Microsoft Flounders In Weak E3 Showing That Fails To Justify The Xbox One X And Its High Price

Swing and a miss.

Posted By | On 12th, Jun. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

There was a lot of pressure on Microsoft going into E3 this year. They have built up the Xbox One X (née Scorpio) as this almost mythical new system that will turn the fortunes of the Xbox brand around. They have been silent on the games front for a year, with delays, cancelations, minimal releases, and even fewer new announcements. They’ve seen Sony widen their lead in games and sales, and Nintendo be resurgent and start chipping away at their second place position.

So they had to come out swinging. They needed to announce a powerful, cheap Scorpio. They needed to have a killer lineup of games. They needed to have a convincing press conference that established why players would need the Scorpio. In other words, they needed to not make mistakes, not trip up.

Unfortunately, that is not how this played out. Microsoft’s E3 show today was… underwhelming. It was not quite as bad as EA’s show yesterday, or some of the Kinect focused ciruses (often literally) Microsoft used to have in the yesteryear, but it was pretty bad. See, until now, the Scorpio has had some positive momentum around it- it’s a powerful machine, and Microsoft themselves seem to be pushing it as the next big thing. After this show, it’s unclear how much, if any, of that positive momentum still remains.

"Microsoft’s E3 show today was… underwhelming, to put it charitably. "

First, let’s get the positives out of the way. Microsoft very thoroughly sold the hardware of the Scorpio to the average viewer right at the beginning of the conference. We knew, right away, that the Xbox One X will be a powerful system. Xbox One X as a name, too, is reasonably okay. It’s not the best, it’s not the worst, and I don’t know if I could have done better there. Microsoft also kept the conference moving, focusing squarely on the games, and none of the other nonsense that often loses player interest. And finally, some announcements, such as the release date announcement (which was right at the beginning), and the announcement for support of the original Xbox on Xbox One’s backward compatibility service, were legitimately good announcements.

But the issues were egregious enough to overwhelm these few positives. For instance, Microsoft focused on the games, but the games were either all dull, or expected, or third party multiplatform games, or where exclusive (shared with PC, but still), smaller indie games that you do not want to use to drum up excitement for a new machine- especially when that new machine costs $500.

Yes, that was the other problem- Microsoft announced the Xbox One X will cost $499. This is a ridiculous price- historically, game consoles have not sold at a price above $399, and just four years ago, the Xbox One itself had issues moving at the $500 price point. This is without considering that exchange rates will make the Xbox One X over $600 in places like Australia and Canada. If the Xbox One X had any capability to have an impact on the larger market, it has been constrained because of this price, which ensures that the larger market will not buy it. You can get a PS4 or an Xbox One S for half the price, and they will all play the same games.

And this is the other problem- Microsoft failed to justify the Xbox One X entirely. Most of the games they showed, while looking great, will be available on at least the Xbox One S, as well as the PS4. The few exclusives they did show were all smaller indie games, games which can be great but which are not the kinds of games you want to use to sell a new high end machine. Microsoft’s own first party was conspicuously missing- we go Crackdown 3, State of DecayForza Motorsport 7, and Sea of Thieves. And that was it. There was no new game announced by Microsoft. Where were their own studios? Why did Microsoft not bring them all out to try and build some confidence in the future of Xbox, which was the entire point of the show?

sea of thieves

"Microsoft’s own first party was conspicuously missing- we go Crackdown 3, State of DecayForza Motorsport 7, and Sea of Thieves. And that was it. There was no new game announced by Microsoft. Where were their own studios? Why did Microsoft not bring them all out to try and build some confidence in the future of Xbox, which was the entire point of the show?"

And then there is also the point that of the first party games they did show off, two got pushed into next year. Sea of Thieves is next year now. So is State of Decay 2. So that leaves Forza for September, and Crackdown for November, and… what else? Microsoft has nothing to show for the games this year. It brought the most powerful console ever made to the show, but it failed to bring the games.

And that ultimately shows me that Microsoft learned the wrong lesson from the PS4’s success. The PS4 sold not just because it was a more powerful system- that was a factor in its success, but not the only one. It sold because it had a killer lineup of exclusive games you couldn’t get anywhere else. Ultimately, it is the games that sell consoles, and hardware by itself is never enough. Just look at the Nintendo Switch- it is weaker than even the regular Xbox One, but it is breaking sales records worldwide, simply because Nintendo put some of their best games ever on it.

That’s what Microsoft needed this E3- they needed to show games, games that will justify Xbox One X’s potential. Interesting looking games, exciting looking ones, ones exclusive to their ecosystem, games that would justify a $500 Xbox One X. They failed to do that. It will be interesting to see whether that has any larger repercussion on the Xbox One X’s long term market performance.

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  • Cenk Algu

    it is a Goddamm last gen Remaster. I cant believe you people fell this far lol!

    • Gamez Rule

      Like I stated ..A remaster that’s used loads of current gen tools to make it what it is today so yes game is native 4k at 60fps on PS4-Pro no matter what you have against it.

  • Fear Monkey

    Xbox Fan – OMG, XBox One X gonna rule over Pony fanboys!
    PS fans – Its $100 more, came out a year after the PS Pro, and has no real new games to excite, whats so awesome about that.
    PC fans – LOL – My GTX1080 x4 setup makes it look like a fisher price toy, bow before my watercooled might.
    The Rest of us – Meh – I dont have a 4k TV yet, I’ll play whatever my friends are all on.


      Mostly on ps4 then?

    • Fear Monkey

      This is what a friend who is a PS4 owner actually said to me about getting a Xbox One X lol, which is why I wrote it. He was commenting on spending $500 for a new console when he is a year invested in his PS PRo. He and I are HUGE Crimson Skies fans, if MS brings it back, it would entice him. Im debating on getting one or a PC VR headset next. I want it to succeed, so i may have to get it just to support MS.

    • Gamez Rule

      Lets just hope that IF you do get the console because you want to support MS that in turn MS supports you back.

      Reason I say that is because as an Xbone users myself MS have shown no support towards my console choice since 2017 started, hence why we’ve had no full console exclusive games released that cannot be played on PC. Instead MS has focused on hardware and not games which was clearly shown via E3.

    • Fear Monkey

      Don “Let them play offline Xbox 360” Mattrick put them in a very bad place. They have been playing FIX IT since Xbox One’s launch. I was a big Xbox guy until I got the PS4, I want MS to do well as I want them to wow us with the next console. I would hate MS to bow out of Xbox, I know they can do better. Like Sony’s missteps with the PS3, they will learn and do better. I hope Scorpio is successful!


      Its OK, whatever you chose. Just remember VR is also desperate for support. 😉

    • Fear Monkey

      I also have a PS Pro and PSVR so im good there, I want a Vive as well though.

  • Bilal Prince-Ali

    this guys gonna stress out!! ahahah

    • Gamez Rule

      I believe so! lol

  • “High price?” Let me know when you can build a 4K 60fps gaming rig for under $500. I’ll wait.

  • Mark

    U were at E3?! Stop lying! Ahaha. Nah that’s crazy if true. How’s Sony’s conference? I’m at work

  • Ocelot forgot his meds

    Sorry no. Sony’s show was embarrassing. DLC, games we have seen 3 times and VR tech demos for only 60 minutes ?!?

    I’ll take the the Xbox 4k monster, best multiplats available, player unknown, cuphead, crackdown, Forza this year… LOL.

    Xbox wins this E3..

    • Holeybartender

      Uh no. Anthem was the only good game that was shown,the rest of them were cartoony games and artsy-fartsy side-scrollers. Cuphead and an obviously knockoff of Tales from Sonic? Come on,really? Even Crackdown looked like it belonged on Switch.I swear I was watching a Nintendo conference instead of a Microsoft one with all those bland cartoony graphics.

      Yeah Sony showed games from last year but they had gameplay this time around that completely changed the feel of the games compared to last year’s trailers. DAMN did Spiderman look freaking awesome or what!? I thought last year’s trailer was just a cutscene trailer but seeing that it was actual gameplay was just amazing. That is the kind of games Microsoft should’ve showcased to show the power of the XBOX (Omg,even abbreviating Xbox One X is confusing) not cartoony looking games.

      You want to dog Sony for showing VR yet where was Microsoft’s AR games huh?

      No,Microsoft’s conference stunk.

  • Mr Xrat

    Nail on the head. Just two games this year after a dry 2017 so far, timed indie exclusives, underwhelming gameplay footage and cap it all off with a $499 price tag to drive away the mass market. After a year of hype, this can’t be called anything else than a disaster. No wonder Xgimps are mad.


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