More than 24 hours after EA’s dismal display of dullness, Microsoft was poised to merrily skip over the very low bar. They also had to contend with their performance from last year, where so many of their games weren’t exclusive to the Xbox One, diminishing the value of the console. So how did they do? Well, aside from some mistakes, pretty damn awesome.
Unsurprisingly, things started off with a bang with the first look at the newest Halo title, Halo Infinite. Based on the name and the seeming openness of the map shown, could we be getting a truly open world Halo game? Impossible to say, as all we know is the game exists and it is powered on the “Slip Space” engine.
After starting things off with a considerable bang, one was left wondering what would be the capstone reveal at the end of the conference? Well, more on that later, as Microsoft announced they would be showing off 50 games, 18 of which would be exclusives, and 15 of which were world premieres. If the math on that seems one sided, you’re not wrong. Most of the 50 games shown were done through a compilation video placed in the middle of the conference, but that was really no surprise given the large number promised. Still, a large chunk of games were shown, especially relative to what EA put out. But to harken back to an earlier statement, the word “exclusive” was made a bit more confusing given Microsoft’s new terminology.
”Console launch exclusive.” What does that mean? Does it mean it’ll launch first on Xbox One, or will it be exclusive to it and PC for life? The word play is just one way the big dogs like to confuse consumers into thinking their platform has more games than it really does. The only games I can say for certain are Xbox One exclusive, at least those that were shown and were new, is Halo and Crackdown 3. It’s frustrating when the legalize of the word play rears its ugly head at E3. Hopefully Microsoft will be candid when, and if, they answer questions concerning true exclusivity.
For the most part, however, the show was masterfully done, with one trailer after the other, most of which were very engaging and interesting. Seeing the premiere of Sekiro was surprising, though it personally was a bit underwhelming, and the news about Nier Automata and Tales of Vesperia coming to Xbox One was not expected at all.
Another problem the conference had were some of the gameplay demos went on longer than needed. Forza Horizon 4 went on exceedingly long, though if you’re a fan of the series it probably didn’t seem that way. The Division 2 felt even longer than it was due to the cringy use of scripted player chatter. I understand why Ubisoft wants to use it, but I still wish they didn’t. The only other problem was devoting stage time to games that are already out. While the content shown was new for Sea of Thieves and PUBG, these titles are well established and don’t need advertisement on stage at E3.
By far the strangest thing was the crowd reaction to studio acquisition. When a studio is acquired by the big names like Microsoft or Sony, what that means is their games will almost certainly be excusive to the respective platforms. This also means those games are taken away from other potential consoles. Essentially, they were cheering for Microsoft playing keep-away. Regardless of the reality of the situation, the reaction to the studio acquisition news was far more excited than is warranted.
At the end of the day, despite its flaws, the Microsoft conference was a huge success, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t own an Xbox One. Getting not one, not two, not four, but three Gears of War games was exciting, though the Funko Pop one came out of left field. Finally getting to see Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red, the developers of one of the best games of all time, Witcher 3, was especially welcome. So in quick summation, Microsoft did a fantastic job, but there’s room for improvement. A-
The opinions expressed are that of the article's author and do not necessarily reflect those of the rest of Keen Gamer's staff.