With this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo fast approaching, the time has come for us to make a few predictions about what we expect to see and what we hope will be announced in Los Angeles during the most important time of the year for the video game industry.
Here are some of our predictions for what Microsoft will show during the Xbox E3 2015 Briefing.
Tony Polanco – Executive Editor
Microsoft has (arguably) had the best E3 conferences out of the big publishers and developers for the last couple of years. Since the debacle that was the Xbox One reveal, Microsoft has been trying to get back into gamers’ good graces. How have they done this? By showing wall to wall games during the most important time of the industry’s year. 2015 will be no exception in this regard and Microsoft will once again pack their E3 presentation with nonstop game trailers and on-stage gameplay. Considering the line up they have for the Fall, they won’t have any problems making it rain games at the Galen Center.
We can definitely expect to see Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, and of course, Halo 5: Guardians take up significant stage time. These will be the pillars of Microsoft’s Fall line up so they’ll have to push these games hard on the show floor. We’ll also see something for HoloLens as well though this will be kept to a minimum since the focus will be on games.
What will definitely be kept to a minimum is Kinect. Seeing as how the peripheral failed to win over gamers on the Xbox One and how it was ultimately removed as a necessary component of the system, there is no reason to believe it will get any stage time. The Kinect is effectively dead so Microsoft won’t be displaying it in any significant fashion.
Since the Xbox One actually has an advantage over the PlayStation 4 in terms of console price and first party exclusives, we can expect Microsoft to throw this in people’s faces. Seeing how Sony has made Microsoft look bad during previous E3s by mocking the company’s bungling of the Xbox One launch, Microsoft will now have their turn to (subtly) make fun of Sony with its lack of first party support and more expensive system.
Microsoft has all the cards favoring them this year so I expect them to bring another great show. Considering that they are holding the first major conference of the event, the other companies may have a hard time following in their wake.
Jakejames Lugo – Associate Editor
Things have no where else to go but up for Microsoft at E3 2015. So far, Microsoft has been clear about having a press conference heavily focused on first-party exclusive games, which is great news for many gamers. Pieces of information that have trickled out bit by bit in leaks and offshoot statements have led many to believe that Microsoft is waiting to bring some big news to their E3 2015 audience. This can all come together nicely for Microsoft, provided they make a few points clear to those that have yet to dive into the Xbox ecosystem.
The Xbox One is now at a cheaper price point than the PlayStation 4 with the removal of Kinect, making the race between both consoles a bit more in Microsoft’s favor. Now, things become less about hardware and features and more about what titles are offered on the system. Introducing a new bundle to the market with a fresher title packed with the Xbox One can help boost sales, especially if the bundle will come with a newly announced title during the conference. However the rumblings about a redesigned controller for the Xbox One would help out as well, so it would be ideal to include that with the console going forward. The idea would be to really make the Xbox One feel fresh and lively despite all of the questionable and radical changes that have been made over the past year.
But the games are where Microsoft is looking to score big with everyone at E3. New info about titles revealed last year, such as Crackdown, Scalebound, Phantom Dust, and the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians would all strengthen the Xbox exclusive presence at their E3 2015 conference.
That doesn’t mean that Microsoft will play it safe with new game titles however, as we can all expect a few surprise announcements and world reveals during their event. Officially showing the Gears of War HD Remaster, as well as teasing fans with something for what might be the next installment in the Gears of War series. Finally giving fans a peak at developer RARE’s next game will make Xbox fans very happy, especially if it turns out to be a new Battletoads game exclusively on Xbox One.
These are only some of many surprises Microsoft can reveal to the gaming world to really make a splash and get everyone talking at E3.
Charles Singletary Jr. – Contributing Editor
Expectations: Microsoft has been smart in focusing on games, but they’ve missed a few opportunities with some exclusives/timed exclusives on their consoles. Their holiday season will be strong as usual, but they’ll need to maintain their increased console sales into Spring of next year. We’ll see Gigantic and Elite: Dangerous take the main stage at some point before getting Halo 5 gameplay.
We’ll also get gameplay footage for Scalebound and more gameplay for Quantum Break.
Surprises: Shenmue III is announced as a console exclusive coming late 2016.
Dana Abercrombie – Content Writer
Expect to See:
We call all agree (well, at least I can) that last year’s Microsoft press conference was a cluster-mess for the ages. While I would expect to see the ghost of Steve Jobs sitting in the audience with a grin on his face, expecting to laugh his ass off again, I think Microsoft is going to learn from the past. They won’t steal the show, but they won’t drop the ball again.
I expect to see plenty of content and exclusives. Kinect is the land where dreams go to (motion-sensor) die, so there will be none of that talk this year. Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War HD Remaster, Madden NFL 16, Quantum Break, Cracktown and Rise of the Tomb Raider will be among the big holiday reveals.
After originally announcing the official “screw your wallet” Xbox One price, we can expect to see a lot backtracking (which seems to be Microsoft’s MO) and perhaps another price cut. This is something that would make great sense, since a slimmer version of the Xbox One unit is expected to be announced. We are also expected to get a new camouflage controller with a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. Why not a nice console to go with it? The company needs all the help it can get to make us excited about The One.
Surprise to See:
An apology is the last thing I would ever expect to see and hear from the developer. This will never happen, but it would be nice. Aaron Greenberg, US Marketing Head for Xbox already stated that there will be a lot of surprises from the company in the form of more games.
I would be surprised but very pleased to see Phil Spencer engaging in a full MMA fight with Shuhei Yoshida for the rights to Silent Hills. Can you imagine if they announce it will launch the next day? I know the rumor has been debunked, but a girl can dream!
Also, Xbox 360 still exist dammit! While the company is focused on the next-gen, they did declare there’s a couple of years before they put the console out to pasture. As much as I would love to see a presentation dedicated to this console of yesterday, I would be surprised if this happened. Please Ultimate Universe, make this happen!
Anthony Nash – News Editor
First Parties Galore: Don’t expect Phil Spencer to go out of his way in announcing a lot of third party games. He’s gone on record to say that Xbox is all about first party content recently, and E3 shouldn’t be a big change. Expect to see a lot of Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and some other big first party games. Gears of War seems to be getting a remake, so I would imagine some news is dropped there.
Catching Up: While many will probably disagree, Microsoft actually had (arguably) the best conference of last year’s E3. In order to continue that momentum, expect to see Microsoft mentioning the fact that they have the cheaper system, and consumers no longer have to buy the Kinect in order to get an Xbox One.
We’ll hear a lot of indie talk as well, especially with big title games like Elite: Dangerous making its console debut on the Xbox. Microsoft will admittedly have the biggest chance to catch up to Sony this holiday season, so we’ll see them pushing that holiday lineup hard.
Surprises: This rumor is most likely nothing, but it would be absolutely insane to see Microsoft acquiring the Silent Hill IP and turning it into an Xbox exclusive. Other than that, I think the best thing for Microsoft to do is play it safe, build on what they have, and hope that Sony stumbles during their conference.
Chris Sealy – Content Writer
Microsoft coming in to E3 2015 may have the strongest conference simply because they are bringing the games; namely, for holiday 2015, Xbox One will be graced with Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Motorsport 6. Also, Rise of the Tomb Raider which is a third party timed exclusive for Xbox One this holiday.
My thoughts are Microsoft will play to their base and show key first party and exclusive games. Killer Instinct will probably get some love and I’m pretty sure Iron Galaxy will announce a Season 3 for KI with a whole new roster of fighters and updates for the main game (story mode for all the current season 1 and 2 fighters and hopefully an update to the dojo). I also think that with all the hints Microsoft has dropped with Battletoads, that it’s a foregone conclusion that we’ll see a current gen remake of the classic RARE game come to Xbox One.
Remedy will probably come out and show off some of the crazy features of Quantum Break. While that game looks really cool and I like those time bending features, I would love it if after the Quantum Break portion they just come out with an Alan Wake announcement. Alan Wake was a great horror title on Xbox 360 which had a cool story and ended completely open to a follow-up!
Along with that, I believe some other older Xbox titles will hopefully come back as well. Crackdown was heavily hinted at last year’s E3 conference so I believe by now that game will have more substance to actually show us something this time around. Just speculating, but we haven’t seen an original, current gen Gears of War game for Xbox One yet so maybe along with announcing the HD remaster of Gears of War (which got leaked by testers), we might also see a whole new Gears story coming from Microsoft.
Obviously, the mic drop for Microsoft this year will be Halo 5: Guardians. This will be saved for the end of the show and they will pull out all the stops with this title. This is their most anticipated game and one of the most anticipated games of the year for any console and Microsoft knows this. The volume will be turned up to 11 during the Halo reveal.
These are some of our thoughts but what do you guys think Microsoft will show during their press event? Make sure to let us know in the comments below.