E3 2018: the evolution of play

As a kid, I’d daydream about how cool it would be to attend E3. Go to the gaming industry’s premier conference. Marvel as companies revealed the latest tech to the world. Play the next big games before anyone else.

I attended my first E3 this year. Childhood me was right. It was pretty cool.

This year, E3 not only served as confirmation that the games industry is thriving but also gave a peek into the next wave of gaming. Here are a few trends that emerged at the show to get you excited about the future of how we play games.

Play on any screen with cloud gaming, console optional

Picture playing any game on any screen, as long as it has an internet connection. No console or fancy gaming rig needed.

EA showed off a cloud-based gaming prototype that did just that. The prototype streamed a console-quality AAA video game the same way Netflix streams movies, on a device that wasn’t hooked up to an Xbox, PlayStation or high-end gaming PC.

A games-as-a-service style of picking a game, playing it in seconds without waiting for downloads or installs, may be part of the next wave of gaming. Consoles may not necessarily disappear instantly in the shift to cloud gaming, but the next gen will most certainly need to take streaming into consideration. Microsoft announced that it’s also working on a cloud service for streaming console-quality games to internet-linked devices.

Cross-play with anyone, except Playstation players

Before cloud gaming takes off, gamers can at least keep enjoying playing some games across multiple platforms.

Fortnite, the popular battle royale game that swept the world last year, announced its release on the Nintendo Switch. The release also came with cross-play support with Xbox One, PC, Mac and mobile.

One console was missing on the cross-play list: PlayStation 4. Although Fortnite is available on PS4, it’s not available for cross-play with Xbox One or Switch, which left Fortnite fans who play on PS4 unhappy to say the least.

.@PlayStation, fix this.

Not allowing me to sign-in to Fortnite Switch with my Epic account because it’s linked to PS4 is tone deaf and points more to fear than market dominance.

It does the opposite of what you want — it makes me think about moving to Xbox for Fortnite. pic.twitter.com/D9xqv9aWdF

— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) June 12, 2018

I don’t even care about Fortnite, but this is absolute garbage. If your Fortnite account has EVER been logged onto the PS4, you can’t ever play on Xbox One or Switch, not even by unlinking your account. pic.twitter.com/OuhtlPmTTv

— Geek Critique (@TGCritique) June 12, 2018

Expect platform cross-play to be a growing point of discussion for gamers, causing tension for platforms that hesitate to embrace all the possibilities.

No matter how or with who, play great games

Ultimately, the tech is only as good as the games which will always remain the main ingredient to the industry’s advancement. Rest assured E3 highlighted some great games this year and here are some of my top announcements:

Emerging genres keep growing

Hall & Partners Fortnite gme E3 2018

As Fortnite takes over the world, classic franchises are tapping into these new trends, like the addition of a battle royale mode to Battlefield V.

Promises of highly anticipated sequels were fulfilled

Kingdom Hearts 3

The Elder Scrolls VI

Much-awaited new games were revealed

Cyberpunk 2077
 

Commitment to creating great games remains a driving force behind advancing the industry. The same way childhood me imagined what it would be like to attend E3 when he grew up, current me is definitely excited to go back in a few years’ time to see first-hand how the industry keeps pushing the limits.

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