E3 2018 vs E3 2017: A step forward for Microsoft, a step back for Sony

Matt Sayer 13 June 2018 NEWS

Where Xbox One owners were treated to a new Halo, Gears of War and Forza at this year's E3, PlayStation fans weren't quite so lucky.

With the press conferences in the books, E3 2018 has played its hand and unleashed a wave of new game announcements for us to ooh and ahh over. While we look forward to what lies in store in the near and not-so-near future, we can also look back and reflect on how this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo compared to last year's event.

Tallying up the numbers, there's no denying that the industry's biggest players came out swinging for E3 2018 – well, all except for one. Microsoft, for instance, topped its impressive E3 2017 presentation by showing a hefty 50 games compared to the 45 from last year. 13 of these were wholly new titles, with an extra 8 games making their debut on Xbox One including the critically-acclaimed Nier Automata and the much-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. In comparison, 2017 only saw 13 new announcements including existing titles making their first appearance on Xbox One.

Nintendo delivered a similarly impressive showing. Where its 2017 show revealed 13 games, 8 of which were new announcements or ports, this year it rolled out the red carpet for 20 games consisting of 7 previously-unseen titles and 3 new ports for Nintendo Switch.

PS4 fans might have been slightly less enamoured with Sony's presentation this year. In contrast to its bumper line-up of 30 games at E3 2017, it only had 12 to show this year. To be fair, Sony made it abundantly clear in advance that its show was going to be low-key, but it was still surprising to see the company scale back so significantly from its 14 new announcements in 2017 to just 5 this year.

EA, Ubisoft and Bethesda, meanwhile, all followed a similar positive trend with more games and more new announcements than last year, as you can see in the chart above.

Looking more broadly at platform representation, the Xbox One continued to steal ahead of the PlayStation 4 with 89 of the games shown at E3 2018 coming to the system compared to the PS4's 77. This is in keeping with last year's rankings, where the Xbox One edged out the PS4 76 games to 69. The higher numbers overall speak to where we are in the current console generation, with developers now more accustomed to the hardware and preparing to release the projects they began back when the consoles launched.

It's also worth noting that the humble PC saw a huge boost in representation this year. Thanks to the PC-like technology in current-gen consoles, it's no surprise that most console games also come to PC these days, but where last year's E3 only showed off 66 PC-friendly titles, E3 2018 saw a massive 105 titles of both the multiplatform and exclusive variety coming to the home of the mouse and keyboard. Much of this increased representation is due to the jam-packed PC Gaming Show, which stepped up its game dramatically over last year with dozens of exclusive reveals.

It's clear from these figures that while Microsoft continues pushing hard to win gamers over, Sony seems content to simply stay its course. It's also likely that Sony is keeping a few cards close to its chest for its PlayStation Experience event later this year, seeing as it doesn't have to compete for eyeballs when it's running its own show.

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