My god, that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. Microsoft actually, finally did something that has been promised for years but never really been pulled off 100%. They made it all about the games. Fifty to be precise. Yep, fifty. Do you know what’s crazier? Eighteen of them are exclusives. This conference was so choc full of content it has blown my template for talking about these things out of the water. So, we’re going to have a little chat, then I’ll pick my top trailers.
No, damage control isn’t some new IP. It’s the spirit with which this conference was made. The last few months were actually going pretty well for Microsoft. The Xbox One X was a huge success with no one even mad it was half an upgrade, they got an immense amount of goodwill for their adaptive controller and their version of backwards compatibility should be industry standard.
However, there is one place they don’t have the goods. Exclusives. When it comes to games I cannot play anywhere else, Xbox ain’t got shit. We’ve had cancellations (Scalebound), delays (Crackdown 3) and massive disappointments (Sea of Thieves). This show had to be about how good it is to play games on Xbox, and oh look, you can’t play a lot of this stuff anywhere else.
Microsoft have delivered that here in spades. Almost too much. Some great titles here got lost in the shuffle. I had forgotten Metro was a part of the show, for instance. But even better than that, we got promise for the future. Realising how desperately they need studios, Microsoft actually went out and the thing I thought was beyond a billion dollar company like Microsoft.
They used their common sense. If you need people to make games, hire game makers. They have now acquired five studios to add to their brand. This is big for Microsoft. Much bigger than a new entry in the Gears or Halo franchises.
However, having said that, this future is still a ways away. It was telling how many games were shown off using cinematics or cutscenes, rather than gameplay. I think one of the only demos we got was for the new Forza. Still though. This is the most excited I’ve been to get out the Xbox since their 2004 Halo 2 gameplay walkthrough helped me define what a Press Conference demo should be.