E3 Aftershock: 10 Big Takeaways From the Event

June 13, 2013

This year's E3 was arguably the biggest in history. Now that the dust has settled, what will the next generation of gaming look like? What did we learn about the Xbox One, PS4, and all the major gaming titles coming out next year?

Next Tuesday at midnight, All Access Weekly will have GTTV host Geoff Keighley on the show to share his thoughts on who he thought came out the big winners at E3, what's in store for gamers, and much more.We'll also talk to Nintendo of America's President, Reggie Fils-Aime, on a variety of topics including but not limited to the company's controversial decision not to do a press conference this year.

Until then, though, let's talk about what we know about the ten big takeaways from this year's show.

The PS4 has no restrictions on used games! Well, kinda.

All the major gaming companies put their best foot forward for E3, but Sony stole the show on Monday with their press conference. Not only did they announce a litany of titles that people have been anticipating for years like Final Fantasy XV and the new Kingdom Hearts (even if they're not exclusives), they also set themselves apart from their competition in announcing that there would be no need to go through a complex authorization process to verify game ownership. That means no restrictions on buying and selling used games. That said, there is a caveat: it's still left to the publisher's discretion, so if a company doesn't want their used games sold, then that's the way it's going to be. Granted, they'll probably be less eager to put restrictions on used games given the reaction people had to the Xbox One reveal last month, but the possibility is still there.

The PS4 will also be $100 Cheaper than the Xbox One...

Whether you're running a race, auditioning for a play, or presenting your new hardware and software at your industry's biggest annual showcase, there's a benefit to going second. Sure, going first and making a splash will get you attention, but that means the other guy has already seen what you have to offer and now has a specific goal to strive towards. That was the case with Sony, who managed to sit through last month's Xbox One Reveal and Microsoft's E3 press conference and counter with specific points, one of which was already outlined above. But the big one came when they announced the price at $399, a full hundred dollars less than the Xbox One. After the sticker shock from Microsoft and controversies over connectivity and used games, that put them ahead in the minds of many gamers.

...but we've been here before, and the Xbox One will do more.

You can forgive people for forgetting the controversy from the last go around. After all, ithas een seven years since the sixth generation of gaming systems were rolled out. However, it's worth noting because at the time the roles were reversed: it was the PS3 that came in at a higher price than the 360, priced at $499 for the basic model and an outrageous $599 for the 60GB version. At the time, the argument for the higher price tag was that unlike the Xbox 360, the PS3 had a host of additional hardware features, particularly Bluray capabiility. Now, with the PS4, Sony has taken the opposite approach and put itself forth as the company focused on the games while it's the Xbox One that will have more capability and offerings, including but not limited to HBO Go, Hulu, Netflix, Vevo, and a litany of other services available through Xbox Live. While Sony has announced they'll be developing non-game media content with gamers in mind, they still lag a bit behind – intentionally – as far as being a true multimedia device. Time will tell how this plays out and which strategy will be more effective, but it bears consideration when discussing the price point.

Still, it's $500 and all my games are worthless now!

Okay, okay, it's $499, but let's be real: there's quite a bit of sticker shock, particularly for a console that isn't backwards compatible and renders that game library you've accumulated over the course of the past decade (even longer if you consider the 360 was backwards compatible) completely moot. There's still time for Microsoft to find a solution to this dilemma similar to the PS4's cloud service. But even that cloud service isn't necessarily a cure-all, and only unspecified "select" PS3 titles will be made available. Kind of a bummer.

Nintendo is Not Intimidated

Nintendo took its lumps at E3 for not doing a press conference and not having a lot of third party games to announce. In fact, it seemed that there was more discussion of what we didn't see than what we did see. In their defense, they were fighting an uphill battle for attention. They came out of the gate way early with the Wii U, as well as a fairly large library at launch, so there wasn't going to be much that could be announced to combat the unveiling of the PS4 and coming out party for the Xbox One. While many analysts remain skeptical, Nintendo is banking on its in-house library and cheaper price (starting at $299 for the basic and $349 for the deluxe) to carry them through the holiday season.

New Super Smash Bros. features Mega Man and...the Villager and Wii Fit Trainer?!

We knew Nintendo wasn't going to steal the show, but they did show us some new footage of games like Super Smash Bros. and the highly anticipated Mario 3D, as well as a surprise announcement of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. More importantly, MEGA MAN IS IN THE NEW SUPER SMASH BROS! Along with the Wii Fit Trainer and that cold-blooded, remorseless maniac known as Villager (from "Animal Crossing").

Star Wars: Battlefront is back from the dead!

We were bummed when Disney dissolved LucasArts, which meant that awesome "Star Wars: 1313" game we got a quick look at last year was going to be indefinitely shelved. The good news is that the licensing has been transferred to EA, who have kicked it off by resurrecting the acclaimed Star Wars: Battlefront franchise. While it doesn't give us insight into the new trilogy (which may also include new corresponding titles), it does give hope for the future of Star Wars games.


One of the big surprises was the announcement that Rare was resurrecting "Killer Instinct" for the Xbox One. Even bigger: the game's free. You can download and play it as much as you like. The catch is that with the download, the only playable character is Jago. To obtain more characters you'll have to pay an as-yet-undisclosed fee, a model similar to mobile games that you can download for free but allow you to purchase further expansions and power-ups. Even if you're not a big "Killer Instinct" fan or into fighting games in general, it's an intriguing new business model. Microsoft also announced that they were going to start making two games a month available for free with a subscription to Xbold Gold. Could we be seeing the start of a shift in how games are marketed and sold?

There's a new "Halo" coming!

When they announced Steven Spielberg was developing a television series based on "Halo" at last month's Xbox One Reveal, gamers unanimously stood up and said "okay but what about a new Halo game?" Because look, a TV show is nice, but the game. THE GAME! Thankfully, Microsoft let us know that they haven't completely lost their minds and they're not going to launch a new console without a new Halo. Unfortunately we have to wait until 2014, but we'll take it.

The gaming industry is juuuuust fine.

Over the years, the gaming industry has ebbed and waned. What this year's E3 taught us, however, is that there's still something to get excited about when it comes to the future. The wheel wasn't necessarily reinvented and there will be some growing pains, but the fact that we finally have the eighth generation of gaming consoles in our direct line of sight is a welcome relief, particularly in light of the long wait. And between new installments of classic franchises and the fresh, original concepts brought to the floor this year, there's plenty to get excited about and keep you on the edge of your seat (or the living room couch).

So as we can see, there's plenty of stuff to get gamers excited for this year's holiday season. Spike was the official broadcaster of this year's E3, and you can see all the news, videos, and exclusives from the event at http://www.spike.com/e3/.

And be sure to tune in for an all-new All Access Weekly with GTTV's Geoff Keighley and Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, next Tuesday at midnight on Spike.