Translate the Linc

Monday, June 10, 2013

E3 Day 1 - Microsoft's Press Conference

Joe Hogan here, back for the first of a slew of E3 coverage here on The Missing Linc!

No one can deny that the Xbox One had a bumpy start a few weeks ago, with their Nintendo Direct-like press conference. The gaming world was left scratching its collective head, wondering who exactly was the target audience. Such little focus was held on gaming (in exchange for secondary features such as television, Skype, Netflix, and oddly enough...Fantasy Football) that it caused a huge uproar across the entire internet. On top of it, Microsoft also did its best (though not quite well enough) to soften the blow of a ton of bad news as well. The Xbox One would feature no backwards compatibility, a fee to play used/borrowed games, a MANDATORY Kinect to function, and perhaps the most insulting, Xbox One requires an internet connection check every 24 hours to play its games. That's right. Every 24 hours, the system checks to make sure that you're connected to the internet, and if you aren't, your game comes to a screeching halt. This includes single player campaigns. Makes sense, right? (NOT!)

This morning, at 9:30 AM PDT, Microsoft began their annual E3 press conference. First off, let's drop just the facts.

The Xbox One has been announced to go on sale in November for $499 and 499 Euros (already on sale for pre-order on Amazon). The new Xbox One's version of Xbox Live will come with some new features such as in-game DVR (similar to Halo's Theater Mode), as well as the ability to stream live gameplay via Twitch. Also, Xbox Live will no longer deal in MS points, but in actual currency. Huzzah!

However, there's a RUMOR(!!!) going around that games will be $100. This is not yet confirmed, but retail sites such as Amazon and Walmart are listing Xbox One games for said price. I'll be sure to confirm if this is true or not soon.

Xbox One games announced/showcased:

Xbox 360 News and games:
  • New Xbox 360 model. Available Today, looks very similar to Xbox One.
  • Two free games per month if you're a Gold Member of Xbox Live. Assassin's Creed II and Halo 3 are the first freebies.
  • World of Tanks coming to 360, free to play
  • Max The Curse of Brotherhood -- 2D platformer, like Limbo in color
  • Dark Souls II (March 2014)

And now some of my thoughts:

Huh. They didn't shove Kinect down our throats. Okay, cool! All in all, I'm not extremely impressed with the presentation. While I'm happy to see franchises such as Halo and Dead Rising return, beyond those obvious hits, I personally am not sold on this new console. Microsoft didn't address any of the concerns we gamers have (not to mention, they canceled their post-conference Q&A), but at least they kept the focus very much on games. However, there was no system-seller for me.

I have a super suit of armor, but let's protect it from all this sand with a poncho.

In terms of new IPs, I think Ryse looks the most promising. We were treated to a huge ground battle (in Rome?) with hundreds of soldiers on-screen. I admit, it was very impressive looking. In all honesty, all of the Xbox One games were pleasant to look at, and most of the games were displayed running in their game engines (as opposed to pre-rendered trailers). Cool, but again, no real system-seller. I'm pretty worried about how this system is going to sell, and as a gamer/consumer, as of right now, I will not be picking up an Xbox One myself.

I kinda hate to say it, but the highlight of the conference for me was during the snafu of Battlefield 4. After the sound cut out on Crimson Dragon, I was shocked to see that happen during their IP Battlefield. The crowd began booing and heckling the poor guy just trying to get through his part, who handled it pretty humorously, albeit nervously. And let's not forget the awkward rape joke made towards the female gamer playing Killer Instinct. I smell new memes inbound.

That phrasing isn't suggestive at all.

Anyway, we want to hear from you! What did you think of the conference? Are you going to buy an Xbox One on launch day, wait for a price drop, or not at all?

Next up, EA takes the stage at E3! What news do they have? Will we learn more about their license holding of the Star Wars franchise and what that means for the future of Star Wars games? Their briefing begins at 1:00 PM PDT, so keep your finger on that F5 key!

No comments:

Post a Comment