E3 2017: Where Do Consoles Go From Here?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) was held 13-15 June and once more hosted some of the biggest video game companies, giving them a platform to unveil their latest and upcoming products and developments. While there were numerous announcements made at the show, presentations and information given by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all appear to have major implications for the direction of the static console race, as each of the major console producers essentially revealed the strategies they would be implementing in the coming year.

Source: Euromonitor International

Sony keeps it simple

Sony has been leading console sales since the launch of the PlayStation 4 in 2013 and largely appears to be taking a low risk strategy. The company did not announce much in the way of hardware changes but instead focused on previously announced exclusive titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man, as well as new titles for the company’s VR headset, which currently leads unit sales for premium VR headsets.

Microsoft aims for premium users

Microsoft used E3 as a chance to unveil its newest Xbox One console iteration with the Xbox One X. Much like the PlayStation 4 Pro, the Xbox One X is an upgrade on the graphical capabilities of the previous version and is geared toward 4K gaming. The Xbox One X will carry a relatively high price tag of USD499 per unit, suggesting that initially this console is geared toward very premium oriented consumers and higher income consumers, as they will need to own a 4K television to make the most of the new system.

Nintendo makes big software promises

Nintendo, coming off the successful launch of the Nintendo Switch in March 2017, focused on key titles to help drive further adoption and regain some of the broad appeal that made the Wii a success. The company showcased games for major franchises such as Mario Odyssey and hinted at long awaited titles like Metroid Prime 4, while also confirming a Pokémon game will eventually make its way to the Switch. The company will now need to work to get these titles out in a timely manner, as long delays for major releases was one of the core reasons behind the company’s prior failure with the Wii U.