As someone who was predominantly an Xbox player throughout high school, I’m always interested to see what they have to offer during E3. Over the recent years, they’ve seemed to continually disappoint as I’ve become more of a PC gamer and more regretful that I didn’t buy a PS4 instead. This year doesn’t differ much and it just makes me wonder what they’re goals as a company are.
As you might’ve guessed from the title of this article, Microsoft dropped trailer after trailer during most of their conference and it was kind of exciting to see but disappointments still follow. They showed a cinematic teaser trailer for their new Halo project, Halo Infinite. I’m just gonna say it, I don’t think anyone gives a shit about Halo anymore. After Halo: Reach, everything just went downhill for the franchise. The fact that we got nothing but a lame cine-teaser means we can’t expect anything of it yet.
Gears of War 5 is a highly anticipated title amongst the Microsoft community. Continuing the story from where they last left it from Gears of War 4, it seems to show some real promise with gameplay and new enemies. Along with this they also announced Gears Tactics, an XCOM-style turn based strategy game inside the Gears world.
And probably the only other real Xbox exclusive game, Crackdown 3. (They also announced a new Forza but who really cares about that, amirite?) There’s been just enough hype for this franchise’s next installment since Crackdown 2 was released for the Xbox 360 in 2010. Now I have never played the Crackdown series myself but it’s hard not to like an open world action-adventure game and knows what their fans want.
This brings me to what I think might be troubling this company the most, they don’t know what their fans want. Even more so, I think they realize that they aren’t doing as great as they were during the Xbox 360 generation and haven’t been able to find that one factor to bring them back from the dead. I understand that it might be difficult to bring back the old gamers, keep the current gamers happy, and obtain new gamers all at once but there has to be something more they can accomplish.
I stuck to talking about “exclusives” in this article, although there are a lot of good games that they had the pleasure to show us during their time on stage. My favorites probably being Cyberpunk 2077, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Jump Force (GO ANIME!@)
For Microsoft@E3, this year was all about getting the privilege to show off their very few exclusive games and being the first to show off the trailers that were highly anticipated (ie. Fallout 76, Shadow of the Tomb Raider). They also put a high focus on their Xbox Game Pass subscription, as well as an opening of their new studios and acquiring other studios (ie. Undead Labs, Compulsion Games, Ninja Theory). They hinted at their next-gen console and overall it just seems like they didn’t care about this year’s E3 conference.
I was talking with friends during their conference, I think Xbox could really benefit from bundling their game pass and Xbox Live subscription together. I don’t know the financial business behind it but if all current Xbox Gold members were also subbed to Game Pass, it could potentially be a net gain for them. I understand Xbox has “Games With Gold” every month but it’s not enough to keep gamers around for long. At the very least, the subscription should be discounted for gold members and full priced for anyone that doesn’t play online, those with free memberships. I do think having the game pass is saving money for gamers overall but there aren’t many titles that entrap potential customers.
It feels like an ongoing thing for Microsoft and Xbox, where everything they try to do just isn’t enough anymore. I fully regret having an Xbox One every year E3 comes around because the exclusives aren’t there anymore and the ones that come out aren’t up to par with anything Sony and Nintendo are dropping. To be honest, I think the only reason I still have an Xbox Gold subscription is for their free games every month. At this point, I’m feeling the need to cut my losses and invest that money elsewhere. I’ve got a PC that needs upgrading and I’ve been loving most of the games that come out on the PS4 and Switch. Step it up or step out of the game, Xbox.