Too Little Too Late?
Microsoft boasted at the beginning of their conference that they had over 50 games to show. What they didn’t tell you was that most of them are also available on other platforms, and the Windows 10 logo featured prominently alongside of Xbox. Microsoft dug up old standbys for their presentation, Like Halo and Gears (no longer ‘of war’?), but don’t expect any of their heavy hitters this year, or most of next. Oh, and by the way, by the time you get them it’ll be too late for the Xbox One.
Microsoft was ready to talk about the future of the Xbox brand. And although they are not expected to be released for years, they did show off extensive trailers for games like Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5. It appears that Battletoads is ready for a reboot, even if all they showed was text and a logo. And Microsoft has announced they are working in earnest on the next Xbox console.
Microsoft bought 4 new studios and opened up a new one called The Initiative to shore up their first-party exclusive crisis and likely have all of them working on new games. Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Compulsion Games and Playground were swallowed up by Microsoft Studios.
Most of Microsoft’s show heavily featured third-party games. Although some of the trailers shown were shown first at the Microsoft conference, almost all of the games will be available on other platforms. Fallout 76 got a “world premier” trailer… just to have the exact same trailer and more show up in Bethesda’s own conference the same day. Cyberpunk 2077, Metro: Exodus, Devil May Cry 5, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and many other games were shown off, but will not be exclusive to the Xbox one. It was almost as if Microsoft was saved by third parties agreeing to let Microsoft show off their games and the fact that Microsoft’s conference came first chonologically.
Was I the only one that noticed the main screen ensconced between an Xbox AND Windows 10 logo? What’s the point of buying an Xbox One if even it’s first party games are available on PC? Once again this year, Microsoft weakens the Xbox brand by giving you less reason to want the hardware.
Most of the games shown at Microsoft’s conference were for 2019 or later. And much of the footage shown off was not even gameplay. Although seeing great games coming to Xbox is good news, Microsoft will continue its first party and exclusive drought for a long time to come.
Microsoft ate 5 games studios. Rare… Point made.
To add insult to injury, Microsoft announced at the end of their conference that they are working on a new console. This is obviously to be expected given the age of the current generation of consoles, but guess what this means for many of the games shown off that this conference? They’ll probably be just in time for Nextbox. Why be excited about the future of the Xbox One when its successor is so close at hand?
Microsoft put up as strong a showing at E3 2018 as could possibly be expected given their current position in the gaming industry. Many may even see their conference as a highlight of E3 this year. But look closely and you’ll see that most of the luster is simply the reflections of other companies’ light.