E3 Press Conference Review: Microsoft & XBOX
XBOX kicked off the E3 Press Conferences this year, showcasing the new XBOX One X Console, as well as a number of new games that will be hitting the markets near the holiday season and beyond. Here's the review of Microsoft's 2017 E3 press conference.
XBOX Scorpio Project becomes XBOX One X
The secretive XBOX Scorpio Project, the codename for the new console being released by Microsoft, finally was pushed into the limelight for all to see. The new name for the upcoming console is called XBOX One X. The 2017 Microsoft Press conference offered this, as well as the strongest and most diverse range of games in it's E3 history.
XBOX One X was the headlining event of the Microsoft Conference, and the Head of XBOX Direction, Phil Spencer, underscored this point at every break between game videos. The XBOX One X is the strongest Console ever brought to the consumer market, allowing games to be playing in UHD 4K, as well as being able to play movies and other content at that high fidelity as well. It's total range of support is 4K Ultra HD for Blu-ray X and streamed content, HDR support for gaming and video, and Dolby Atmos support.
Xbox One X joins the XBOX One/XBOX One S family, and because of that, all XBOX One accessories, like controllers and headsets, are compatible. (A great money saver for those looking to upgrade) In addition, all XBOX One games are compatible throughout the XBOX One Family, so any title that you can play on XBOX One, can also be played on XBOX One X. The graphics and the fidelity will be significantly higher on XBOX One X.
The console is set to launch through all markets on November 7 2017, and will retail for $499, 499 Euros, 449 Pounds in the UK, CA $599, and AU $649.
Game Developers and the "World's Greatest Creators"
Offering the most diverse reveal of content in Microsoft's history, the E3 XBOX Presser showcased 42 new games on stage, with 22 of them being console exclusives. Here are a few of the games highlighted to be looking for in the next year:
- Anthem (Electronic Arts) - A "shared world shooter," that allows players to jump into a Javelin Exosuit, enabling them with a range of powers, which allows them to explore and master the wilds beyond The Wall. Players get a chance to customize their suit as well with gear and different abilities that they find out in the Wild.
- State of Decay 2 (Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive) - A zombie survival fantasy game, where you build a lasting community in an open world filled with hostile zombies, human enemies and the valuable gear necessary to keep your community alive.
- Minecraft (Unification, Better Together Update, Super Duper Graphics Pack). This version of Minecraft bring the complete Minecraft experience to everyone on gaming consoles, mobile, VR and Windows 10 PCs. The unification of Minecraft across platforms will allow a more immersive experience, and allow players to work together to build their worlds, regardless of console or PC.
- Black Desert (Console Launch Exclusive). Black Desert is an MMO featuring high definition graphics, full-action combat and a seamless world of action and threats from the wild. Travel through the lands in search of treasure and adventure or become one of the top craftsmen in the land. With a number of different activities from building communities, or waging conquest, there is much to do in Black Desert.
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (Ubisoft – World Premiere). A welcome change from it's mediocre showings of the past 3 years, Assassin's Creed breaks course, allowing players to journey into Ancient Egypt, during one of it's most important ages. Discover the origins of the Assassin's Brotherhood, as well as the secrets behind the Great Pyramids, forgotten myths, and the last pharaohs of Egypt.
Finally, Phil Spencer revealed that backwards compatibility for the original XBOX games (games from 2001 - 2006) would be coming for XBOX One X, and that support for XBOX 360 games would be expanding, which is a welcome surprise to the gaming community.
Wrap-Up and Final Thoughts
The Microsoft Conference was the strongest that it has ever been, with the announcement of so many great titles, and the release of the most powerful gaming console on the planet. The real question remains: Will consumers buy it?
While the XBOX One X is impressively powerful, the fact that all games can be played on any member of the XBOX One family doesn't require that players move forward. While the mid-generation console looks to be amazing, there is also no reason for Playstation or Nintendo players to "jump ship" over to XBOX, since most of the best titles are going to be multi-platform.
The XBOX One seems to be for those players who are looking to upgrade, or are now installing 4K UHD TV's in their homes, and want a console to match. Parents may hold off on this offering, especially since there are a number of great options to continue to play on your XBOX One or XBOX One S. If players do decide to upgrade, the fact that all the accessories work together in the XBOX One Eco system is an easy way to negate extra costs that usually come together when buying a console.
As always, we have to go through all of E3's events before we can choose someone who "won" the conference (An expression of the community's reaction to all the different press conferences) and at the end of this event, I'll give you my thoughts. But for today, XBOX has a reason to smile, consumers have quite a bit to look forward to, and the next year has the potential to be one of Microsoft's best.