A Rough Start
Microsoft came in to this E3 painted into a corner, revealing the system itself a few weeks earlier as well as showcasing it’s capabilities to sync with your cable provider, but disappointing gamers by only showing two games and not addressing rumors of an always online console and no used games policy. This compounded into a more hazed image of the machine by key members of Microsoft giving conflicting information to press. Here’s what went right and what went wrong with these tactics:
Pre-E3 is Pre E3…..
Pushing disappointment aside, if a member of Microsoft says going into a PRE-E3 event that it’s not about games wait for E3, (Which is all about GAMES), what is there to be mad about. Yes XBOX plays games of course, but it also uses Netflix among other content viewing apps. Accepting that gamers are not the only faction that they can appeal to is not a sign of betrayal, it’s just the hat XBOX is wearing at that time. The pre-E3 event was for showing casuals, (who for some reason may only use their console for viewing Netflix), what the next generation of this machine can do. This machine can sync with your cable box and allow you to go from cable to gaming flawlessly,(Supposedly), it also allows you to use Skype, screen-in-screen capabilities, and voice command via Kinect 2.0 to communicate with friends and experience TV shows and movies in a new and interesting way. So as a whole Microsoft used this event to draw in and appeal to casuals and show off enough of the right games to appeal to the people who may only buy Call of Duty games. However, it may not have been the best choice to have the conference at 9:00 a.m Eastern Time, but one way or another the information got to the desired target. The main problem of this event was after the event, Microsoft employees not matter how high up the ladder need to have a concise and united statement to all the questions that the media may ask. If your not ready to comment on something then just say that, or better yet give the PR response of not commenting on rumor or speculation. The people on the floor being interviewed needed to have a plan of when and how they were going to deliver information to people who were ready to go over it with a fine toothed comb, Microsoft did not do this.
- Pre-E3 event grade: B-
- Microsoft put the hook in the water to appeal to the casuals,(Filthy casuals) but didn’t deliver on Q&A.
Now that that’s been dealt with , we can go on to the big shindig of E3, so what happened? Microsoft came in, steeped up, and showed their hand. It was very smart of Microsoft to reveal the first gameplay trailer of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at their World Wide Press Conference, this shows people that the Metal Gear series is present on a console besides PS4, which cuts into the availability of the game aided by the fact that Xbox360 players were able to play The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, which allowed to 360 gamers to be caught up with the series to the point of MGSV. Microsoft went on to appeal to current 360 owners by mentioning the games that will most likely close out the current-generation:
- Grand Theft Auto V
- World Of Tanks: 360 Edition
- Splinter Cell:Blacklist
- Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns
- Batman: Arkham Origins
- Max : The Curse of Brotherhood
- Dark Souls II
Microsoft then went on to show 16 games for the XBOX ONE, 15 of which were exclusive or got exclusive content first, 8 of which were new I.P’s:
- Ryse: Son of Rome ( A graphically stunning game that shows of what next-gen can do, while still dragging it’s feet into a new generation with a hangover of past-gen, a little too many button prompts.)
- Killer Instinct ( This game filled a empty spot inside me I completely forgot about, this game looks beautiful, however the free-to-play aspect still keeps me at arms length, how much will saber wolf be?)
- Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac’s shift to a XBOX exclusive surprised be but after showing there new game, the more the merrier, it seems interesting enough to keep me waiting for new information.)
- Forza Motorsport 5 (This is the first Forza game to actually grab my interest and honestly, it convince’s me to pick up a racing simulator besides Need for Speed. I can really get into the “drivetar”,(I know), concept of using the power of the Xbox Cloud to actually copy my driving style and use it as a representative of my digital self for when I’m not even playing the game, impressive.)
- Minecraft Xbox One Edition ( Eh, I wasn’t really into Minecraft, (Checked YouTube), until I saw people making giant Pokemon and the entire world of kingdom Hearts, The world of 8-bit Megaman HERE I COME!!!!)
- Quantum Break ( The creators of Max-Payne, making a Xbox exclusive game that is part videogame, part choose your own adventure live-action show, what more do I need to say,….seriously what else?)
- D4 (Swery65 + Kinect 2.0……That is all. Actually as long as he doesn’t rip off another show without giving dues were cool. Twin Peaks = Deadly Premonition)
- Spark (Essentially Little Big Planet for Microsoft, however this doesn’t diminish the game itself it’s actually a compliment, this game I feel will open up an avenue for a lot of user creativity.)
- Crimson Dragon (It LIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEESSSSSSS. Also no music, clap…clap,clap……clap. If your from New York City you’ll understand.)
- Dead Rising 3 ( Did not expect this game, also a lot of zombies, a nice showing of XBOX ONE computing power. Also, Second-screen air-strike,hmm.)
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (An interesting entry into next-gen with item and character development optional from your tablet or smartphone, this game sorta of pushes me to try the other games in the series.)
- Battlefield 4 ( At this point in time, this game greatly outpaces Call of Duty:Ghosts in look and scale.)
- Below ( An indie game that grabs me and makes me strain my eyes, hopefully there will be a zoom function.)
- Black Tusk Studio Game (Syphon Filter 2?, perhaps, not enough information to tell for now.)
- Halo 5 (It was a matter of time, but excited all the same, can’t say much for where the stories going at this point, maybe it’ll have something to do with the Halo show.)
- Titanfall ( Call Of Duty + Orbital Drop Mech’s + Jet pack’s……… excuse me while I clean the floor around my PC.)
- SmartGlass TheXBOX SmartGlass app is a match-up of an on the go experience with your tablet or smartphone device which allows you to essentially control how you will play your games, start matches, check the progress of you and your friends on all of your collective games, all while on the go. It also allows you to record, edit, share, and livestream your matches with your friends via Twitchtv and Skype.
- XBOX LIVE Stating that current XBOX LIVE members GOLD account’s would cross over to the XBOX ONE was a no-brainier this late in the game. The act of also adopting a Playstation Plus like system by giving Xbox Live Gold Members access to two (Fairly old) free game’s a month is a step in the right direction. The ability to not stop the amount of people on your friends list has also been eradicated,while allowing everybody that has a profile on the same box to share the benefits of one persons XBOX LIVE gold account is nice, also moving from Microsoft points to local currency is soooo much better, down with points. However, Sony as well as Microsoft have failed to handle the crossing over of digital media by not allowing PSN and XBOX LIVE members to bring over their current game purchases, not cool.
The Sting at the end of the meal (The Bill)
Microsoft had to address two things in order to win E3:
Now granted Microsoft may not have been ready to say that for $200-$400 down and a monthly price of $60 (or however) for the price of XBOX Live Gold or a ISP or Cable provider you could get a an XBOX ONE, But it would have helped to at least mention that possibility as a definite reality, just wait for details, that’s all they had to do,they’ve done it before.
Maybe it’s because they didn’t realize they had to sell always online to gamers, (or how gamers see it a “prison sentence” to an innocent man) or they just felt like they could surf on the success of their last console, (like Sony tried before), but Microsoft completely dropped the ball on explaining anything to do with their DRM policies. They gave mixed response’s just like before or straight up just didn’t plainly answer the question’s, Don Mattrick gave the STUPIDEST ANSWER EVER concerning people who aren’t able to buy an XBOX ONE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxkEe_l7S3g), to try and help a sinking ship, Major Nelson attempted to try and patch the hole in the quickly sinking ship but kind of came across as arrogant and didn’t really explain any other benefit to always-online besides family sharing ,(see for yourself : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lMhjM9BK7M).
- E3 event grade: C+
- Microsoft showed us a very cool way to step into the next-gen with games and features, but still destroyed any chance of answering key questions to how they plan on doing this with a online check-in or altered used games policy.
So guys tell me what you think, feedback leads to the best conversation. So guys once again,
Stay Golden and Game on,