We’ve always said that you can’t truly judge an E3 press conference until you work it; the sheer number of news articles in the aftermath is the real test of how many games were on display. And let us tell you, Microsoft just sent us into overdrive in a way that not even some Sony briefings have: there were an insane number of reveals and trailers for upcoming PlayStation 4 games.
The Redmond firm will of course argue that it provides the best place to play, but it’s hard to imagine Kingdom Hearts III and Devil May Cry 5 doing meaningful numbers on anything other than the PS4 – and the same is true of From Software’s samurai epic, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. No doubt, there were some great games on display – but did Microsoft really sell any Xbox Ones tonight?
In fact, the strength of the third-party reveals only served to illustrate just how weak Xbox’s first-party offering is; there’s no question that Forza Horizon 4 looked dazzling, while Halo Infinite intrigued, but the company seemed almost embarrassed to show its new Battletoads, and outside of its Ori sequel, only Gears 5 really springs to mind – its character design still abhorrent despite it trying to play a Naughty Dog-esque emotional card.
Many of the third-party games, like Cyberpunk 2077, looked in an entirely different league to Xbox’s own games – and unless it has marketing partnerships on every single one of them, we’re not sure what the Redmond firm really achieved. It still seems to be looking far off into the future, bizarrely announcing that a new Xbox is in production (well, duh!) and that it’s actually purchased some new studios.
Ninja Theory's acquisition will perhaps cut the deepest for PlayStation fans, but the others are largely already associated with Xbox to begin with. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Playground wasn’t already owned by Microsoft; the same goes for Undead Labs. And while The Initiative will surely deliver something great in the future, it feels like this is all planning for the next Xbox.
Which is all fine and dandy, and the kind of moves that will keep Sony on its toes. The message from Phil Spencer was clear: Xbox is here to stay. But perhaps the fact that he had to enforce that point shows how far the company’s got to go; there’s no question that PlayStation remains far out in front of the competition in virtually every department right now.
And yet despite all that, this was a good press conference. It was a very good press conference. It was a killer press conference for both the Xbox and the PS4. Sony seems determined to focus on its four top-tier exclusives tomorrow, so it feels like Microsoft got dibs on everything that was left. It made for a cool presentation, no doubt about it – one of the best PlayStation pressers we’ve seen, in fact.
What did you think of the Microsoft E3 2018 press conference? Did it convince you to purchase an Xbox One, or did it make you love your PS4 that little bit more? Add some salt in the comments section below.
What did you think of Microsoft's Xbox press conference? (182 votes)
It was great, lots of awesome multiformat games
I loved it, particularly the exclusives on display
It was perfectly adequate
I didn't really enjoy it to be honest with you
Erm, I didn't even watch it, Sammy
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