Microsoft killed it at E3 2014 and their Press Conference format ruined everyone else’s
While Microsoft didn’t bring out the thunderous surprise announcements, they delivered more than any other E3 press conference. Why is this? Because they bombarded viewers with games, games, and more games. They never lingered too long on one title as they trotted out trailer after trailer, demo after demo, footage after footage.
It was as if the company was addressing the complaints of the Xbox One’s reveal head on. If so, then it’s about damn time. Microsoft’s mistake with the Xbox One was marketing it as a multimedia device instead of a games console. As a business decision, the multimedia angle makes sense, but not at launch. The average tech savvy consumer isn’t going to buy a game system just because of its extra features; only the hardcore early adopting gamers will buy a console at launch, and that crowd went with the system advertised as a video game console since day one: the PlayStation 4.
The commitment to only focusing on games during a games expo paid off in another way, too. The presentation didn’t feature much in terms of awkward presenters, embarrassing sound bites, or poor pacing. The other pressers, however, did; EA featured a heck of a lot of footage from games that aren’t being released in the relatively near future. Ubisoft featured a push-up contest between game developers. Sony’s pacing was erratic, featuring the highest of highs and, well, a twenty minute nap break. Nintendo lingered on talking about certain titles for far too long.
Again, Microsoft’s strength wasn’t necessarily what exactly was announced, but instead the manner of its presentation. The games did the talking themselves with the focus on what’s being show on screen instead of a talking head trying to sell us on their latest title. It was as if the company decided it was best to let their line-up do the talking itself.
It certainly worked. Let’s hope the other press conferences take a similar form next year. It’s 2014 and we, as consumers, are more educated than ever before. Let’s let the games do the talking themselves, we’re absolutely capable of doing deeper research on their features.