React TL;DR: Microsoft generates more press mentions, but Sony does better on social.
Every year, thousands of journalists, executives and gamers descend on Los Angeles to attend the biggest gaming event on the calendar. E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is a four-day event where the biggest players in the gaming industry from Microsoft to Sony come to show off new games and technology.
Monday (or, ‘Day One’) is colloquially known as ‘press conference day’, with Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft hosting 90 presentations packed with game announcements, impressive demos and ill-fitting celebrity cameos. They also give famous Twitter cynics an excuse to pick up on slip-ups, clichés, and the general stagnancy of the games industry.
Not all Tweets – you’ll be surprised to hear – are so snarky and negative. In fact, when tracking the two biggest press events, Microsoft’s and Sony’s, both had a positive Twitter sentiment of over 60%.
As each conference both occupied an exact 90-minute span, we compared them, minute-by-minute. Together, they totalled almost half a million Facebook and Twitter posts.
And here’s the detailed breakdown…
198,630 social media posts about Xbox during the conference. On average, that was 2,200 posts per minute.
- 6,200 posts per minute: Microsoft announces that the Xbox One can play Xbox 360 games, essentially doubling users’ gaming library.
- 6,000 posts per minute: Fallout 4 on Xbox, the newest entry in a popular fantasy RPG series, potentially ludicrous player-made tweaks and modifications .
- 5,400 posts per minute: Updated Xbox One controller unveiled, featuring swappable component and a stainless steel construction.
Sentiment of social media was positive throughout the majority of the conference. It briefly dipped negative during the Halo 5 demonstration and when Microsoft announced their partnership with Oculus. In total, sentiment was 65% positive.
200,478 posts per minute about Playstation during the conference. On average, there were 2,227 per minute.
- 6,500 posts per minute: Final Fantasy VIII remakes is coming first to PS4
- 4,200 posts per minute: Call of Duty’s home is on Playstation, after a decade of being a headline game in Xbox’s marketing.
- 3,600 posts per minute: The Last Guardian, after being in development in seven years, has been announced for release in 2016.
In total, sentiment was 59% positive.
Tweets are useful, but they don’t tell the whole story. According to this, the Playstation conference was a bigger social media success – but only by a hair. If you watch both events with a second screen open, you would have picked up the feeling that Sony’s conference felt underwhelming to the masses.
Allegedly, the point of press conferences is to capture the attention of the press. Going by this metric, Microsoft’s conference did far better, earning 62% more news articles.
This year, much of the focus on not just on what we’ll be playing the future, but how we’ll be playing. Virtual reality (in the form of motion-tracking headsets) places gamers inside game worlds, allowing them to explore virtual space as if it were real.
Each manufacturer has their on take on Virtual Reality. Sony showed off ‘Project Morpheus’ playing a grizzly first-person shooter called RIGS. Microsoft, going for a different demographic, demonstrated a version of Minecraft projected in three-dimensions on a kitchen table.
Virtual reality won’t be available for the masses until 2016, but this expo has given us a taste of what to expect.