Microsoft have received a lot of criticism following the Xbox One reveal and the announcement of a strict DRM for their user base, so the E3 was their only chance to redeem themselves. Phil Spencer claimed 'We listened' as he opened the show, but rather than clarifying all the vague announcements surrounding the One he followed by announcing Killer Instinct. Well that wasn't what we'd expected, but then again this is Microsoft.
As promised, the conference focused mainly on games, which is very uncommon for Microsoft to do at these events. They showed several first party titles, starting from Crytek's Ryse which was supposed to be a hard core Kinect title for the 'hard core gamers' on the 360, but somehow it ended up becoming a regular third person view hack and slash title. We were also shown the beautiful Quantum Break, which was previously teased by Remedy during the Xbox One reveal in May. Killer Instinct came blasting from the past sporting a fresh new look, and was announced to also be an exclusive title for the Xbox One. Insomniac followed with their exclusive title for the console, Sunset Overdrive, which was rather disappointing, and kind of sad.
Forza 5 was shown of course, and it might be the best looking title shown on the Xbox One, even though Evolution Studios seem to be pushing the boundaries with the PS4's Drive Club. Infinity Ward Veterans Respawn Entertainment finally unveiled their Xbox One exclusive title, Titanfall, which looked unbelievably good. Even though (in my opinion) user generated game creation isn’t that popular now a days, Microsoft unveiled project spark, which looked like an evolution from Little Big Planet on a larger scale. Mind you, it did look good and interesting to say the least. D4 is the first episodical title to be developed by Microsoft Studios, and follows a time travelling detective seeking to solve and prevent his wife’s murder. Another downloadable exclusive shown was Crimson Dragon, which is basically an on rail shooter with Dragons (yey).
A Microsoft Conference without mentioning their most popular franchise, Halo, would be like having pasta without sauce, so it's a no brainer that Microsoft teased a new Halo title currently being developed by 343 Industries which will be running at 60Fps. Capcom also revealed Dead Rising 3 to be an Xbox One exclusive, following some disappointing gameplay footage. Animation wasn’t rendered well, and in this title, it looks like the Dead Rising's charisma has been completely lost. The title looks really gritty and brown, and the fun and dicking about wasn’t shown during the reveal, which is kind of weird.
Smartglass was also mentioned during the press conference, and perhaps a great reveal, was that Smartglass will update in real time the stats of the games you play. Twitch support was also confirmed for the Xbox One, and allows live gameplay streaming. All Xbox Live Gold subscribers will receive a free game every month, and the friends list is no longer capped. DICE showed off Battlefield 4, which after a lot of playing about impressed the public with the amazing graphics. The show ended with Microsoft newly founded Dev team, Black Tusk teasing a new title featuring fireworks and skyscrapers I guess.
The console is set to hit the shelves this November, and will retail for a whopping $499. All in all the conference was better than I expected but although it was chock-a-block full of games, the content shown was nothing too impressive, apart from the odd title here and there. Microsoft seem to have veered away from their road to remaining the leaders in the Gaming Industry, and even though it’s too early to draw conclusions, some people already made up their mind on who to choose for their next gen console.