E3 from the UK – Microsoft’s Conference
£429 in November. That was the message that I took away from Microsoft’s E3 presentation this evening. I can’t quite comprehend how they are going to justify that launch price, along games which are doubtless going to be a bit more expensive than they are in the current generation. What else grabbed my attention? The lack of any further clarification over the used-game market or online requirements further to what was revealed at the end of last week. I think that was sorely needed to be honest. I’ve got some brief thoughts on their event after the break.
First up, the new Metal Gear Solid game looks stunning with a hint of Red Dead with stealth in there. The mini-ad for a Seiko watch gave me a chuckle. Beyond this, as I’m not that clued in on the franchise, I just enjoyed the action shown off on-screen.
A new model 360 was announced taking on the design principles of the Xbox One. This feels like Microsoft just trying to squeeze every last drop out of the current market. They also revealed that the Gold Xbox Live package is turning into a copy of PlayStation Plus with two free games per month, starting in July with Assassin’s Creed 2 and HALO 3.
World of Tanks is coming to the 360 and will be totally separate from the PC version. The trailer for it looked a lot more happy-action filled than what I understand the PC version to be like.
Ryse looked stunning and certainly has a Saving Private Ryan feel with that video shown. Beach assaults are all well and good, but there was simply way too many quick-time-events. I don’t want to see button prompts appearing for almost every kill. As someone said on Twitter, the architecture seemed to mix Roman, Greek and medieval styles. That was a bit odd.
New Forza comes with Driveatar. This little cloud based tool apparently gets rid of traditional AI, replacing it with the Drivatar of anyone who plays the game. This will learn how you drive, and take that profile into other races for you when you aren’t even online, and as such you will be playing the Driveatar’s of others. Very odd I must say. Give me Horizon 2 rather than this I feel.
Project Spark looks interesting with a lot of wacky world creation. A Spore and Little Big Planet mashup? Not convinced from what was shown how it will actually play as a game. Could be great fun, could be a dismal failure.
Throughout there was a lot of SmartGlass talk which makes me wonder whether the best features of the App will only be present on Microsoft devices? Something to think about. It was perhaps shown off too much for my liking, taking away from the games. Sharing of video clips sounds great, as does the Twitch streaming, though I felt that Kinect 2.0 was oddly pushed to the side. It was there with voice commands being used, but they didn’t show off what it is really capable of.
What else, Dead Rising 3 looked deadly serious, where was the crazy humour from the first two games? New Witcher with the open world looks grand as ever, and the Battlefield 4 reveal nearly put me to sleep. Not what I wanted to see. A new HALO was shown, yay? Finally, TitanFall looked decent at first, then all kinds of awesome when you were actually in control of a Titan.
Indies were talked about a lot, but didn’t get enough show-time for my liking. There wasn’t much that really blew me away, certainly nothing that would make me think about spending over £400 on the machine, even before buying any games for it. Some live thoughts from during the event are below, beware they might contain total nonsense.
Metal Gear opens after cheers (really?!)
Looks stunning, open world, real-time and weather.
Hole host of characters
Solid V – The Phantom Pain
Don Mattick and Hideo Kojima
All about the games
13 Xbone exclusives – more cheers. Rumours of large bussed in fanboys.
VCR360 – new design
Live Gold – carries to Xbone. July 1st, two free games per month. Hello PS+. AC2 and HALO3
360 games. New – World of Tanks custom built for 360.
Press Play showing – Max the Curse of Brotherhood side scroller
Dark Souls 2
Now they get to Xbone
Investing more than ever more new and exclusive games
Roman themed game. RYSE: Son of Rome. D-day style beach assault
Arrow to his eye! Dodge the rock!
whooping and cheers seem to have died down a bit.
More arrows. Skips ahead ‘in the interest of time’
Legs getting chopped to bits. Really too many QTEs
Buildings look a bit medieval rather than Roman
Fight and command.
Latest CryEngine. Talks about power of Xbone…but PC? C’mon.
Insomniac Ted Price. Sunset Overdrive. FPS, changes every day. Living world game. Another ‘only possible on xbone’ themed comment.
Mirrors Edge style free runing
Colourful and full of action.
McLaren and Forza mashup. Innovation, push boundaries. More than poly-count and texture. Capturing the details that make our world real. Live and Cloud. End of AI. Learning agent in the cloud. Driveatar – plays when you aren’t. Races for you. Learns how you drive. More Horizon please.
Phil Harrison, no cheers. supporting indie devs achieve $1bn in sales. Too many buttons undone on his shirt. Craft, create and connect. Minecraft! Xbone Edition.
Quantum Break, interplay with TV. Ultimate Remedy experience. Xbone exclusive.
As Tom Hatfield said – World of Tanks and Minecraft. The new Xbox presentation is looking suspiciously like a PC conference from 2010.
Episodic murder mystery. D4.
Project SPARK. Kinecty. Show me night, arctic, woodlands and it makes a world. Then use SmartGlass to further modify the world. Amazing looking. Claud can make a rock into a pet? All about implanting brains into objects. Looks amazing, don’t know how it will really work. Mentions Windows8 along with Xbone! Sacrilege to talk about Windows in this event? SPARK makes me think of Spore and LBP
Smartglass integration with Xbone. Gives friends stats/leaderboards. Start new games? Suddenly Killer Instinct match with two MS people. Fight stick and awkward conversations. Auto-recorded with game DVR now using Upload Studio to edit and voiceover with Kinect. Twitch streaming there too. These the reasons for the desire for always-online
MS points to real money, at long last. No friend limits. Gold sharing with family/house.
Crimson Dragon, exclusive, Panzer Dragoon and Princess Dust maker. No sound at all.
Dead Rising 3. New hero and location.
Ooh, Progress Wrestling match announcement soon. Oh wait, now the action starts in Dead Rising. Looks great, charge through a fence, throw a wrench, climb a van. Weapon combos are back and happen on the fly! Send a flare to distract the zombs. Jumping in a car, but where is the wacky humour? As people are Tweeting…is this just Resident Evil re-branded? Calling in artillery support with SmartGlass. Ok so need to stop playing to help wipe out the dead. Exclusive to Xbone.
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. SmartGlass for inventory management and character development. Multi-region open-world. “Stunning combat”.
EA peeps. Battlefield 4. More tech trouble getting it to start. EA chap makes jokes about the tech trouble. Now it comes. Bust up boats, usual action. Very cinematic, but been done how many times? Seen enough of this, want something properly exciting. Must be PC footage, backspace button in corner for Battlelog. Not enthused. BF4 Second Assault first on Xbone.
Indie game, What Lies Below. Too short to get a proper taste of it.
Something new, missed the name, from Black Tusk Studios.
Halo 5 I presume. Haven’t we had enough Halo now? Chief was wearing a cape…really? 60fps being touted…hello PC? Coming 2014.
£429 in November. Ouch! $499, €499.
Titanfall. Jumping around, mechs, big guns. Halo, BF, CoD mashup. Talking about the MS cloud tech. Titan looks awesome, feels a bit BF2142 in some aspects.
One thought on “E3 from the UK – Microsoft’s Conference”
Mmmmm the biggest thing for me is the need to connect to the internet every 24 hours. If my internet is out for a few days the new xbox becomes a box which just sits there and I can’t play. Also the used game market is a big big part of the gaming experience for me. I may fancy a game but don’t want to splash £40-£50 on it so would rather wait until its dropped in price and I can pick up a second hand version. I think micro$oft have some serious thinking to do or they are going to lose a very large chunk of the market. It will be very interesting to see if Sony can exploit the weakness in the M$ strategy and convert people.