Going into Microsoft’s press conference I was unsure with what we were going to get. Assumed lots of Halo but after last year, Microsoft needed more than just more of the same. So here are MY highlights from Microsoft’s 2015 E3 Press Conference:
Maybe the biggest announcement that Microsoft made during their entire conference. They will be continually updating the games that are compatible it seems. For any Xbox 360 owner who hasn’t sold away their backlog or hasn’t made that leap to current gen yet, now seems to be the time. You can even use the streaming options and such just like your Xbox One games. The most important aspect in my book is that if you own the game then you can play the game. By that I mean if you have the disc, there are no problems to get it on your Xbox One. A stark contrast to the entire Sony ecosystem where the physical disc means nothing as far as compatibility goes and even digitally you aren’t guaranteed to be able to play your games on multiple consoles. This is a major plus for Microsoft and a true advantage over Sony in my book.
All we got from this was a trailer. That being said, the trailer looked fantastic with art that looks whimsical but not exactly childish. Do yourself a favor and watch it for yourself. Keiji Inafune, legendary Capcom game creator, will be leading the project with the developers of Metroid Prime. The trailer was that of a young woman and a mechanical dog escaping a storm only to be attacked by some mechanical spider things. The dog sacrifices its metal to be only a glowing orb, or a core, and the woman puts the core into this golem like robot. Gut says that the “core” of the game will be based around these cores which you have to remove from enemies and put your friendly’s core into other robots to traverse obstacles and enemies. It is an Xbox One exclusive and is coming out next year. A big tip of the cap to Microsoft for getting an exclusive with such a high pedigree behind it. At E3, I want new IPs and Microsoft give me what I want.
Rare also announced a brand new game, Sea of Thieves, which looks like an MMO-esque pirate game. That doesn’t quite interest me as much as the announcement of the Rare Replay which is a compilation of 30 Rare games for $30. To me, Microsoft is really trying to give consumers a huge bang for their buck because this bundle could easily be segmented or sold for $10 more at least. You get the console based Banjo games, including the underappreciated in my book Nuts & Bolts, plus Perfect Dark, Blast Corps, Battletoads and just SO many Rare games from when people loved the studio. This isn’t what I would call a system seller but an absolutely stellar system complimentor. On Polygon they even say that an hour long documentary would be included in the package.
VR stuff has been incredibly tough to nail as far as presenting goes. Everyone says that you need to experience it to truly understand it. While I’m not sure if Microsoft was able to demonstrate how it FEELS to use their Hololens, it is by far the best demonstration for this type of tech that I have seen. They used Minecraft which doesn’t feel an E3 type of game but Microsoft turned it into the perfect base for the demonstration. We saw a man scroll through the lay of the Minecraft land from the top of mountains to underneath the ground. We also saw him lightning bolt the map, leaving massive carnage in its wake. He was near playing god in this Minecraft world. And he was playing with a woman on a tablet, demonstrating how the Hololens doesn’t exclude but enhances. Would absolutely love to see how Hololens applies to other games but for an E3 showing, this is about as good as it gets.
Honorable Highlights: Halo 5 and Gears 4 looking to be what their fans want, Dark Souls 3 Trailer, Good indie showcase with Fullbright’s Tacoma coming to Xbox first, and Fallout 4 will be bringing mods to Xbox One (Todd Howard is hopeful to do the same for PS4 later down the line)
Overall, Microsoft hit the major points I want from an E3 press conference. You have the new IPs, gameplay from established franchises, and advancements in the actual console. Great press conference to start Day 0 of E3.