year, and you might be tempted to pick one up yourself. Just don't be too disappointed that you won't have much else to play on it afterward. The next generation begins in 2015; E3 told us so.