Opinion: It's better if no one wins E3

Congratulations to Sony's marketing team and their partnering consultancy firms. Last night, the company showed flexibility uncommon to a business of its size, announcing the PlayStation will be $100 less than the Xbox One and will not have its rival's anti-consumer licensing policy.

In short, Sony maintained the status quo, and was rewarded with one of the loudest and longest rounds of applause I've heard at a video game press conference that didn't end with everyone getting something for free.

The elated reaction called to mind the winning blow of a gladiatorial fight. How fitting that Sony held its press conference at the USC Memorial Sports Arena and Coliseum complex.

How fitting the conference was held at a Coliseum.

Console gaming, you see, is a blood sport that began nearly two decades ago when Sega and Nintendo fought to the death with blunt marketing jargon like "Blast Processing" and "Mode 7." To this day, the playground scrimmage can be re-ignited with a simple mention of the video game adaptation of Aladdin on your social media platform of choice. Hate goes deep.

But please, let's consider not behaving like a crowd of Romans begging for a public gutting. Because, I assure you, we have nothing to gain from someone delivering a killing blow.

In fact, the reality is there can't be a total knockout this generation. Sony and Microsoft are too big to fall.

The companies are too big to fall.

Twenty years ago, Sega and Nintendo were kings of a growing but still diminutive puddle. While the game market has grown, it's now dominated by two leaders of the infinitely larger electronics market. Sony and Microsoft are giant hell beasts, and their gaming consoles are merely limbs. If the console takes a beating, either company has a tremendous supply of wealth, talent, corporate partnerships and announced projects that will guarantee its success in some capacity.

Neither Sony or Microsoft are willing to surrender the living room, whether we like it or not. That's good in some perverse way. That's why we saw Sony announce a lower price and a different licensing policy (here's where I add an asterisk). Because they need to compete. And in turn, we will almost certainly see Microsoft make a move to win the consumer's favor, back and forth, back and forth.

There's one other thing that's changed since the 1990s: Us.

There's one other thing that's changed since the 1990s: Us. We grew up. We're not kids on a playground anymore — though it's hard to tell sometimes on Twitter. The reality is, if this generation's anything like the last, many of us will end up owning both systems. While I love my PC, $900 is still cheaper than a high-end computer.

So, as this week goes on, try not to think about winners and losers. Both companies have a lot to offer. Some good. Some bad. Besides, we can all agree: Nintendo lost.

I kid. Old habits die hard.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.