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Microsoft Unleashes An Awesome Press Conference at E32013

Wow, what a show that was!

Microsoft came out swinging with their E3 outing this year, and honestly, between this and what I was at the EA press conference, this is easily the best E3 we’ve had in years, and we are only half done. Instead of focusing on how Xbox One can work with your TV, they spent their entire time telling us why gamers should buy an Xbox One this Fall: quality games. And man, did they bring it.

Microsoft started off their show with a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.  While many fans are divided on the decision to replace Snake’s voice with Kiefer Sutherland’s voice, I think the decision is an excellent choice. I get why Kojima is doing it, and it makes sense. The trailer showcased shows off that Metal Gear Solid is now an open world stealth game. The game looks gorgeous, and has no release date as of right now. The trailer has typical character introductions that fans will be talking about for months. What an incredible way to start off a show. 

From there we briefly shifted to focus on the Xbox 360.  A new version of the Xbox 360 was shown, which is available today. The system costs the same, and will likely replace the current slim model. The bigger surprise was that Xbox Live Gold will now be getting access to two free game downloads a month. The first game up is Fable III, which is available right now. The other two announced are Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II. As someone who loves Halo 3, the idea of being able to load it up through my hard drive is incredible. But finally, Microsoft gets it and they have an answer to the Playstation Plus argument. Xbox Live will continue to be $60 a year, and also World of Tanks is coming this summer as a free to play game on Xbox 360. Also, before we move on to the big games, Xbox One is getting a new version of Minecraft.

The show then shifted to focus exclusively on Xbox One. The first game shown was Ryse for Xbox One, and it looks shockingly good. What was once a former Kinect only game has become a gritty, roman war era third person action game. The quick-time-event kills look spectacular, and the game looks gorgeous. It will be a launch day game. 

EA took the stage to show off an exclusive DLC content mission for Battlefield 4. For someone that skipped Battlefield 3, and generally hasn’t ever cared for that franchise, Battlefield 4 looks better and better the more I see it. The trailer shown featured incredible gunfights on a sinking aircraft carrier. The game will be available at launch. 

Rare was able to show off that they’ve been working on a return to Killer Instinct. While I would have liked to see an actual trailer for the game, what was shown was a lot of gameplay footage and it looks incredible. As a fan of the original Super Nintendo game, everything about this is as appealing as 2011’s excellent Mortal Kombat reboot. This is also an Xbox One exclusive launch title that is developed by Rare and Double Helix. 

Remedy also came out and showed off a little bit more of Quantum Break. While they did once again talk about the fact that the game is a joint venture with a TV show, what was shown was a heavily intriguing premise where the main character is able to go through accidents in an almost slowed down, bullet-time like pace.  No release date was given, but it is another Xbox One exclusive. 

Insomniac Games, the former Sony exclusive developers, showed off their new game Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One. Not much was clarified other then it seems to be an MMO shooter like concept, with a cartoonish Team Fortress 2 like graphical quality. The game has no release date as of now, but is Xbox One exclusive. 

Capcom took the stage to announce Dead Rising 3, arguably the biggest thing I personally wanted to see come out of E3 2013. Dead Rising 3 takes place in the city of Los Perdidos, California, and has you playing as Nick Ramos, a mechanic. Noticeably, the series trademark humor was replaced with a more gringe and grimey look, and some of the inside area gameplay looked horrifying. While I’m down for a gritty Dead Rising sequel, I would like to see some of that humor return. Still, Dead Rising 3 looks incredible, and was the biggest wish fulfilled at E3 for me thus far. It is an Xbox One exclusive, and will be a launch title. 

The biggest surprise and shocker from Microsoft’s E3 conference has to be Halo 5. A brief trailer was shown involving Master Chief in a desert. While nothing more was said, Halo 5 is coming Fall 2014, and will be part two in the Reclaimer trilogy. 343 Industries briefly talked about making the first 60 frames per second Halo game, cloud computing, and what great things Xbox One can do for the Halo franchise. That trailer was incredible, and personally made my week. 

The conference closed with an extended first look at Respawn Entertainment’s first title, TitanFall. While the game is basically a FPS game that involves mechs, it is heavily multiplayer focused, and looks to put a refreshing spin on what Call of Duty has done to the first person shooter genre. The game is expected to launch Spring 2014 on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC.

Honorable mentions include new trailers for: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Below (Assumingly an Xbox Live Arcade game), Crimson Dragon (That Panzer Dragoon sequel everyone wants), and a new game from the developer of Deadly Premonition called D4

Overall, Microsoft delivered. And while it would have been nice to hear a little bit more confirmation on their policies and what they are doing, none of that really puts me down anymore as they pretty much explained everything in the FAQ they released last week. While not everything about their policies may be clear yet, they aren’t seeming as “Anti-consumer” as they were a few weeks ago. Microsoft brought the games, and provided the best E3 show I’ve seen in years. I’m incredibly excited for this Fall, and excited about Xbox One. It will be interesting to see what Sony announces, but man, I’m excited about Xbox One.

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