Oh Microsoft you naughty little scamp you, talking about your $500 price point and always connected box. What a year it’s been for the house of Bill Gates. Most people tend to forget that at last year’s E3 Microsoft had a very strong showing, but it was just out-shinedd by Sony’s jabs and counter punches.
So with Microsoft kicking off press conference day on June 9, what can we expect this year? Like Sony, Microsoft have a new gaming boss that undoubtedly wants to make a strong E3 debut. Luckily for him Xbox has the best upcoming 2014 lineup… so far. While they may not all release in 2014, we will see Forza, Quantum Break, Halo, and Sunset Overdrive. Though we won’t hear too many details we’re sure to get Gears of War in some form, whether it’s a screenshot or a logo remains to be seen.
So how will the Microsoft press conference go?
After the usual intro of teaser reel with everything we know is coming, Xbox will probably start with the usual Call of Duty presentation. It would be a mistake to not have Kevin Spacey appear in some capacity either on stage or through video. We’ll hear more about the game, see some gameplay, and get the usual DLC first on Xbox plug.
Then we’ll get the official announcement about a Halo collection. For months, rumors of a collection on Xbox One that featured every Halo game through Halo 4 surfaced. Then those rumors shifted to a Halo 2 remastered anniversary edition. While remastered editions could be the trend at this years show (The Last of Us is also dropping one), it’s more likely we’ll see a remastered Halo 1&2 alongside Halo 3&4 direct ports in a collection. With Halo 5 to follow in 2015, Microsoft needs to put eyes back on the crown jewel of its collection and there’s no better way to do that than to binge play it.
We’ll also get more about the new next-gen Fable game. Last year at Gamescom in Germany, a brief teaser was show with little else to accompany it. It’s finally time to put up or shut up with this game. Perhaps even make the official beta announcement.
Remedy (Max Payne, Alan Wake) will definitely do an in-depth look at Quantum Break. We know there’s going to be an Xbox original show that transitively goes along with the game. Now it’s time to see just how those elements will come together.
In keeping with this motif, Halo 5 will close the press conference. While it’s not scheduled to come out for another year, Microsoft knows this could potentially be their first monster selling game for the system (Halo 2 numbers) and they need to start fueling the flames sooner rather than later. We won’t see Spielberg again but we will see a clear idea of how these different projects will coincide with each other (TV show/Game).
Will Microsoft have a “one more thing” moment? That’s a hard thing to accomplish when you’ve already shown most of your hand. We know about Halo, Gears, and even the Kinect-less system; so there’s no big secret awaiting in the Xbox camp. If they could have a moment like this it would have to be resurrecting a franchise that hasn’t seen action in a long time. I base this on nothing but I think we need Rare to make a next-gen Double Dragon game, come on Phil Spencer, it’s not like they’re making Kinect games. Microsoft is definitely poised to be the darling of E3 but it needs bring both surprise and fan service to titles we know are already on the horizon.
THe Xbox press conference will be June 9 at 9:30am. Come back for up to the minute updates from the presentation and watch it online through Xbox Live.