Microsoft E32017 – Plenty Of Promise, Little Exclusive…

As Microsoft kicked off their E3 conference last night at 10 pm, I couldn’t help but get all excited. A new console unveiling, a stacked game line up, and plenty of footage to wet the appetite. The inner child in me was hoping for that one big exclusive, the wow factor. The WOW Factor was more like the X Factor… say no more!

The previously known “Project Scorpio” was unveiled as the “Xbox One X”, with Microsoft constantly plugging how powerful it is.

The plugging is well warranted. It’s a remarkable piece of kit, gaming Xmas is here folks, courtesy of Microsoft.

Smaller than the previous Xbox One models, and features a sleek, minimalist black design, the machine updates the technical specifications of the series but is compatible with all current games.

Featuring a six teraflop graphics processor running at 1172 Mhz, 12GB of GDDR5 memory and a 2.3 GHz custom central processing unit, it is significantly more powerful than the Xbox One S and crucially, the PlayStation 4 Pro, with its 4.2 teraflop graphics processing unit and 911 Mhz CPU.

Xbox One X also features a UHD Blu-ray player, a component missing from the PlayStation 4 Pro, and will play games in native 4K resolution, while supporting HDR lighting effects and Dolby Atmos surround sound. According to Xbox director of software engineering Kareem Choudhry, all Xbox games will enjoy enhanced visual fidelity and faster load times on the console.

It’s basically a low-end PC gaming rig. What’s next, World of Warcraft perhaps?

With a confirmed price point of $499, which in sterling currency works out at around roughly £390 and release date of November 7th, 2017. Microsoft has yet to confirm if any special deals will be available to current Xbox one S owners looking to upgrade.

Personally, I feel the price range is a little expensive, with average sales across the board, current gen. I felt Microsoft would be trying to appeal to the casual market to improve their audience. At that price, and with little to no exclusives that would attract a new audience, I’m struggling to visualise how this will achieve high sales, despite being well above the PS4 in pure output.

Which leads me to my next point, with no ace up their sleeve, Microsoft disappointed many on the software side of things. State of Decay 2, Forza 7 (Why, oh why did they showcase a car at the event?), Sea Of Thieves and finally crackdown 3, being the standout’s, the gaming aspect does look weak.

Assassin’s Creed Origins was premiered and while graphically it looked special, the actual gameplay footage appeared to show the same mechanics, and same level design, as previous entries. My interest in the series has been stale for a number of years now, but I was quietly optimistic UBISOFT would steal the show with this, sadly, truth be told it never came close. UBISOFT Really missed a trick with the rebrand/launch of this franchise.

Without a doubt the standout moment was the premier of Bioware’s Anthem, also shown during Microsoft’s conference, comparisons with big budget titles including Destiny and The Division, the sci-fi adventure is based around survival in a post-apocalyptic world, in a land filled with robotic enemies “scars” and larger than life wildlife.

The game was very favourably received, check out the trailer below for yourself.

Bettsy’s Final Say:

To summarise, my feelings around Microsoft’s E3 are mixed, the Xbox One X, while looking the part, disappoints from a software point of view. The initial euphoria of the One X reveal was short lived as the show dragged out towards the end. So while I expect Nintendo and Sony to shine in the software spotlight, Microsoft will be thinking what if.

For next year, Microsoft needs to focus on more exclusives. As mentioned in my previous article, there’s plenty of dormant IP’s that could make sufficient noise, Splinter Cell, Max Payne, Dino Crisis, and lastly, Fable are all titles that have had critical success at some stage throughout their gaming lifespan.


Microsoft’s E3 gets a 7/10 from me.