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E3 2014: Press Conference Analysis – Microsoft

Like many of you, we were paying close attention to the proceedings at the E3 press conferences, and certainly had a lot to take from each one. Here, we’ll be providing our responses to the Microsoft conference that kicked off this year’s festivities. What’s in store for the Xbox One? How did Microsoft make us feel about owning ours? Read on.

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Danreb Victorio, Managing Editor

“I definitely came away impressed with what Microsoft had to offer. Unlike last year, there’s a handful of games I definitely want to play highlighted by the stylish Sunset Overdrive and Platinum Games’ exclusive Scalebound. And while it won’t be an exclusive, the next Tomb Raider game is another title of intrigue. I’m also pretty excited about the ID@Xbox lineup, as almost every indie title shown really looks like a blast to play.

Nothing shown was a system seller (unless you consider the Master Chief Collection to be it), but Microsoft did just enough to say my Xbox One is still a good investment.”

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Filippo Dinolfo, Senior Editor

“What we saw this year from Microsoft was focus. With the changes rippling through the company, the Xbox division would have had to change as well. This year we saw 90 minutes of games, and a few minutes of annoying TV stars talking about games. Kinect was mentioned once throughout the keynote, and that was during Harmonix’s brief announcement of Dance Central. They didn’t even show Fantasia, just mentioned it and moved on.

I saw quite a few games I was very interested in, but the announcement of Crackdown really surprised me. Then there was Phantom Dust and Scalebound which completely came out of nowhere. I would have liked to have seen Project Gotham Racing make a return, but I’m more than happy to go play in the world of Forza Horizon 2 this winter. All told, though there weren’t any major bombshell, “holy crap” style announcements, I came away very impressed with what Microsoft will be doing this year and the next.”

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Patrick Mifflin, Associate Editor

“I’ve been saying all along that Microsoft was going to come out swinging, and that they had to if they were going to make up the ground lost in the last year. I didn’t think they were going to be THIS impressive, however.

Phantom Dust and Scalebound were genuine surprises that will more than likely land in my Xbox One library (although Phantom Dust perhaps shouldn’t have been so surprising, as Phil Spencer has wanted to see it brought back for years), and they were accompanied by an indie games lineup that looks every bit as impressive as Sony’s massive arsenal from last year.

There wasn’t that one big blowaway moment, but I personally find my favorite E3 pressers are the ones that hit me with a steady stream of high-quality titles to make me feel good about owning the system being showcased, rather than the ones that put their entire reputation behind one or two “AAA” offerings. This absolutely goes down as one of Microsoft’s best E3s of all time from that standpoint.”

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Josh Schwartzman, Staff Writer

“After years of touting sales and pushing Kinect, Microsoft finally gave gamers something they are truly interested in: games. Lots of new games were shown and it really showed how hard Microsoft is pushing the Xbox One as a gaming machine, rather than the all-in-one multimedia system they praised last year.

Halo 5, The Division, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Dragon Age: Inquisition all look amazing running on the Xbox One and I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on them. Probably oe of the biggest surprises for me was the amount of content in Microsoft’s new ID@Xbox division exclusively for indie games. The new game from Limbo developer looks intriguing and Ori and the Blind Forest probably surprised me more than any other game, as it looks like a beautiful, enjoyable game. I think the jab at Rare and its fans was kind of mean, but Project Spark with Conker in it could only be a good thing. The next year truly looks like things are heading into the right direction for Microsoft.”

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