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Can an E3 press conference surprise us?

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It’s hard for any press conference to really surprise us anymore. With tons of leaks, the glory of the internet showing us all the trailers and videos in advance and other modern developments, E3 is slowly losing its announcement appeal. Microsoft is determined to bring it back – but can they?

In that same Inner Circle podcast which Geoff told you about regarding how the Xbox One is getting better, Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg teased Microsoft’s E3 plans, calling it the “Super Bowl of gaming”.

Expect a lot of surprises. Expect us to talk a lot about games. And if you’re an Xbox owner, I think you’re going to leave really, really, really happy in the investment you made. And if you’re undecided, we hope that you will look at what we deliver on games and want to buy an Xbox.
We have some ideas to do some things different at E3 this year that we haven’t done before. I think we’re going to take a little bit of a different approach to E3 this year. But I feel really good about it. It’s been really exciting.

Last year, Microsoft’s press conference was generally perceived by those watching at home as “not that interesting” even though at least they chucked out all the TV-centric nonsense and focused on the games. For those in the actual hall, it was a ton of fun. No, not just because there were flashing wrist bands, but also because of the energy in the building and the excitement and cheering to see games revealed that we didn’t even know were coming. E3 press conferences are way more interesting than their Gamescom equivalents; it’s all about showmanship in LA whereas Gamescom is about the nitty gritty details.

While I’m excited for E3 and what Microsoft (as well as the other big press conferences) has in store for us on gauntlet day, I’m not sure that it will be a day of surprises. It’s not just the leaks – Microsoft would have to completely change its approach to press conferences to really surprise us. I mean, what can they do? Put Phil Spencer on the stage in an indie shirt with a blazer to tell us that we’re going to like what we see, and then show some cool trailers for games that excite us. It’s cool and a rite of passage for those in the gaming industry, but it’s not really surprising. What would be surprising is if they actually let the journalists have coffee in the morning – maybe even provided it for us. Now that would be a shocker.

Last Updated: February 24, 2015

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