E3 Microsoft Conference Thoughts

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Okay! So Microsoft announced a bunch of stuff today! Mostly some games, which I’ll get into shortly. They announced a few things that are really exciting, like the push for Microsoft Anywhere. What that means is if you purchase a game that supports this [which should be about everything going forward in the fall], you can play the game on PC anytime, with the save file and information being on the Cloud.  I love this idea, because I prefer to game on my PC, but there are games for Xbox One I want to play with my friends. Many of these, like Gears of War 4, will support crossplay across all modes. LOVE this. This is probably my favorite announcement of their entire conference. While this was an amazing announcement from Microsoft, they also announced the Xbox One Slim, which is the same price as the current one, but better. Smaller, internal power, a bunch of other really nifty stuff, and it looks very sharp! They announced this at the beginning, and at the end: PROJECT SCORPIO. ANOTHER XBOX ONE, but this one takes advantage of 4k Resolution capabilities and high-end VR stuff. That’s going to be the Xbox One for people with 4k TVs, basically. It won’t be around til next year it seems, but for people like me, who don’t have a 4k TV and probably won’t anytime soon? I could not be less excited. It’s definitely got powerful specs behind it, and I know it will sell well, but it just doesn’t appeal to me on a personal level. But I’m going to be covering my favorite/least favorite takeaways from this event.  So let’s get to it!


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+ ARENA: Bringing competitive tournaments to the Xbox One! Daybreak, Hirez, Wargaming are just some of the companies who will be supporting this tournament system. You can play on a team or play solo! Also EA will be bringing tournaments for their big sports franchises later on. But my question is: Will money be on the line?

+ Lots More Crossplay:  After the whole SF5 “We won’t crossplay with Sony” thing, Microsoft is really pushing the PC+Crossplay [shameless Windows 10 plugs abound] bit, with so many upcoming games offering it. Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Minecraft being able to be played online with virtually anything that offers it, hopefully Battlefield 1. . As a PC gamer primarily who has a lot of XB1 friends, I’m looking forward to this the most.

+ Social Options: Clubs, Looking for Group, things like this will make the Xbox much easier to find people to play a game you’re looking for company on than ever before. Say you want to make a club for people who play Tekken in your reigion/city/state, and exclusively play with them to get better? That’s totally feasible now.

– Project Scorpio: Don’t even care, not even a fucking little bit. Unless my company’s going to ship me a 4k TV for “review purposes”, then I’m not vested in this at all. My Xbox One gets precious little attention as it is, so upgrading just isn’t a thing I’m interested in. But I see the appeal as the 4k Technology slowly goes down in price.



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+ Final Fantasy XV: The “Trial of Titan” they showed was so damn intense! Turning into a three-way battle, Titan was absolutely gargantuan and lived up to his name, for the first time. It’s such a fluid and action-packed combat system. This game cannot. drop. soon. fucking. enough.

+ Gears of War IV: I’m a pretty big Gears fan, so being able to play on PC with my friends on Xbox excites me a great deal. For ALL modes, no less.

+ We Happy Few: Jesus, this game is fucking strange. The trailer for this really really messed with my head. Pills that make people view the world in a happy, upbeat way, but really they’re eating the carcass of a rat instead of candy from a piñata? Jesus. Damn. I love games that make me think about the world around me, and I feel there’s a very powerful social commentary coming from this. Keep your eyes peeled for We Happy Few.  Probably my favorite teaser at the show so far.

+ INDIE GAMES: CUPHEAD. Why no release date? I need Cuphead. I like what Microsoft is doing with launching more and more indie titles. It’s very much in the vein of Steam.

+ Battlefield 1: GOD YES. I cannot wait to play this. Glad it’s not an exclusive too. I’m not crazy about shooters, but I’m just so thrilled it’s not more WWII: Hitler’s Revenge. The gameplay looks so fantastic, and the visuals are stunning.

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– Forza Horizon 3: Beautiful racing game, tons of new types of cars and four player online-co-op campaign? Great idea. Racing games bore me to tears, so zero interest here. Though I do have to say that a crossplay racing game is very interesting.

– Minecraft: I think what they’re doing with Minecraft is probably a good idea, for fans of Minecraft. Being able to play with all your friends on every platform? Terrific. So that’s the big plug that they wasted about ten minutes on. The “Friend” update.  What a waste. I absolutely could not care less about increased textures or crossplay for Minecraft. Not a fan of voxel games, not a fan of casual build-time fun.

– Killer Instinct: Killer Instinct said they’re the “Most popular fighting game on the Xbox One”.  They’re competing with. . . Mortal Kombat X? Injustice?  That’s not a fair fistfight. The most popular fighter right now, if memory serves, is Smash 4. When they tied it in with Gears I thought, “Hey! Marcus Fenix is coming! That would be awesome!” ” . . . GENERAL RAAM!?” Come on guys.

Honorable Mentions:

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  • Xbox Design Lab: Yeah, it’s just gaudy and shameless and silly but I do so love it. Xbox Design Lab is where you can customize your controller with colors, types of buttons, have a name engraved on it, et cetera. Is there going to be a pair of Bottom Tier controllers? Bet your ass there will be.
  •  Gwent: There’s going to be a card game for the Witcher’s Gwent. Lots of new stuff, card redesigns, four factions worth of interesting gameplay. Detest the Witcher, LOVE card games.
  • Scalebound: I really want to be excited for this. The voice acting made me cringe incredibly hard, but the gameplay looks so exciting! I’m just going to wait and see on this one.
  • Tekken 7: Not a 3D fighter fan. . . BUT AKUMA? I saw Infiltration utilize him not too long ago in a demo of Tekken 7 and so I’m pretty hyped anyway. Not a big winner here, but definitely worth mentioning.

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All told? More positives than negatives, but some of the negatives really really took the wind out of my sails. Mostly they just talked about games, instead of technology, but the tech they did premiere was mostly good. I’m still baffled that they’d release a new Xbox One, then ANOTHER, BETTER Xbox One next year. Sure, again, people with that tech are going to be thrilled as fuck. But me? Eh. I have an XB1 that will probably serve me well for quite a while. It doesn’t get so much use that it’s going to overheat or explode or something. My biggest complaint is, why even get an Xbox One? Most of these big games will have Xbox Anywhere, so if I have an Xbox Live account, enough to purchase games, can I just get the game online, and play it exclusively on my PC? I have questions, and they didn’t have me answers! Will all upcoming Xbox One games have this functionality?

What do you guys think? Is Microsoft a winner today? Did they inject pure hype into your veins? Or is it just another day?

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