I have been a fan of Xbox and Microsoft for over a decade at this point, and have always preferred the accessibility of the Xbox brand and the classic exclusives like Halo, Gears of War, and Fable.
This isn’t going to be an article that constantly throws jabs at Sony or Nintendo. The PS4 is a fantastic console with some high-quality exclusives like God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn. The Nintendo Switch has also had award-winning success with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.
Today I want to discuss why E3 2018 is so crucial for Microsoft and how they can be the best conference at this year’s expo.
Why is This Year’s E3 So Important for Xbox?
Since its release in 2013, the Xbox One has been behind in sales, critical success, fan reception, and exclusives compared to Sony. Most of the failures and backlash in the early stages were well deserved as it was obvious that the people at the top of Xbox HQ had no idea what they were doing.
The Xbox One has made a remarkable comeback. In my opinion, most of the credit has to go to Head of Xbox Phil Spencer. The Xbox One X is an amazing achievement and Xbox Game Pass may end up being the future of gaming. Constant updates to improve accessibility and Play Anywhere are fantastic additions to the platform as well.
For all of the good that Spencer and company have done to improve the Xbox One, it won’t truly matter until they accomplish one thing.
Show Us Games
It is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Sony is absolutely killing it right now. God of War is looking to be the defining game for this generation of consoles and they are looking to be stacked with exclusives heading into the Los Angeles Convention Center Monday, June 11th.
These titles, while some hold up as great games, don’t hold a candle to the masterpiece quality of Sony or Nintendo exclusives. Microsoft should start their conference by saying that there will be no new console, no Hololens, or no gimmicky Kinect replacement revealed. Instead, they should spend the majority of the briefing showing new games.
Halo 6, Gears of War 5, Crackdown 3, Scalebound (back from “Development Hell”), it doesn’t matter; just show us you are focusing on putting out new, quality games.
I know they already did this last year with indie games. As much as I love some of these games, that just won’t cut it this year.
Hype Up Microsoft as the Most Easily Accessible Platform Out There Today
If a game is a Play Anywhere title that means you only have to buy it once and you can play it on both your Xbox One and Windows PC. Game Pass gives you a ton of Xbox One and 360 titles for a monthly subscription of $10.
Microsoft, here is where you set yourself apart from your competition. Let everybody know that all of those exclusives you announced (which let’s be honest, it’ll probably just be Halo 6, Crackdown 3, and maybe a new IP), will be Play Anywhere titles and will be available on Game Pass day one.
These (hypothetical) Game Pass and Play Anywhere additions, along with the fantastic work they’ve done to develop controllers for disabled gamers, solidifies Microsoft as the most easily accessible platform out there today.
Do NOT, I repeat. Do NOT Announce an Exclusive Battle-Royale Game
Luckily, Phil Spencer has seemingly shut down the possibility of this happening, but I can’t stress to you enough how important it is that Microsoft stays away from this genre. Spencer was asked via Twitter if battle royale games were a “hot topic” for any first party developers at Microsoft. He replied:
Millions are playing BR games right now. I don't want to just build one because others have built them. FNBR is massive, PUBG is huge, new BR variants being built by some very quality devs, I'd rather support unless we find something special in 1P that's a different take.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 29, 2018
Spencer is absolutely right by saying this. With the outrage behind Treyarch announcing a battle royale mode for Black Ops IIII and dozens of other games attempting to cash in on the genre’s hot market, it would be wise for Microsoft to wait and see how the genre progresses or regresses before investing.
Show Us Games (Part II)
Don’t scroll up. I know that we just went over this, but Microsoft’s top priority at E3 this year needs to be telling people that the company is making great games again.
It is tempting to continue developing Halo and Gears of War but it would be best to let those games sit on the back-burner. Put that effort into new IPs that can be the next generation’s Halo. There is a reason why we hyped up Sea of Thieves so much and why we hated that Microsoft canceled Scalebound.
Sea of Thieves and Scalebound felt new and fresh. They weren’t remastered old games trying to cash in on my nostalgia. They weren’t the fourth sequel in a franchise that should have ended on a high note either.
Every conference this year has some type of expectation heading into the LA Convention Center this June except for Microsoft. We could be getting a first look at Halo 6. Maybe, like I said before, Scalebound miraculously returns from the grave. Or maybe they mess it all up by announcing yet another version of the Xbox One.
Microsoft is the wild card heading into E3 2018, and they could end up stealing the show if they play their cards right. Show us games for the majority of your conference, hype up the fact that your platform is the best and most easy way to play those games, and whatever you do, stay away from battle royales.
Do agree with my opinion that Microsoft has a chance to steal the show at E3 2018? If not, why? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!