- Thomson Reuters
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the biggest video game conferences of the year, has already seen plenty of big announcements.
Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft all have made big announcements that fans are excited about.
It’s easy to miss the expo with news from Microsoft about acquiring LinkedIn, a Fed meeting, and the constant drone from the presidential election, but E3 could represent a big upside for companies that make video games, and shouldn’t be ignored.
There are more than 2.6 billion gamers in the world right now. Virtual reality and mobile gaming are exciting opportunities to expand that market even further and many companies had announcements that aimed at getting involved in those areas.
Only time will tell which announcements represent the most value, but here are some of the clear standouts so far.
While the game developer did not appear at the expo itself, Activision showed a trailer for its new “Call of Duty” franchise addition, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” at the Sony press conference.
“While investors and gamers are nervous about Call of Duty due to the developer’s track record for quality and a negative reaction to the initial trailer, the company thinks the game showed very well at E3 and is already turning sentiment,” Evan Wilson, a research analyst from Pacific Crest Securities, said in a note.
“Overwatch,” the most recent title from Blizzard, has 10 million players already, and is expected to sell well through the holiday season due to the initial excitement.
Activision is the only game developer that Wilson has rated overweight following the big announcements from E3.
EA has some of the biggest titles in gaming, and many of them are receiving updates that were well received at the conference.
“The company expressed optimism about where Battlefield is in the development process and the quality of the game,” Wilson said.
“In our conversation about Titanfall 2, Electronic Arts said it thought it has solid momentum on the game at E3. We got a chance to play it at EA Play on Sunday, and though we agree it was fun and action-packed, we are not sure it will still appeal to the mass market”
EA is moving beyond traditional consoles and PCs, as it revamps its FIFA mobile game to match the success of Madden Mobile.
Most investors are focused on the computing giant’s acquisition of LinkedIn, but Microsoft didn’t hold back on the E3 stage.
“Microsoft had by far the most interesting announcements at E3,” Brian Pitz, an equity analyst at Jefferies, said.
The company announced its new Xbox One S, a slimmer, sleeker version of the Xbox One console released in 2013. The updated console is more powerful, and will support 4K video streaming.
It also teased Project Scorpio, a super-powered Xbox that will allow for 4K gameplay, and more importantly, virtual reality gaming. The console touts 8 CPU cores and a 6 teraflops of GPU power, which would make it the most powerful game console to date.
VR gaming currently requires a pretty powerful PC, and a console like Project Scorpio could bring the necessary power to console gaming.
“Halo,” “Forza,” and “Gears of War,” all popular Xbox franchises, will also be getting new entries.
Virtual Reality Gaming
While no company has taken the VR crown yet, many were showing off their technology and games at the expo.
Microsoft announced a new console that would be VR capable.
Sony announced more than 50 VR games to be ready by the end of the year.
Big games like Fallout 4 will be VR capable soon, and there is even a Star Trek title coming from Ubisoft.
There is one thing for sure. VR gaming is coming in hot, with nearly every company trying to get consumers to use their platforms. If one of them hits the perfect combo of good technology and exclusive games, they may be get an early lead in the next generation of gaming.