Xbox One Gamescom Press Conference Review – Microsoft’s Miraculous Turnaround Continues

Games, Games and more Games at Gamescom.

Posted By | On 04th, Aug. 2015 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

The thing with Microsoft’s miraculous turnaround of the Xbox One this generation is that there isn’t any one moment in time that you can point at as where it might have happened. Unlike Sony and their introduction of the PS3 Slim and Uncharted 2, or Nintendo and their Nintendo 3DS price cut, and release of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, the comeback of the Xbox One has been a slow, steady process. It’s been going on ever since Phil Spencer took the reigns of the Xbox department at Microsoft, and systematically started to dismantle everything about the system that was controversial, leaving just a great gamer focused machine in his wake.

So no, you can’t point to any one Microsoft conference, E3, Gamescom, or otherwise, and call it bombastic, because they’re never those- they’re only very good at best. But very good is excellent in this case. Very good is what the doctor ordered. Very good works. Because without knowing it, I now find myself sold on an Xbox One, pining for its exclusives. And never before has that been more apparent to me than tonight’s Gamescom showing.

Microsoft already had a massive advantage going into Gamescom this year- with both Sony and Nintendo sitting this one out, they had basically won by default. They could have just made their Gamescom showing a repeat of their E3 stuff, and called it a day. No one would have complained much, because what would they be doing bad compared to? But no, true to their word, they decided to highlight entirely separate portions of their lineup at Gamescom, talking about games that they hadn’t even mentioned at E3. And in the process, they ended up giving the impression of a massive, massive lineup of exclusives for their console in the coming months, which should be enough to sell anybody on it.

From their ‘big three’ showings – Remedy’s Quantum Break, looking literally a generation ahead of Uncharted 4 in terms of gameplay; Platinum’s Scalebound, which looks like an excellent action RPG, and like the next generation Dragon’s Dogma game that we are doomed to never get; Crackdown 3, which finally looks set on realizing the potential of Microsoft’s open world action franchise – to their announcement of more perks for existing Xbox One owners (Windows 10 coming to Xbox One, all future GwG games being BC enabled on Xbox One, backwards compatibility finally being made available to everyone this November), Microsoft never missed a note.

They also made sure to talk more about Halo 5: Guardians, which looks like it will have an extreme focus on eSports, as well as Forza Motorsport 6, which looks like a return to form for the franchise; Rise of the Tomb Raider, which finally got a proper showing, and also, a whole lot of third party games, from Just Cause 3 to Rainbow Six: Siege, to even Dark Souls III, which got an amazing looking gameplay trailer that finally got me excited about it. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night got some stage time, as did a whole host of other indie games. Major PC games, such as ARK: Survival Evolved and Cities: Skylines, were all confirmed for Xbox One.

Essentially, it didn’t matter what kind of game you liked- first party or third party, exclusive or multiplat, western or Japanese, AAA or indie, PC or console, you got something that was right up your alley at Microsoft’s conference anyway. The fact that they even managed to find some time to talk about their multimedia features – DVR recording for TV is finally coming to the system, and will even be compatible with the Xbox app on smart devices – or that they even managed to have one last minute new announcement in Halo Wars 2 (which by the way, being helmed by The Creative Assembly, looks like it could be seriously awesome) is only a testament to just how great this conference was, and how much they managed to pack into it.

When people make lists of all time great conferences in the future, Microsoft’s Gamescom showing this year will probably not feature in it- probably, none of their showings at E3 or Gamescom in the last few years will, to be honest. But this year’s Gamescom showing will probably be looked at as the point in the Xbox One’s history where the turnaround was complete to such an extent that there was very little downtime, very little that disappointed, very little to complain about.

And considering where the Xbox One was just a year ago, that is seriously impressive after all.

SCORE: 8/10

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  • One The One

    “you can’t point to any one Microsoft conference, E3, Gamescom, or otherwise, and call it bombastic, because they’re never those- they’re only very good at best”.

    Says someone somehow amazed by a Kickstarter project and a timed-exclusive remake in this year’s E3. How biased is that?

    • Rhodri

      Yea I know right they gave sony a 10/10 for there e3.Makes no sense

    • Orion Wolf

      “Sony’s E3 conference will be remembered for ages”

      Bring a dev on stage to beg for his game, on stage of a multibillion dollar company… that’s not “awesome”, that’s sad.

      I have an idea for the next e3. MS could show some concept art from a game/s releasing in 2019, perhaps a short CGI, oh and invite a dev to beg people to KS his game, maybe that would make them “win” next years e3.

    • Skippypaccino

      To be honest, Microsoft is the King of CGI trailers. Everyone was going nuts for their exclusive that finally got a Gameplay Trailer today (if you call crackdown that)

      I find sony actually waits till they have Gameplay to showoff a game…

      Pretty average conference, nothing to compare it too so it’s the best of the day. Anyone else get that infamous second son vibe from QB? It look like infamous second son with guns. Lol!

  • Rhodri

    9/10 IMO

  • XanderZane41

    I gave this conference a 8/10 as well. Didn’t think it was as good as the E3 mainly because there really weren’t any Megaton news like the B/C. Also Microsoft didn’t announce any new Exclusive IP’s like they did with Recore & Sea of Thieves. They did show some nice Indies and talked about DVR anywhere, which is nice. if they had announced Battletoads, Crimson Skies or a MechAssault sequel I would have been impressed. I was hoping they would show at least one DX12 game and talk about it. Still, the show was very good. I thought Sony & Microsoft E3 were pretty much a tie. FF ViII remake and Shenmue 3 were big, but many had been expecting them. Most likely these games will be multiplats and not exclusive to the PS4. I gave both conferences 9/10 for the E3.

    • Rhodri

      How they mostly showed games? There may not have been any new announcements but the gameplay made of for that. I think this conference was better than E3.

    • Mark

      Gotta agree. Quantum, Break, Scalebound, and Tomb Raider looked phenomenal. How Remedy and Platinum are squeezing that level of detail outta the X1 is plain stupid. Those 2 games have possibly the best graphics I’ve seen this gen, with UC4 and DOOM right behind. I am speechless @ Scalebound tho…

    • XanderZane41

      I’m not trying to take anything away from Quantum Break, Scalebound and Crackdown 3 which were very impressive. I just didn’t think Microsoft showed enough new content compared to the E3. I would have loved an update on games like Below, Inside and Cuphead as well. The only real surprise was Halo War 2. The E3 had bigger surprises. That’s why I thought it was better.

    • Rhodri

      NP I just don’t rate the conferences on surprises I rate them on content, this one had more and better content than e3

    • doplerradar

      Technically Halo Wars 2 is a new announcement.

  • hiawa23

    MS has done a great job turning the ship around, and although I also own a PS4 and Wiiu the Xbox 1 is my console of choice. Very happy with what MS has been doing with the monthly updates, the OS, Live, and what they showed @ the show today.

  • Mark

    Nice review Pramath. I gotta give them a 9 tho. Mainly because the gameplay they did show was stunning imo. Qbreak, Scalebound, and Tomb Raider were phenomenal. They missed having any megatons tho, so def not a 10. Still, I am one happy man.

  • Mr Xrat

    “Turn around.” Bwahahahahaha!

    Limp gameplay demos, dregs, rehashes and esports dreck, now that’s a turn around!

  • 2econd gpu unlocking

    GAF are doing a nice job of downplaying Quantum Break.

  • Mr Xrat

    Oh look, pending again. Keep flagging up comments that upset you, Xbox fanboys, it won’t end the reality that the Xbone is and always will be a joke.

    • *Also On PC

      Just like the POS4 then, Andyscout.

      Except this time you have to shill the Doritos and Dew. How pathetic :^)

  • Devon Day

    Agree with the score. The big three performed well (minus some occasional framerate issues in ScaleBound), Halo treatment as per usual, and other goodies we had received, such as HomeFront and ARK.

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