The Most Surprising E3 Announcements

It’s the end of E3, and what a crazy couple of days it’s been. Hundreds of announcements were made, gamers oohing and awing all over the entire world. It’s going to be an exciting year in gaming, not just because of the boatload of awesome looking games, but also the release of the next generation of consoles. But in my opinion, these were the most surprising  E3 announcements made this year.

Mirror’s Edge 2

I loved the first Mirror’s Edge, even if it did have some edges that needed smoothing out. I was surprised that after this game’s release more companies didn’t try to make their own Mirror’s Edge clone. The idea of a free running based game seemed to be appealing to enough players for a spin-off that never came. But even more surprising was the fact that EA announced a prequel to the game coming out with the next generation. Honestly, this isn’t the title I’m looking forward to the most, but it wasn’t one that I was expecting to hear announced.

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 Prices

We hear rumors of the PlayStation 4 going for around $400, and the Xbox One running for $500, but until Monday nobody knew if that was entirely true. Well it is, and I found this surprising for a handful of reasons. First of all, the PS4 continues to do a better job winning me over to the Sony side. You’d think Microsoft would be the one under cutting Sony, because the difference in price was a huge determining factor in the success of last generation’s consoles. We all know the PS3’s sales suffered for it. But this generation, it’s the opposite, and only time will tell how this will affect console sales.

PlayStation does what Microdon’t

While on the topic of consoles, another surprising E3 announcement was during Sony’s presentation, when they marketed the fact that you can buy and sell used games, or lend them to friends. Last generation this wouldn’t be a selling point, this would be obvious. No company needed to let us know what we could do with our own games. But this time around Microsoft announced that things would be different, and the PS4’s campaign jumped all over it, making a selling point directly out of the Xbox One’s flaws.

Number of Original Titles

It seems like the industry has been in a rut the past few years of making more sequels than original titles. It’s great when a company makes a second, third, or fourth version of one of your favorite games, allowing you to follow a series as it’s made. But there’s something to be said about bringing something fresh and new to the table. E3 2013 had a ton of original title announcements that looked awesome. Hell, over half of the Xbox One’s 15 exclusives are original titles!

Indie Emphasis

I love indie video games. They’re cheap, creative, and most importantly just plain fun. I have to admit I was surprised at the number of new indie titles that got stage time during big companies conferences. I knew there would be plenty of booths at E3 full of new, exciting indie titles, but I didn’t expect Sony and Microsoft to devote a decent chunk of their stage time to the indie genre. If a game is made by indie developers it usually doesn’t get the chance to get this much exposure, but big companies realized this year that indie games are a huge selling point for their consoles.

Cross Platform Titles

When both the Xbox One and PS4 were announced it seemed like many developers were going to be one console exclusives. But after E3 that doesn’t seem like the case. Sure, many companies and games are still picking sides, offering an extra level or some other incentive for one platform over the other, but not necessarily making their games exclusive. Hopefully this remains true and all gamers will get to play the titles they want, on the console they want.

Kingdom Hearts 3

I was never really a Kingdom Hearts fan, but I’ve noticed that since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2 this series made its way to the handheld market, and then stayed there. But one of the most suprising E3 announcements for me this year was during Square Enix’s time on stage. After showing off their new Final Fantasy (which was no surprise at all) they gave us a Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, right in the middle of Sony’s presentation. Maybe you saw this title coming, but I definitely did not.

Nintendo, Returning to the Classics

Honestly, I was surprised at the number of titles Nintendo has coming to the Wii U. Classics are being revisited with old classics being remade in HD, and other old series getting refreshed with completely new titles. Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario, Zelda: The Windwaker, Pikman, Sonic… The list goes on. Of course many of this titles were expected, the surprise for me was seeing how well Nintendo could hold their ground while the crowd was all ears for the new Xbox One and PS4.

Star Wars Battlefront 3

Of course, the biggest surprise is the teaser trailer EA gave us of Star Wars Battlefront 3. The game that’s been started, cancelled, restarted, cancelled, under a brand bought and sold numerous times this year. I’m sure it will be a while before any of us has the chance to see more of this game, let alone play it, but it’s this delightful surprise that tops the list as the most surprising E3 announcement.