Two very different companies pitched us two very different shows during E3 this year. Sony and Microsoft, not for the first time, went head to head in unveiling their latest wares. Microsoft had an ace up their collective sleeve, but Sony were able to show a line-up of games that had the audience purring. Let's get it out of the way now and say there wasn't a clear winner, although if I was pushed into making a call, I might say that Sony edged it.
The why is perhaps a little more complicated, and were it not for leaks and (potential) absentees, I might well have been singing a very different song. Let's face it, we knew practically everything about the Microsoft presser before it even happened. You can't help but think that maybe Sony knew too, and that their conference would have been ten minutes longer and would have included a hardware reveal of their own. Perhaps the power of Scorpio forced the PlayStation team to hold fire on their own announcement because they knew they were bested. Speculation on our part, fuelled by whispers, but certainly plausible.
Either way, it was good work across the board, with Microsoft continuing the process of rebuilding their reputation, and Sony continuing to deliver great software for their all-conquering console. And while nobody is talking about Nintendo in the same breath as its rivals this time around, it's worth noting that a study shows that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the most talked about game at the show (so far). That's got to count for something.
Finally, let's also shout out for the PC crowd (that includes me), who got another PC Gaming show, as well as a bunch of cross-buy and cross-platform announcements during Microsoft's event. It's a good time to do your gaming on PC.
On top of all that, if you throw in a bunch of games on show at EA Play, Bethesda and Ubisoft, and everything else in between, and you've got a solid E3 all round. It might not have the stellar game that has everyone buzzing (perhaps, possibly, with the exception of Zelda), but we've still seen some big reveals and a few fascinating trailers. Covering it from here in the UK has been largely enjoyable (chaotic, but enjoyable) and, from where I'm sitting, nearly everyone has come out this year's show a bit better off.