E3 2014: Console Makers Providing Entertainment Beyond Pure Gaming

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-06-13 Print this article Print

The games industry holds one major event each year to show off its latest wares and get news media and gamers excited about the future. Dubbed E3 for "Electronic Entertainment Expo," the event has been known to be home to everything from new hardware to new games. This year was no different. The interesting thing about this year's E3 is how the game console makers are trying to expand the role of their products beyond pure entertainment. Now more than ever these companies are thinking about the ways their products fit within the so-called "smart home." It was apparent at the show that using televisions and the Web to access a variety content besides games continues to grow in importance. What's more, "home entertainment" beyond just gaming is seen as an important business opportunity in the industry, and that trend was apparent in a number of announcements at the show. This slide show provides a brief recap of the significant news from E3 and highlights some of the emerging industry trends.

  • E3 2014: Console Makers Providing Entertainment Beyond Pure Gaming

    By Don Reisinger
    E3 2014: Console Makers Providing Entertainment Beyond Pure Gaming
  • Bring On the Sony PlayStation TV

    Sony at its press conference showed off the PlayStation TV. The hardware, which will launch in the fall for $99, will connect to a television and allow PlayStation 4 owners to stream titles and apps to that other set. It'll support more than 1,000 games at launch and promises to be a real competitor to other set-top boxes, like the Amazon Fire TV.
    Bring On the Sony PlayStation TV
  • Microsoft Will Focus on New Games to Support Xbox

    Microsoft made it abundantly clear at its own press conference that games and the Xbox One would remain an important part of its corporate business strategy that is otherwise devoted to enterprise IT products and services. The company spent its entire two-hour press conference at E3 discussing games that will be coming to the Xbox One, and hardly even mentioned its hardware. In the coming months, Microsoft plans to win new customers by way of games.
    Microsoft Will Focus on New Games to Support Xbox
  • What's the Kinect's Future?

    Now that Microsoft has launched the Xbox One without the Kinect motion-sensing peripheral, it's hard to tell exactly what that device's future is like. The games shown off at the Microsoft press conference didn't even mention Kinect, and it's starting to feel as though the accessory will be just another add-on that few pay attention to. That's too bad—the Kinect is still an innovative device.
    What's the Kinect's Future?
  • Nintendo Looks Like the Forgotten Game Company

    Nintendo has largely backed away from E3, which would explain why it didn't create much buzz. But perhaps the more important story behind Nintendo at E3 is that few third-party game makers are actually supporting the Wii U. It appears at this point that third-party titles will be awfully light for Nintendo in 2014.
    Nintendo Looks Like the Forgotten Game Company
  • Game Sequels Are Big Business

    Sequels are everything in the games business these days. Sequels allow companies to make higher margins, since much of the game's design is already done and they don't need to educate the market on the value of a new title. That's precisely why so many companies—from Activision to Electronic Arts to Ubisoft—showed off sequels at this year's show. Expect 2014 to be a big year for titles you already know.
    Game Sequels Are Big Business
  • It's More About Entertainment Than Just Gaming

    Entertainment is going to play a crucial role in the future value proposition for game consoles and devices. The PlayStation TV is expected to come with support for entertainment apps. Meanwhile, Microsoft is making it easier for gamers to access content, like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Entertainment—how to keep gamers entertained when they aren't playing games—will play an important role in 2014, E3 has shown.
    It's More About Entertainment Than Just Gaming
  • Latest Games Make the Most of 2013 Microsoft, Sony Hardware

    Although the high-end game consoles from Microsoft and Sony launched last year, it's really this year that we're seeing game titles that are capable of harnessing their power. Part of that is because game companies port many late-stage last-gen products to new consoles. It's also because game developers need to take time to find out how to make their games get the most out of the latest hardware. As the keynotes and games showed on the floor proved, the titles this year will look absolutely gorgeous.
    Latest Games Make the Most of 2013 Microsoft, Sony Hardware
  • It's All About Exclusivity and Being First

    Sony and Microsoft are in a battle not only for supremacy in the console market, but also their ability to attract third-party titles first and, if possible, exclusively. Indeed, many of the announcements at Sony's and Microsoft's events talked about titles that were either exclusive to their consoles or coming first to their hardware. The shooter game "Destiny," for example, will be available on the PlayStation 4 first, which was a big win for Sony and something the company brought up early and often.
    It's All About Exclusivity and Being First
  • Portable Gaming Lives On

    Although portable gaming devices such as the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita are losing market share at a rapid pace to casual gaming on smartphones and tablets, they're still being supported by their makers. Some could argue that Sony even doubled its efforts on the Vita front, promising many more games and better integration with the PlayStation 4. Are Vita and the 3DS in trouble? Sure. But don't expect Sony or Nintendo to admit it.
    Portable Gaming Lives On
  • Sony Will Maintain Its Lead in Game Consoles

    The sales numbers are in: Sony's PlayStation 4 is outselling both the Wii U and the Xbox One. Going into E3, many industry watchers believed that Microsoft would have to have a big show to turn the tide, and some observers were left unsatisfied by what it showed off during its event. Sony, meanwhile, is changing the gaming paradigm with its PlayStation TV and also showed off some solid games. Was Sony's showing at E3 perfect? No. But it appears the company will remain in the lead at least for this year.
    Sony Will Maintain Its Lead in Game Consoles
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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