E3 is almost here- which means it is now time for us all to enjoy what is undoubtedly the gaming equivalent of Christmas. E3 is a time for hopes, dreams, and heartbreaks- with the latter being something that all of us, as gamers, and as fans of the medium, probably want to avoid seeing much of.
Microsoft is one of the custodians of gaming, as one of the three major console manufacturers- so it has an added responsibility to not disappoint its fans, many of whom have extra expectations from it this year, after Microsoft has clearly been building up to it, and the reveal of its upcoming Xbox Scorpio. Here, then, are five things Microsoft must not do at E3 this year if it is to come out of it without disappointing its fans.
AN EXPENSIVE SCORPIO
Look, Microsoft has already said that it doesn’t expect the Scorpio to be the mass market driver, which is fine- it will be the more expensive SKU, which means it will by definition sell fewer units. But for Scorpio to actually have the impact that Microsoft and its fans are hoping it will, it can’t be too expensive- anything more than $399, and Microsoft is condemning the Scorpio to a niche, unable to actually do much to the PS4’s lead from a developer’s or consumer’s perspective, since its impact on the market will be minimal at best.
"Anything more than $399, and Microsoft is condemning the Scorpio to a niche, unable to actually do much to the PS4’s lead from a developer’s or consumer’s perspective, since its impact on the market will be minimal at best."
THE FLUFF THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT
Music artists, concerts, sports, TV, multimedia, apps, the cloud- they might all be buzzwords in other industries, but when it comes to games, no one gives a shit about any of that. And when it comes, specifically, to E3, the core gamer’s haven, all of it is taboo. Microsoft would best be advised to not focus on any of the side fluff they often tend to spend so much time on, and instead keep the focus squarely on games.
Halo. Gears of War. Forza. We get new entries in all these franchises in a regular cycle, like clockwork. Then there are games like Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay 2– while relatively fresher and more exciting ventures for Microsoft, we have been seeing them for so long now, they’ve lost their ability to rouse. Microsoft will definitely satisfy their core fanbase by showing them these games- but if they want to appeal to the crowd beyond the core Xbox faithful, they need to show more games, exciting exclusives that can appeal to the folks who otherwise stick to PlayStation or Nintendo. New exclusives, unlike anything else in Microsoft’s catalog. Let’s hope they do it, too.
"If they want to appeal to the crowd beyond the core Xbox faithful, they need to show more games, exciting exclusives that can appeal to the folks who otherwise stick to PlayStation or Nintendo. New exclusives, unlike anything else in Microsoft’s catalog. "
TOO MUCH FOCUS ON MULTIPLATFORM GAMES
On the same note, focusing only on multiplatform games is a sure sign that Microsoft doesn’t have much in the way of an exclusive lineup. Look, the Scorpio is the most powerful console in the world, and it will definitely run games like Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed, and Star Wars Battlefront better than the competition- that’s good, and Microsoft should definitely spend time on showing that. But showing only that, or showing that at the expense of actual exclusives people can’t get on other systems, will beg the question- why buy an expensive new machine just to play games one already can, except slightly shinier?
Microsoft has a history of sometimes misleading the customer. Remember the shenanigans with the Rise of the Tomb Raider timed exclusivity deal, where they worded it to mask the fact that the game would be a timed exclusive at first? Or how about the ads for the Xbox One S last year, which, again, were misleadingly worded to imply the console is capable of 4K gaming? Look, Microsoft now has a powerful console that can do VR, 4K, HDR, and more. There’s no need to mislead- just be honest and upfront about what it is and what it can do. People will trust you more for it.