E3 2014: Microsoft Preview

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Redemption is ahead for Microsoft

Sputtering out of the gates for the first time since the original Xbox, Microsoft is playing catch up to their competition in Sony. But leading not E3, Microsoft is in the perfect position to begin narrowing the gap between themselves and their competition in the Playstation 4 and Wii-U.

There isn’t much to be said here, but Microsoft will be forced to clear things up and prove the way for the rest of 2014 to be a positive fiscal year . Exclusives? More of those are needed (Hi Halo). Entertainment? Propped as “more than a game system”, work needs to be done there. Relying on those two should prepare us for an excellent show.

Here are a few things we expect from Microsoft’s E3 preview along with some predictions that make lots of sense and some that are pipe dreams.

Addressing the Kinect-less Xbox

Stiff competition forces companies to make decisions that likely would never make until coerced to do otherwise. As you all know, Microsoft has announced a Kinect-less Xbox One for the price of $399, putting themselves in better position to compete with the Playstation 4. Since the initial announcement, Microsoft has been big on harping about all of the features that set the Kinect apart from it’s next generation competition in the PS4 and Wii-U: video-chatting, switching from game to television, video-game features, etc., but by introducing a system without it, they’ll have to find ways to sell this in a similar manner outside of the “hey this is $100 less than before” line.

The Godfather of Microsoft

Worst-case scenario: Microsoft fails to blow away their consumers with a so-so showing during E3. They’d still finish with a hypothetical 75 on the 100 scale when they delve into the upcoming Halo projects that are planned within the next year, the biggest being Halo 5: Guardians which is expected to drop in 2015. Since the initial announcement of the sequel to Microsoft’s biggest exclusive, 343 Industries has remained mum on all things pertaining to Guardians, and rightfully so as E3 was right around the corner.

Along with more in-depth news on Halo 5, Microsoft could be set to reveal pricing and a date for the Halo Master Collection announced that features Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 as well as a bigger look into Halo television series which is produced by Steven Spielberg.

Entertainment, of course

Prior to the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft executives praised the system as “more than a game console”, playing into the hands of millions that use their game systems for far more than actual gaming. On June 4th, Microsoft announced 46+ apps would be coming to the Xbox One and here’s the perfect time to show the world exactly how Microsoft plans to implement some of their latest additions. Of those 46 apps, Twitter, Vine, HBO Go appear to be the marquee applications.

Other notes/predictions

  • Prediction: During the process of ‘unveiling’ the Kinect-less Xbox One, Microsoft will reveal a cheaper Kinect for users to purchase.
  • Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive has caught the eyes of many as the creators of “Ratchet and Clank” are introducing a new open-world, shooter game. Expect this to be have information revealed on the matter.
  • Another exclusive announcement in Fable 4 (or Legends).
  • Earlier this year, January to be exact, Microsoft Studios purchased the rights to Gears of War and announced that the game is in development. Fast forward six months later and we could be welcomed to a much-needed sequel for the GoW franchise.
  • Prediction that probably won’t come true, but hope it’s true: Microsoft releases a system which allows users to purchase games from the 360 and original Xbox on the Xbox One. Pipe dream? I know, but this would be excellent especially since the One isn’t backwards compatible.

Final Thoughts:

All-in-all, Microsoft is in position to win over those who hang in the balance in regards to choosing which next generation to adopt. And even those who’ve already made the decision, they need more convincing going forward. E3 has usually been an event where Microsoft razzles and dazzles, so if this falls in line with the past, Microsoft will be in good position for the remainder of 2014.

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