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E3 2017: Microsoft Conference

Microsoft has to announce the name, price and release date of their new console this E3 so let's see how the manage to fuck it up this time around.

Xbox One X

Xbox, Xbox One S, Xbox One X. Say that five times fast. Did no one from marketing notice this? Is Microsoft doomed to have shitty names for their consoles till the end of time? Why not just call it the xxXbox One Xxx? That is brand synergy right there.

A November 7th release date is interesting. It is late enough that a lot of gamers could decide to get a Switch or PS4 Pro because there are a ton of great games coming out before November 7th. I know they are hoping for a busy Thanksgiving shopping season to sell a lot of Xboxes but at the price I am expecting for an Xbox One X I just don't see how that is going to be the case. I would have figured a September release date to capitalize on a lot of popular cross platform games like Madden 18, Destiny 2, FIFA 18 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War would better help them sell these consoles. Maybe I am underestimating the number of people who get these things as gifts and they don't mind waiting three months.

I know Microsoft is all about 4K but I am curious as to how many people actually have 4K TVs? If you don't have a 4K TV what is the purpose of buying a Xbox One X? I know they say things magically look better but as a technically oriented person I have a hard time believing them. How much better? Twice as much as a Xbox One S because that is what I am expecting to pay. Sony has this exact same problem which is the reason I haven't bought a PS4 Pro yet either and I am usually a early adopter for electronics. Both Microsoft and Sony really need to step up their messaging.

A robot then stood on stage and proceeded to spout gibberish to 95% of the general population for five minutes. Seriously this was even worse than an Apple event in that regard. Sure Apple hits you over the head with big technical terms to get you excited but Microsoft beat the crowd to death with it. Sceaming out "1.21 jigawatts" at the top of his lungs would have been just as informing.

Forza Motorsport 7

Forza games always look beautiful and this one is no exception. While Forza doesn't make me want to buy an Xbox Scorpio (see how much better that name sounds after hearing Xbox One X?) it would definitely be one of the games I would buy alongside it if I ever did.

Metro Exodus

I've never played a Metro game but all of them have been universal praised so I don't expect this one to be any different. Nothing I saw here made me want to play the game any more than the previous ones but I can understand how a ton of gamers get sucked into these games.

Assassin's Creed Origins

The last Assassin's Creed game I played was Assassin's Creed 3 and the repetitive gameplay and sub-par story killed my excitement for the franchise. This trailer and gameplay were quite well made and showcased enough gameplay that I am marginally interested. For the last couple Assassin's Creed games I didn't even read the reviews but I'll at least keep my eyes peeled for good words about this one.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

One of the console makers had to get this and it looks like Microsoft ponied up the most money. I've played this game on Steam and it is still very janky so I am quite curious what state it is going launch at on the Xbox One X.

Deep Rock Galactic

Deep Rock Galactic is some sort of co-op shooter that looks like Quake from 20 years ago. I'm not sure what the point of the game is. Just survive I guess?

State of Decay 2

I never played the original State of Decay. The zombie genre was just so played out that I had absolutely no interest in it. I can see how State of Decay 2 could be fun if you had a consistent group of friends to play with but I don't think I will be able to do that.

The Darwin Project

Another battle royale game where you also fight the elements? I may have been able to get excited if some YouTuber jackass wasn't screaming at the top of his lungs for the entire presentation.

Minecraft

I'm glad to see Microsoft is still focusing on cross-platform play with Minecraft. I lost myself in Minecraft for months and I'm sure I could easily do it again.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Fuck yes! I am a huge fan of Dragon Ball fighting games and this one looks amazing. 2018 can't come soon enough.

Black Desert

Like I've said before Final Fantasy XIV is my MMO of choice so Black Desert on the Xbone does nothing for me.

The Last Night

Holy smokes. I have no idea what the gameplay of The Last Night is but that art style and the Blade Runner / Fifth Element setting make me want to learn more.

The Artful Escape

Another very pretty indie game that shows no gameplay and instead takes you on some sort of acid trip.

Code Vein

Um, some sort of post-apocalyptic JRPG? The combat looked very Dark Souls-ish so who knows it could be good. Like most of the games shown during this presentation you'll have to wait until 2018.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves has a ton of potential. It looks like it could be a lot of fun but only if you have friends to play it with. I am very doubtful I'll be able to find enough friends with Xbones who want to play this but a man can hope.

Tacoma

I didn't enjoy Fullbright's first game, Gone Home, so I really am not interested in Tacoma.

Super Lucky's Tale

Meh. I got Super Mario Odyssey this fall if I want a platformer. I don't need Super Lucky's Tale.

Cuphead

I'll give Cuphead one thing. It has the most unique art style of any game I have seen in recent memory.

Crackdown 3

I absolutely loved the original Crackdown. The amazing traversal and ludicrous firepower in an open world was addicting and you just wanted to keep climbing and shooting. Crackdown 3 has a lot of potential because of how far the tech has advanced in the interim so I am very excited to see how this game reviews.

Ashen

After watching this trailer I have no idea what Ashen is and really have no interest in it. After I finish writing this sentence I'll probably never hear of this game again.

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm

I watched someone play-through Life Is Strange on Twitch and I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. As someone who loves The Walking Dead game and Heavy Rain, the narrative of Life Is Strange really pulled me along and I loved how your choices had a significant impact. The trailer for this prequel didn't show a lot (and nor should it) but I'm sure it got every Life Is Strange fan hyped.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

God damn I want Middle-earth: Shadow of War right now. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was my game of the year for 2014 so I am beyond excited for Shadow of War. This is the sole game that I think could get me to buy an Xbox One X. I do have a PC that I could play this on but Shadow or Mordor was a great couch game and if Microsoft can really showcase how much better Shadow of War will be on an Xbox One X they could possibly convert me.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I never played Ori and the Blind Forest because I heard that it was very difficult with a lot of trial and error and I was just not in the mood for that kind of game at the time of it's release. Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks just as beautiful as its predecessor and I'm sure it will review just as well so I only need to decide if I am finally in the mood for it's type of game.

Xbox One X Price

I cannot believe they fucked this up again. $499 USD for an Xbox One X. No console has ever launched at $499 or higher and succeeded as the developers wished. You think Microsoft would have learned from their previous fuck up with the Xbox One but nope they still think they've done enough to convince gamers to pay half a grand for their console. All Sony has to do is drop $50 from the price of the PS4 Pro and release a bundle this fall that has a PS4 Pro and two high profile games for the same price as an Xbox One X. You really screwed the pooch on this one Microsoft.

Anthem

Alright Bioware you have my attention. This gameplay trailer really did a great job. Anthem looks like a much prettier version of Destiny which is funny because that is the last type of game you would expect a narrative driven studio like Bioware to make. The gameplay trailer was the perfect amount of sizzle to get people intrigued and now I am looking forward to hearing about the nitty gritty details. Is there a single player? What is the story like? What type of group activities are there like Destiny's raids? Is there a hub world and you go to different silo'd areas or is it a large open world?

Conclusion

I can't really shit on Microsoft too much for this conference because they did showcase a lot of games. If you already owned an Xbox then you do have a good number of games you could buy. However, their exclusives are not as enthralling as Microsoft thinks. There were a number of games shown where if you liked them you could also think "I'll play this on PlayStation 4 where it has some exclusive content I really want" like Destiny 2 or Call of Duty WW2 and also great exclusive games like Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, Detroit: Become Human or God of War. If Sony drops the price of the PS4 Pro, Microsoft is going to have a harder and harder time convincing gamers that they are worth spending a couple hundred dollars more to get into their ecosystem.

The Xbox 360 was my console of choice last generation but at this point in time I actually can't even remember what game I last played on my Xbox One. Every single cross platform game that I've bought has either been for my PC or PS4. I never even once considered getting it for my Xbone. Sony came out of the corner swinging this console generation and Microsoft seems doomed to play catch-up.

#E3

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