E3 2019: Highlights and Milestones
The gaming industry is inevitably changing; and, to highlight that, the developers made the attendees see it with their own eyes. The building was 1990s-styled, with kinescope monitors and Sega consoles, posters and cartridges. It takes a loud sound to play silence; it takes a good look back to see where we are.
And where are we now? Let’s single out the moments E3 was great, and the tendencies it displayed.
Streaming is King
Google Stadia is the talk of the industry now. Everything goes cloud: you can just pay for the access and enjoy cloud gaming, as if this powerful hardware is yours, and the game is running on your local machine. The pricing is moderate, the roster is huge, and performance is great.
Being a dream for gamers, Google Stadia is a threat for traditional gaming industry, so it changed the market even before its official launch. Microsoft and Sony join forces (Microsoft and Sony, imagine that!), to create a cloud service and catch up with Palo Alto beast. The official testing of xCloud starts this fall. Ubisoft and Bethesda announce their own streaming services too, so it seems to become mainstream sooner than we expect.
Many of the announced games will be available on Google Stadia like on any other platform, and that means that Stadia is a fact. Ready players: now your router will matter more than your CPU or GPU.
Xbox One and PS4 Here for Long
Neither Sony nor Microsoft gave us a hint that ninth generation consoles are closer than they appear. Everything goes as scheduled: we’ll be lucky to see PS5 or Xbox Two (no better names yet) in late 2020. All the releases scheduled before that date will hit the market in its current state.
Well, the good news about PS5 is its reverse compatibility, so its owners won’t have to buy the games again if they have PS4 versions. Probably the new Xbox will share this feature (not sure, though). Still, it’s too early to drop the eighth generation.
Nintendo Will Be Nintendo
What Nintendo shares with Sony and Microsoft is its unwillingness to introduce the new generation consoles, being good with Switch as well as its fans. But it’s still the third force, an alternative to everything, with Pokémon, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mario and Luigi, Animal Crossing, and lots of other exclusives. Even a mainstream game undergoes changes when it reaches Switch: transformation concerns both visuals and controls. And that’s the way (aha, aha) we like it (aha, aha).
Mobiles Not Taken Seriously
It’s irreversible: mobile gaming is a serious thing. Apple Arcade is about to come, and Google Stadia can’t leave Android behind. But these changes seem not to be mirrored enough at E3. Maybe the explanation is that mobile industry has its own events. But so far it looks like the denial stage, while some fans are obviously angry, claiming consoles the only worthy gaming devices. It must be noted that some companies (like Ubisoft or Nintendo) are actively bargaining, allowing some mobile projects in. We can’t wait to see what acceptance will look like.
Everything Will Be Remade Once
The number of brand-new titles is exciting, but they come along with remakes, and not necessarily for new platforms. Old-school gamers will drop tears at the sight of Final Fantasy VII or Panzer Dragoon, Doom or Wolfenstein, or other classical titles that return to life on new platforms. Well, the same is happening to cinema: anything worthy will one day be remade and updated.
The Event is Great by Itself
Whatever you may say about Cyberpunk 2077, the fact is it will be big and grand. But it needed a real star to crown it, and Keanu is the one. His appearance was what the event needed: some cherry on the top of the cocktail.
Besides that, gaming is fun, but attending events like this is another sort of fun. The companies set up recreation zones and invited star guests, sold merch and offered demo zones, did everything to entertain the visitors. Some may feel unsatisfied about that, but gaming world is more than just gaming.