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E3 Hype – Microsoft Press Conference Summary

Microsoft really did well at E3. I'll literally start it there and force you to click this link to see how in the most clickbait way possible.






The Good Stuff

Let's get started with the giant elephant in the room. Nearly every exclusive title the was show by Microsoft was announced for release on both PC and Xbone. And with this, they announced that a significant push for crossplay between PC and Xbone. To quote Dodgeball, "This is a bold strategy Cotton." My two cents on it is like this. I love it. I currently do not own a Xbone and am not planning to in the future. I recently bought a mid-tier computer after for laptop finally died to the point I can't watch Youtube on it. So to hear that they are going to push typically console exclusives like Gears of War and Halo Wars to PC is very surprising to me. Mostly because I would think that that would impact console sales significantly. So I ask myself, why? Why would Microsoft do this? I came to two conclusions. First, this is something that Sony in no way can do at all. The idea that Sony would start crossplay on PC is absurd. It's an easy PR win for Microsoft as they can point something very particular they can do that Sony can't. Secondly, and this is the cynic in me getting very loud, this is a way for Microsoft to get more XBL subscribers. Remember years back when Microsoft pushed Games for Windows Live and tried to integrate that with XBL. And said PC game would need XBL subscriptions to use online components? There was a damn riot. It was so bad Windows tuned back Games for Windows to the point it's a joke right now. This looks like round 2 to me. If these games support crossplay from PC to Xbone, this is a solid excuse to bring it back. And when people hear about it, they will complain. But in my opinion, Microsoft did a much better job of promoting this than they did of "always online" component of Xbone that was universally hammered. This might actually be worth it. Particularly to those not interest in a Xbone but own a powerful PC. My biggest worry is about the control scheme balance. If I was playing a RTS, I shouldn't be expected to compete with PC player with keyboard and mouse while I have a controller in my hand. While this whole announcement may seemed like a mixed bag from me, I believe int eh long run this is a very good idea. It will allow people to play more Xbone exclusive titles. Somewhat extension to that is the Play Anywhere system. In simple terms, if you buy a Play Anywhere title, you are buying the game for both PC and Xbone. You can play both versions interchangeable.

ReCore is back, with a great deal of refined gameplay. I'm impressed. I'm pleased. It's Keiji Inafune. Looks to be much faster gameplay than I expected. Very happy with what I saw.

[embed]https://youtu.be/WnKT9ZCGgBE[/embed]

If I read it correctly, Microsoft announced that they are going to be supporting streaming music into background of games. Something I've spent hours trying to figure out how to to with PS4. Main questions left to answer: What apps can I use in background; Can I stream with background music; Can I stream with background music and not get banned?

Gwent got it's own game. That silly TCG from Witcher 3. This is not a joke. It got real press conference time. It was the hype of all hype. The game even will have a single player story.

[embed]https://youtu.be/la3yZIIQBbY?list=PLsiJPoHlPqEEljwTjXJ4OYnDaz1SwXeFu[/embed]

After a two year absence, PlatniumGames' Scalebound returned with a vengeance. A 3-4 minute gameplay video that looked to pull quite a bit of interest. Game looks very different from the E3 showcase two years ago. I'm hype. I'll probably pick up the PC version. HEADPHONE. GET HYPE.

[embed]https://youtu.be/D-ZVMU_KA-M[/embed]

I was mildly surprised that Project Scorpio made a showing. They seemed quite a bit behind PS Neo so showing it was quite a surprised. They even dropped a launch window of Holiday 2017. Fairly soon. Along with that, they announced that games would support all systems, Xbone S, Xbone, and Project Scorpio. That is Xbone games are playable on all of them. The real question is how long will that last. How long till developers and players say they want games to be developed with more support to the high end. It's inevitable change. It always is. My hope is that games will be optimized for all systems. It will be more work for the developers, but more along the lines of how I would prefer hardware updates and revisions to work.

All it really got was a brief gameplay trailer, but We Happy Few looked super creepy. I'm someone interest in this game. It clearly was the highlight of the indie developer portion of Microsoft press conference.

Halo Wars 2 is in a live beta, now. These kind of announcements are why I live for E3. Even if it is for a game I don't really care about myself.

[embed]https://youtu.be/0r378v1lhCw[/embed]




The Meh Stuff

I'll give the new announcement of Xbone S a Meh+ rating. It add a bit more functionality with 4k streaming and I think some VR tech. But overall adds little to the gameplay side of the system. What it does add is the $300 pricepoint. Currently the Xbone has been going for around that price. Seems ok.

[embed]https://youtu.be/XuTwtOo88r8[/embed]

Gears had live gameplay footage and looked just like Gears of War I know and love. Was a good way to kick off the presser. There was really nothing special here for me.

[embed]https://youtu.be/R4WNwMEQ6Vg[/embed]

The first Division expansion is set for release this month on Xbone. It's one of those time-release exclusives that everyone hates. But it does look like it is going to add some significant in game PvE content. Something that is seriously lacking in the game. Still doesn't look like there is going to be any PvP arena outside the very overplay Dark Zone gameplay.

Wide ranging support for Minecraft during the conference. It almost sounded like they were confirming that Minecraft was coming out PS4. I mean they did have a iPad playing Minecraft on stage. Something that should be considered blasphemy during a E3 conference for Microsoft. Also, they showed off Oculus support. Which looked reasonable.

New Dead Rising 4 gameplay trailer. Not much else here. I'm not too interested, but I know many people will be.

[embed]https://youtu.be/GT3cb3f5pM0[/embed]

I give credit to Rare for how they promoted Sea of Thieves. Calling on streamers to get together and play the game is a great idea and they looked like they really enjoyed themselves. I wasn't too interested myself. I didn't see a wide array of gameplay to keep me interested.

[embed]https://youtu.be/bQlsN6EO2oU[/embed]




The Bad Stuff

For some reason I was floored to hear Final Fantasy XV was coming out for Xbone. I don't know why I was surprised, but I didn't really expect Square Enix to bring back support to the Xbone. Considering they have no titles on they system out in Japan outside of a few localization projects. The system has no userbase out there.

[embed]https://youtu.be/NQ-gaj0xKHU[/embed]

Battlefield 1 came back from the EA press conference, and showed the exact same minimal gameplay trailer. Ea, you brought a function version of the game to E3 and you can't back it up with any significant gameplay on stream. YOU EVEN REUSED CONTENT? Come on, seriously? This isn't so much a hit on Microsoft, they just ended up getting shafted because EA used the same trailer in their conference.

The only reason this is here is because the hype it got. Custom ordered Xbone controllers. Come on people. Your not going to spend $80 to get a custom Xbone controller. Just stop. It's not a thing. You can get a high end competitive controller for the same price.

[embed]https://youtu.be/yGxxXkDqRS8[/embed]

Um....what happened to that deal you guys had with Oculus? What happened to HoloLens? I think a majority of people expected much more support for VR gaming, and Microsoft totally punted the ball. This is the biggest disappointment of the Microsoft press conference. This could be a backlash to the Xbone camera thing that's name I already forget because it's name shall not be spoken. They could be mindful of how poorly that was received. In fact, much of the hardware shown seems to be a reflection of that. But either way, the lack of support for VR gaming in this showcase was quite worrying.




Other Notes

  • Forza Horizon 3 really threw everybody off with the kangaroos.


[embed]https://youtu.be/fTSUgXkfooA[/embed]

  • They announced what I'm going to call Xbone LFG. You can post up a ask for more players in a secession to get past that raid. Suck it Bungo.

  • Crackdown 3 got some lip service at the end of conference game dump trailer. Interesting place for that.






In Conclusion

Microsoft dropped a press conference that is exactly what all E3 press conference should be. Heavy focus on games, content update, software updates, and hype generated for hardware revisions. Add on to that the new revelation of PC and Xbone crossplay, and Microsoft really had a great presser. I give them an A.

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