Sunday, June 11, 2017

E3 2017: Microsoft


Microsoft had a pretty hotly anticipated press conference this year, all things considered. The Xbox One has had a pretty big dearth of titles over the past couple of months with some pretty noticable cancellations as well. Plus we were going to learn what Project Scorpio was, so Microsoft needed to sell us on Scorpio and on the fact that the Xbox One still had power. The result? A pretty decent success. Nothing too spectacular, but a respectable showing for the publisher.

First things first, what is Project Scorpio. Well, it's the Xbox One X, Microsoft's answer to the PS4 Pro. It functions in the same way, where if you play on that games will look even better and sport "true 4K", whatever that means. Honestly, tech specs on a console don't mean much to me, so I'm viewing the XBoneX as a mid life hardware boost. It doesn't appear like any games will be exclusive to the X, but that just begs the question why upgrade, especially when the hardware is going to retail for $500 in November. Kudos to them announcing a solid release date on it and having a pretty gorgeous, albeit it very fake, demo of Forza Motorsport 7.

The rest of their conference was dedicated solely to games. We got release dates and windows for Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, Cuphead, and plenty of new games that range from being okay to wow. The few games that really surprised me were Metro Exodus, which looks amazing and intense, The Last Night with its gorgeous pixel art and world, and Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a prequel to the brilliant episodic adventure game.

All in all, there were tons of games being announced with some great content. So why am I kind of lukewarm towards the whole press conference? Because none of it was really exclusive. Before nearly every reveal, there were promises that the game was an exclusive, but that word quickly lost all meaning. There's console exclusive, Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive, 4K exclusive, and a few actual exclusive games, but there were too many terms being thrown around for any of them to stick. When Assassin's Creed: Origins is shown off amidst a whole bunch of trailers that claim they're "exclusive" to the Xbox One, then it just confuses me because I know for a fact that they aren't. Is The Last Night an Xbox One exclusive? What about Metro: Exodus? Is that a timed exclusive?

Microsoft generated a lot of confusion for me in such a short amount of time, but I can't deny that they announced plenty of games and showed off plenty of games as well. The tech for the Xbox One X sounds impressive, so if you want a powerful console to play some powerful games, then Microsoft probably won you over. I still won't get an Xbox One, or the X, but at least there's a reason to own the Xbox One after today.


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