Xbox at E3 2017: Games, Scorpio and What I Both Hope and Expect to See at Microsoft’s Press Conference

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E3 season is almost here (holy crap we’re almost halfway through 2017). With that, I can safely say I’m starting to feel the excitement! It’s a moment where so many publishers and studios come together to reveal new games in development or expand upon titles that have already been announced. Where new hardware can be given limelight and megatons dropped. It’s a holiday for video game players worldwide.

So, I wanted to talk about what I’m excited for, what I think will be shown and what I hope to see. Now, let’s be clear, I won’t be leaking anything here. Even though I may be aware of some things, that’s not what this is about. Rather, I just want to have a candid conversation about what I’d like to see. Let’s start with Microsoft!

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Xbox has a long road ahead of them, and I think it’s a tough one. They’re not the dominant force they once were during the Xbox 360’s reign. Sony is scooping up major partnerships and marketing deals left and right and this E3 marks the future of the Xbox platform. With that said, I’ve been a big fan of Xbox since I first bought the original system back in November 2001 and playing Halo: Combat Evolved overnight into the wee hours of the next morning. They have put out some of my all time favorite games and IPs and I want to see them succeed and continue to be a major player in the gaming scene. Competition creates healthy ecosystems.

With that said, I’m cautiously excited for what Xbox and Phil Spencer can bring to the table. I say “cautiously” for a few reasons. I’m just a little apathetic when I look Xbox’s first party portfolio. This is not a ding on Xbox or the work Phil has done. I love games no matter who makes them, but for me, personally, the experiences I’m craving may not be all that plentiful.

The Games

We know games like Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves will be there. Hey, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the original Crackdown. Skills for kills agent. Building up my skills as an agent, chasing down those addictive green orbs and taking out kingpins and drug lords was a load of fun. The fantastic fireworks of destruction was icing on the cake. The less said about the sequel the better, but I’m looking forward to Crackdown 3. The destruction on display in early footage looks phenomenal.

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Crackdown 3 Pre-Alpha Footage

While it’s been said that a single player campaign is being worked into the game, I’m not sure if it’s going to be substantial or more along the lines of the first two games, which only felt “there” to push gameplay progression. Like I’ve said many times, I love narrative, so fingers crossed it won’t all be built around multiplayer and co-op gameplay. In any case, I’m really looking forward to finally seeing a proper gameplay demo of the game.

We know Sea of Thieves is showing up but I’m not particularly interested in it simply due to the game’s nature. I think it looks gorgeous visually. I really dig the art style. It also has that signature light hearted fun feel to it that’s usually associated with a Rare game. However, I’m not a fan of MMOs or what’s being called “shared open worlds”. Again, I sound like a record player at this point but I’m most attracted to narrative experiences and I’m not anticipating a strong sense of that with Sea of Thieves. I hope nothing but the best for Rare and hope the game’s a wild success.

We’ll also be getting a look at State of Decay 2 along with a release date according to Undead Labs. I’m actually open to this one. I’ll keep an eye out. I never got around to playing the original and I sometimes feel like I should at least give it a try. I like open worlds, apocalyptic settings and vying for survival so it should be right up my alley right? If anything I’m looking forward to learning more about it!

State of Decay 2 Lonely Sunset

State of Decay 2

We can definitely check off a new Forza Motorsport title debuting at the show. I’m sure it’ll be another excellent entry into the series with tons of fans, but with a new Forza game coming in every holiday season, I’m not sure if it’ll move the excitement needle very far.

I feel a sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest is imminent so I’m expecting an announcement regarding that. I never played the original so once again I can’t speak to it but it’s a beloved game and I’m sure fans will appreciate it. I’m really, really hoping we get definitive news on two indies I have been keeping my eye on for a while now: Cuphead and Below. Throw me a bone here Phil! To build on that, I’m looking forward to seeing new indies! I think independent developers have given us some of the most worthwhile experiences this generation so I can’t wait to see what studios are cooking up.

I don’t expect to see or hear anything from The Coalition given they recently wrapped up Gears of War 4 not *too* long ago. Some story based DLC or multiplayer news? Sure, why not. I love me some Gears so more DLC is A-ok with me. 343 Industries has said they’ll have a little something at the show but it won’t be the next mainline Halo. The most likely candidate to me is an expansion or some sort of DLC for Halo Wars 2 but we’ll see! So this is where I’m a little conflicted. I’m excited for some of these games. Crackdown definitely grabs my interest, State of Decay 2 is on my radar and I’m anticipating something on Cuphead and Below, but beyond that, I’m not expecting major surprises.

The reason for this stems from the first party studios under Microsoft’s belt. We know Turn 10 is on Forza, 343 is busy with Halo (which won’t surface this year), The Coalition is working with Gears (which again likely won’t show up), Rare is all hands on deck (no pun intended) with Sea of Thieves which we’re all acquainted with, and Cloudgine is getting ready to finally show their hard work with Crackdown 3. I’m genuinely trying to think of where new first party announcements may come from, but I can’t. Unless there’s a secret studio or two of hundreds of people tucked away somewhere, they’re all known quantities. And Phil Spencer’s said in the past that he’s not big on exclusive third party partnerships.

Naturally there’s going be some third parties taking the Xbox stage and I think that’s necessary for the platform. I expect we’ll see a bit of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, perhaps the rumored Assassin’s Creed: Origins and a little something else.

E3 always brings surprises so I only hope Microsoft has some things up their sleeve.

Project Scorpio

I expect a major focus to be on Microsoft’s new console upgrade “Project Scorpio”. This holiday marks the system’s debut and being that we’re in June, I think it’s safe to expect a look at the final design, a price point and release date. From things I’ve been made aware of in the past, it sounds like the design is extremely sleek despite the jump in hardware power over the standard Xbox One. Given how incredibly sexy the Xbox One S is, I bet the Scorpio is going to turn some heads. I also suspect we’ll finally get a good look at a new dashboard and I’m hoping it improves upon streamlining what we currently have with the Xbox One. I think it needs it.

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Project Scorpio internals

Given numerous comments from Microsoft about the console being a “premium” device, I don’t expect it to be cheap. Now I’m no financial expert, but my personal guess would be along the lines of $449 to $599. Heh, that’s a big gap, but as I said I’m not an authority on gauging price points for electronics. I wouldn’t be surprised if it lands closer to the higher side of that spectrum with all the nifty hardware in there. I also don’t believe Microsoft is expecting to “catch up” to the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales so I think they’ll target profitability and upgrade attraction for current hardcore Xbox One owners versus extremely high mass market adoption.

Though new hardware is great and an exciting prospect (come on who doesn’t love seeing new systems), they’re not much on their own. Microsoft is definitely going to be showcasing a slew of titles running on the Scorpio and that excites me. Visuals aren’t *everything* to me but I don’t mind seeing games look better wherever possible. I expect we’ll see games like Crackdown 3 and Forza Motorsport 7 showcasing the new hardware and looking mighty fine. Microsoft will want to show players that all games look better on Scorpio so there will no doubt be a number of third parties gracing us with their presence. It’s going to be difficult to truly showcase 4K, HDR and all the bells and whistles through janky internet streams but hey, we know the games will look good.

Ultimately I’m actually pretty damn excited for the Scorpio. As a Samsung KS8000 owner myself, you bet I’m planning on buying one this holiday. I own a PlayStation 4 Pro but if I can get multi-platform titles looking even better, I’ll certainly be picking those up on the new Xbox.

Game Pass

Described by Phil Spencer as sort of a Netflix type system for games, I’m hoping we get to see more titles come to service and get even more details on what the service can provide for studios and game development in general moving forward. If it allows more leverage for studios to create games, I’m all for it. I think Game Pass will get touched upon in the conference.

All in all I’m looking forward to Microsoft’s E3 conference in several ways. I’m also hesitant in several other ways. I want to see new story driven experiences come out of Xbox first parties but I’m not anticipating it deep down. We’ll see what Microsoft brings to the table on June 11th!

Nate

10 thoughts on “Xbox at E3 2017: Games, Scorpio and What I Both Hope and Expect to See at Microsoft’s Press Conference

  1. “Leaves GAF” it’s a forum, not a job.

    You then give “permission” for someone to post this blog on that forum. Why? Couldn’t your own Twitter have been enough.

    The thing I find interesting about you and in particular your groupies, is that you and those type of people, expect what you say to be taken as gospel and if it isn’t, hissy fits are thrown. Just who are you exactly? Why should everyone take what you say as 100% everytime? There is something not right with all this, if it’s ties with devs and publishers or just underhanded marketing. You don’t put yourself out there, just a profile pic and the name shinobi and it’s kind of telling that if anyone disagrees or isn’t convinced either of you or what you say, dog piling ensues.

    You may be a decent guy in person , I don’t know, from what I see though, the online side of things, something isn’t right and isn’t in the best interests of gamers, only yourself.

    For what it’s worth I think Microsoft will have another lacklustre E3 like last year and will only look to appease those who will stick with them no matter what, the horrible, obnoxious fanboys. Sony will have the more impressive showing.

    Like

    • My hot take is that you have sort of axe to grind against a guy who is one of the more positive guys I see in gaming. So what if he likes to use the name Shinobi and not use his real name? So what if he likes Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo? These are his opinions not yours. I find his opinions valuable and insightful. I like listening to people who are positive. I dont need negativity in my life. So…. enjoy.

      Great write up and thank you. I cant wait to see what you have to say about the other publishers as well for E3!

      Like

  2. One more thing I hope Microsoft will show is their VR solution for Scorpio. Hopefully it’s possible to use various headsets and motions controllers made for Win10 on it.

    Would make buying one so much more enticing if it works with both console and PC.

    I have also a KS8000 and a PS4Pro and will basically move all my gaming over to Scorpio once it launches. Making the PS4Pro a exclusive titles machine only,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your opinion pieces, but the red background is unbearable for reading the text. Please, either black background and white font or white background and black font. Thanks!

    Like

  4. Constantly tempering criticism with praise (however earnest) creates an impression that you’re afraid to offend anyone or are eager to please instead of fully speaking your mind. Not saying that is necessarily true in your case but it’s the impression that creates over time. Don’t be afraid to talk about a shitty dev or stick it to a series that wronged you. I won’t make a wall of words about it since some kid is already throwing turds at you above me, but that’s my 2cents,

    On topic, I’m hoping Microsoft’s Game Pass applies to PC (and the the continued merger of Xbox and the PC platform) and that they drop the price on the S because I need a UHD drive and Sony’s so high off success they forgot to put one in the Pro

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  5. You are totally right shinobi, we want big new first party game announcements from MS but unfortunately they don’t have studios available to do that. And 3rd party exclusivity deals did not work at all for xbox in the past so i guess they need to focus on the fact that 3rd party games will look the best on scorpio and have some big 3rd party surprise announcement in their conference.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I truly hope for some surprises and I am ready to put the Pro aside for the Scorpio as well as some of these other commenters but what I really want is more Japanese games on Xbox. I’m happy they’re coming to Steam a lot more now and I want them available on every system so they gain more popularity in the west.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Main man of the house, Shinobi. Good read as always. Don’t mind the ruminating haters. In fact, indulge on the fact they wallow in jelly.

    Anyhow, here’s hoping MS has at least one interesting game to show at E3 running on the Scorpio. Serious_laugh.gif

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  8. Hi there,I read your new stuff named “Xbox at E3 2017: Games, Scorpio and What I Both Hope and Expect to See at Microsoft’s Press Conference | Shinobi Speaks” regularly.Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about love spells.

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