E3 Expectations: The Big Three Part 1: Microsoft

Now we’re talking. This is why E3 is so special. The Big Three. The console makers. The third-party publishers can cause some level of excitement for sure, but nothing can rival Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Most often than not, the biggest moments, good or bad, comes from them.

So then why am I not expecting anything from Microsoft’s Press Conference?

Microsoft1

Even though I do not own an Xbox 360 anymore and I never owned an Xbox One, I was always interested by what Microsoft had to offer. After a terrible start with the system, they did some good things with it (progressive backward compatibility with 360 games was a huge moment). But this year I just don’t know what to expect and not in a good way.

After the cancellation of Scalebound (Kamiya’s dream game, no less), I have very little faith in Microsoft’s output of games, as well. I was never interested by Gears of Wars or Halo. Fable is all but dead, RARE is being severely misused (although Sea of Thieves has my interest.) Phil Spencer has also gone on record saying he wants to bet more on games as a service (basically multiplayer games that are supported far after release), which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but I also need my single-player, story driven games. But Microsoft doesn’t seem to think this is the way to go, even when looking at how successful Sony’s output of story driven games has been.

Microsoft2

God damn it, Microsoft.

Then there’s the Scorpio.

While I think giving more options to consumers is a good thing (as long as it doesn’t confuse them – looking at you, Nintendo – ), Microsoft seems to be giving way too much focus on it, in my opinion. I don’t care how powerful your system is, what I want are games. But Microsoft seems so sure that telling people the Scorpio is the most powerful gaming system of all time (until Sony releases a PS5 or something…) is enough to sale it that it’s scaring me. Twice now someone has tweeted a picture of the Scorpio main chip. Because the average gamer sure wants to know what it looks like, right? And of course HIGHEST. QUALITY. PIXELS.

What’s more, I own a decent PC, so even if they DO release games that I want to buy, I can just buy the PC version since Microsoft releases more and more of their own games on it (even if the Windows Universal Platform is goddamn terrible.)

Microsoft3

This is what you all want to see, right!?

It’s funny because Microsoft is the reason why I stopped being a Nintendo/PC only kind of gamer. My first non-Nintendo console was an Xbox 360 that I bought for Tales of Vesperia in 2008 after I got sick of Nintendo following the infamously terrible E3 2008 Press Conference. A few years later I purchased a PlayStation 3 for Uncharted and Batman: Arkham Asylum and City. At one point I had a Vita (that I bought for Persona 4: Golden, which ultimately didn’t grab me – I’ll have to write something on that -) and I got a PlayStation 4 not too long after its release (thankfully before the Canadian price rose because of our now terrible dollar.) So in a way, I have Microsoft to thank for opening my horizon to a whole new kind of catalog in my gaming hobby.

But I’ve never been so “un-hype” about a press conference before. And it’s why I wanted to talk about Microsoft out of the Big Three first. Get the downer in me out of the way so I can start talking about the two console makers that still excite me just by thinking about what they can do: Sony and Nintendo.

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