Author(s): Trevor Pardee
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015 saw a number of exciting announcements, including Nintendo's revival of its World Championship tournament. It's a continued effort to embrace the e-sports community, aiming to build on the success of Super Smash Bros. in this area. The company released several new characters, skins and maps.
The move follows Nintendo's strategy to embrace downloadable content as a way to generate further revenue from its games. Fans are likely to welcome this additional content, but could ultimately feel cheated by unexpected costs — Nintendo must price add-ons carefully to ensure it doesn't lose an important factor in what makes its brand stand out.
The popularity of Super Smash Bros. will help Nintendo to secure its share of new and growing revenue provided by live-streamed gaming on sites like Twitch and YouTube. The company's astute investment in this trend is a turnaround from 2013, when it briefly banned Super Smash Bros. Melee from being streamed for play at the Evo gaming tournament.
Fallout 4 was possibly the most hotly anticipated announcement at E3 this year. The series is made by Bethesda Softworks, best known for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim; Fallout often appears to play second fiddle to the Elder Scrolls titles, but many fans are excited about the new release and it's expected to be one of the top-selling games this holiday season.
Sony threw some of the biggest and most unexpected punches at this year's show, announcing Shenmue 3, The Last Guardian and an HD remake of Final Fantasy 7. The release of these long-awaited titles demonstrates the company's work to respond to customer demand, and will help to protect its dominance in the console market.
News that downloadable content packs for this year's Call of Duty will become available on the PlayStation 4 before rival consoles further emphasises that Sony is regaining its dominance this generation, on its way to becoming the system of choice for fans of first-person shooter games.
Microsoft announced the addition of reverse compatibility for older-generation games on the Xbox One, seemingly in attempt to undo public relations damage from the launch of the console in 2013. Though the new feature would have been better-placed in the initial specs, it's one that Sony hasn't yet implemented on the PlayStation 4. The Xbox One will also receive an overhaul to its clunky user interface, which remains one of the greatest pain points for consumers.
Microsoft showcased HoloLens at E3, demonstrating how this will integrate with the Xbox. The technology is intriguing and has a great deal of promise, but it's still hard to predict whether it can genuinely add to gaming. Microsoft and rivals must carefully produce attractive experiences to ensure the success of such products.