E3 2014: How Sony and Microsoft Sold Me a Wii U

Sections: E3, Opinions, Wii U

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There is no denying that Nintendo had a stunning E3 2014: they brought out tons of new and innovative games. They had a wonderful press event, and their Treehouse live stream was a stroke of genius. The thing is, none of Nintendo’s efforts truly convinced my that my first “next gen” console should be the Wii U. Sony and Microsoft did.

Let me step back a bit. Since the dawn of the new console generation with the Wii U, I have been sitting back, waiting, watching to see what the three powerhouses of gaming would bring. After last year’s E3, it was clear to me I had to get a PS4. Still, there just wasn’t any good reason to buy one yet. Not enough games, wait for the bugs to be worked out of the hardware, etc, etc. So here it is E3 2014, let’s see what everyone brings to the table, and shows what lies in the future for the console gaming world. Time for me to make my decision about which is worth spending my money on.

During this years E3, Microsoft and Sony both showed off some fantastic looking games. Battlefield: HardlineRainbow Six: SiegeeVolve, Call of duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny. If you count all the publisher announcements and indies, there is no small supply of blockbuster games on the horizon: Assasin’s Creed UnityNo Man’s SkyInsideValiant Hearts: The Great War. We even got to see further into the future with a new Mass EffectMirror’s Edge 2, and Star Wars: Battlefront. You know what every one of these games has in common? I can play them on the P.C. I already have. In fact, every one of the year’s biggest announcements are multi-platform, including P.C.

What kind of exclusives did Sony and Microsoft have? Sony has LittleBigPlanet 3. Microsoft has Forza Horizon 2. Okay, so they have Halo: Master Chief Collection,a collection of re-releases, that very well may be coming to P.C. anyway. Sony has the edge on Microsoft with all of their exclusive early Beta access and extra content, but none of that is worth shelling out hundreds of dollars for. One or two exclusives aren’t enough to convince me I need to dump that much money into your hardware. Not when all the best games you are offering I can get on Steam, and likely cheaper to boot.

You know what games look really good that I can’t play on the P.C. I’m typing this on? Hyrule Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Super Smash Bros., Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Splatoon, the Legend of Zelda, Mario Party 10, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mario Maker, Bayonetta 2. Without even trying I just listed 11 platform exclusive games. Nintendo showed more exclusive games than Microsoft showed total. Not only are they exclusive, but they aren’t a bunch more first person shooters. These are truly innovative, unique games; something Battlefield and Call of Duty simply aren’t, I don’t care how pretty they make them look.

If I buy a PS4, or an XBOX ONE, then I miss out on at least 11 totally unique, innovative, original titles that I will never be able to play anywhere else. If I buy a Wii U, I can still play the best Microsoft and Sony have to offer, while getting to experience the plethora of Nintendo exclusive games. The only thing I will truly miss is LittleBigPlanet 3. I think I can live with the trade-off. Maybe I’ll get a used PS4 or XBOX ONE in a couple years, after one of them builds a big enough exclusive library to be worth my money. Until then, I have Nintendo and Steam.

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  • dave

    the only problem is… not everyone has a pc… and the legend of zelda looked disappointing, I mean really nice they have an open world, but really crappy they did not have the power to pull off something like the tech demo from 2011

  • Jerimiah Mueller

    It’s a fair enough point, and even if you do have one, not everyone wants to game on a P.C. I totally get that. Thing is, P.C. gaming as a whole is getting more popular, as Valve like to happily remind everyone every week or so. Even your average mid-range computer will game fairly well. I’m always amazed at how much gaming I can do on my tablet (Surface), computers are getting powerful enough that P.C. gaming is becoming less niche, and it’s a double edged sword for developers. On one hand, they have another viable platform to sell on, but if you are Sony, it’s presents a huge problem if you aren’t locking down exclusives. They aren’t.

    Sony and Microsoft need to wake up to the fact that their “least threatening” competitor, Nintendo, is also the only one that actually has a real edge in software lineup. Sony and MS have to compete with each other and P.C.s using the exact same games as each other as a selling point. They don’t offer a compelling reason to choose one over the other. Nintendo is the only one offering things you can’t get from everyone else.

    Sony at least seems to be working the angle a bit with all their first access, betas, and extra content, but at the end of the day they are still trying to beat Microsoft and P.C.s using the same games that Microsoft and P.C.’s have.

    Zelda I think looked great personally. I love the art style, even if it was little more than another tech demo. I think it’s hilarious that it’s Wind Waker all over again. We were shown a hardcore, dark, serious, realistic tech demo that made people drool. Then we got the most childish, cartoony Zelda game ever made instead. People freaked out. Until they realized Wind Waker was one of the best games in the series. Now here we are again, with another super real looking tech demo, and a year later a cartoony Zelda game is revealed, and again people are freaking out. There is every chance it could be terrible, but I’ll bet it isn’t. I say wait until we have more than 30 seconds of fancy flowy grass and an exploding bridge with glowy spell beams to go off of.

  • Paul Phillips

    Totally agree with both comments and that not everyone has a gaming pc but I feel that the last gen was so long in comparison to the previous, with buggy easily broken hardware that a lot of people got semi powerful pc’s which they might be able to upgrade at a fraction of the cost of buying an Xbox one or ps4. I’m sure this doesn’t apply to everyone, but then it could be enough to change console gaming forever this gen? I have a gaming pc which cost me about the same as a ps4 and it’s just as powerful if not more so, does more and has room to be upgraded down the line. When the public realise this, especially if steam machines can come in at a decent price point, then console makers are going to totally rely on their exclusives.

    Oh and I thought Zelda looked gorgeous, I understand the cell shaded thing. Windwaker has barely aged in comparison to games which looked more realistic at the time (Baldurs gate, morrowind etc) as those games fight against all realistic games which come afterward and almost immediately become irrelevant, where as windwaker is still being talked about.

  • iMedia Designs

    i Like wii,Nintendo is the only one offering things you can’t get from everyone else.

  • PattonFiend

    Devil’s Third
    Bayonetta 1 and 2
    Zelda U
    Hyrule Warriors
    Star Fox U
    Project Giant Robot
    Project Shield
    Super Smash Bros.
    Xenoblade Chronicles X
    Mario Maker
    Yoshi’s Wooly World
    Kirby’s Rainbow Curse
    Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
    Mario Party 10

    By the way, that Zelda U looks stunning and was confirmed to not have been a tech demo, but actual gameplay running off of a Wii U.

    Every single blade of grass moved independently, every cloud had a shadow, butterflies, birds and livestock also had their own, individual and independent AI.

    Nintendo destroyed. Sony and Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves. Why each one tries to one up each other on getting multiplatforms, their “exclusives” are ranking in the Metacritic range of 54-82 which is absolutely pathetic.

    The Wii U /PC combo is the ONLY true gaming setup this generation. The PS4 and XB1 brought nothing new to the table besides RAM.

    I feel bad for all of you hardcore bro dudes…

  • PattonFiend

    By the way, great article! I love the fact that all of these games will be on PC so I do not have to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for lesser graphics!