Is E3 the Midway of the Console War?

The Battle of Midway is the turning point of World War 2, where America, which was outnumbered, outskilled and outclassed, managed to wreck 4 Japanese carriers, effectively giving US the initiative in the war.

The Playstation had been gaining alot of ground the past few years — it finally overcame many of the problems the PS3 had at launch — lack of titles, price and its crappy online play  just to name a few. With this momentum, they are trying to win over the vital “core gamer” market (the casual gaming market had already been dominated by Nintendo and Apple).

The Xbox, on the other hand, just introduced Wifi — the last console to do so. Their sights are aimed straight at Nintendo, in an effort to get a share of that very profitable casual gaming. That can be seen in their crappy E3 presentation, where they spend the second half on casual games — which is not a very good idea when the audience are core gamers, people who think casual gaming is corrupting gaming as a whole.

Meanwhile, Sony “won” E3 2010- their presentation is much better then even the closest competitor; showing and revealing game after game after game. They even announced a couple of interesting “Hardcore” games, which is a rarity at this year’s E3 press conferences.

With Microsoft focused on wooing the casual market, will Sony come from behind and take over the Xbox’s grip on the core market? Likely.

The PS3 regularly beat the Xbox 360 in sales since last year, and now has only 5 million more units until it catch up with the Xbox. Added to that, the PS3 is getting more and more exclusives- something which Microsoft had continuously denied the PS3 in the past. Sony American Playstation boss Jack Tretton even said in the press conference that “Exclusive is my new favorite word”.

Added to that, EA now officially endorses the PS3, showing off a hell lot of exclusive content only available on the PS3. It is rare such a big developer takes a definite stand at another companies’ press conference (EA also had their own 2 hour press conference). They often want to appear neutral so fanboys won’t boycott their idea.

EA’s competitor, Activision, became the “dark side” after their recent business and PR decisions. Some of them will be firing of the Infinity Ward bosses, turning Guitar Hero from a quality franchise to a quantity franchise, and clogging the streets with too much plastic peripherals. With all this gamer hate towards Activision, it appears that Microsoft signs a deal with the devil. EA, on the other hand, now appears to be the underdog trying to defeat the Empire. (Never mind the fact gamers think they are the big evil a few years back)

I don’t hate on the Xbox — I love mine, but as a gamer, I can’t be helped except to be drawn toward the PS3 right now. And perhaps that the way it will be in 5 years. It seems Sony’s plan to release a top of the edge machine finally paid off. Sony came into this battle smaller and appearing weaker then the Xbox. They certainly proved the Xbots wrong…