Microsoft’s E3 2012 Press Conference – Our Thoughts
Microsoft’s E3 press conference just ended, and we’ve gathered our staff (that isn’t tied up at E3) to tell you what we thought. Since we won’t let them leave until they contribute, they’re more than willing!
Ron Whitaker: We’re all aware of the dearth of new IP this year at E3, and this Microsoft conference underscores that. Sequel piled upon sequel, with only a XBL title (AND SOUTH PARK!!) to break it up. *SIGH* That said, the new Tomb Raider game looks pretty great, and the South Park game is something any fan of the show is looking forward to. Unfortunately, there was really nothing here that wasn’t unexpected. We knew Halo 4 was coming, we knew there was a new Gears, and so this conference was really a fait accompli.
Smart Glass is some interesting new tech, but it looks more like a response to the WiiU than anything that the average gamer really wants. Personally, I don’t care to have stuff on my phone pop up during movies, or use my tablet to control a game. I’m sure someone does, but I honestly don’t know those people.
Also, MS really needs to stop forcing Kinect integration into every game. No one wants it, and no is buying Kinect so they can shout at the TV in Skyrim, or to whisper sweet nothings to Splinter Cell terrorists. Trust me.
It was great to see some new footage from the games we’ve been waiting on, but MS set the bar awfully low in terms of press conferences. We’ll have to see what happens at the others.
Ross Lincoln: Admittedly, footage from the new Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell, South Park, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 were exciting, and the glimpse at Resident Evil 6, though a Resident Evil Game in name only from the looks of it, didn’t entirely suck. But notice that all of those games are not Xbox exclusives; none of them tell you anything about Microsoft’s actual strategy for the final year or so of the 7th generation. What does? Stupid Kinect functionality.
Nearly everything they showed off was centered around Microsoft’s too late to matter attempt to capture the Wii market, including ultimate proof that they’re determined to ruin the Fable series by turning it into a joke rail shooter. Even Halo, which didn’t look particularly groundbreaking but at least is a new Halo game, has stupid Kinect features. But that the majority of the presentation centered around dance games, XBLA dashboard features and yet more sports IP shows that despite statements to the contrary, Microsoft is basically checked out at this point. We might be getting some neat things to play on 360, but with the exception of Halo, they’re not going to be made in-house.
Grade – D
NOTE: this would have been a D-, but hiring Usher to perform for a bunch of game journalists has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Well played, Microsoft.
Matt Hughes: Too much Kinect. Any shouting I do at my tv is far too inappropriate for a game to recognize, and considering the lag I witnessed, I’ll still be relying on buttons and menus as my primary gaming inputs. This is the third year where Microsoft has tried shoving the peripheral down our throats, this time with Usher using his dancing shoes to pack it all down.
As far as gameplay demos, I was thoroughly impressed by Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6, though neither is an Xbox exclusive. Far too little of the new Gears of War was shown to spur any real excitement, and while the Halo demo showcased a new enemy type and a snazzy cutscene, I’d hardly describe the footage as groundbreaking.
Think we’re right? Think we’re wrong? Tell us what YOU thought of the conference, and what grade you give it!
Game Front is on-site at E3 2012 all weekend (June 5-7), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!