“What does Microsoft need to win e3. What do you expect?”
It’s difficult to gauge how excited we should be for Microsoft’s press conference at E3 this year. Unlike E3 2011 where new technology was being released (Kinect), UIs were being overhauled (New Xbox Experience), epic series were concluding/continuing (Gears of War 3, Halo 4, etc.), and the titular system received a sexy new redesign, E2 2012 doesn’t appear to hold any fundamental changes for Microsoft’s platform.
Earlier this year, rumors hinted that both Microsoft and Sony would show off new consoles during E3. However, since then Microsoft has stated that “there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon” and Sony has confirmed that “we are not making any announcements at E3″ regarding the PlayStation 4. That isn’t really a problem for Sony’s system as its technical capabilities are already more advanced than the competition’s, but the Xbox 360’s limitations are starting to become noticeable. In an age where a majority of games are more style than they are substance, the finger is constantly being pointed at the Xbox 360’s rough graphical output and sheer amount of DVD disks included in every major game release. The tough reality is that Sony had more prep time with this generation of consoles and Microsoft is currently paying the price for an early start. Since the successor (tentatively labeled by media outlets as the “Xbox 720”) will not be making an appearance at E3 2012, gamers are expecting to see more in the way of new titles and other content to hold them over.
No surprises are expected from Microsoft’s game release strategy as it has already been confirmed that Halo 4 and Forza: Horizon are coming out in December, so I’m thinking that some of the system’s upcoming multi-platform titles (Persona 4 Arena, Resident Evil 6, Lost Planet 3, DmC, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, etc.) will be featured pretty prominently and Microsoft will likely place heavier focus on its other platforms like Windows Phone and Kinect. If I were a betting man, I would say that Microsoft has a handful of exclusives going to Windows phone along with some increased Xbox Live functionality. We’re also likely to see a slew of mostly uninteresting Kinect titles in an attempt to reinforce the platform’s relevance. I can’t say whether or not this strategy will have any impact, but I am hopeful that Lionhead will release more Fable: The Journey details.
From this vantage point, it’s hard to judge whether or not Microsoft will ‘win’ E3 2012. To be honest, a big part of me is beginning to think that this will be Wii U’s year in terms of sheer media buzz. And while I’m still not sure it will be a good show, I will say is that I’m really pleased with Microsoft’s approach to E3 this year.
Many of us would love to attend E3 on a yearly basis, but either a lack the funds or credentials to participate has held us back. In order to bring gamers closer to the experience, Microsoft will be live-streaming their conference over Spike TV and Xbox live. It’s a very cool approach that has totally caught my attention. Spike and Xbox Live’s coverage begins one day ahead of the big show on Monday, June 4. Check out your local listings for coverage times and keep an eye on your Xbox Dashboard if you’re interested.