E3 2015 - Microsoft in 500 Words

“The Greatest games line up in Xbox history”. That’s what Microsoft claimed, but did their press conference live up to its lofty billing? I didn’t think so, but then I did abandon the stream for twenty minutes to do the washing up.

MS opened the show with a new entry in a little known series called Halo. I’m not a fan, but going by the Twitter reaction, it seemed to hit the spot. Recore was the first of a dozen or so games that looked nice, but I know I’ll never play.

Don Mattrick must’ve been spinning in his grave when he heard the next announcement. Backward compatibility is a huge move by Microsoft and a shot aimed directly at Sony. MS has slowly but surely corrected past mistakes; the Xbox One is a very different console to the one revealed at E3 2013, and all for the better. “We won’t charge you to play the games you already own” – it feels like that should be a given, but times have changed and it’s good to see MS continuing to move in the right direction. Here’s hoping that Sony will follow suit.

The new Xbox One controller looked futuristic and painful, and is suitably expensive. I could hear something about Fallout 4, EA Access, Garden Warfare 2 and Forza 6 from the kitchen; I finished scrubbing the last dish just in time to catch the trailer for Dark Souls 3. It was all CG, but looked dark and wonderful. Miyazaki’s involvement has been confirmed, as has a 2016 release date. It has also been suggested that this will be the final Souls game.

I didn’t really learn much of interest about The Division or Rainbow Six: The Siege, but I was far more interested in MS’s indie reveals. Tacoma, Ashen, Cuphead and Beyond Eyes all showed a great deal of promise and I was impressed with the variation on display; this was probably my favourite part of the presser. Early Access would follow and then Rise of the Tomb Raider, which looks fantastic. As an Uncharted fan, I can’t help but be a little jealous of Xbox One owners.

Rare Replay (zero nostalgia for any of those games), Sea of Thieves (much better) and Fable Legends (Cersei!) were quickly forgotten, once HoloLens and Minecraft hit the stage. It was an interesting demo, even if I didn’t quite understand what I was looking at. In my defence, I wasn’t really paying attention. Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a thing, as is Gears of War 4, which I’d have more to say about if I could actually see what was going on in the darkest trailer in E3 history.

Microsoft’s presser was solid but somewhat forgettable. If I owned an Xbox One, perhaps I’d be higher on it, as there was plenty there that I would play if I had the means, but nothing to convince me to invest in a third console this generation.

Seven out of ten or something.


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