E3 Retrospective: Microsoft’s Hard Bargain

After the events of this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), several factors for change in the gaming industry have become semi-clear to those of us willing and interested enough to delve further into them in terms of research and trend tracking. First of all, Sony and Microsoft have almost completely switched their target audiences up until this point, as well as the starting prices for their consoles- while neither being too expensive or over the top, both follow the previous trends of the Xbox 360 (this time the Play Station 4 steps into its shoes), and the Play Station 3 (this time the Xbox One antes up). Now, while for some apparent reason (inflation?) the simple one hundred dollar price difference between the two consoles (the One at $500 and the 4 at $400) seems to be the major selling point on paper, I believe that is not the case at all. Sure, everyone seems to be sounding off and harping about that measly one hundred dollars, but in reality I believe it is the finer points that have sold them, and they simply won’t admit to changing sides so easily. Namely: the ‘better’ deals that Sony has managed to secure, as well as the finer arts studios that are already paving the way with their sure to be hit titles for that console. Because of this, it seems as if Microsoft is at a deficit in terms of exclusivity and big, brand-name titles other than its ever stalwart grip on Halo and a few other key series’. However, it has been apparent that, no longer as it has in the past, can Halo alone carry the system- meaning other titles must step up their game in order to contribute. And now we come to the main point of this blog, in its retrospective look back at Microsoft’s E3 2013- the choices Microsoft has made or has had to make in order to translate everything to the ‘next generation’ of gaming. We’ve already talked about the consoles themselves in depth enough for a lifetime of information across the interwebs, and I’ve hit on the prices a bit myself (as has Ars Technica in this great article), but the games themeselves are what will inevitably and ultimately make or break the success of future systems, and those are what we will talk about today. The exclusives alone are what will set the Xbox One apart from its console counterpart(s), and with the wolves moving in, this launch lineup of exclusives may be more important than ever before.

The following games are Xbox One exclusive titles, followed by my rankings of how influential I believe these specific titles will be in wooing fans or adding shock and awe value to the console itself. I will be using my a so-called ‘H.E.A.T’ ranking for each (Red, Yellow, Blue, and White)- aka “How Epic a Title”. Here’s the list thus far:

Below-  HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, merely because of not being a long established series. Intriguing gameplay elements and promise though.

Crimson Dragon- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, and assumed to be a Panzer Dragoon clone.

D4- HEAT: Yellow- Medium interest, due to narrative familiarity with Deadly Premonition and artistic similarities to The Walking Dead.

Dead Rising 3- HEAT: Blue- High Interest, mainly because of the successes of the past Dead Rising titles and promise shown by the sandbox world of this one.

Forza Motorsport 5- HEAT: Blue- High Interest, despite some believing in GT6 more, FM5 has shown promising features thus far, and looks to continue the series’ quality.

Halo 5/Halo for Xbox One- HEAT: White- Very High Interest, even though the only real coverage has been a short trailer of The Chief.

Killer Instinct- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, mainly because, while many are eager to see the game return, the F2P formula Microsoft is utilizing seems to be doomed to fail.

Kinect Sports Rivals- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, mainly because of the implementation of Kinect not being entirely too popular in games.

LocoCycle- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, because of some interesting gimmicks, but mainly skepticism about the final product.

Minecraft- HEAT: White- Very High Interest, because of the systematic updates coming to the new version, and the game’s popularity.

Quantum Break- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, but mostly skepticism currently, until more details are made clear.

Project Spark- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, but not much has been shown yet, so that is subject to change after the initial readings.

Rabbids Invasion- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, as this series has all but run its course, and never been one for quality these past years.

Ryse: Son of Rome- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, as the gameplay and cinematic melding offered up by Crytek seems promising enough.

Sunset Overdrive- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, despite many feeling it will go down the road of FUSE more than is healthy.

Titanfall- HEAT: Blue- High Interest, despite skepticism on how different it will actually be from Call of Duty.

Zumba Party Fitness- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, mainly because not many of the titles are ever sold successfully.

Zoo Tycoon- HEAT: Yellow- Medium Interest, due to the lack of console tycoon games, many are actually looking forward to a new game on the horizon.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare- HEAT: Blue- High Interest, mainly because a new PvZ game is way overdue in fans’ minds.

Fantasia: Music Evolved- HEAT: Red- Low Interest, mainly because the game looks to be pretty simplistic and average.

NOTE: The games on this list are either Xbox One exclusives, or may also be featured on the PC or other game systems other than the Play Station 4 itself. This just means that in comparison to the Wii U and PS4, it is an Xbox exclusive.

The following games are the most likely biggest sellers for the Xbox One, and the factors that may save it yet from the overwhelming support its adversaries have gained thus far in terms of fanbase and promise:

Dead Rising 3

Forza Motorsport 5

Halo 5

Minecraft

Titanfall

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

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millie schmidt writes... with cats

millie schmidt writes...

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