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A discussion of Xbox in the eighth gen so far

SOR5

Member
Nov 3, 2015
4,974
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Getting down to brass tacks, the beginnings of Codename: Durango are a car crash, a multimedia focused system out of touch with it's audience, a limelight for only the safest blockbusters of games and invasive DRM and forced peripherals massively harming the consumer experience and appeal of the device. However the Xbox brand begun a slow transformative process back in 2014, some have infamously jumped the gun and deemed this the Phil Spencer effect, however what has undisputably been revealed is a series of policy changes and brand pivots that have both been challenged as questionable and embraced as a return-to-form. What I wish to present is a rough timeline of these events and changes, warts and all



The 2013 DRM Reversal
To begin with this means to start with the rockiest period in the brand's history, in E3 2013 the Xbox One was confirmed by Don Mattrick and co. to feature a DRM process that would require constant check-ins and an online internet connection, this spiraled down to many legendary PR blunders such as "We have a product, its called Xbox 360" and was met with a huge backlash, especially compared to Sony who utilized this glaring problem to their advantage in their own videos and reveal. The DRM had many apparent benefits such as family sharing, however the digital future was not ready and the execution was invasive, messy and harmful to consumers. In an open letter Don Mattrick reversed these DRM policies and went back to the same techniques implemented in the 360. This cycle of events finalized with the departure of Don Mattrick to Zynga.

ID@Xbox
During this backlash though, the ID@Xbox initiative began, whilst vastly overshadowed by the negativity of the Xbox One's launch process, the program ran by Chris Charla promised indie developers an ecosystem that promotes and cultivates creativity, each developer receives two dev kits at no cost (recently retail Xbox Ones have been given a dev mode as well), several games have been given a hefty spotlight from ID@Xbox, including Cuphead which has received many awards, Inside which became a critical darling earlier this year and more such as Superhot and The Long Dark. However the ID@Xbox had received scrutiny for its parity policy meaning that games had to release on the Xbox before any other console or at least in-time with the other consoles, this caused distress amongst indie developers however in mid-2015 this clause was deemed effectively over, with Phil Spencer stating in an interview that MS will discuss a staggered release with developers and still support them.

Kinect removed
One of the biggest criticisms for the Xbox One circa launch was the revelation that Xbox One would have to be bundled with a Kinect, substantially raising the RRP of the product despite many feedback from consumers that shown apathy and disdain towards the Kinect, shortly after the promotion of Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer in early 2014 stated that the Kinect would no longer be required, the price would go down to $399. Alongside this the paywall for apps such as Netflix and Hulu were completely dropped. This was the first cornerstone that signalled Xbox's return to a traditional controller gaming priority, in E3 2014 only 2 Kinect games were shown. In E3 2015 and E3 2016, no Kinect games were shown. In 2016 the redesigned Xbox One S can support Kinect but only through the usage of a Kinect adapter.

Games first
The first big shift in development priority with Phil Spencers tenure meant the prioritization of games from the Xbox division, a quote from Polygon states:

"Xbox is a gaming brand and [Microsoft] took the person who was at the head of the gaming franchises to lead the Xbox team," Spencer said in an interview with Polygon today. The appointment, he said, "really shows a commitment" to games on the platform that was first introduced to the world with a focus on entertainment.

"With me you're going to get a focus on gaming first and a best platform to play games on," Spencer, formerly the head of Microsoft Studios, said. "It's not a focus we ever lost but it's one I'll be accentuating at Microsoft. It's really going to be a gaming-led focus with Xbox and my new role allows us to execute on that."

Phil Spencer's work in conjunction with figures such as Microsofts head of first party Shannon Loftis, has resulted in the revival of old IP's and the beginning of new ones. Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac), Ori and The Blind Forest (Moon Studio), Killer Instinct (Double Helix/Iron Galaxy), Sea of Thieves (Rare), Scalebound (Platinum/Kamiya) and Recore (Paccini/Inafune/Staten) are some IP's that have been announced with many of them already receiving critical acclaim, plenty of support and hints of a sequel. however there has been some lukewarm reception as well, Quantum Break received a polarized reception, some praising it's fast and fun gunplay but critiquing the out-dated TV approach and performance issues. Ryse was praised for it's graphical achievements but deemed as being repetitive and mediocre in gameplay. D4 from cult-developer SWERY was praised for its quirky story and Kinect usage, however entered an extremely troubled commercial response and with the deprioritization of Kinect and SWERY's time-off has entered a developmental rut. The Phantom Dust reboot also hit troubled waters and is so far (as we know it anyway) in a developmental rut looking for a new developer, this has been met with an announcement in E3 2016 that the original Phantom Dust would be re-released with online support on PC and Xbox, however news on the reboot still remains cold. Sequels to the heavy-hitters Halo, Gears and Forza still continue to be successful, however any opinions on those franchises are fit for another thread at another time, however in all this, there is one popular IP that I probably missed out, don't worry I didn't, keep reading...

First party studios
That IP I was referring to was Fable, a four-player co-op game by the name of Fable Legends was in development for a cycle of many years with a development sum of $75 million. Analysis of the game seemed to indicate a massive disinterest from players after the first match or two, user engagement dropped massively and it's developer Lionhead hadn't shown many promising results, many would say the ill-fated focus on Kinect from previous years didn't help, this resulted in the axing of the game and the unfortunate closure of the talented Lionhead Studios much to the dismay of the gaming community. The Fable IP seems to be on hold as of now, and Press Play was also closed who were in the middle of the development of Project Knoxville, a promising Hunger Games style game. Another casualty probably down to lack of user engagement in testing. Blacktusk was also rebranded as The Coalition, a Gears of War focused studio. In early 2014, Mojang was acquired by Microsoft for 2.5bn and the Minecraft series was recruited into the ranks of Microsofts biggest IP's, quickly recuperating the costs and being used as a showcase for their Windows 10 ecosystem union.

However a glimmer of hope has shone on Rare, Rare's original journey into this generation looked dull, another Kinect Sports game that was commercially successful but didn't resonate with core audiences and most importantly, the fan's of Rare. Before this in 2012 Phil Spencer and other first party development members sought to revive some of these Rare franchises, whilst trying to avoid the ire of shareholders and investors during the multimedia heavy Kinect era, one of these was Killer Instinct, development of this game began under Double Helix and the supervision of Ken Lobb, response towards the faithful reboot ended up being good yet lukewarm due to it's lacking of launch content, the game eventually thrived into a fan favourite within the FGC with development being shifted towards Iron Galaxy and many seasons of additional characters and stages later, also being used as a somewhat substitute for Microsoft's Smash Bros. However whilst quality reboot's are good, it's the studio themself that matters, In E3 2015 a new logo for Rare was shown, sporting the old legendary yellow and blue as opposed to the sterile pear green it was blemished with. A faithful compilation of Rare's classics under the name of Rare Replay received critical and commercial success and it's new game Sea of Thieves was shown, sporting concepts from designer Gregg Mayles Banjo prototype and 'dream game' Project Dream. The multiplayer pirate game is still in development but has already received rewards and plenty of critically successful previews, whilst rumours of circulated massively of new games in development at Rare and a new Battletoads in the cards, Rare and Rare themself still are popular today and they show the potential to become a favourite in the industry again.

Microsofts first party approach seems to be an amalgamation of it's original Xbox era and Don Mattrick era, with a handful of internal studios working towards their big blockbusters (with the exception of Rare, who have apparently been given a degree of creative freedom) whilst plenty of outsourced developers are given the job of making the next big IP for Microsoft. They maintain a firm hand on their most important of IP's whilst makiing investments in new ones from outside sources.

Gamer first
In E3 2015, Microsofts first announcement was a bombshell. an emulator had been developed for the Xbox One that would allow for 360 backwards compatibility. Whilst support has been individually managed for each new game and it had to be downloaded with a software wrapper, games would play as close to possible as they did on the 360, for free. This received widespread positive reception and was widely seen as the first big pro-consumer move the brand had made in a while. Many games have seen positive results from this, Red Dead Redemption and Black Ops 1 user engagement multiplied by substantial amounts and software performance has seen improvements for several games. However some games don't perform perfectly such as Halo Reach which performs with a choppy framerate. Overall though the effects of backwards compatibility have been a plus for gamers and a plus for publishers, with many assertions from Microsoft that they are working to extend this support all the way to the original Xbox.

At the same E3, the Elite Controller was announced, which some deemed to be a risky investment in the premium controller, the controller was built with the hardcore gamer in mind, allowing for customized button mapping and physical layouts, and a more luxury buld quality. The Elite Controller saw success across the board and is regarded as one of, if not the best controller ever made by some (of course, a highly highly subjective matter) This extended further next year with the Xbox Design Lab, allowing gamers to single-handedly design their controller with their own gamertag and colors. User input will also be further extended with keyboard and mouse support at some point in the future (likely with Halo Wars 2). A blemish on all this was the fact that TV DVR recording was announced at Gamescom 2015, and has now been left on hold for an indefinite amount of time.

At E3 2016, Xbox began their new Gaming for Everyone program, promising that they'd make an inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy through embracing diversity and allowing gamers to find like-minded players and socialise through Clubs and match up in Tournaments. This program aims to tackle widespread misogyny and racism that has been seen within the industry and wants to make the gaming space fun for everyone.

also xbox onesies, if you want

Xbox Play Anywhere, UWP and Windows 10
Perhaps one of the most surprising moments of this generation was the announcement that Microsoft would begin to unify the Xbox One within the Windows 10 ecosystem, the simultaneous promotion of CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox Head Phil Spencer has resulted in a large union of Microsofts products and services whilst trying to create a core that would allow for ease of development and porting between them all. Xbox Play Anywhere is the branding thread tying this together, buy a game on Xbox One and play it on Windows 10 and vice-versa. Play a game on Xbox One and play with your Windows 10 friends and vice-versa.

UWP is the developmental thread, whilst promising an easier conduit for developers to get their games in the Windows 10 ecosystem, it has received quite a bit of criticism for it's lacking of features and locked down approach. UWP initially lacked basic features like V-Sync however many of these graphical issues have been given support over time. UWP has been interpreted by some as an attempt at monopolizing the market, Microsoft has responded to this by stating that developers and consumers can sideload apps and allow them to be sold anywhere. There was also mixed results with some games developed with UWP, whilst Killer Instinct and Forza 6 Apex performed well, games like Gears Ultimate and Quantum Break did not. The store itself has also received a negative response, with Microsoft promising future updates based on feedback.

The Xbox One itself received a drastic rehaul of it's OS under the engineering team, its much maligned Windows 8 UI was redesigned with a Windows 10 look, a Windows 10 core and support for Windows 10 apps. This improved the performance and speed of the dashboard, however the layout has received a mixed response for it's store and layout of games library. Both of these have been refined and updated in later updates for more intuitive use.

And most importantly the future sees Microsoft releasing the vast bulk of first-party games in conjunction with both PC and Xbox, games will features across devices such as cross-play and cross-save (and the newly revealed Xbox Connect implementing that standard). According to Microsoft not every game will be released on Xbox and PC but the majority in the foreseeable future will. This initiative promises a greater chance for IP's to become successful, for IP's to cultivate and to connect gamers across devices.

This new approach to being open to multiple devices has resulted in Microsoft connecting an open invitation to developers and platform holders alike, such as Sony, Valve and Nintendo. Developers such as Psyonix and CDPR have said they are open to this program and have the technology necessary for multi-network crossplay for Xbox Live, however as of yet there has still not been a substantial response from Sony.

Beyond generations, and Project Scorpio
This year saw Microsoft announce their venture into going 'beyond generations' and announcing two consoles. The Xbox One S, an aesthetic re-design of the Xbox One with 4K streaming and HDR, and the future Project Scorpio, a heavily upgraded 'premium' Xbox One with support for 4K and VR gaming. The Xbox One S right now has seen a relatively strong response from both the market and critics, praising it's smaller design, removed power brick and display features. However there is still relative uncertainty on how Project Scorpio will operate. Microsoft promises that Xbox One owners will not be left behind and that it will receive the same support it's always done, with Xbox One, Xbox One S and Scorpio existing as tiers of consumer choice, and that the barriers between generations will be removed in the future, your existing games library, digital and physical, your existing accessories and your profile will be the same as you'll have in the far away future. With PlayStation Neo adopting a similar (maybe not the same, but similar approach) it still waits to be seen as to whether these new iterative consoles are accepted or rejected.

This write-up was maybe a bit too daunting for the typical thread, but I hope this creates some insightful discussion as to what happens with Xbox from here.

What do you think of where the Xbox is now GAF? Where do you think they are heading? Has there been any significant changes for you? Good or bad?
 

SOR5

Member
Nov 3, 2015
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CTRL-F "I believe in Phil Spencer"

Sigh.

Haha it's not about that, if someone just goes "really? The Elite Controller sucks, just stick with regular controllers" that's cool. It's just meant to be speculation on where the brand goes from here.
 

jjonez18

Member
Nov 23, 2014
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Nice write-up. What The heads of Xbox has done to fix what was essentially a train wreck is amazing. Even more amazing that they don't seem content at where they are. The updates, announcements, improvements just keep coming. I'm not an Xbox guy, but looking at the positive pivot the brand has taken is just awe inspiring.
 

diablos991

Can’t stump the diablos
Jun 15, 2013
8,803
1,316
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Iterative hardware that allows users to play Windows games in their living room.

I also think full digital will still be pushed for. I'd love to see incorporation of Steam or something of the like to make the Xbox platform be the Steam machine I've dreamed of.
 

LordOfChaos

Member
Mar 31, 2014
11,812
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Microsoft promises that Xbox One owners will not be left behind and that it will receive the same support it's always done, with Xbox One, Xbox One S and Scorpio existing as tiers of consumer choice, and that the barriers between generations will be removed in the future, your existing games library, digital and physical, your existing accessories and your profile will be the same as you'll have in the far away future.

I'm curious about the carry through in the long term, because my instinct tells me they'll want clean breaks at some point. Like when AMD stops iterating GCN and starts a clean sheet design. Or even if they could shoehorn it into future AMD designs, what if AMD itself gets woefully uncompetitive in the future.


I'm still thinking n-1 box support at all times, S not counting. Xbox One, Scorpio. Scorpio, Scorpimore. Always two, a master and apprentice.
 

paragonpro

Banned
Nov 6, 2014
5,400
0
0
I think they started this generation rough but I honestly feel phil spencer has been righting the ship since he took over and has made the xbox ecosystem and games library immensley more diverse and appealing. the openness to pc gaming has been a huge boon as well. I think scorpio is the last step to making xbox phil spencers xbox and generally amore appealing xbox than the xbone led people to belive.
 

alouette

Member
Oct 9, 2014
114
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CTRL-F "I believe in Phil Spencer"

Sigh.

I liked the initial reveal, though the details were very sparse. I liked the launched product (and Kinect), and I like the Xbox One now.

Maybe I'm just easy to please? I've been very happy with almost everything so far this gen for Xbox.
I'm in the same boat:)
I've been teased now to have a media center in my living room and my family an I are enjoying voice control, bio login (including youth protection that way) and gaming on an awesome system.
I'm curious, what's about to come with Scorpio and VR/AR.

After all I'm pretty happy with xbox so far - but of course, there are always ways to do something better. So I'm also pretty happy about sony doing it good so far, will it bring some good competition to hold MS on the run.
 

gamz

Member
Nov 11, 2015
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It's a helluva turn around and E3 2016 will go down as the turning point.
 

Majine

Banned
May 21, 2009
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For all the tech they are bringing, they still don't have any games that can become "The next Halo" (and Halo isn't what it once was). The usual stable of Gears, Forza and the likes are fine, but nothing mindblowing. They need a masterpiece, a new moneymaker. Quantum Break wasn't it.
 

kaioshade

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Jun 12, 2011
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While i own more PS4 games right now due to exclusives, i actually prefer the Xbox brand and ecosystem. The interface, console and overall presentation is better (for me) on xbox. If Gust, NIS, etc games came to Microsoft, i doubt i would own a Sony Console.

I'm pretty excited where the brand is going, and as others have said, Phil and co. have done an amazing job turning the brand around. They still have some work to do, as Sony is still leading them, but i thnk overall Microsoft will be fine.
 

Noobcraft

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Nov 9, 2013
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For all the tech they are bringing, they still don't have any games that can become "The next Halo" (and Halo isn't what it once was). The usual stable of Gears, Forza and the likes are fine, but nothing mindblowing. They need a masterpiece, a new moneymaker. Quantum Break wasn't it.
I'm not sure it can be done on a single console anymore. Multiplatform titles can take more risks and earn higher rewards by reaching bigger audiences.
 

Theorry

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Dec 4, 2014
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There was a MS on the backfoot with not a clear idea what they wanted after the 360 era.
But now its good to see there is really a plan. Not seeing Windows as a enemy of Xbox but embracing it. And no being on the backfoot with those changes in console generations. But being active in changing it.
 
Sep 11, 2014
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I'm happy with where they are. The entire brand has become incredibly pro consumer and Windows 10 integration seemed like a logical step going forward given the architecture of the hardware.
 

Wagram

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Jul 11, 2013
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I really like that they're embracing PC. Xbox simply doesn't have the exclusive ecosystem that I would like on their console to justify the cost so it's nice being able to pick the ones i'm interested in on PC.
 

pitchfork

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Sep 28, 2015
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Afeared this thread wont end well, but a good write up OP

Gonna steer clear of talking about the initial launch woes, but i'm very happy with the way things are looking for Xbox at the moment, play anywhere being the particular highlight of recent times

Biggest thing keeping me in the green corner of gaming has always been Xbox live and the Xbox community, so its the little things like Achievement leaderboards and upcoming gaming groups that I appreciate most
 

wapplew

Member
Mar 1, 2012
13,775
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I think MS made all the right move after 180, a little too save but totally understandable. Things are rough, they need to retain fans.
Nothing they do so far try to growth IMO, all about retain. Things are rough, they need to retain fans before they grow again.

They can't get me with save move, but I'm grateful for anyone still invest on console gaming these day, still want that full feature PC console box thou.
 
Haha it's not about that, if someone just goes "really? The Elite Controller sucks, just stick with regular controllers" that's cool. It's just meant to be speculation on where the brand goes from here.

Yeah, I edited to add some actual comments and not sound totally like a jackass :)

I like the idea of Project Scorpio, but we (rightfully) don't know much about it yet. I like the Xbox One S upgrade path, and hopefully can get one soon.

I'd LIKE them to keep the Kinect relevant somehow, but even being a Kinect fan I never liked using it for games. Using a mic on the controller for Cortana probably works just as well. The camera sign-in is still cool and I use it daily.

I'm excited for Play Anywhere.. hopefully it works well. I have all Windows 10 PC's now, so it'll be fun trying games out on my laptop and vice versa. Buying one copy and playing in two places seems like a deal. Can't wait to play Halo Wars on PC.

Having been to E3 2014/2015/2016.. the Xbox staff are great. Maybe it's just master PR work, but they honestly seem like very nice people who care about the work they're doing. They're interactive on Twitter/etc as well, which is nice. The culture and mood just seems way different from the late 00's to 2013 years.
 

Bits N Pieces

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Jun 9, 2015
6,446
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Since the debacle that was the Box One reveal they have been on an upward trajectory*

There isn't much else I would like to seem them do except invest in a couple of new first party studios, I like the way they cherry pick devs like Playground, Platinum, Remedy etc. but with Scorpio on the horizon I feel there is a need to double down on internal studios that can be afforded the time and expense of pushing the new hardware as far as possible. Plus, investing in new studios should shut up the 'exiting the console hardware business' detractors.

Do it Phil, either buy a couple of new studios or build them. Dat confidence in your product, kinda shit.



*Disclaimer - they couldn't exactly have been any lower though.
 

Nitty_Grimes

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Aug 4, 2015
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If / when Phil Spencer moves on / gets an offer he cant refuse, would they be back to square one or never go down that route again?

He has turned it around amazingly.
 

Angel_DvA

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Nov 1, 2014
4,619
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It's a big disappointment after the 360, I think they could have won this generation if they stick to the 360 ideals, I don't think they care that much about the video game industry when they designed the Xbox One, all they wanted to do was to be in everyone's home, it was a failure as expect.

I think the Xbox brand is suffering from this and push Microsoft to go multiplats with the PC ecosystem to save the brand as much as possible... I don't think they're trying to compete against Sony anymore, they're probably targeting Steam boxes with their Scorpio and play anywhere stuff.
 

Theorry

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Dec 4, 2014
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Since the debacle that was the Box One reveal they have been on an upward trajectory*

There isn't much else I would like to seem them do except invest in a couple of new first party studios, I like the way they cherry pick devs like Playground, Platinum, Remedy etc. but with Scorpio on the horizon I feel there is a need to double down on internal studios that can be afforded the time and expense of pushing the new hardware as far as possible. Plus, investing in new studios should shut up the 'exiting the console hardware business.'

Do it Phil, either buy a couple of new studios or build them. Dat confidence in your product, kinda shit.



*Disclaimer - they couldn't exactly have been any lower though.

MS need to snatch up Playground. But not lock them down with only Horizon offcourse.
 

Nevyr

Banned
Aug 1, 2016
178
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Good write up,

I still find it amazing that Xbox took a page straight out of the PS Manual on how be bad at PR during reveal/launch.

They should have known better.


My main annoyance has always been with the Xbox Dashboard advertisements. Especially since you pay for membership.
 

SatoAilDarko

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Mar 3, 2013
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As someone who prefers unique, quirkier games (hence why a large percentage of my console purchases are first-party) and Japanese games and isn't the biggest shooter fan last Gen Kinect for Xbox provided most of the interesting software I wanted for 360 along with Rare's output, and the few exclusive JRPG's.

This Gen started better with stuff like Crimson Dragon, D4, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, Recore, Scalebound, Sea of Thieves and Killer Instinct. Master Chief Collection and Rare Replay collecting a lot of great games. Even games like Ryse, Dead Rising 3 and Quantum Break while not at top of my list were interesting exclusives that I wanted.

As time has gone on though it seems Microsoft has shifted away from this though. There wasn't a new console-exclusive game announced at E3 this year I was excited about while last year they had Recore and Sea of Thieves. Stuff like one-year exclusivity for Tomb Raider and Dead Rising 4 is pointless to me because I would wait for the PS4 release that'll include all DLC.

I also really liked Kinect and saw it as a way to get some really interesting titles.

With Lionhead's closing it seems now Microsoft is focused only on Halo, Gears and Forza for its big exclusives. It doesn't seem like their approaching third-party developers for console exclusives like they were earlier with Insomniac, Crytek, Armature, Platinum, Swery or Remedy.
 

get2sammyb

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Feb 9, 2009
2,575
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They're very slowly starting to carve out their own identity again, but I feel like much of their progress between 2013 and now has been, "See what Sony's doing! We should do that, too!"

In my own very personal opinion, I think most of their games look wack, too. For me, E3 highlighted the gulf between Sony and Micrsoft's first-parties more than ever before, but I know not everyone agrees.
 

Sizzel

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Feb 24, 2016
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As far as the system, I literally only use it for a voice controlled Netflix and plex box in my bedroom. I have played 3 ish games on it as a day one buyer. It is woefully underpowered. I am PC >PS4Exclusives >WiiU

As a brand? 180 degree. They have done a great job and I think they have a shot of retaking the helm with their new direction and hardware by killing gens and making a library like how our steam libraries work. Basically PC lite. Give the console user more power and stop f'ing them over by making them buy old games again with a resolution slider changed.

I hope the best for the brand and hopefully it fundamentally changes consoles so they aren't so abusive to gamers and give people hardware choices for once. The Scorpio should take a lot of people away from PS4 if the Neo doesn't match up
 

gamz

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Nov 11, 2015
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They're very slowly starting to carve out their own identity again, but I feel like much of their progress between 2013 and now has been, "See what Sony's doing! We should do that, too!"

I don't see that at all. If anything they are leading the way with Play Anywhere and 4K on their slim systems.
 

RetroPlayer

Banned
Jul 14, 2015
173
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Only bought a second hand xbone last month and have to say that it is much better then I thought it was going to be.

Have had a whole lot of fun with Forza 6/Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Killer Instinct and Halo 5. Looking forward to Gears 4.

This seemed to me like right time and price point to pick one up and I'm glad I did.
 

Theorry

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Dec 4, 2014
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They're very slowly starting to carve out their own identity again, but I feel like much of their progress between 2013 and now has been, "See what Sony's doing! We should do that, too!"

In my own very personal opinion, I think most of their games look wack, too. For me, E3 highlighted the gulf between Sony and Micrsoft's first-parties more than ever before, but I know not everyone agrees.

In what way? Because i dont see that?
 

Vol5

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Mar 2, 2010
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They talk and talk about all these different ways to game without actually having a decent first party line up and good 3rd party support. No matter what you say about CoD, losing map 30 day exclusively and it being on sonys stage at e3 speaks volumes considering the brand boomed with this game in the early 360 life cycle. Looking to the horizon now and there is literally nothing that exites me. Phil might of had a hand in turning around the joke of a reveal but is it too little too late? I suspect it is judging by the early Scorpio reveal (which btw was horribly announced. It was like anyone from MS who spoke to the press all had different stories about what it's capable of).

I honestly think their biggest ace was 4K playback on the S but everything else is just typical Microsoft half-baked ideas.

They need to recapture the excitement that came with 360 Live somehow. Something like video feeds of all your party members while playing...I don't know, but something to recapture the awe of what live started out as.
 

Nevyr

Banned
Aug 1, 2016
178
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I guess it depends on how you read the post, I read it as, how have they changed as well as going forward.

They are currently maybe pushing the envelope by launch 4k blu-ray before PS4 and Neo which will have same?, but they played catch up on some things since 2013, like the ones I mentioned before.
 

offshore

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May 26, 2009
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One area that intrigues me is how MS lost so many co-marketing/conference rights to the big games at the start of this generation. It seemed really sloppy for a company to relinquish in a instant all the hard work it did in the 360 era. Sony's aggressiveness will have played a part, no doubt, but still. It looked clumsy.

I remember thinking after Sony's reveal - which itself was light on third party content - that MS would surely have the third party big guns at their announcement... and they never did. It's gotten better, but whether through money hat or through choice, Sony still seem to be the place to go for third parties come conference time.
 

Shin-Ra

Junior Member
Oct 10, 2013
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The same executives running the division during the late 360, early Xbone years are running it now and continue to make misleading, half-truth statements.

They're down to four internal studios focused on a single IP, plus Rare who may or may not stick with Sea of Thieves.
 

jroc74

Phone reception is more important to me than human rights
Jun 1, 2013
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One thing I always give them credit for is trying to right the ship.

Move after move might seem reactionary but at least they made the moves at all.

Gotta give them credit for not just sitting still.
 
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For all the tech they are bringing, they still don't have any games that can become "The next Halo" (and Halo isn't what it once was). The usual stable of Gears, Forza and the likes are fine, but nothing mindblowing. They need a masterpiece, a new moneymaker. Quantum Break wasn't it.

This is probably my big issue as an xbox fan.

Their lack of internal studios and/or fact that they tie down their internal studios to single franchises has been effecting their game output for the last decade.

They have yet to find a new IP that can lead to the next big franchise.

May be Recore will do really well that it will garner a sequel with some serious financial backing. They need something to replace Fable. ReCore could be it.
 

EvB

Member
Jan 20, 2012
9,859
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United Kingdom
They're very slowly starting to carve out their own identity again, but I feel like much of their progress between 2013 and now has been, "See what Sony's doing! We should do that, too!"

They seem to alternate in being the gamers machine and doing/saying all the right things.
 
Sep 29, 2015
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Mckinney, Texas
They're very slowly starting to carve out their own identity again, but I feel like much of their progress between 2013 and now has been, "See what Sony's doing! We should do that, too!"

In my own very personal opinion, I think most of their games look wack, too. For me, E3 highlighted the gulf between Sony and Micrsoft's first-parties more than ever before, but I know not everyone agrees.

You're right about that.
 

wapplew

Member
Mar 1, 2012
13,775
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610
The same executives running the division during the late 360, early Xbone years are running it now and continue to make misleading, half-truth statements.

They're down to four internal studios focused on a single IP, plus Rare who may or may not stick with Sea of Thieves.

Valve not making games anymore but people love their platform, maybe MS try to mimic that.
 

Vol5

Member
Mar 2, 2010
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272
975
The same executives running the division during the late 360, early Xbone years are running it now and continue to make misleading, half-truth statements.

They're down to four internal studios focused on a single IP, plus Rare who may or may not stick with Sea of Thieves.

Basically this.