E3 2010: Big Bash Showdown: Microsoft vs. Activision

E3 2010: Big Bash Showdown: Microsoft vs. Activision

image

Both Microsoft and Activision threw huge attention-getting events at E3, but deciding which publisher's money was better spent is a matter for debate.

If you want to get someone's attention at E3, you'd better be prepared to shout. With so many publishers and developers crowded together, trying to convince the public that their shooter/music game/RPG/motion controller is better than that guy's over there, it's incredibly difficult to be sure you're getting your message across. One way of increasing the odds is to host an Event, capital E, the kind that makes people ooo and ahhh and talk about whatever it is you want them to be talking about the next day. E3s of recent years have scaled back on such pricey shindigs, but both Microsoft and Activision spent tidy sums on extravaganzas this week. Microsoft invited a select few to join Cirque du Soleil in a celebration of the Kinect motion controller, and Activision showed trailers and clips from its upcoming game lineup during an enormous concert. So was there a winner? Was one event more of a success than the other? Depends on what you think the goals were.

If you're talking straight up spectacle, it's hard to argue that Microsoft didn't come out ahead. If there's one thing that Cirque knows how to do, it's put on a jaw-dropping show, and the elephant puppet, acrobats, and rotating room of Sunday night's festivities certainly did that. Not that Activision's party wasn't spectacular, with musical including Deadmau5, Usher, N.E.R.D., Jane's Addiction, Chris Cornell, and Eminem, but it was, after all, pretty much just a concert. A big-ass concert with flame cannons and fireworks, granted, but a concert just the same, something most of us have been to more than once. Though your enjoyment level of each bash depended largely on your personal taste - Cirque's weirdness isn't for everyone, but neither is Rihanna - for one-of-a-kind memories, Microsoft wins.

When judging the effectiveness of an E3 event, though, it probably makes more sense to consider whether or not you came away wanting to know more about the products shown, and by that criteria, I have to give it up to Activision. The Microsoft event was amazing and wonderful, but I already wanted to know more about Kinect before I walked in the door. Almost nothing in Activision's lineup was on my radar before the concert, however, and showing trailers for True Crime Hong Kong and Tony Hawk Shred in between musical acts got me to pay attention to them. I can't say for sure that I care particularly about many of the games I saw - though my excitement for DJ Hero 2 definitely went up a few notches - but I know more about them now than I did before anyone took the stage, which Activision has to count as a win.

That's just my perspective, though. Our Editor in Chief, Russ Pitts, had the opposite experience. He had mentally written Kinect off as a gimmick before the Cirque show, but came out impressed and wanting to know more. Already familiar with what Activision was offering, and not Pharrell's biggest fan, he wasn't particularly affected by the concert, other than observing that Usher was kind of a pussy. Which, let's be honest, is kind of hard to argue with.

There's no real need to decide a "winner," of course; it's not really a head to head competition, after all. And game journalists weren't necessarily the target audience for either party. As much as we like to think we're the center of the gaming universe, retailers, buyers, and mainstream press are just as, if not more, important as these kinds of bashes. Still, it's interesting to dissect each event and examine which efforts worked and which were wasted, and try and mentally assemble a Frankenparty that would impress everyone.

Let's just skip the ponchos next time, ok?

Permalink

Well, they certainly spent alot of money on it all, and, it seems like it has had some desired effect.

And, from two very large companies it is to be expected.

All, in all though, I think MS put on the better show, despite still not being a fan of Kinect, the whole event in itself waas fairly impressive from what I have read

I wish E3 would be more about the games, and less about who's gonna blow money on stupid crap like concerts and Cirque du Soleil. Maybe then, the outcome could be a bit clearer, and not so fuckin hard to read through to find out what exactly went on.

I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky. It was a bit boring however, I did enjoy the games they presented.

Microsoft and Activision didn't have too much to say except a spectacle to win people over. Well ok, it was neat, but I didn't see anything I cared about except "Kinect" isn't quite as bad as it used to be.

The 3DS seems neat though :)

Nintendo caught the attention. Those two didn't know what happened when that 3DS launched onto the crowd.

Calumon: And don't get me started on how cute Kirby was! :3

While it makes marketing sense to blow a ton of money on specticals to awe the public at a trade show, part of me wishes they had used it to finance some better games.

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky. It was a bit boring however, I did enjoy the games they presented.

Hmm, I actually thought that, while Sony was good, the best games they had on show were multi-platform anyway, so for unique qualities, I preferred the others.

Neither of them "won" anything. They were both TERRIBLE showings. Nintendo was the only big company that didn't mess itself so far.

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

Rodyle2:
Neither of them "won" anything. They were both TERRIBLE showings. Nintendo was the only big company that didn't mess itself so far.

What about the mass technical issues of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? That was embarrassing, especially since it was Miyamoto demonstrating.

Psychosocial:

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

How was Sony'd presentation more gimmicky than having Cirque De Soleil? Kinect showed off more mini-games and an Xbox 360 Slim? At least Sony showed some games.

Rodyle2:
Nintendo was the only big company that didn't mess itself so far.

Yeah, because backtracking on motion control because everyone else is suddenly doing it better, not to mention showing a game that even the most iconic member of the company can't get to work properly (I don't buy that 'interference' nonsense)is sooo smooth :D Don't get me wrong, the 3DS looked excellent, but Nintendo are clearly on the rails and desperately trying to win back the old fans who ditched them because of the deluge of awful shovelware on the Wii and DS. MS and Sony are venturing into casual gaming and motion control from a position of solidity, each with an established hardcore fanbase for their current console, whereas Nintendo alienated their hardcore fans by focusing on casual gaming and motion control early on in the Wii's life and are now shifting their focus back to a demographic that has mostly already given up on them. Nintendo have always thrived on their loyal hardcore fans, and if they can't get those fans back they're in trouble and they know it.

I'm not as down on Nintendo as I sound, and I genuinely hope we're seeing a return to their glory days (we're talking N64 era really, imo), but all the poeple saying "ZOMG! NINTENDO WINZ TEH E3!" really need to open their eyes. Nintendo, Sony and MS all had strong points to their shows, and they all had their drawbacks. There really was no winner other than the consumer.

AzrealMaximillion:

Psychosocial:

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

How was Sony'd presentation more gimmicky than having Cirque De Soleil? Kinect showed off more mini-games and an Xbox 360 Slim? At least Sony showed some games.

Fable 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach are considered games in my book. Perhaps you disagree, but I'd say those are some decent enough games.

I repeat, 3D and Sony Move was way more gimmicky than Kinect. Cirque du Soleil was merely to show that it actually works, in contrast to what dumbfucks around the internet have said.

It was all fanboy/girl heaven and im sure everyone thought there own side was best.
I love my xbox it has great games but nintendo swung me around with the 3ds as its actully a "NEW" console.
I was hoping it was going to be more iphoney (glass and aluminum) but aslong as its sturdy i cant wait to purchase it on launch. Been after a handheld for awhile!

Psychosocial:

AzrealMaximillion:

Psychosocial:

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

How was Sony'd presentation more gimmicky than having Cirque De Soleil? Kinect showed off more mini-games and an Xbox 360 Slim? At least Sony showed some games.

Fable 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach are considered games in my book. Perhaps you disagree, but I'd say those are some decent enough games.

I repeat, 3D and Sony Move was way more gimmicky than Kinect. Cirque du Soleil was merely to show that it actually works, in contrast to what dumbfucks around the internet have said.

It's pretty obvious you have "fanboi" glasses on. The PS3 had Twisted Metal, Killzone 3, Gran Turismo, and Infamous 2 and their Move lineup, and PSP lineup. I don't think you watched it. The same things you said about Sony could easily be said about the 360.

Edit: And how is free 3D gaming gimmicky? It's free. It COMES with the PS3. It's now just a feature.

AzrealMaximillion:

Rodyle2:
Neither of them "won" anything. They were both TERRIBLE showings. Nintendo was the only big company that didn't mess itself so far.

What about the mass technical issues of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? That was embarrassing, especially since it was Miyamoto demonstrating.

Mako SOLDIER:

Rodyle2:
Nintendo was the only big company that didn't mess itself so far.

Yeah, because backtracking on motion control because everyone else is suddenly doing it better, not to mention showing a game that even the most iconic member of the company can't get to work properly (I don't buy that 'interference' nonsense)is sooo smooth :D Don't get me wrong, the 3DS looked excellent, but Nintendo are clearly on the rails and desperately trying to win back the old fans who ditched them because of the deluge of awful shovelware on the Wii and DS. MS and Sony are venturing into casual gaming and motion control from a position of solidity, each with an established hardcore fanbase for their current console, whereas Nintendo alienated their hardcore fans by focusing on casual gaming and motion control early on in the Wii's life and are now shifting their focus back to a demographic that has mostly already given up on them. Nintendo have always thrived on their loyal hardcore fans, and if they can't get those fans back they're in trouble and they know it.

I'm not as down on Nintendo as I sound, and I genuinely hope we're seeing a return to their glory days (we're talking N64 era really, imo), but all the poeple saying "ZOMG! NINTENDO WINZ TEH E3!" really need to open their eyes. Nintendo, Sony and MS all had strong points to their shows, and they all had their drawbacks. There really was no winner other than the consumer.

Everyone who tried Skyward Sword on the floor says it works beautifully, so who knows.

For my part, Golden Sun 3 was what I really cared about, everything else is just a bonus. The only other things I would want are Pikmin 3 and a version of Fire Emblem 12 that doesn't leave me with almost no hope for it being good.

The only things Microsoft had that were of any interest were Fable 3 (meh) and MGS Rising (multiplatform). Sony had Twisted Metal and Little Big Planet 2.

*cough*


Joking aside, I'd say neither. I want to know aobout the games, not for someone to try to awe me. Information over showman ship for me...

Psychosocial:

AzrealMaximillion:

Psychosocial:

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

How was Sony'd presentation more gimmicky than having Cirque De Soleil? Kinect showed off more mini-games and an Xbox 360 Slim? At least Sony showed some games.

Fable 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach are considered games in my book. Perhaps you disagree, but I'd say those are some decent enough games.

I repeat, 3D and Sony Move was way more gimmicky than Kinect. Cirque du Soleil was merely to show that it actually works, in contrast to what dumbfucks around the internet have said.

Fable 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach are all games that have been announced months prior. We wanted something new. And I'm sorry but anyway you slice it, dumbfucks or not Cirque de Soliel was a gimmick that was there to woo the crowd. And Microsoft wasn't even above ripping off Wii Sports. And the 360 "Slim", really? I don't get how Move was gimmicky. It actually looked interesting, though I agree that the 3D was a waste of time. I'd still give it to Sony over Microsoft for at leazt making an attempt at making a core gaming motion control experience.

Xersues:

Psychosocial:

AzrealMaximillion:

Psychosocial:

Xersues:
I enjoyed the Sony conference just because it wasn't so gimmicky.

Are you shitting me? It was even more gimmicky than Microsofts conference. 3D and Sony Move was all they kept spamming, and every now and then "hey, here's a game", so that people wouldn't leave the conference. Well, I can understand that they feel the need to market it really hard, since both of those products are worthless shit.

How was Sony'd presentation more gimmicky than having Cirque De Soleil? Kinect showed off more mini-games and an Xbox 360 Slim? At least Sony showed some games.

Fable 3, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach are considered games in my book. Perhaps you disagree, but I'd say those are some decent enough games.

I repeat, 3D and Sony Move was way more gimmicky than Kinect. Cirque du Soleil was merely to show that it actually works, in contrast to what dumbfucks around the internet have said.

It's pretty obvious you have "fanboi" glasses on. The PS3 had Twisted Metal, Killzone 3, Gran Turismo, and Infamous 2 and their Move lineup, and PSP lineup. I don't think you watched it. The same things you said about Sony could easily be said about the 360.

Edit: And how is free 3D gaming gimmicky? It's free. It COMES with the PS3. It's now just a feature.

A fanboy that speaks poorly of both conferences, sense, you make none.

The point I was making was that Sonys conference was even more gimmicky than Microsofts, not better or worse. I also love how hilariously bad your point about "durr, it's free so it's not a gimmick" is.

Psychosocial:
A fanboy that speaks poorly of both conferences, sense, you make none.

The point I was making was that Sonys conference was even more gimmicky than Microsofts, not better or worse. I also love how hilariously bad your point about "durr, it's free so it's not a gimmick" is.

Well if that was the point you were trying to make, I couldn't hear it over your sarcastic rage. I haven't heard you say a word about MS conference until now. And yes, no matter your opinion of 3D or motion, dismissing purely as a gimmick is just your opinion. Enjoy it.

You've already made your decision, but something free and optional is not a gimmick in my book, and you're just acting like a fool now.

Go be 15 and rage somewhere else please. Thanks.

Xersues:

Psychosocial:
A fanboy that speaks poorly of both conferences, sense, you make none.

The point I was making was that Sonys conference was even more gimmicky than Microsofts, not better or worse. I also love how hilariously bad your point about "durr, it's free so it's not a gimmick" is.

Well if that was the point you were trying to make, I couldn't hear it over your sarcastic rage. I haven't heard you say a word about MS conference until now. And yes, no matter your opinion of 3D or motion, dismissing purely as a gimmick is just your opinion. Enjoy it.

You've already made your decision, but something free and optional is not a gimmick in my book, and you're just acting like a fool now.

Go be 15 and rage somewhere else please. Thanks.

Ah, now we're talking. Accusations of rage with no ground whatsoever. This I like. :) I don't remember if I wrote anything about it in this topic, I think I did at some point. Never the less, now you know.

Haha, I love it when people try and play the age card, thinking age = maturity. That, my friend, is the greatest sign of immaturity. But whatever, this discussion is definetely getting very off topic about now. So let's end it, or if you insist on continuing, by PM.

"Deadmau5, Usher, N.E.R.D., Jane's Addiction, Chris Cornell, and Eminem"
Alright. You know what? I'm gonna sneak a press pass somehow next year because that sounds WAY too amazing... Every single one of those guys... How the hell did Activision pull that together???

I am already confirmed to be an Activision hater. But in all honesty, I watched bits and pieces and I must say Microsoft was really the exciting one, the content is another story.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here