Showcase Season is Coming to an End, but Which Platform is the Real Winner?

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Every summer brings with it a flurry of game announcements, trailers, delays and leaks, and this year is no different. In fact, this year has arguably been more chaotic, with the high-profile cancelation of franchise stalwart E3, as well as the necessary rapid replacement and formation of a bigger version of Summer Games Fest by Geoff Keighley.

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Thankfully, and sadly, the lack of E3 isn’t being felt a huge amount by the gaming audience as a whole, with every developer and platform having their own gaming showcases in a bid to one-up and outperform one another. The question is though, who is the real winner this year?

In a year where console exclusives like¬†Starfield and¬†Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 both featured heavily in their platforms respective showcases, as well as Nintendo’s own showcase going by quietly, yet still creating a huge fan reaction with the reveals, the answer isn’t quite as obvious as one might think.

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PlayStation Showcase – Thank God for Insomniac Games

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In the run up to the PlayStation Showcase there were constant rumours being thrown around, the biggest by far being Hideo Kojima turning up to showcase Death Stranding 2.¬†Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and whilst we didn’t get Kojima’s latest work, we did get the announcement of some of his previous work being remastered.

It wasn’t a particularly well-hidden secret, but Konami are treating us to a long-asked for remaster of¬†Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater! With original voice actors returning and the game being redesigned and built for modern consoles, this was arguably the biggest and best received reveal during the showcase. However, it’s less a win for PlayStation and more a win for gamers in general, as the next day it was revealed that both this and the other revealed remake¬†Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1.¬†(includes the first three games) were going to be available on multiple consoles.

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Related:¬†PlayStation Showcase: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Gameplay Finally Shown, It Looks Better Than We Thought Possible

In truth, other than the gameplay reveal of Insomniac Games’¬†Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the PlayStation Showcase was largely devoid of AAA exclusives. Out of the three major platform showcases, it definitely ranked as the worst for interesting new content. Other games announced or shown off included¬†Ghostrunner 2,¬†Destiny 2’s ‘The Final Shape’ DLC and more.

Nintendo Direct – More Mario, More Fun

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Fans of Nintendo generally know what they can expect going into a Nintendo Direct Showcase. There’ll be Mario, Pokemon, Zelda maybe and another first-party exclusive franchise, this time¬†Pikmin. With that said, this year Nintendo pulled out all the stops!

With the upcoming¬†Pikmin 4 soon to be released, fans were expecting to see more of that shown, and that was dutifully delivered, however what we weren’t expecting is the breadth of coverage that Nintendo gave the franchise as a whole. Dropping remasters of the first two games during the showcase? Announcing the third will have the same treatment in months to come? Extra long gameplay trailer of the fourth game? Yes to all.¬†Pikmin¬†fans ate well this year.

Related: Nintendo Direct: Super Mario RPG РRemake of Beloved SNES Classic Announced

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As did Mario fans. Nintendo announcing new Mario video games is nothing new, but they decided to double up this year, and announced both¬†Super Mario Bros. Wonder, a new 2D side-scrolling Mario game that’ll allow players to take control of a number of characters, including Peach, Yoshi and of course Mario and Luigi; and Nintendo announced a remake of the much-loved SNES¬†Super Mario RPG, which whilst no-one was expecting, we’re all grateful for!

Other announcements included the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol 1. heading to Nintendo Switch as well as other consoles and Batman: Arkham Trilogy will be yet another remake that fans can enjoy on the move!

Xbox Showcase – Out. Of. The. Park

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Xbox and Microsoft needed a big showcase. That is undeniable. With a console that hasn’t had a AAA exclusive since¬†Halo Infinite (ignoring¬†Redfall),¬†and with the seemingly constant legal issues surrounding the Activision Blizzard merger, Xbox’s reputation is firmly in the gutter right now. The Xbox Showcase has done a little to mitigate that. Fans are still angry and disappointed in the brand, no doubt, but with numerous updates on actual first-party exclusives, those same fans are at least aware things will be changing soon.

Starfield was always announced to be the biggest draw of the showcase for Xbox, with it demanding and getting its own segment at the end of the show, detailing various new gameplay mechanics and tidbits, whilst giving Todd Howard time to wax lyrical about how big the universe is, and how the littlest conversations can have consequences, as well as other things, of course.

Related:¬†Xbox Games Showcase: ‘Fable’ Officially Announced with a Trailer and Appearance from The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade

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The long-developed¬†Fable¬†reboot finally say the light of day, and it may not have a release date, but the reveal trailer did include Richard Ayoade, British comedian of¬†The IT Crowd¬†fame. That’s always going to be a win.

Two other first-party franchises that were in dire need of an update received one, in¬†Avowed, Obsidian’s fantasy epic, and¬†Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the sequel to one of the most beautiful games of last generation. And yet, after all of this, there was still more!¬†First look footage of Ubisoft’s upcoming¬†Star Wars Outlaws¬†was shown off, although that will be multi-platform, as was some more details displayed of¬†Cyberpunk’s 2077 first major DLC,¬†Phantom Liberty, which is tipped to not only add to the game as it is, but completely rework and revamp the base game as well.

All in all, it is a fantastic time to be a gamer. This coming winter season looks to be one of the most stacked we’ve had in recent history, and that’s no bad thing. We’ll all be calling in sick and booking holiday to try and enjoy every fantastical moment in every game we can. Who was the real winner here though? Well, that’s for you, the gamer to decide, because it all comes down to taste. So let us know in the comments who you think came out better this year!

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Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 437

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd