Come Out Swinging
Swing for the fences, that was the theme for Microsoft’s press conference. Finally, after years of complaints and missteps, Microsoft listened to the community and gave gamers exactly what we want, games. No tricks, no gimmicks, no multimedia presentations, no apps, nothing but games. 2019’s E3 press conference was Microsoft’s best conference in years, maybe their best conference ever.
Microsoft came to play, showcasing title after title after title, proving they’ve listened to the feedback of a community upset by the lack of quality titles on Xbox. Gears of War 5 and Halo were showcased heavily and continue to be standouts in Microsoft’s lineup of exclusives. However, games like Forza Horizon 4 made an appearance as well, along with new titles such as Blair Witch that bears a striking resemblance to Outlast. Microsoft went out of their way to show their support for their platforms which is a welcome change from the genuine lack of content the Xbox has experienced in years prior, with games either being canceled or delayed indefinitely. They also showed off third-party titles such as the collaboration between From Software of Dark Souls fame and George R.R. Marin. Cyberpunk 2077, Flight Simulator, The Outer Worlds from Obsidian Entertainment and more.
A New Studio
Microsoft also reaffirmed their commitment to game development by signing a deal with Double Fine to have them produce content focused on the Xbox game platforms going forward. Double Fine is a studio with a fantastic pedigree that will be a wonderful inclusion to the Xbox family.
There were two hardware announcements at E3, the first was the Xbox Elite Controller’s revamp that should be releasing soon. However the most substantial was the announcement of Project Scarlett, the next generation game console from Microsoft that’ll be releasing in the fall of 2020. The console according to Microsoft is able to support 4K gaming at a framerate of up to 120 frames per second and 8K gaming, which would be a feat of engineering if it proves true.
Microsoft will be launching their own cloud gaming service known as XCloud that will allow anyone with an Xbox to stream games directly from their console, which will definitely compete with Google’s Stadia platform. However, Xcloud wasn’t their only software announcement. Microsoft Game Pass will be extended out to PC this year as well, costing 9.99 a month, the same as a regular month of Gamepass, however there’s a hybrid option know as Game Pass Ultimate, which will bundle Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold for 15 dollars a month, a fantastic value for the consumer.
All in all, Microsoft had a fantastic showing this year, they started strong and finished strong, showcasing what’s in store for the brand this year and also giving us a glimpse of the future. We here at Alpha Nerds can’t wait to see just what comes next.