B&T has teamed up with Sydney-based agency Rinsed to provide exclusive news, analysis and video from the biggest gaming show on earth, E3 2013. Simon Micarone, founder and MD of Rinsed, is on the ground in LA at the event and will be reporting back the big stories for B&T this week, including exciting new opportunities for content marketers, brand managers and media owners.
One of the biggest stories of this year’s annual E3 expo was always going to be who would win the battle for share of voice. With Nintendo out of the running, it's come down to a battle between the two big gaming platforms: Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation.
Although both had taken different strategies by announcing new console innovations prior to E3, this year’s battle is not solely focused on gaming, it’s just as much about owning the living room and engaging consumers deep in entertainment. So, who was the winner on Day One?
In truth, I don’t think either platform really was a standout wiiner, as there was no ‘wow’’ moment or knockout blow. However, both parties did land a couple good punches, in particular, Sony for its pricing and pre-owned games and Xbox for its artificial intelligence and cloud based Xbox Live services.
What's clear is developers are embracing the next generation in console technology in ways not seen before, and as a result there's some definite trends emerging, including:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has existed in gaming for a while, particulary in first-person shooter games. For example, opponents learn where you hide and get better at avoiding you. However, with new cloud based services game play is set to become even more human and realistic. For example, in popular driving game Forza your ‘Drivetar’ learns from how you race, things such as the way you corner, what racing line you take and the dirty tactics you might deploy. It takes these learnings so when you are not behind the wheel it can play on your behalf with your learned characteristics, earning points and rewards while you sleep.
Deeper Gaming Experiences
With statistics in Australia suggesting that more than 40% of TV viewers use a second screen while they watch TV, I'd imagine this statistic is similar for gamers. Developers are building platforms that allow for content rich experiences via mobile or tablet – these additional devices will become important for marketers. Announced last year, Xbox Smart Glass was the beginning of this evolution, but being able to translate to any device will be revolutionary.
More ownable and collaborative
Both Playstation and Xbox have realised that being more in control of the content that you create and who you share that with is increasingly important to gamers. The game Killer Instinct, a Street Fighter style game, allows people to record game play via DVR or Twitch (in Playstation’s case, Ustream), then gamers can edit it, put a soundtrack on it, or special effects to it, then share it with the community or their followers. Sony is intent on positioning itself as enablers of ‘True Consumer Ownership’.
All three of these trends provide exceptional new opportunities for marketers by granting access to worlds that were completely off limits in the past. Now, you can be driving through the countryside in a game and pass a Pizza Hut outlet, if you’re hungry, it will trigger your phone or tablet and jump into the app where you can order a pizza to your door.