E3 2015 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

E3 2015 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

It's time. Time to look past the nuances of the video game industry, the malleability of the artform and the subjectiveness of fans. Time to pass imperious verdict on what sucked today and what didn't suck.

I've called this "Day Zero" for two reasons: firstly, because E3's show itself hasn't started yet (that's tomorrow!), and also so we can round up two days' worth of coverage, from Bethesda's presser to the Nintendo World Champs to the big Sony, Microsoft and Ubisoft conferences.

E3 2015 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

LOSERS

EXCLUSIVE DLC - The biggest example of this today was probably Sony's "nyaah nyaah" over Call of Duty's extra content. Stop it, all of you. You may be helping your bottom line, but you're fucking gamers over by doing it.

XBOX EARLY ACCESS - No, no, no. One of the last benefits of console games is that they are -- nominally at least -- complete, finished products. Early Access has created as many problems as it's solved for PC gamers, so it sucks to see the concept shuffle over.

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF HEROES - The world needs a lot of things. Yet another Star Wars card game for mobile phones is not one of them.

XBOX ELITE CONTROLLER'S PRICE - The idea is sound. The price is insane.

DOOM - It had a shotgun and gore, yes, but it also looked slow. The scrapped version of the game we saw recently looked a lot fresher!

PLAYSTATION VITA - Sony has three gaming platforms. When one of them takes up around 0.3% of the stage/screen time at your E3 conference, it's time is almost up.

E3 2015 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

WINNERS

XBOX ONE BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY - This should have been standard at launch. That it wasn't, and that it won't cover all games, still sucks. But late is better than never, and it's certainly preferable over Sony's position of making you pay for games you already paid for.

SONY'S MEGATONS - What sorcery is this? Final Fantasy VII remake? Last Guardian? Shenmue 3? It still doesn't feel real.

MOTHER - It's not Mother 3, but it's a start. But seriously, Mother 3 next?

SEA OF THIEVES - If Ubisoft won't make any more pirate games, then damn it, Rare's take on the idea will have to do. The combat and multiplayer crewmates idea look cool.

MARIO MAKER IS A NIGHTMARE - The Nintendo World Champs nearly made the LOSERS list by virtue of it not actually being a World Championships. But who can walk away sad from an event that showed us such crazy Mario action?

DREAMS - If LittleBigPlanet was a creative take on platforming, Media Molecule's next looks to be a creative take on...well, media and culture itself. Expect to be subjected to endless "Something Something Recreated Perfectly In Dreams" headlines, because this game looks like it can do anything.

FALLOUT SHELTER - Fallout 4 looks great, but we knew that was coming; Fallout Shelter was the nicest surprise from Bethesda's conference, not just because it's funny as hell, but because it was released immediately.

STAGE REP - There has been previous criticism about how bro-heavy E3 is, not just in terms of the games on show, but from the people presenting them on stage. This year shook that up. Ubisoft's show in particular was a highlight; seeing Aisha Tyler and Angela Bassett together on stage talking about Rainbow Six, of all things, was both weird and wonderful.

E3 2015 Winners & Losers: Day Zero

HORIZON: NEW DAWN - From Killzone to...post-apocalyptic cavewomen fighting giant robot dinosaurs? We're interested, Guerilla. As are our 7 year-old selves.

MINECRAFT HOLOLENS - Just when you thought you were long done with caring about Minecraft, along comes the technology of the future to make it look cool all over again.

UNCHARTED 4 DEMO - It looks exactly like you'd expect a next-gen Uncharted to look. Which is also exactly what you'd hope it looked like. The massive levels and driving sections should add some spice to the old "climb, shoot, solve" formula.

UNRAVEL - EA's quiet little surprise.

And that's it for Day Zero! Join us tomorrow for more hot takes.


Comments

    I'm not sure XB1 backwards compatibility is a 'winner' the games list was small, the best ones are getting a HD remake anyway, downloading is required... until I see some big titles running flawlessly, it sounds iffy to me.

      It's a winner because it exists and will improve.....

        It is a porting system, not emulation, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

        It's a loser because my Wii U already does it flawlessly with every disc game and most digital games.

          please, tell me more about Nintendo's wide range of amazing games.

            Do you have all night?

            With Wii backwards compatibility, Nintendo has an outrageously huge library of amazing games. Not to mention everything in the Virtual Console.

            because tripple A games are the only games worth talking about right?

          It's a winner because now our x1s will get more content while not making us pay for it again. We can and are both winning.

      I don't see how it's a winner when everybody was expecting it at announcement. It's like taking out the air conditioner for a car then announcing you're adding it in.

        Well they could have gone with Sony's system which involves the user spending money for content they already own.

        Could it be better? Sure

        Is it in any way shape or form a loss? Hell no.

        Given that MS previously stated that the Xbone wouldn’t get BC, Sony forwent BC on the PS4 so they could try to molest their customers instead, the PS3 hasn’t had hardware BC for years, the 360 has no hardware BC…. I don’t know that you could call it a standard feature anymore.

        I think it’s pretty cool.

          Almost all Nintendo products have had backwards compatibility, including all handhelds and everything from the Wii onwards.

          The PS Vita can run PSP and PS1 software.

          PCs have done backwards stuff forever.

          I just don't think it is as rare as you may think. :-S

      Your right on all those points, but at least they’re trying.

      Realistically 99% of the stuff you see at E3 is nothing more than hopeful promises.
      If they say they want 100 360 games running on the Xbone by Christmas, and it’s not going to cost you/ run shit like the Sony option then that’s a solid win in my book.

      Having downloaded a sh*tload of 360 games over the last few years of the consoles life (once it got a big enough HDD and the online sales started), the idea of opening a folder on the Xbone and having a selection of 360 titles on there is a pretty damn good one.

      It's only a winner if you own or want to buy an XB1 and play some of your old 360 games without the second console. It looks mostly like a winner for MS if it convinces more people to make the switch.

        But a loser when you compare it to the Wii U's 100% compatibility with all Wii discs and most digital games.

        " It looks mostly like a winner for MS if it convinces more people to make the switch." You hit the nail on the head.

        Could actually work for me, now that I think about it. I got some old 360 titles unfinished but fuck pulling that device out of storage and hooking it up alongside all my other consoles. My powerboard's a deathtrap waiting to happen as it is.

      It is most certainly a win. Sure, you may have to redownload the game and the library may be small at first, but if everything he said is true then it'll be a very short while before the majority of 360 titles are available for access, since developers just need to approve it and nothing more. Plus there is no cost to the consumer for this.
      It may be a strange roundabout way to get backwards compatibility, but considering the hardware cannot allow it, this is probably the best software method around the issue.
      And I'm writing this as a PS3 & PS4 owner having to keep both consoles set up to play my library of titles. :(

      Can we all just drop the BC stuff now please? It's annoying we're still talking about it! We have new consoles with new games! If you want to play your old 360 games...play them on your 360! I'm not even sure when everyone started expecting it as a standard thing, which consoles have actually done this at launch? The PS2 played PS1 games, the early batch of PS3's played PS2 games by jamming in a PS2 into the box(which was dropped for cost reasons which is sensible)...what else? The Wii U playing Wii games because it's essentially the same hardware...what else?

      Last edited 16/06/15 3:49 pm

        The Wii U's BC is great. Sure it's maybe not great for gamers looking for cutting edge games, but for people like me, with a family, heading in to EBs during a gaming drought to pick up a handful of old games for next to nothing is great.

        MY 5 year old and I just finished Spiderman: Shadow Dimensions (or whatever its called)....absolutely fantastic game. Also bought Madworld for $2.

          Its also great for me as I never picked up the Wii because reasons and when I get a WiiU I will be able to pick up the 2 or 3 Wii games I was interested in.

        Amen brother!

        I want a PS4 to play PS4 games. If I want to play PS3 games, I'll play them on a PS3.
        The complexity of the last gen of hardware, even the one prior, is a royal pain in the arse. The earlier generations are easier to support because they are so simple. You can either emulate them without issue, or the whole system can be replicated on a single, low cost chip now.

        This is the trade off for console gaming. You have a fixed platform which lasts a long period of time, and each generation has large leaps in hardware capability. So you get the stability and security in buying games which 'just work' out of the box, yet it also comes with some limitations such as complexities in sharing games between generations of hardware.

        Consoles are not PC's, even the current generation. The configuration is fixed for a long period, therefore is a lot more custom. To replicate this environment between generations, while also giving gamers great NEW hardware for NEW games, is extremely expensive for Sony/MS to do. I'd prefer them to concentrate on providing new games.

          I'd rather not have 7 consoles surrounding my TV.

          I'd rather not have to sort out the rats nest of cable connections and hardware occupying limited HDMI ports on my TV (and I have 4)

          Case closed.

          Last edited 17/06/15 12:33 am

            Of course not. Neither do I.

            But the last time Sony [I'll use them as an example] went to the considerable effort to add full backwards compatibility to their console, everyone complained about how expensive it was.

            There is no one perfect solution, PC, PS4, XB, whatever you use, they all have positives, they all have compromises.

          The PS3 launch consoles backwards compatibility was great. The Wii and Wii U's backwards compatibility was awesome. The PS Vita could do everything a PSP could do if you had digital access to the software. The Game Boy / DS / 3DS family have had absolutely incredible BC abilities. PC software, if anything is getting even better at BC, doing 20-30+ year old games without blinking.

          Yes, I know the hardware architecture on the PS4 and XB1 are radically different, but why do we need to accept a lack of BC from a consumer perspective? It can and has been done, and often. We wouldn't see all the "HD remastered" gluts clogging up store space if they got BC sorted out to begin with. I just don't accept that it cannot be done. It smells of a lack of ingenuity and a push from rubbish marketing reps trying to get money from sales that have already been made. >_<;

            The PS3 launch consoles backwards compatibility was great

            It was. It also made the console much more expensive. Look back for discussions from 2006/7 about the price of the PS3. And it's not just marketing, but it is business. And how much does backwards compatibility contribute to the sales of a new system? Why make a system $200 more expensive, which will reduce sales significantly, if only 10% of the player base will make a purchase based on said feature.

            I'd rather them spend the extra resources on new, more complex features for the new generation. If you want long term stability in your games, get a PC. I love my PC and my consoles for the different sorts of experiences I get from them.

        Well I would like BC, just because my old PS3 broke before I could play some games like Ni No Kuni (amongst others), and now even though I still want to play them, I don't want to spend $250 on a new PS3 to do so.

        I know this doesn't mean they should do it, it's just a reason why I would like it (if it were possible).

          I know this doesn't mean they should do it, it's just a reason why I would like it (if it were possible).

          This is the most sane response in this entire discussion, lol :p

      Never mind they did some sort BC with the Xbox 360 and it kinda fell by the wayside after the announcement... It seems more like a 'cheap' short-term bullet point to add against the list of things against the PS3.
      Plus, remakes and remasters seem to sell...

      Launching with a 100 and getting 100s more within months... for free... meh, its a win in my books.

    Nintendo is next, and their win/lose entirely hinges on the presence of anything metroid.

      I can’t imagine how the Nintendo conference will be anything but underwhelming in the face of what MS and (especially) Sony put out there today.

      They’ll announce some cool 3DS games, a AAA title for the WiiU (that may or may not be out next year and may or may not actually ever be released on the WiiU) and a couple of short-on-content AA titles that’ll be good but not system sellers (think Captain Toad and Splatoon from last year, probably Star Fox and something else for next year).

      That’ll be it from Nintendo. I probably saved you some of the disappointment.

        To be honest Microsoft was the weakest one for me. Backwards compatibility doesn't affect me in any way, have a 360 ready to play at any time. The exclusive titles are Xbox one and Windows 10, nothing I cannot play with my PC and still not much reason for me to start back up my X1 yet.

        Only thing that interest me is Rise of Tomb Raider and the new controller :(. Ubi have great lineups coming, EA was impressive with their games, Sony was like the bomb of the entire E3 at the moment.

        May not even be released on the WiiU? Like how Uncharted4 might only release on the PS5? Because I bet they are working on it and I bet it has a code name already too.

          If Polyphony had announced a new Gran Turismo I’d be saying that IT might be more likely to be released on the PS5, but I think Uncharted 4 is pretty safe.

          The bottom line is the WiiU is struggling/ dead already. It’s still well behind where the Dreamcast was in terms of sales and is now older than the DC was when it died. Open world Zelda was shown in 2014 and was supposed to be out a few months from now. Not only is it not coming out this year, it’s not even being SHOWN this year and Nintendo are openly talking about their work on a new console.

          If it’s not even in a state to be shown then you can safely bet that it won’t be released in the next 12 months, probably not the next 18. Releasing an open world adventure game on dated WiiU hardware 18 months after the world has been enjoying next-gen open worlds the standard of The Witcher 3 is a recipe for disaster and Nintendo knows it.

          I’m happy to eat my words if I’m wrong, but we won’t be seeing anything big or new from Nintendo for the WiiU. The games shown will doubtlessly be good (as Nintendo games are), but announcing something as ambitious as No Man’s Sky, Last Guardian or Fallout 4 at this stage in the WiiU’s life is not going to happen. If we do see a new Mario or Metroid they’ll be close to the mould titles that can safely be done in a year, you won’t be seeing significant evolutions.

          Last edited 16/06/15 4:16 pm

            According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_million-selling_game_consoles
            The Wii U is a mil behind the dreamcast, which I wouldnt call "well behind".

              WiiU – Born Nov 2012
              32 Months old
              Sales: 9.5m

              Dreamcast – Born November 1998
              Died – March 2001 (age 28 months)
              That’s without factoring in that the DC wasn’t released anywhere but Japan for a 10 Months after launch.
              Sales: 10.6m

              If you want to be fussy you can be, but that’s pretty damming.
              1m is 10%ish of sales, it’s not like they both sold 100m.

            I'm so sad about the wiiU. Nintendo fucked it up in so many ways, and yet it still has a lot of great games on it. IMO the sooner they release the NX (if thats what it was called?) the better. I disagree about the comment about good games at the end of the consoles life, as nintendo consistently release good games for consoles at the end of their life cycle.

            Honestly, I don't see them dropping the WiiU early, it would look bad and piss off their most loyal customers. The only reason everyone is talking about the NX is because they actually said "Yes, we are working on a new console, we are not going mobile only" when they announced that mobile game partnership awhile ago.

            I'm honestly not sure why they didn't show Zelda this year, but they certainly have it in a state to be shown off. They released footage of them playing through a fairly decent area of it awhile back.

        I doubt they will win the imaginary winner of E3 presentations award, but they have some things in the works that should cause a little bit of a stir.

        I know I'm most likely alone here, but out of all conferences, I'm most excited for Nintendo's conference, To preface this, know that I am primarily a PS4 and PC gamer but also play (way too much) Smash Bros..

        I think Nintendo are the only company out of the Big 3 that can genuinely surprise us with interesting and unique ideas. Granted, they have certainly hit a few hurdles in recent years, but I think they still retain the same essence that made them, and continues to make them, a great video game production company.

        When I think back over my time playing games, they moments that stand out are "Nintendo moments": Ocarina of Time. Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime, Smash Bros. (by far the best local multiplayer game I have ever come across), Wii Sports (I hate motion controls genarally but the magic of Wii Sports tennis played for the first time is undeniable). The list goes on.

        Their ability to match nostalgia with new ideas is where they really shine, however at their core they are incredibly creative and we have seen some pretty broad changes to how they've been doing business lately, particularly DLC and Amiibo. These more than anything represent a shift in how they plan to stay relevant. They are beginning to catch on to the common trends of modern-day, sound video game business practices. They are slowly listening to their market and the tide is turning. They are now making a profit and they are investing in some new ideas and IP (Capt. Toad, Splatoon as you mentioned). It's very different Nintendo from 3 years ago.

        With the other two hardware companies, we know what to expect. More detailed textures; non-numerical sequels now opting for names with 'colons'; 'available first on xxxx, before being released on the competitor's machine; first-person shooter trailers with husky-voiced veterans narrating them; annual releases of the same stale franchises. That's not to detract from what are ultimately good games, but they lack that feeling you get when you see a truly compelling announcement from Nintendo(at least in my eyes). I still hold faith that you will be wrong @foggy but if the last couple years are anything to go by, you'll more than likely be right. All I'm saying is that there's a chance! One can hope...

        Tl;dr: I think Nintendo have still got it. Whether or not they will actually deliver is a different story.

        P.S. Here's hoping for a new Metroid by Retro. I guess I'll know at 02:00 tomorrow.

          On the other hand, one of the criticisms most frequently directed at Nintendo is that they keep recycling the same old franchises. The titles that you mention as groundbreaking all date back to the early days of the Wii, if not earlier. Their biggest recent "innovation" has been Amibo.

          Addition of the tablet as a second screen was novel (and has its uses, such as playing when the TV is being otherwise used) but to say its adoption has been underwhelming is understating the case.

          The other platforms have been just as bad if not worse, but they do occasionally have their high points (LittleBigPlanet comes to mind.)

          I'll admit I'm somewhat biased in that I actively dislike most of the major Nintendo franchises.

      If they announce The Great Ace Attorney will be localised and released in the West, they win my E3 hands-down.

      And that's from someone who's already mega-hype from what I saw today.

    So far everything has looked great, I'm hoping nintendo can blow it away when it's their turn now. Right now I have the E3 problem of having to actually wait for all this stuff to be released. I want it all now.

    Yeah the whole "exclusive content" thing that came up every so often kinda made me wince...

    I dunno. I must be odd. But I don't really care about The Last Guardian or FFVII

    Sony's presser- 5 games, 3 announcements.
    MS' presser- 8 games, 4 announcements.

    The Last Guardian, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy : Remake and Horizon all looked fantastic and more awesomely, different. Didn't mention No Mans Sky as that goes without saying. Never really jumped on the Uncharted wagon but that looked good too.

    Tbh, I think Fallout and Horizon will be my must haves. Didn't mention No Mans Sky as that goes without saying.

    First time actually watching an E3 event so I really hope I don't get burned.

    Where is the new Ghost Recon: Wildlands on this list? Looks fantastic to me! What do you guys think, winner? Or loser?

    I think that not announcing a release date for No Man's Sky should be on the loser list!

    complete, finished products.

    Can you still use that line after the last assasins creed?

      I don't think they showed any gameplay footage, did they? So weary it'll be a technical mess again. :(

    Each time I've seen an Exec speak,I feel as if I'm stuck in a time-share pitch where everything is "awesome and rad dude". Everything Fallout and Dishonored have whet my appetite.Nothing else so far.

    Wow, you thought Doom looked slow? Did you ever actually play the originals?

      So far Bethesda is the winner of E3 for the moment but a rather large mile, but ill wait until the PC Gaming Show wraps up to see who the true winner will be

      I’ve never played an FPS that went close to the running speed of the original Doom marine. That guy was lighting fast with the CAPS on!

      Seriously though, the movement speed IS slower, but it’s far more dynamic for obvious reasons (that pesky jump function that’s been expected since the mid-90’s).

      I think the issue was that some of the enemies looked a bit bullet-spongy. I’d rather have lower fidelity enemies and be chewing through them by the dozen, firing 2 rockets a seconds and watching the gibs fly!

        the enemies in doom have always been rather bullet spongy though, pinkie always took 2 point blant shotgun shots to kill or one super shotty blast and chaingunners took 2-3 rockets. then in doom 3 it took 2 shotgun shots to down an imp where in 1 and 2 it only took 1 to kill and imp.

        Play the original Quake, if you think the Doom marine ran fast, the Quake marine was goddam Usain Bolt! But the original Doom was not the speedrun game they're thinking it is, it's about the same pace as the video you saw from Bethesda.

          Uhhhh...... that's a damn good point.

          Quake 1 was awesomely fast.

            When you go back and watch videos from games like Doom and Quake, you realise how slowed down our modern fps games are lol

              (Videos? I play them)

              Yeah, and it's funny how people and developers keep pushing for "faster" gameplay. Despite the fact that we slowed down a long time ago.

                lol I play them too, nothing, NOTHING beats a goddamn Quake deathmatch with 16 people. It's the tits. But, there's some fantastic comparison vids on youtube still for old and modern fps's :)

                  Pfft, I prefer Halo. I prefer the slow, more strategic gameplay. Which is why I still find it hilarious when people make demands for 0.6 killtimes and state it as how it's always meant to be.

      Plus, he's not playing it, he's watching a controlled demo that's meant to show certain things off. If it was blazingly fast, there would have to be a frame-by-frame breakdown article which would generate more clic- ooooh, I see...

        i will say i wasnt all that impressed with the chainsaw, seems like its just infinate I win button that produces canned animations when used

          So its the doom chainsaw then lol

            eh it was more the fact that it felt more like a professional tree feller where as in doom you felt like goddamn Leatherface!

    Found Microsoft all a bit meh. Nothing that excites me. Sony was better but again...a few meh things. CoD clip felt like it went forever and felt like we seen it all before. Battlefront looks the goods.

      The COD clip ground their presentation to a halt. Was so generic and bland.

    Agree with the exclusive content thing. I'm sick of Sony / MS paying money for this kind of stuff. It used to be MS that were the worst for it (think COD and GTA DLC exclusivity deals on 360 and the Tomb Raider timed exclusivity deal), but Sony appear to be making a concerted effort to wrest the crown away from them with their own COD deal on top of their Destiny shenanigans.

    The money both of them are throwing at these deals could be better spent developing legitimate first/second party exclusive games. Instead of spending their money to make exclusive games to try and draw people to their system, they're spending their money paying other people to NOT make them for other systems. End result being zero net gain for their own customers who don't end up with anything they wouldn't have got otherwise, just a net loss for owners of the other platform.

      Is it just me, or does there seem to be more of an issue with it this year for some reason?
      Its been pretty much the status quo since MW2 but I don't remember it being called out as a "loss" before. I think it was marked as a win for MS at the time.

    Dreams did not get me excited at all.

      Seems like it'll just be a better-curated, more tightly-directed Little Big Planet or something. :/

    Something that was a surprise win for me today was being reminded that Eitr exists and is a thing that is coming to a console I own. Between that and Horizon it's been a fantastic day for games with interesting female leads.

    I would just like to say: fuck exclusive content.

    Thank you, that is all.

    >DOOM – It had a shotgun and gore, yes, but it also looked slow. The scrapped version of the game we saw recently looked a lot fresher!
    I'm glad someone said it.
    I guess it's way too early to make some concrete statements about the game, but there are some questionable things from what we've seen. Those chainsaw "executions" were just bleh. A lot of the weapons looked too overdesigned. The shotgun looked awful (the supershotgun looked pretty good). The biggest crime is that the shotgun didn't look particularly effective either; there's a reason Doom's shotgun is one of the most revered guns in vidya. The game also seems to suffer from a lack of contrast. To say it's "brown and grey" isn't right, but it's not wrong either.

    And contrary to some of the comments above, the game was WAY slower than Doom. You ever RUN in Doom? You're off the chain! But again, until we see some proper gameplay footage, you never know. Maybe he can go much faster than what we've seen. (And for arguments sake I launched Doom/Quake/Quake 3, and while Quake 3 might be one of the fastest games around - Doomguy still leaves them in the dust as far as top speed is concerned.

    Doom 4 (never "Doom") was the only game I've been cautiously looking forward to since the Cyberdemon reveal the other month, but with none of the original developers onboard I suppose expecting Doom was too big an ask. Still, it might be good - we just don't know yet.

    At least I have FF7 to cautiously look forward towards now.

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