Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference Highlights

XBox One

Well gents and ladies, E3 is here, which of course means one thing: time for press conferences! The big gaming show is about the only time of the year that I get excited to listen to executives throw a bunch of scripted marketing speak at me, since it (sometimes) means I’ll get to look at some new games — and, if it’s a really good year, maybe some new tech and a few new IPs as well.

So how did Microsoft deliver after all the hubbub they’ve caused in recent weeks with the reveal of the XBox One? Let’s find out.

  • Microsoft jumped right into it with something that they forgot at their XBox One reveal last month: video games. Imagine that, huh? And they jumped into a rather surprising one, at that. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain got to show off some of its first gameplay on XBox One, along with an appearance by Kojima himself. In addition to hearing the new Snake, we got to see some of the game’s new open world gameplay, as well as its disgustingly good graphics.
  • Perhaps to smooth things over after all the bad press recently, MS then went on to announce a PSN Plus-like giveaway for XBox Live Gold subscribers — two free games per month for the next few months. I guess you can download Assassin’s Creed II if you want, but whether or not you can play these games on the XBox One is still an unanswered question (although given that there’s no backwards compatibility, I’d say it’s a “no”).
  • More XBox 360 news — not only is a brand new “sleek” edition of the 360 debuting for sale today, World of Tanks is also showing up on Microsoft’s current gen box. This may not seem like a big deal for you Americans, but this game has around 60 bajillion subscribers worldwide, so I’m sure there are those that are plenty excited about it. And if it’s free to play, that makes this pretty interesting.
  • Crytek revealed Ryse, a launch title that used to be called Kingdoms when it debuted last E3, with some gameplay footage that looked like a mix of Dynasty Warriors and God of War. Lots of enemy combatants, lots of QTE, lots of graphics.
  • Killer Instinct! People are acting like this is huge news, but we are talking about a very old fighting game that wasn’t really all that spectacular to begin with. But hey, at least Rare has some more work these days, right? Later in the press conference, a dev dude made an awkward rape joke while defeating a woman at this game. Whoops.
  • Forza 5… is, uh, more Forza. They brought a car on stage though!
  • Quantum Break, from the creators of Alan Wake is a TV show and a game? You can stop time? I really don’t understand what this is about, but it looks pretty.
  • Instead of a bunch of Kinect demos, we got a Kinect-based world editor known as Project Spark. It seems like an interesting way to put tools in the hands of gamers. I can’t wait to see more out of it.
  • The soundless Crimson Dragon reveal took the stage next. It’s from the makers of Panzer Dragoon and oh God why can’t I have this game right now?
  • Capcom showed off Dead Rising 3 next, and just like its current gen predecessors, it astounded with just the sheer numbers it can put on screen at once. It also features an open world with no load times. But it seems to be missing the charm of previous Dead Rising games, and looks more realistic and less goofy than the others. Seems like an odd choice for this franchise.
  • The Witcher 3 was up next, and while I haven’t played any Witcher games, it looked interesting enough. You Witcher fans (not Anthony) will have to weigh in on this one.
  • Dice showed up and continued their tradition of not being like Call of Duty by totally looking like Call of Duty. Why they don’t show off multiplayer of Battlefield 4 instead of single player is beyond me, but there you go.
  • Master Chief sported a brand new parka for the XBox One reveal trailer for Halo 5. I’m not sure why he needs that with his powered suit of armor, but what do I know about science? Regardless, it was still exciting to see the Chief at E3 again.
  • And finally, Respawn showed off their first project, known as Titanfall, which looks like Call of Duty with mechs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They keep touting this as an XBox One exclusive, except that it comes out on PC next Spring anyway.
  • The big moment of the show came near the end, when Microsoft announced that the XBox One would release in November for a whopping $499. That’s a hefty price tag, although not nearly as much as the PS3. We’ll have to wait and see what Sony announces at their own presser tonight.

And there you go. What did you guys think of Microsoft’s E3 event? Did they show enough games? What do you think of the price point? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

8 thoughts on “Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference Highlights”

  1. Really solid showing, I’m excited about nearly everything they showed. Mine is pre-ordered.

  2. The Good – MGSV gameplay, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, and lots of games!

    The Bad – Too much pre-rendered CGI, not enough gameplay.

    Halo 5? Nope, just an extremely general trailer on Halo (The title was Halo, not Halo 5), as if they were saying “There is a Halo coming to the X1 at some point in time”.

    The completely awkward Battlefield 4 silence when the sound was malfunctioning, the announcer looked like he wanted to kill himself afterwards 🙁

    The price, not PS3 announcement bad, but not really good either.

    And finally they didn’t address the DRM, used games, always listening debacle, which means they are just sweeping that under the rug.

    Overall, if this was the regular E3 that we have every year, i would of been more pleased with the showing. But Microsoft is releasing a new console, and since a lot was only teased instead of demonstrated- along with not addressing any of the issues and dropping a big price, MS looked unprepared.

    1. While MS did just about everything they needed to in terms of showing games, I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m preemptively judging everyone who embraces the XBox One’s extremely anti-consumer stance on used games, online requirements and possible Kinect surveillance. That’s right, I said it. You’re JUDGED!

  3. Eddy, I’m glad you noticed that DR3 is lacking the charm of the series. I’m sure that the art style was a compromise just to fit all those zombies on screen, but just because you can make you game realistic and gritty doesn’t mean you should. The gameplay looked like classic Dead Rising, but the graphics were all wrong to me. That said, I’d probably still play it.

    The winner of the show for me was Titanfall. Holy crap did that look cool! I’m glad it’s coming to PC as well, because for $499 there’s no way I’m getting an Xbox One.

    Also why does the Chief need a cloak? He’s ten feet tall and as wide as two football players in the Mjolnir armor. No way you’re disguising that with some cloth.

  4. I’m really glad I wasn’t the only one who felt DR3 felt a bit more like it wanted to be taken seriously. The Dead Rising I know had some moments of it but it was more zany and almost an arcade feel. Kind if the Saint’s Row of third person zombie combat games. Titanfall looked really cool, and initially I was bummed when they exclaimed Xbox One exclusive but to hear that it’ll be on PC too makes me happy. The Titan features that were shown off were very cool, and the animaton for how you enter one was awesome to see. I look forward to hearing a little more when the information is available

  5. I was really impressed with MS. My friends and I were convinced that Sony couldn’t match that after it ended. Considering we all lean more towards Sony, that was saying something.

    I had three highlights in their conference:
    1. MGS:PP (Man, I’m immature for laughing at that)
    2. Project Spark
    3. Titanfall

    All of these games looked fantastic and generated quite a bit of conversation between us.

    @Vanilla Bear, I think there are some rumors indicating that the DRM, used games, etc. issues are to be addressed at Gamescom or something of that ilk.

  6. There were lots of games, but none of the exclusives (save Titanfall) really jumped out at me. Ryse looks like God of War, Project Spark looks neat, but is like LittleBigPlanet. Would have liked to seen more of Below.

    Everything looked solid, but nothing really wowed me. And that price…nope.

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