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E3 2013: Microsoft conference round-up

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Microsoft

Maybe you were busy, or maybe you’ve just forgotten – but E3 pretty much started yesterday with the big guys in the industry showing off their new stuff. Microsoft kicked off the proceedings, and we were right there to see it all. Here’s what happened.

Even though the event at Los Angeles’ Galen Centre started at 9:30 in the morning, we arrived at around 7 – which was a good think, because that secured us priority seating for being some of the first 500 people to drag their asses out of bed to stand in a lot of queues. After standing in a a lot of queues, and then sitting in a chair for ages while being blinded by all that green light the thumping music stopped and the lights went down. i was expecting Tom Cruise’s doppelganger Don Mattrick to come out on stage, but instead a trailer started playing – and it was quite a great way to start off E3. It happened to be a trailer of Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain. And it looks great.

Next, Mattrick came on stage with Kojima who then happened to admit that he was a bit of a moneyhat, and that the Xbox One was a powerful beast. Microsoft then pledged a bit of commitment to the current 360, and announced a new redesigned SKU for the aging system that more closely aligns with the design of the Xbox One. Microsoft also announced that Xbox Live Gold will start giving away great brand new games to users, making it more like PlayStation Plus. Great, new games like Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo goddamned 3.

Then, Microsoft showed off World of Tanks – the insanely popular free to play PC title – would be headed to Xbox 360. and nobody in the audience seemed to give a single damn. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood  continues the Magic Marker series and is headed for the 360. As is Dark Souls 2.

People did start giving a damn again when MS showed off Crytek’s Ryse: Son of Rome – which has transitoned from being a Kinect-powered 360 game, to an Xbox One exclusive God of War wannabe, including all those insipid QTE nightmares. It looks pretty impressive visually, but all that “Press “Y” for the opportunity to press “B”” nonsense really kills the immersion.

Former PlayStation BFF’s Insomniac Games head Ted Price then took to the stage to show off Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive, which sports a really cool aesthetic and yes, really cool weapons.

Turn 10’s Dan Greenwald then pulled a damned McLaren on stage, and talked about Forza 5 Motorsport. I honestly wasnt paying too much attention (because ugh, driving games) except to notice that there’s a new system that uses the processing in the cloud to make the AI smarter, using your own driving style – something called “Drivatar,” which is a neologism that needs to be expunged from consciousness and never, ever repeated.

Former Sony puppet and now Microsoft puppet Phil Harrison then took to the stage and spoke about a commitment to indie games – without really showing very many indie games. they did, however, show the new game from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery and Super Time Force creators, Below – which looks like a neat little atmospheric rogue-like.

The ridiculously handsome Sam Lake from Remedy then took to the stage to talk about Quantum Break – the company’s new Xbox one exclusive. It features a protagonist who can manipulate people and things frozen in time – and it looks pretty damned amazing, with some incredible facial animation. Check it!

MS then showed Project Spark – which like Sony’s LittleBigPlanet allows people to quickly and easily create their own games using easy-to-use tools. It looks pretty dynamic and robust – though the “Play, Build, Share” motto was a little too familiar. Ms then reminded us that smartglass exists, before shocking the entire arena by announcing a brand new Killer Instinct – because they seem to have finally remembered that they own Rare, who’s for more than just Kinect games. They then showed off saving game replays to the cloud and then sharing them, which is all neat stuff.

Crimson Dragon, a continuation of the Panzer Dragoon series was shown – albeit without any sound – prompting people in the audience to hilariously make up their own audio overdubs, and shout out things like “XBOX ONE, PLAY SOUND!”

Next up was some great gaming, firstly thanks to Microsoft published, Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 – which looks pretty amazing, even if I am a little tired of zombies in general. If there’s one game that might make me get an Xbox One, it’s this one.

Next up was the announcement that CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3 would grace the Xbox One in addition to Ps4 and Pc – and would have some sort of Smartlgass functionality. It’ll be more open world than before. and feature boobs. Because it is The Witcher.

EA and Dice then showed Battlefield 4 running at 60 fps on the Xbox one – although that demo also started sans sound, making everybody in the audience giggle a bit before going “pew pew pew” like the professional journalists that they are.  Microsoft then cleverly announced a new Xbox One halo game, without showing too much – but just enough to get everybody very screamy.

It all seemed to be going rather well. And then they announced the price of the thing – $499, or about R6500. Whatever good sentiment there was left pretty much ran out of the Galen centre, screaming. A hushed silence fell over the auditorium, and everybody looked around and fidgeted in their pockets, feeling rather embarrassed on Microsoft’s behalf.

Before sending everybody on their way, they did show off former Modern Warfare guys Respawn’s new game, TitanFall – which looks like ModernER Warfare, with mechs and stuff. It’s actually a bit Halo-ey – and seems to compete directly with that space.

And that was it. Not a weak showing by Microsoft by any means – but very little there to convince me that I absolutely have to own an Xbox One. what about you? What did you think of Microsoft’s conference? Did they “Kill Sony,” as they said they would?

Last Updated: June 11, 2013

57 Comments

  1. Vampyre Squirrel

    June 11, 2013 at 10:36

    Microsoft was at E3? I didn’t notice…

    Reply

    • Rinceyouropinion

      June 11, 2013 at 10:58

      Like a SIR 🙂

      Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 11, 2013 at 10:58

      Like a Madam! 😛

      Reply

      • Vampyre Squirrel

        June 11, 2013 at 11:06

        I’d down vote you, but it still counts as a vote towards you… so have a comment 😛

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          June 11, 2013 at 11:09

          LMAO Take this upvote instead for a wickedly awesome nick.

          Reply

    • Ultimo_Cleric N7

      June 11, 2013 at 10:59

      They were the crappy guys that went first with no sound and pew pews

      Reply

  2. Deano

    June 11, 2013 at 10:40

    Great looking games there, just a pity about the launch price and DRM rubish.

    Reply

  3. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 11, 2013 at 10:46

    I’m kind of sad about Insomniac, but so it goes. Sunset Overdrive looks cool, but it’s still not enough to make me interested in the console. I doubt they’ll change my mind in the next few months. I might get a bone in 5 years time (when the DRM issue has been dealt with and trust me, given the controversy surrounding PRISM and the uproar among gamers, I doubt Microsoft will continue along this dark path. It makes no business sense).

    Reply

    • Rinceyouropinion

      June 11, 2013 at 10:54

      Agreed. I will hold off for a few years. I won’t ever allow a company to tell me I need to do this in order to play a game!

      Reply

  4. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 11, 2013 at 10:46

    Games were awesome….But do they think people will just forget about all the other stuff…….Please, we’re smarter than that you twats

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 11, 2013 at 10:48

      Yeah.. you can’t just confuse us by dangling some pretties in front of our eyes… We’re not crows or magpies.. We’re GAMERS! GAMING MEN and GAMING WOMEN… 😛

      Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        June 11, 2013 at 10:50

        If their console somehow managed to do a 3D printout of pepper steak pies I might consider getting it, otherwise, no amount of fancy games being waved in our faces will persuade us to give in to their Eins!!

        Reply

        • Rinceyouropinion

          June 11, 2013 at 10:53

          OMG. Can you imagine! Pepper Steak Pie Console FTW!

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 11, 2013 at 10:58

            Pfft real men eat spinach and feta.. with a cup of tea.

          • Rinceyouropinion

            June 11, 2013 at 11:02

            I will forever think of this when I see you Banana! REAL Man?! On what planet? Planet Xbox Rum?! Trolololo!

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            June 11, 2013 at 10:58

            I would pre-order my pie machine instantly

  5. HvR

    June 11, 2013 at 10:54

    I got the feeling with M$ bringing on Konjima for his 2s speech of just a way of saying “see we work with asians too”.

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 11, 2013 at 10:59

      lol! I wonder how much they paid Hideo Kojime, and I wonder if Kojime-san is scrubbing himself in the shower today…

      Reply

      • HvR

        June 11, 2013 at 11:54

        Must say cracked myself for the Victor from World of Tanks, reminded me of a fat Borat.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          June 11, 2013 at 12:09

          Hahaha the guy’s accent could sink ships.

          Reply

  6. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 11, 2013 at 10:57

    Apparently the PS4’s harddrive is upgradeable. SONY… i love you!

    Reply

  7. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    June 11, 2013 at 10:59

    I stayed up all night and watched the conferences as a Bday present to me. And boy was it worth.
    PS4 dominated.
    FINISH HIM!!!!
    SONY WINS.
    NO DRM-TALITY

    Reply

    • Rinceyouropinion

      June 11, 2013 at 11:00

      Happy Birthday man! If you save now, you may be able to afford an Xbox One by 2034!

      Reply

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        June 11, 2013 at 11:01

        Cant wait! Its going to be amazing. Think of all the friends that will be able to use my shared games….oh wait. Just one…..but….BUT imagine the singleplayer games I can play with all that hardware….oh..wait wait I need a 2 mb line from Telkom first.
        HEY MICROSOFT…..TSEK!!!!!!

        Reply

        • Rinceyouropinion

          June 11, 2013 at 11:03

          Think of it this way, you won’t NEED friends, Xbox One Hall 2000 will be all you need!

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 11, 2013 at 11:04

            XBOX make me a sandwich….

          • Ultimo_Cleric N7

            June 11, 2013 at 11:10

            It cant, it can only watch you make one for yourself

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            June 11, 2013 at 11:20

            I am stealing this and using it on twitter! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • HvR

            June 11, 2013 at 12:11

            you forgot to add, “while you are naked or in your undies.”

        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          June 11, 2013 at 11:05

          lol …… you said tsek

          Reply

  8. Rinceyouropinion

    June 11, 2013 at 10:59

    I must say, I did think some of the games looked pretty sweet, but when it got to the announcement of the price, I nearly choked on my red wine. And it was delivered in such a ‘I am smiling, but I KNOW you are going to hate what I am about to say, but if I keep smiling, and act all energetic maybe you will only realise what I said when you have left the hall’. No, I am afraid not…

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 11, 2013 at 11:00

      I feel so uncivilised… you had red wine?

      Reply

      • Rinceyouropinion

        June 11, 2013 at 11:05

        Totally! “I ate Xbox One’s fail with fava beans and a nice chianti.”

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          June 11, 2013 at 11:06

          Muahahahaha!

          Reply

    • HvR

      June 11, 2013 at 11:01

      The silence from the crowd was priceless though…

      Reply

      • Rinceyouropinion

        June 11, 2013 at 11:04

        Hahah, it was, you could HEAR all the eye balls moving from left to right in the crowd

        Reply

  9. Tbone187

    June 11, 2013 at 11:00

    Games look amazing and makes me excited about next gen…

    I reckon most, myself included, will blindly take PS4 tho, coz of DRM…I think that RYSE title looks really cool tho. Perhaps coz I’ve been into the series Spartacus recently…

    and well, an open world MGS has me drooling…I’ve come across the new IP Tom Clancy’s The Division which looks out of this world as well…but yeah, I’ve arranged a direct deposit into Sony’s accounts for my PS4…

    Reply

  10. Dean

    June 11, 2013 at 11:01

    It would’ve been a bit nicer in Ryse if you could slaughter all and sundry in full flow, rather than: stop -> find button-> push button -> slowmo shield smash.

    Otherwise, nice games, still not buying it.

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      June 11, 2013 at 11:02

      Yeah. Ryse had insane promise. I was literally on the edge of my seat and then the QTEs popped on screen like it was 2007, and I just said “fuck this”.

      Reply

  11. DarthofZA

    June 11, 2013 at 11:01

    Games were amazing. Very impressed by what they showed. Solid showing. Was the best conference at E3 until the next one started 😛

    Reply

  12. Double-O-Six and a half

    June 11, 2013 at 11:24

    The only way they “killed” Sony was with laughter… Kaz is laughing all the way to the proverbial bank…

    Reply

  13. OVG

    June 11, 2013 at 11:49

    Fuck off Microsoft.

    Reply

  14. HvR

    June 11, 2013 at 12:53

    Two things nobody is mentioning today (busy watching the full conference on youtube):
    Crappy horsie animation, multiple games with horse as transport and all of them looks like a sliding box with for moving legs, no natural movement.

    M$ first getting ROD’ed and then Error 32 with BF4, bloody hilarious.

    Reply

  15. Trevor Davies

    June 11, 2013 at 14:02

    There’s nothing there that would make me want to buy a Xbone to play. Some of those look interesting, but not that interesting. Sorry MS, you’ll have to content yourself with me buying your OS every few years.

    Reply

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