While the show floor of E3 is currently booming with excited fans and industry analysts, the press conferences have concluded. Players at the convention are enjoying first looks at games shown during the conferences, but the conferences themselves were disappointing.
It seems PlayStation made a good move after all not showing up, since none of the major press conferences had much to show us. It is understandable: this console generation is almost over. It’s awkward timing. It’s not that your favorite developers and publishers have nothing going on; they’re saving it for the next generation. Unfortunately, that made E3 really uninteresting. It’s not that there are no games to be excited about; it’s that there were no big exciting moments.
Okay, Keanu Reeves popping up in Cyberpunk 2077‘s newest trailer was awesome. Reeves is killing it, and we are all here for it. That moment was one of the few shining moments of Microsoft’s conference.
Xbox’s Big Swing and Miss
Microsoft was in a special position to make its biggest competition, PlayStation, look dumb for not coming to E3. They did not do that. With all the game studios they have been adding to Xbox Games Studios, it was a great opportunity to show off why we should be excited about all those acquisitions. Instead, we got a poorly paced conference full of games you can play on any console.
The looks at their biggest exclusives, Gears of War and Halo, were also disappointing. The look at Gears of War 5 was too long and did not do anything to excite Gears fans, and Xbox continues to not show anything in Halo: Infinite. The next generation of consoles is exciting, but Microsoft used the same buzzwords and topics that PlayStation has been using for the next PlayStation. There was nothing throughout the entire show that made me want to turn on the Xbox more.
Pacing, Pacing, Pacing
The pacing was not a problem exclusive to Xbox. Every press conference had issues with pacing and dragged through the middle. Square Enix was arguably the biggest offender of this problem. They started the show off strong with Final Fantasy VII remake and ended with the long-awaited (and underwhelming) look at Marvel’s Avengers. Everything in between was for a very niche group of players. While those players did get some exciting news such as Final Fantasy XIV‘s newest expansion, this portion of the show seemed like an eternity for other players.
Ubisoft’s conference also had major pacing issues that started right after Watch Dogs: Legions. Legions opened the show, and it looked fantastic. After Legions, Ubisoft was never able to really get its footing.
It Wasn’t All Bad
Not everything was disappointing. Nintendo’s E3 Direct gave fans some things to be excited about. A couple of new characters for Smash Ultimate, looks at games like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and the Link’s Awakening remake, and the announcement of a sequel to Breath of the Wild. The announcements during the Direct didn’t set the world on fire (except the Breath of the Wild sequel), but it was a good Direct. The biggest disappointment was the delay of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, although, I think we all can wait so it can be as good as possible.
Bethesda’s E3 was also pretty fun. While it also had pacing issues in the middle (who didn’t?), Pete Hines and all the developers that came on stage had a lot of fun with the rowdy fans in the audience. Bethesda did a great job addressing Fallout 76 and announced some great new updates for the game. Doom Eternal looks absolutely fantastic, and the trailer for Deathloop is getting everyone excited.
E3 2019 was not one of the most memorable ones. The memorable moments were few and far between, and most of the press conferences dragged due to pacing problems. I firmly believe that this boring E3 will make for one of the best E3’s ever next year. All the exciting stuff that wasn’t ready to be shown will be ready next year. If anything, we need more exciting announcements next year, since there weren’t many this year.
Game of the Show: Cyberpunk 2077
Most Exciting Announcement: Deathloop
Best Moment: Keanu Reeves
Biggest Dissapointment: Marvel’s Avengers
Best Press Conference: Nintendo
Worst Press Conference: Ubisoft