E3 is the equivalent of the Cannes film festival for the video game industry. It’s where video game platforms makers, game designers and fans gather to see what’s next in the world of Mario, Master Chief and Grand Theft Auto. However if you’re a homeowner, this year’s E3 is an event you’ll want to pay attention to.
While in the past the big news coming out of E3 are things like a new edition of Halo, Call of Duty or Super Mario Bros., the video game industry is quickly realizing they can be so much more to consumers than just video games. Xbox, Playstation and Wii are no longer gaming consoles. They’re entertainment hubs for your home.
The announcement of the upcoming release of the next generation Xbox, called Xbox One, is the first official step in the shift from game console to home media center. Microsoft’s Trojan horse of a computer in your living room is finally shaking the cloak of being a fringe device and moving into the mainstream competition for your home’s entertainment. At E3 it’s expected that Microsoft will reveal even more details on how the Xbox One will be incorporated into every aspect of your home’s entertainment from watching movies to live TV to the use of TV-based apps. It won’t be long before you’re debating whether to buy DirectTV or Xbox Live as your main source of TV based content. (Note: Xbox Live is Microsoft’s online marketplace for renting movies, using apps like Netflix and downloading games)
Sony is coming out with Playstation 4 (PS4) which will take a slightly different direction than Xbox One in that its big selling point is its use of cloud based gaming. This is sure to have home entertainment impact as well. One could assume that Sony will be partnering with third parties to enhance the PS4 experience beyond just games. Would they partner with the likes of cloud-based music service Spotify so that you can stream your music through your surround sound system? Expect Sony to make headlines as they won’t want chief competitor, Microsoft, to steal the show.
So don’t write of the 2013 E3 as just being for the video game nerds. The future of the video game industry is quickly becoming the catalyst for how the TV room will be designed in the future and potentially how our electronic devices will interact within the four walls of our home.
E3 2013 starts on June 11th and be sure to check out IGN.com for more details on what’s to come from the event.