News Microsoft E3 Press Conference Impressions

Written by Twisted Ideas

Microsoft was always done well for itself with its Xbox brand but it’s hard to deny that they haven’t started on the best foot with the Xbox One. What do they need to do to win customer favor again and can they do it with this press conference?

h5l

Microsoft starts their press conference with one of their biggest guns, Halo 5 Guardian. The opening video gives us vague insight of the story as it leads us into the demo. You’ll be playing a squad of Spartans in search of Master Chief and we see a variety of weapons, enemies and a taste of the spectacle of the campaign. After the demo there’s a short talk about the two main Spartan groups in the campaign and a short video on the new 24 PVP mode Warzone.

recore

ith a lack of transition we see the World Premier of Recore coming Spring 2016. The game looks to feature a female explorer with a robotic companion whose essence exists in a large spherical core.

After the trailer Phil Spenser gives a brief mention of the game’s title as he dribbles on about Microsoft’s upcoming first party exclusives. He follows that up with the upcoming Xbox 360 Comparability. The 360 compatibility only pertains to a selection of games that can be bought and downloaded to the Xbox One or played with a physical disc at no cost. These games benefit from Xbox One functionality and Xbox Live support.

Next was an introduction of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. It is a customizable controller with swappable parts and more buttons to match some controllers used for PC gaming.

f4

We see some Fallout 4 gameplay which looks faster, a variety of different looking areas to explore and more vocal narrative from the protagonist. Fallout was given the release date of November 10.

EA’s Peter Moore totes EA Access, their subscription service that lets you play new games earlier and to play games in the EA Vault. They added the recent Titanfall and Dragon Age Inquisition to the Vault and for the week of E3, Gold members have free access to play the games in the Vault. EA finished their segment with a trailer of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.

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They slowly lower a Ford GT onto the stage before announcing Forza 6 releasing September 15.

The Dark Souls 3 World Premier trailer – was shown and is a fairly standard trailer for the series.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division made another appearance in a more ready state. The post-apocalyptic shooter looked fine as is but it we won’t know if it will deliver when it’s released. This was followed up with an announcement of Rainbow Six: Siege (available October 13, 2015) will come with the backwards compatible versions of Rainbow Six: New Vegas One and Two.

gig

Next was a trailer Gigantic, a free to play action, possibly competitive game and the beta announcement this August. This was followed by a clip reel of several indie games for Xbox One and Window 10. Chris Charla from ID came out and introduced the indie developers for Tacoma, Ashen, Beyond Eyes and Cuphead. Charla returned to announce Xbox Game Preview, Microsoft’s early access model, now available. Before he wrapped up his segment, Charla introduced Day Z developer Dean Hall as he showed off his upcoming game Ion.

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Rise of The Tomb Raider gameplay was show and was of Lara climbing a Tibetan looking mountain side. It was very cinematic and has put Lara into even more dangerous looking situations than the previous game. The follow-up trailer show more of the environments, enemies and brief hints to the story.

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Rare came out and announce two big games. First was Rare Replay, an anthology collection of 30 classic Rare games on one disc, available August 4. Then Craig Duncan, Studio Head from Rare introduced their newest game Sea of Thieves, a multiplayer pirate themed game.

fablelegends

A trailer for Fable Legends, free to play Holiday season was shown followed by Kudo Tsunoda introduced Fable Legends in more detail and led into their new relationship Valve and their Oculus controller. Tsunoda then introduced Microsoft Hololens, their holographic technology. This technology was demonstrated with a coop session of Minecraft, showing off how the technology can expand how a well established game can be played in new ways.

g4

To wrap up the show was Gears 4. The gameplay video showed off the new characters, enemies, weapons and feel. Phil Spencer came out one last time to cap off the show by selling Xbox their latest exclusives, services and their partnerships.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft did a fairly good job at their press conference but despite all the talk about their exclusives and new IPs it was the existing IP that hogged parts of the show. This push was obviously to generate more interest in a console that had very few exclusives compared to their competition. There was also a big push towards Windows 10 but never directly addressing the product itself. If they had there may have been a portion of the audience that would be more likely to buy the PC versions of these games rather than an Xbox One. The Kinect was not mentioned at all but they have said that they are not abandoning the unit.  All in all, Microsoft has a lot to bring to the table.

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