Starting out, Microsoft are very much coming from behind in this generation’s console race. With Sony having shipped nearly double the amount of Ps4s compared to Microsoft’s Xbox. This press conference was vital to show fans what lies ahead for the future of Microsoft and Xbox. So did it deliver??
By all accounts, Yes, yes it did! Microsoft hit us with game after game (50 titles in total) and kept the talkie bits down to a minimum. They have been criticized since the launch of the Xbox One for not having enough exclusive games and the 1st party games they’ve launched in the past haven’t wowed anyone. From this conference….it looks like they corrected their course and have a bright future.
As mentioned, showing off games was smart and very necessary. We got new entries on all the big Xbox titles that helped make the last generation such a success. A new Halo, new Gears of War (three if you count the smaller gears titles mentioned), new Devil May Cry, New Metro, new Tomb Raider. These are all solid franchises that will help bolster Microsoft’s games catalog. Not all were given launch dates but still there was enough to get viewers excited about the future.
That wasn’t all. We had some smart additional content mentioned for existing titles. DLC for CupHead. New game mode and map for PUBG & much needed additonal content for Sea of Thieves.
Not too many. As I mentioned, they let the games do the talking and didn’t get bogged down with long speeches. I think Crackdown 3 being delayed yet again until 2019 is a bit of a gut punch as there a very few exclusive games to play on Xbox at the moment. Also, for me, they spent too long on Forza. I feel they focus on Forza at every conference and it gets too much air time as it’s a game that doesn’t interest me. That’s just me though, perhaps other viewers are excited to see it.
Game Pass : This is a brilliant idea but I felt like they undersold it at the conference. They have three new-ish titles added but it still felt underwhelming. If they can grow their subscription base and keep adding excellent title to their library, Game Pass will become an essential purchase for any Xbox owner. They should be shouting this from the rooftops!
New Studios…..New Console……New Streaming?
The biggest news came towards the end of the conference. Phil Spencer spoke confidently about studios they had just bought. Five studios in total and each one with a lot of promise. For me ‘Ninja Theory’ & ‘Compulsion Games’ being the most interesting. I think we’ll see some very high quality exclusives coming from Microsoft in the future.
Phil also mentioned that they were deep into development on a new console. This is no shock to anyone as the current generation seems to be coming to the end of it’s cycle for both Microsoft and Sony. No other details were given though which is a shame.
Lastly, he touched briefly on what I can only imagine as a cloud based games streaming service? Probably the most interesting idea and if successful, will change how everyone plays games. Being able to play AAA titles on any device would attract any enthusiast. However, I can’t see them introducing anything too soon as they want to ship consoles and by their own admission, they’ve a new console coming that I’m sure they’ll want to sell too, right? An interesting concept nonetheless and intriguing to mention it so briefly at this early stage.
Just to put the cherry on top. The show finished out with the first ever trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. Although we still know very little about the game, the fact that CD Projekt Red are making it is enough to get most people excited. The world they show in the trailer looks vibrant and violent and violet! I can’t wait to see more
So there you go! For me Microsoft nailed it! Now lets see what Sony can do…….more to come!