Sony and Microsoft set out their E3 stalls

Sony and Microsoft make the biggest consoles in the world, the Playstation 4 and Xbox One

Fanboys and developers alike pay close attention to what these giants have to say, as it will lay out the course of the video game business for the next few years. Kevin Kelly takes a closer look at what they had to offer. 

Microsoft kicked off proceedings amid rumours that they’d have new hardware to show off. They confirmed this before the show, without stating if it would actually appear at their event.

Xbox One S

It did, and whatsmore, Microsoft opened the event with it. Called the Xbox One S, the console is a slimmed down version of the current model, smaller by about 40%. It also supports 4K gaming, has an internal power brick saving on space around your television, and features a hefty 2TB hard drive that you’ll need for your 4K games.

On the games side, Microsoft pretty much leaned on its existing franchises. Most of the games shown off ended with a number; Halo Wars 2, Gears of War 4, Dead Rising 4, up to Tekken 7. It might seem unoriginal, but gaming welcomes expansions and modern updates for classic franchises, giving fans more chances to get involved in these worlds.

Microsoft rounded off their show announcing another piece of hardware that’s been in the works for a while. Called Project Scorpio, which won’t be its final name, the new console will be the most powerful console ever built, key for full-blown VR support. Microsoft announced the project with a video featuring developers heralding its power, something which will make fans and other devs very eager when it comes out at the end of 2017. 

Sony

Sony’s press conference often feels very reactionary to Microsoft’s due to it being later that day. There’s a sense that large executive decisions are made in the hours between the two conferences to make the PS4 sounds that bit more attractive than the Xbox.

This year though, Sony didn’t pack the punch it has before. It didn’t feature any new hardware, even though Sony has confirmed a slim PS4 codenamed Neo that’ll now come up against Microsoft’s Xbox One S.

Instead, Sony were happy to remind gamers that they’re much further ahead in VR than Microsoft is, by announcing a release date of this October for their PS VR headset, and showcasing a list of games that’ll work with it including Batman Arkham VR and Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission.

Sony also pulled out their big trump card over Microsoft, and it was an actual human, Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise.

Kojima recently departed Konami and will be releasing all his new games exclusively on Playstation. He showed off his newest effort called Death Stranding. All that was shown was a cinematic cutscene showing Walking Dead star Norman Reedus on an oil-covered beach, surrounded by dead fish and whales and staring at five floating bodies in the sky. The game looks very original, which is a nice way of saying crazy right now.

A winner between Sony and Microsoft at E3 always emerges, but this year it’s harder to call. The last few years, Sony has run away with it. While Sony had the better games, including an October release date for the long awaited The Last Guardian, Microsoft might just tip them this year because of having new hardware on show.