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Microsoft at E3

I love E3. I wish I could cover E3 in some substantial way but I’ll leave that to bigger and better minds. But I do want to take a look at the main E3 players and muse what we can expect and my own personal predictions – without biased as much as possible.

Microsoft’s E3 press conference wasn’t as bad as you probably remember. The problem was the Xbox One reveal conference that came out before hand with its focus on entertainment, DRM Always online, packed with Kinect sensor. Much has been said about the always online issues and for me, the problem wasn’t so much the infrastructure itself – which is essentially how steam works and increasingly likely that it’ll be future of entertainment – but instead how it was presented to the public with a lack of information, inconsistent information and some pretty arrogant comments from certain Xbox employees.

After the rise Microsoft felt during the reign of the Xbox 360 it was sad, nay shocking to see such a fall from grace. Over the weeks and months much of what made Xbox One was reversed, including the always online policies and even taking away the bundling of Kinect to cut the price closer to the Playstation 4.  At this point, the changes seem a little disingenuous given the lag in sales compared to the Playstation.

Like I mentioned, last years conference wasn’t too bad. We had a number of game reveals, like MGS V, Titanfall, Quantum Break, Dead Rising 3 and so on, with barely any mention of Kinect. Solid for a normal E3 year, But it wasn’t enough in the launch year of a new console.

Phil Spencer is the new head of Xbox and this is good news. He has a strong focus on games and is popular in the gaming community. Immediately after being hired he made a commitment that the focus would be games.

This past year has been a growth experience both for me and for the entire Xbox team. We’ve taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer. Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program…I’m gonna lead with a gaming focus and making sure that’s where we’re led. That’s the North Star for the organization.

So it’s a safe bet to assume the majority of the press conference will be games driven with a passing mention of the new apps coming to the console, the use Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLG and other apps without paying a separate subscription fee which was recently announced to further align themselves with other systems. To demonstrate the commitment to games I expect we’ll see a lot of Halo, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Gears of War and Fable Legends. 

Microsoft have a lot to prove going into this years E3. But it’s usually when a company is on the more negative side that they do something incredible. I hope they succeed and show us that the Xbox One is a great console and that they believe that. What are your expectations for Microsoft at E3? comment below.



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