E3 2017: Ranking Every Press Conference, Including Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, And More
E3 2017 isn’t done yet, the show floor is still hopping at the LA Convention Center, but most of [...]
E3 2017 isn't done yet, the show floor is still hopping at the LA Convention Center, but most of the announcements and big publisher press conferences are behind us. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and all the rest have had their say, so now it's time to assess their showings.
This year's E3 probably won't go down as one of the most memorable of all time, but it was one of the most consistent, with all the big publishers delivering good shows with a minimum of embarrassing antics. But as always, it's the games that matter, and players have a lot to look forward to from newly-announced titles like Wolfenstein II: The Last Colossus, Anthem, A Way Out, Assassin's Creed Origins, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
But hey, let's get to the meat of it – who won E3? Here's a definitive ranking of all the E3 2017 press conferences, with each out rated (out of five) on entertainment, overall game lineup, and surprises…
Overall Lineup: //
Let me first say, that there weren't any bad E3 2017 press conference. Even though Bethesda occupies the bottom spot, they still put on a respectable show. Bethesda's show had a lot of heart – the Bethesdaland theme and accompany cartoons were fun, and the devs featured all seemed very sincere, but they just didn't have the games. Presentation only matters so much without substance.
Bethesda only had two new games to show this year, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which both look good, but they're not exciting enough to hang an entire press conference on. Without any games to show, most of the show focused on DLC, VR, and other updates to existing games, which got to be a grind, particularly if you were in an Eastern time zone and watching this thing at 11pm or midnight. If you're going to put on a press conference in the middle of the night, you'd better keep people awake.prevnext
6) Devolver Digital
Overall lineup: /
By most standards, Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital's first E3 show was a major flop. They only had two minor indie titles, Ruiner and Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, to show, and no real surprises. But that wasn't really the point, now was it?
Devolver's "press conference" was actually a vicious Adult Swim-flavored parody of E3 tropes. It was a show that started with with the company's "Chief Synergy Officer" firing a gun in the air to shut down the phony audience cheering, and then got darker and crazier from there. Devolver's show was a blood-drenched breath of fresh air, but I can't rank their prank any higher than this, as tempting as it is.prevnext
Overall Lineup: ////
As always, EA's E3 press conference ranks dead last in terms of entertainment. Just way too much indecipherable talk about sports (soccer in particular). I know this stuff means something to some people, but it's not for me.
That said, in between the boring and awkward patches, EA showed some great games this year. Star Wars Battlefront II continues to impress, Need for Speed Payback basically looks like a playable Fast & Furious game, and prison escape co-op game A Way Out may have been the most impressive out-of-nowhere reveal of E3 2017. As a company EA is dull as dishwater, but their upcoming games look pretty exciting.prevnext
Overall Lineup: ///
Microsoft had the benefit of being the only company showing off new hardware at E3, and sure enough, the Xbox One X is a powerful, impressive piece of kit. It's a little expensive, but Microsoft did a solid of job of making the system's $500 price tag seem like a good (or at least, acceptable) value.
Unfortunately, they kind of whiffed on the games. Microsoft packed a lot of stuff into their Xbox at E3 presentation, but it felt like a garage sale – like they dragged everything they could out of the closet and threw it out there without any organization. Forza Motorsport 7, Sea of Thieves, and Crackdown 3 all look solid, but you couldn't miss the fact that almost all of Microsoft's big franchises -- Halo, Gears or War, Fable -- were missing in action. Third party games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Anthem looked fantastic, but PS4 will be getting those games too. Bless them, Microsoft tried, but the whole presentation came off a little desperate.prevnext
Overall Lineup: ///
Nintendo put on a perfectly middle-of-the-road, safe show this year. Their Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 presentation was well-produced, but missing those distinct Nintendo touches – no Star Fox Muppets or Robo Reggie this year. Just lots of attractive Millennials being hip in the vicinity of Nintendo products.
They showed just enough games to keep people happy, dropped hints about Metroid Prime 4 and a Nintendo Switch Pokemon RPG, then got the heck out of dodge. Nintendo came and went so fast, you almost didn't notice all the stuff that was missing – no mention of their online service, Virtual Console, the rumored SNES Classic Edition. At least Super Mario Odyssey looks really, really good. Nintendo's presentation could have been nothing but the Odyssey trailer, and I'd still give them a passing grade.prevnext
Overall Lineup: ////
Sony's in the position where it would be very hard for them to put on a bad E3 press conference. The PS4 is on top of the world, they have the backing of all the big third parties, and their internal development is humming along smoothly. Sure enough, Sony showed off a ton of great-looking games, including first-part stuff like God of War, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Spider-Man, as well as top third-party games, like Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2, and a new Monster Hunter.
That said, this wasn't the grand slam the last couple Sony E3 pressers were. Some major games, like The Last of Us Part II, were missing in action, and they didn't deliver as many of those fan-pleasing "Oh my God!" moments as in the past. Sure, Shadow of the Colossus coming back is nice, but it wasn't as big or cathartic as the return of The Last Guardian two years ago, or the announcement of Death Stranding last year. Sony had a good show, but you could tell they were coasting just a little bit, because, well, they can.prevnext
Overall Lineup: ///
It's been a long time since somebody other than the major console makers won E3 (Has it ever happened?), but this year Ubisoft steps up and takes the crown. This year Ubisoft toned down the annoying edgier-than-thou tone of their recent E3 press conferences, delivering a sincere show with some surprisingly moving moments. But most of all, they delivered on the games.
Games we already knew about like Far Cry 5, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, and Assassin's Creed Origins all looked great, but they also rolled out some big surprises like the pirate game Skull and Bones, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and, yes, the very long-awaited Beyond Good and Evil 2. I'm a little torn on the direction Beyond Good and Evil 2 is going, but there's no denying its reveal was the emotional high point of E3 2017. You earned this one, Ubisoft.
There you are, the winners and losers of mostly-solid E3. Need to catch up? You can check out all WWG's extensive E3 2017 coverage, right here.prev