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Sony vs. Microsoft E3 2016: Why Microsoft Actually Won

Who won between Microsoft and Sony at E3?

Both Microsoft and Sony had impressive presentations at E3 2016. I personally always like these presentations better when they announce new upcoming hardware, so this year is the most exciting since 2013.

That said, each company seemed to focus on different things this year. Here's what each talked about. 

Microsoft's E3 Presentation

  • Xbox One S - A more powerful, smaller version of the Xbox One. It will be backwards compatible with existing games, but will be able to handle future games a bit better.  

  • Project Scorpio - What's really worth getting excited about. Microsoft is aiming for 4K graphics and 60 frames per second. 
  • Customizable controllersI guess this is for everyone who isn't okay with the standard controller colors... You will have 8 million different combinations, but you end up paying more ($79.99.)
  • Xbox Play Anywhere - Lets you buy an Xbox game and play on your PC. Pretty sweet if you ask me- especially if you have an Xbox in one room and PC in another.
  • Three new Xbox Live features - The features are called Clubs, Looking for Group, and Arena. They'll help you hang out with friends, find people to play with, etc. Clubs will also come out on iOS and Android as a way to hang out with friends while not on your Xbox. 
  • Exclusive (to Xbox and PC) Games - These included Scalebound, Gwent, State of Decay 2, Tekken 7, Recore, Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2

...I'm not gonna lie. I'm tempted to get an Xbone just for Scalebound. 

Pretty sweet, right? Microsoft definitely brought their A game this year.

Sony's E3 Presentation

  • Lots of Exclusive Games - God of War, Days Gone, The Last Guardian, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Detroit: Become Human, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, Crash Bandicoot, Death Stranding, Spiderman
  • Playstation VR - Releasing in October for $399, it will work with your Playstayion 4 and includes over 50 games. A few of the games are Star Wars: X-Wing Experience, Final Fantasy 15, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Batman Arkham.

At the core, I'd say Sony's presentation focused around the Playstation VR. They showed a number of games for it, mainly to make it clear that purchasing one at release will be worth it.

So...Who Won?

Obviously this depends on who you talk to. Some argue that Sony crushed Microsoft, just as they did three years ago. With a longer list of exclusive games and announcement of the game-changing VR, I can see their point.

...but personally -- and this is coming from someone with a PS4, not an Xbone -- I think Microsoft smashed them

Here's why:

1. Microsoft Opened its Kimono on Hardware

Sony (for some reason) decided to completely ignore the fact that it's developing its next console. Why? Is it not going as well as they'd hoped? Are they afraid it will cannibalize sales of the PS4, which are still going strong?

Meanwhile, Microsoft made it clear that they are pushing the console envelope. The S gives non-Xbone owners (such as myself) an affordable, sleek option to join the family. 

And no matter what model you have now, looking forward to that Project Scorpio model - assuming it will do everything Microsoft claims- is enough to make any graphics-loving gamer drool.

2. We Don't Know Enough About Sony VR Experiences

One thing that's not clear is how the VR versions of games will work.

If I buy Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, will I have to pay an additional fee to have it for my VR as well? And will the entire game be available on VR, or just part of it? 

Will the VR's display also be showing on the monitor or TV the PlayStation is hooked up to, or just the headset?

Can I use the VR headset for more then 20 minutes without getting a sore neck and wanting to barf from motion sickness? (I assume these have been worked out over the years, but as a guy who doesn't do roller coasters, it is a concern.)

Meanwhile, knowing how the upcoming Microsoft consoles will work is clear- you hook it up to a monitor, buy the game, and go.

3. Xbox Live Gets a Level Up - PS Plus Gets... ?

Xbox Live already has a better reputation than PS Plus, as it tends to get much better free games each month. But the fact that Microsoft is giving it some great new features- especially the Play Anywhere feature - is just awesome. 

Meanwhile, Sony was quiet. As far as we know, PS Plus will be the same in 12 months as it is right now. And as a paying customer, I hope that's not the case but it's tough to say. 

What Do You Think? 

I hate to say it, but I'm just a lot more excited about what Microsoft is doing than Sony. VR is great, but it's not really what I want- and I think a lot of other gamers are in the same boat.

Who do you think had a better presentation, and why? 

Published Jun. 15th 2016
  • Eric Adams
    Featured Contributor
    I'm more excited for the games that Sony showed off, but Pierre is right nobody really won (besides us). Tbh I thought the best looking game of the whole conference was Zelda, does that mean Nintendo won? Absolutely not. Sony spoke about games, Microsoft went hardware (unnecessary hardware btw), it's all about how you feel. I'm hyped for VR so it was different for me.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    One mistake, Xbox One S is Xbox One Slim, Microsoft can't call it "Slim" because that's what Sony do.

    Other than that, no one 'won' E3, at least no one company. Focus on the games shown, Microsoft had an up and down conference, some good stuff and some of the worst (like Xbox One Scorpio). For me, Prey, Dishonoured 2, and Forza Horizon 3 stole the show. Those games look awesome! (well the idea of Prey being made by Arkane is awesome.) And the moment of the show, was Kojima walking out on stage, saying "I'm back!" and showing off his weird, intriguing, and awesome trailer for Death Stranding.

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