Tetrafam! I have another E3 show review for you! I covered Sony, and now for Microsoft’s show – though I assure you I did not feel as great about this one.
I can stop playing Xbox One now!
While the entire purpose of Microsoft’s Xbox E3 show seemed to be to get us to buy more Xbox One units (which I’ll get into later), the show basically assured me that I never need to turn on my Xbox One again!
Microsoft announced that pretty much every future Xbox One title will take part in “cross-buy,” meaning if you buy the game digitally for Xbox One, you also get to play it on Windows 10 without paying any additional fees. Players’ save files and settings will also sync over Xbox Live between Xbox One and Windows 10. This is their new “Play Anywhere” program.
They also announced that certain games like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3 will support cross-play for co-op and multiplayer modes, meaning that players can play with their friends regardless of whether their on Xbox One or Windows 10. Friends lists and party chats are managed via Xbox Live.
This is an awesome (and long overdue) upgrade to Microsoft’s services. This also means that if I wanted, I could just treat all future Xbox One games as PC games and never have to bother turning on my Xbox One – which is great since I’ve had very negative experiences with it thus far. However, Play Anywhere only seems to work with digital copies of games (you know, how Microsoft wanted us to buy them when they announced the Xbox One). With Microsoft’s previous gaming platform, Games for Windows Live, getting its support dropped and making many games unplayable along with it, I’m hesitant to participate. Still a great announcement.
Xbox Live Service Upgrades
Microsoft also announced a variety of Xbox Live Service upgrades, such as LFG (Looking For Group, Xbox Live-level game matchmaking), Arena (tournament modes), and Clubs (social features).
Cortana for Xbox One and the ability to play your own background music while gaming were two more features also announced.
These are great upgrades for the Xbox Live ecosystem. I’m happy with these announcements.
PLEASE Buy More Xbox Ones!
The Xbox One is not selling as well as other consoles, and it’s showing. But Microsoft is staying competitive – and while neither Sony nor Nintendo showed off their new consoles at E3, Microsoft announced not one, but two new Xbox game consoles.
The Xbox One S is just a slim Xbox One with some improved features. (Read more.)
Project Scorpio, on the other hand, is a whole new console – supporting 4K gaming and “highest quality pixels.” (Read more.)
So if you don’t already own an Xbox One, you can either build a PC and avoid all this mess, or be careful when buying. If you wait until the Xbox One S comes out, you can grab it for $299 (the best deal) or grab the original Xbox One for $279 after its price drop. Or, you can wait for Project Scorpio to come out and pay a lot of money (we don’t know how much yet) for it, if you’re dead set on 4K gaming. Either way, pre-order nothing.
This is where I had qualms with Microsoft’s conference: In a show about games, Microsoft focused too much on hardware. (Especially compared to Sony’s show, which was nonstop games the whole time.)
Not only do these new consoles burn over anyone who just got an Xbox One or paid a little too much for it (like I did, paying flipping $500 for my Halo 5-themed Xbox), but it further divides the player-base only a couple years after this generation gets going. Compatibility between Scorpio and Xbox One games will be unpredictable, and it separates players from playing on the same ecosystem. It’s just not good.
Oh, and you can design your Xbox One controller now, just to tick off all of the third-party shops using Twitter and YouTube as their marketing.
Oh yeah, there were a couple games, too.
It was mostly stuff we already saw before – Limbo, Minecraft, Battlefield 1 giving players early-access on Xbox, State of Decay 2, ReCore getting a release date. Gwent got its own game because everyone needs a card game now. Dead Rising 2 got announced and is Christmas-themed. I’ve still yet to grab the last one.
Sea of Thieves got a reveal and looks interesting. We Happy Few looks like if Stanley Kubrick made a video game while on acid, I could dig it.
They decided to reveal Tekken 7 with Akuma from Street Fighter with absolutely no explanation as to why.
They added General RAAM from Gears of War to Killer Instinct. I find it really great that they’re still supporting this game (and it’s free!) and even adding characters that players have asked for many times. Plus, game cross-overs in fighters always makes me happy.
It was also revealed that Final Fantasy XV is no longer PS4-exclusive, but I don’t think anyone expected it to stay that way.
And we got a Halo Wars 2 trailer with a short beta run announcement. But the Windows 10 beta isn’t until closer to launch. This is pretty cool, and I love that they’re bringing a “definitive edition” of the first Halo Wars with it.
Nothing really… exciting… or new. Microsoft had nothing to offer, games-wise. I’m still really looking forward to ReCore, but we’ve still barely seen any gameplay from it, which isn’t good.
Xbox-dows One S-corpio 10
All-in-all, I give Microsoft’s Xbox E3 show a 8/10.
This is a pretty high score given the lack of actual announcements, but they kept it interesting (the PC Gamer show had some really good games, but way too much boring talking) and made an effort to get us to care. The Xbox Live Service upgrades are fantastic, but I just can’t get in line with announcing two new consoles at once, and so soon after the generation started.
Plus, adoption of the new generation is only really just starting.
“#RIPXBOX” ~Twitch chat throughout the whole Sony show.