In terms of showing off what we can expect graphically from next-gen, the UE5 demo wins hands down. It was absolutely gorgeous. If that's any indication of what we can expect from the PS5 and XSX in terms of visual quality in AAA games, then... wow. Just awesome. We already potentially got a taste of proper next-gen visuals with the Hellblade II trailer, but this was actual gameplay, so it's highly likely to be representative of what big-budget next-gen games will look like when playing them. I've been saying for quite some time that there is still a lot of progress to be made with game graphics: lighting, draw distances, animation, etc. Returns may be diminishing, but are still more than significant enough to warrant new generations of consoles.
That being said, I do appreciate what MS tried to do with last week's showcase. It highlighted mostly smaller developers and lower-key games that are likely to get overlooked because the focus will be on the big AAA titles. Should they have opened with a video focused on such titles? Given the reception, probably not. There should have at least been a couple of other major AAA games featured there besides a trailer for AC: Valhalla, and with actual gameplay. If there was nothing the big third parties could show off in terms of gameplay, then maybe MS should have held off on the event. Strategically, you could argue last week's showcase was a bad move, and they should have been more explicit about what to expect even if it didn't produce as much hype, but you can't fault MS for not highlighting some unique games that might otherwise not be given the time of day.
In any case, I'm definitely looking forward to next generation. I'm still planning on getting an XSX at launch and a PS5 some time in 2021. Both systems will pretty much be guaranteed to have plenty to warrant getting them. I have both an X1X and PS4, and I've thoroughly enjoyed both of them.
It is all about balance. Sony also had a lot of Indies on PS4 reveal but they also revealed jaw dropping demos at the same time and good quantity. When the event made by MS had basically only indies and one crossgen that wasn't looking jaw dropping besides Hellblade or Halo also not doing that when presented that harm a little the power narrative MS is going for.
But sure in the end all that is irrelevant as both companies are still to really show what they have for launch and will probably do it along June/July.
You know, ever since MS announced that they were going to be doing a presentation every month I have been doubting this strategy. If you're going to do several presentations of course you cannot put everything on just one; of course you are going to have to space your content, so every event is going to look (and be) smaller by default.
Sony, on the other hand, apparently is going to drop it all in one sitting so there is a high chance that is going to look/be bigger by default.
Now, which one is the best strategy? I'm actually inclined to say Sony's, but I'm kinda of glad MS is doing it this way because it gives smaller games their time to shine. I mean, games like Scorn, The Medium, Call of The Sea and Scarlet Nexus would have been buried if they had been shown on the same event as Halo, Hellblade, Forza and Fable? And contrary to what some people want to make you believe that these games were hated by everybody, if you look at every trailer independently you will see that each of these games actually had a good reception.