Top 5 Takeaways from E3 2014

I more or less gushed about this year’s E3 on the podcast. Sony & Microsoft’s game heavy press conferences in addition to Nintendo’s classy Direct left me feeling excited for gaming’s near future. We saw new IP, some creative indies, impressive new-gen blockbusters, plenty of surprises and several “oh, by the way”s. Here are my most important takeaways from gaming’s biggest event of the year, E3 2014.

  • The Wii U has plenty of life ahead of it. Nintendo’s E3 direct presentation reeked of “oh my God, Nintendo gets me.” For a corporation that focuses its efforts on games primarily marketable towards children, it was refreshing to feel like I was being spoken to like an intelligent, game-loving adult and not A) an ignorant grandmother or B) on steroids. Our correspondent in the field, Jon, when pressed to give out the biggest buzz on the floor award, named Super Smash Bros. the buzziest. And how about that Zelda teaser?
  • Colors are in! Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown 3, Dead Island 2, No Man’s Sky: all feature bright and diverse color palettes, a welcome change from the grays and browns of last gen.
  • Yes, certain populations of humanity are underrepresented in games, but Rainbow Six: Siege is not the worst offender. Cool your jets, people. We can be critical without being unreasonable. Aisha Tyler’s argument is almost the best on the matter, but it doesn't necessarily connect all of the dots. Also, where were all the pitchforks for the last 100 years of cinema? 
  • Publishers believe in old dogs with new tricks. Many of the games featured at this year’s E3 were sequels to or iterations of past franchises, which is interesting considering a new generation is prime time to try out new IPs. Hopefully, new features in familiar formulas are enough to make these games feel “new gen.” I’m looking at you Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare!
  • Virtual reality headsets are ready for the big time. Notwithstanding Jon’s motion sickness, most pundits seem to agree the tech is there and it’s really cool. VR demos for Superhot, Lucky’s Tale, Alien: Isolation and EVE: Valkyrie at this year’s E3 were well received and garnered plenty of buzz on the show floor. I personally can’t wait for an Omni treadmill and Occulus Rift to take up my entire Brooklyn bedroom

Fortunately, I have Christmas morning to mitigate the wait between this year’s E3 and next year’s E3.

What's your biggest takeaway from E3 2014? Let us know in the comments below.