E3 2017: A transitional year in gaming
2017’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (known as E3) saw the fulfillment of ideas the video game community saw teased throughout 2016 by tech giants Sony and Microsoft. Meanwhile, Nintendo sought to establish their newest hardware product, the Switch.
Perhaps the most significant hardware announcement from E3 this year was the reveal of the Xbox One X, previously known as Project Scorpio. Advertised by Microsoft as “The World’s Most Powerful Console,” the newest product under the Xbox brand features an 8-core Custom AMD CPU, 12GB GDDR5 of graphic memory, and a 6 Teraflop GPU. Microsoft’s long line of games, many of them Xbox One exclusives, were pitched under the idea that they’d play best on the Xbox One X, reaching 4K levels of graphic quality and a 40% increase in power.
While Microsoft focused on raw power and enhanced quality as a premium package for Xbox users, The Playstation 4 Pro took a more standardized role at the Sony’s E3 press conference. The Pro became the standard representation of the PlayStation 4 console this year, and Sony’s hardware focus was centered on Playstation VR and the six Virtual Reality titles announced for the hardware.
Nintendo was, perhaps, the standout hardware developer of E3 this year. Having already released their primer hardware, the Switch, in March, Nintendo was looking to bolster support for the system with new game announcements and previews for big titles such as Super Mario Odyssey. After coming into the Expo with major support following the debut of the Switch’s first major title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo leaves E3 2017 with the kind of interest and hype that Sony and Microsoft a year prior.
The three major companies at the center of E3 are at the center of a changing entertainment landscape. While Sony and Microsoft each plan on supporting powerful new tech alongside their game libraries, Nintendo’s focus on timeless classics brought to life with the innovation of the Switch may give them an advantage when it comes to internal development in the game’s community. Each company has something it brings to the table, be it Microsoft’s announcement of backwards compatibility with the original Xbox, Sony’s major support of virtual reality technology, or Nintendo’s creative innovation.