The Microsoft E3 2018 press conference was one of the most intriguing prospects heading into this year’s event. The Xbox One hasn’t exactly been doing so hot, with it lacking the exclusives and exciting upcoming games to stand out beside the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. With the majority having low expectations for Microsoft’s E3 showing, some were quietly predicting that it could surprise everyone and steal the show. Well, the E3 doors may not have opened to the public yet, but after that presentation, this could well be the case. They even had Battletoads, for God’s sakes.
The Microsoft E3 event boasted announcement after announcement, teaming exclusives with third-party games in a fast-paced march through everything hiding up the Xbox One’s sleeve. Kicking off with Halo Infinite before concluding with Cyberpunk 2077, there was something for everyone tucked away in the conference. It also saw Microsoft throw down the gauntlet to Sony, Nintendo, and the other publishers taking to E3’s stages over the next week.
Microsoft E3 2018 Announcements: Cyberpunk 2077 to Halo Infinite
Granted, a lot of the games shown during the E3 event weren’t Xbox One exclusives. Cyberpunk 2077 rounded off the show, though as the PS4 is the better selling console, you’d have to expect that more people will play the game on there rather than on Microsoft’s hardware. Microsoft securing so many “exclusive world premiere” announcements is a clear attempt at taking some of that Sony pie, though unlikely to put a major dent in its rival’s bottom line. You can’t blame them, even if we know that the PS4 version of these games will enjoy more sales.
However, Microsoft didn’t rely on multiplatform games this time around. The announcement that it has acquired five developers as first-party studios was a big step in the right direction, with the likes of Ninja Theory and Playground Games now developing exclusively for the Xbox platform. Forza Horizon 4 looked gorgeous, moving its high-speed racing to the Scottish countryside. Then there’s Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5, and though new entries in these series both expected, the announcements were exciting nonetheless.
Microsoft E3 2018: Repairing the Xbox One
Though there are some complaints that Microsoft’s E3 event didn’t feature more new exclusives, considering that the Xbox One is playing catch-up, these big names were more than enough. With the Xbox team now working on its next console, as revealed by Phil Spencer as he was closing out the show, this could have so easily been another year of Microsoft treading water. Investing a heap of finances into the Xbox One at this point would be a questionable move, with it being impossible for it to overtake the PS4. Instead, Microsoft gave existing Xbox One owners a reason to keep a hold of the console, and those still on the fence a good few reasons to invest in one. At this juncture, we couldn’t have asked for more than that.
The most interesting piece of information revealed during the event, though, is how Microsoft is looking to the future of both the Xbox platform and video games as a whole. Its investment into cloud-based gaming with Microsoft AI is interesting, with game streaming clearly high on its list of priorities. While a bunch of exciting games were announced during the conference, it’s clear that Microsoft is preparing for a brighter future beyond the Xbox One. That it’s doing so while repairing the damage done to the Xbox brand is a vital decision, and leaves us excited for the future of Xbox.
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