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Opinion VG247: Xbox at E3 shows it finally has games, but is still struggling to match Sony in terms of wow factor.

DonJorginho

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Written by Tom Orry:
A largely brilliant 90 minutes should have left Xbox fans happy, but Sony still has the upper hand in terms of next-gen showstoppers.

Xbox is doing great right now. It would take someone truly unwilling to give Xbox a shot to come out of watching the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase and not seriously think about being part of that console/PC/Game Pass ecosystem. It was a top notch showcase, with a diverse bunch of games, most of which you can play for less than a coffee and cake each month. It feels like Xbox is finally returning to its Xbox 360 heyday, which is great for everyone who loves video games.
And yet. Why am I somewhat underhyped? It’s a strange feeling. I’m feeling good about Xbox, looking forward to all the games coming to Game Pass (just look at that image below for a taste of what’s coming, not all of it), and we finally saw some truly next-gen looking games in the form of Microsoft Flight Simulator and Forza Horizon 5, but something was missing. As an event, a talking point for the industry and its fans, the showcase was a little flat. It was flat largely at a high level, only really dropping down in my opinion during the slightly too long look at Stalker 2.

Hype piqued during the Forza Motorsport 5 section. That game looks incredible and I’ll be there day one to play it for hours on end, but if I were to rate my hype level after that I’d be about an 8/10. I thought Starfield might result in a high hype rating, but at best I hit a 7, what with the release being about 18 months away and the trailer giving away very little. Halo Infinite’s focus on multiplayer is great for those who are into it, but I wanted another campaign deep dive. A Plague Tale: Requiem, Somerville, Psychonauts 2, Slime Rancher 2, Replaced, Atomic Heart, all looked like good, gorgeous games that I’ll be playing on Game Pass, but hyped I did not get.

I was looking towards the new Xbox Game Studios announcements to raise the roof. I still remember getting chills every time Microsoft revealed a new Halo alongside that iconic music. I wanted to get into a next-gen lather, like everyone did over Sony’s recent Horizon Forbidden West showcase or its Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart presentations. Or, like we all will when we finally get a look at God of War Ragnarok. Those moments simply didn’t come, and for my money the big new games simply didn’t excite, no matter how good they will likely end up being on release.
Contraband, an Xbox Game Studios title in collaboration with Avalanche of Just Cause fame, could have been revealed in an email, such was the nothingness of what was revealed. The Outer Worlds 2, to be fair, had an incredible CG trailer, but how far away is that one from release? Two years? More? And then the “one more thing” reveal.

This is the moment of a conference everyone is waiting for. It was another Bethesda game, but it was an entirely CG trailer for a new Arkane game. A brand new IP. I’m super happy Arkane is just a year from finishing another game, with Deathloop coming to PS5 and PC this year, and I like the magical vampire hunting concept, but that wasn’t a “one more thing” reveal. As good as Arkane truly is, they are not a Naughty Dog, they’re not Kojima Productions, at least in terms of consumer interest and awareness. Xbox needed to end on a big gameplay reveal for a game that has instance recognition or something that looked so impressive that didn’t matter. We got neither.

So, that’s where I’m at. I think everyone should be considering an Xbox Series X or S and Game Pass, and Xbox clearly has a strong future (2021 releases look good, but 2022 and beyond will be even better), but when it comes to getting people excited Sony still can’t be beaten. Nintendo, too, is likely to have something to say about this.


war battle GIF by HISTORY UK
 
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DonJorginho

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I think Starfield would've been up there if Bethesda weren't in a challenging moment given Fallout 76 (despite the way they've recovered from launch.)

Xbox definitely have those titles up their sleeves though, Hellblade 2, Perfect Dark, Fable, we just need to see them!
 
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I kind of agree, it’s personal taste I suppose as to when he mentions variety there was a substantial amount of FPS and another Forza Horizon game. Haven’t a clue what the Contraband game is about. If it wasn’t for Bethesda the short term first party roadmap could of been thinner in terms of big titles , it would be Halo & Forza again. The indies , a fair number of them, looked great and complimented Gamepass nicely and Psychonauts2 looks fun.

As someone who was/is more passionate about Xbox than the other two, I want them to have those “oh wow I didn’t expect that, amazing” moments and games and for me they aren’t there and still, I don’t get the massive adulation for the likes of Spencer.

What irks me about some fans I’ve spoken to today and last night , is they now admit the last few shows before this have been disappointing when they were adamant they were good, it’s only now something in the right direction that they be will straight with you.
 

Aguero9320

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I don’t really disagree - I think Sony hype is complete bullshit, but their fans definitely know how to go overboard and make everything ‘the best ever’, so you always get the sense online (if you’re not paying attention) that they have this incredible forward momentum…

I think most Xbox gamers are more interested in playing than hyping.
 
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Kerotan

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I flicked through the main announcements and trailers from today and I agree. I don't like xbox but if something is good I'll admit it. Nothing stood out the way horizon, god of war, spiderman, ghost of tsutshima or ratchet does. When these are the games I'm playing that's the level of excitement I need to be impressed.

I flicked through the Forza horizon 5 trailer and I guess that's top class but not really into racing games. That's just personal preference so I gotto give them credit for that.

Tbh I was expecting Ms to try blow Sony out of the water after 10 years of very lacklustre output but it just seems they can't do it.
 

PhaseJump

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Nothing Sony or Xbox has shown has impressed me. Otherwise I would have bought their new consoles.

Ratchet and Clank has "wowed" half the clowns and console warriors on this forum when it was first shown, while I just saw RT lighting bleeding through random walls and objects, reflecting.off everything.

So far, Xbox has shown games quickly, and not tried to bullshit us with all the talking heads explaining how and why we should care about a crappy derivative title that will be on game pass, so you can play it for 20 minutes, or even 20 days, and then move on to forget about it.

That accounts for something.
 

THEAP99

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I don't disagree. While Xbox showed at lot of games that will probably be good yesterday, none of them besides Forza really had a true jaw dropping moment. There is also still a lack of general gameplay being shown at Ms events which isn't great.

The only wow factor is GamePass really. And then forza
 
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MrPotato

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Bethesda track record is monstrously good. They will probably have wrong at launch just one game which however sold very well.
Yes, they make good games, but I am talking about bugs. For all we know they will probably port their old bugs to next gen.
 

MonarchJT

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I kind of agree, it’s personal taste I suppose as to when he mentions variety there was a substantial amount of FPS and another Forza Horizon game. Haven’t a clue what the Contraband game is about. If it wasn’t for Bethesda the short term first party roadmap could of been thinner in terms of big titles , it would be Halo & Forza again. The indies , a fair number of them, looked great and complimented Gamepass nicely and Psychonauts2 looks fun.

As someone who was/is more passionate about Xbox than the other two, I want them to have those “oh wow I didn’t expect that, amazing” moments and games and for me they aren’t there and still, I don’t get the massive adulation for the likes of Spencer.

What irks me about some fans I’ve spoken to today and last night , is they now admit the last few shows before this have been disappointing when they were adamant they were good, it’s only now something in the right direction that they be will straight with you.
Yesterday we had, RTS, flight sim, platformers, co-op, driving game, wrpg,Indies, 2d,japanese game,single player narrative story(12 min) etc etc
 

TonyK

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I agree. I will buy a XBseX but I don't feel any hype. But it's weird. I like Sony single player games but at the same time I know there are better games out there. For example, the best game I played since I have a Ps5 is Yakuza Like a Dragon, but I'm more hipped for Horizon FW even if I didn't like the first one! I don't understand how Sony has managed to do this sort of hype with almost all their first party games.
 
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MonarchJT

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It seems like that same rock might of hit you on the head. "lollipop_disappointed:
there is an editorial on Eurogamer about yesterday conference and is about the total opposite of what this journalist is writing

 

MastaKiiLA

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It's kinda stupid. If history has shown us anything, it's that "winning E3" means nothing. I don't know the last time Sony was celebrated at E3, but the scoreboard shows then running up the score each generation. Putting any amount stock into press events misses the larger picture. Nintendo and Sony have brand loyalty, and have libraries that their fans anticipate and appreciate, regardless of what they show at E3.

Commenting on how good/bad the MS event was, and any perceived lack of hype thereafter, is probably symptomatic of a larger problem.
 
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sircaw

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there is an editorial on Eurogamer about yesterday conference and is about the total opposite of what this journalist is writing

so what makes you believe that source and not the other one?
 

SafeOrAlone

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That's almost word for word how I felt after the conference.

Yet, the more I think about it, the more I realize how strong a showing it was. In terms of value, Xbox just knocked everyone on their ass. GamePass is on a league of it's own.
There are plenty of games they announced that I actively want to play, as well.
But there wasn't a highlight moment. Maybe it could have been Halo, maybe Starfield gameplay will knock us on our ass. But there simply wasn't anything in the show that stood out.
 
Feb 18, 2013
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Yesterday we had, RTS, flight sim, platformers, co-op, driving game, wrpg,Indies, 2d,japanese game,single player narrative story(12 min) etc etc

I said there was a substantial amount of FPS , not everything. I forgot about flight simulator my bad.
 

Banjo64

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The one more thing was weak and that’s my only complaint. Banjo/Viva Piñata/Conker would have been an absolute showstopper to end with.

This was Xbox’s best e3 ever in my opinion though. Zero corporate bullshit, no false hype cringe presenters, just game after game.
 

sircaw

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It's almost like these are just opinions from people with different tastes and preferences.
it seems so, i thought the conference was decent, but not mindblowing.

The truth is i did expect something a bit more spectacular, was looking forward to something like a halo demo not mp.

Also, more than anything, i wanted too see something along the lines of a quake remake and grim dawn showing,
 

Armorian

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The only true answer is all 3. High powered PC, PS5 and XBox Series X.

I'd you were able to get a powerful GPU in 2020 or this year (i had luck with 3070 ~msrp) there is no reason at all to get Xbox and very little sense to get PS5 right now (maybe in a year or two).
 
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