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E3 2016 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) gave us a fantastic insight into the year ahead in terms of trailers and exciting announcements within the entertainment field. The conference fuelled our anticipation for the virtual reality revolution and the ongoing battle between entertainment organisations to blow gamers away with their new releases. With social media and analytic tools frantically exploring the various outcomes of E3, we ask which organisation actually won over gamers?
We expected big things from Microsoft who some may say have been on the back foot and fallen behind in sales for this generation of consoles. However, we were not disappointed with their exposition with the announcement of not one but two consoles coming to the market. Microsoft’s E3 announcement was an amazing showing demonstrating their games, hardware and truly showed off their future prospects. Although Microsoft did leave us asking ourselves, why would consumers buy an Xbox One S when Project Scorpio is scheduled for release one year later?
Alongside the Xbox One S / Project Scorpio announcement we also saw the announcement of PlayStation Neo. Plus the return of Crash Bandicoot, Titanfall 2, Skyrim HD and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But who came out on top in the battle of the consoles?
Looking at the Analytics – things aren’t so simple.
Looking at the trends for last week Sony and Microsoft both have a pronounced spike in searches early in the week. Sony generally seemed to have the lead in terms of volume of searches but we were interested in Nintendo – the forgotten third party. Interest in Nintendo seems more consistent and had at least two pronounced spikes in interest. This may have been due to Nintendo’s decision to focus purely on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which some experts have categorised as a disappointing effort overall from the organisation.
Amongst the publishers' biggest announcements, Battlefield 1 saw the biggest search spike, while Breath of the Wild had a more gradual, sustained search presence.
Surprisingly, in terms of consoles, the Xbox One S is the clear winner in search volume. Arguably, Project Scorpio was Microsoft's biggest announcement. However, it wasn't surprising that gamers were looking into Xbox One S, we know it’s out next year and we know that it’ll be priced lower than current consoles. In contrast, Neo and Project Scorpio do not have a release date or pricing structure as of yet, perhaps interest in these releases will pick up when more information is available.
To some it might be obvious, of course Sony won the E3 conference war. According to Facebook, this was certainly the case. Based on their social media analysis from the 7th of June to the 14th of June Sony had the largest share of voice among publishers who hosted a press conference (capturing over 30%).
Sony generates the most overall interest, Nintendo has the biggest pull on games with Zelda, and Microsoft takes the lead with new consoles… So who wins? It’s difficult to say. It’s obviously going to be a big year for gamers (probably a pricey year too…) and it will be interesting to see how Xbox try to compete and bring back consumers – maybe a new console every year is an attempt at that with echoes of the Apple model. The Xbox One S has the potential and the buzz that the iPhone releases brings. Will Project Scorpio become their iPhone 7?
Every year Sony and Microsoft battle it out in an attempt to top one another at E3. Ultimately, E3 is the largest marketing exercise in the industry. Can one particular brand win? Or is the very fact that we are speaking, analysing, comparing and generating opinions make them all a winner?
We would be keen to hear your thoughts. Have any of them convinced you to move your brand loyalty?
James Rippengale | Senior Contract Analytics Consultant
0203 301 9923 | firstname.lastname@example.org