Following the Scent of Microsoft at E3 2012

Following the Scent of Microsoft at E3 2012

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 23rd Jan 2012

This move by Microsoft is not unheard of, in fact several years ago Nintendo made a similar announcement and since then has maintained a presence behind the scenes using the meeting rooms and private space that it reserves deep in the depths of what many journalists call "The Cliffs of CES" -- a large space in the back of the central hall that consists of wall after blank wall of meeting rooms whose doors are locked for the most part, and access to which requires appointments made in advance, with specific representatives.

Nintendo chose to reduce its official presence, but that did not prevent its licensed partners and other entities from waving the Black and Red Flag, and it is expected that Microsoft will have a similar presence at future shows.

In spite of the solid position that Microsoft took on the matter there was still rampant speculation that the company would make major announcements for their game console, their OS, and their new mobile phone -- but those announcements never arrived, and Microsoft's PR staff repeatedly pointed out that they had made the matter clear: there would be no such announcements at CES 2012!

With that news firmly established, the open question remains just what can we expect at this year's E3?

The Official Word from Sony

As part of its official presence at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Sony consumer products head Kaz Hirai told reporters that Sony is "not talking about a new home console now" and that the publisher has no plans to do so at this year's E3.

During the roundtable press address, Hirai confirmed the previously released position that Sony has always viewed the PlayStation 3 as a product with a minimum 10-year planned life cycle, and he sees no reason "to rush to replace it with a new system," adding that "we are not making any announcements at E3," which puts to rest once and for all the matter of a new console announcement at the industry-only event.

The Official Word from Nintendo

There are good reasons why Sony chose to categorically state that it has no plans to announce a new console at either event -- perhaps the most critical of which is its need to reinforce the notion that the PS3 is here to stay, at least for another year. With its recent losses in the console and gaming market, and its launch of the PSVita, Sony needs to send a clear message both to consumers and the game studios: the PS3 is our console and we are fully supporting it, and you.

Nintendo, on the other hand, is not facing the same burdens or financial restrictions; it has no fixed hardware obligations with the studios, and very little overhead in R&D or for that matter manufacturing costs to recover. In short, the Japanese gaming hardware and software giant is perfectly poised to continue its PR campaign surrounding the Wii U, which was its major announcement at last year's E3, and the industry has every reason to expect that E3 2012 will be, if not the Year of the Wii U, than at the very least, the E3 of the Wii U!