E3 speculation machine part 3: Xbox One

While it’s tempting to call out the botched reveal of Xbox One that caused some widespread hate and even genuine panic through the internet, the truth is all that drama isn’t really in play. Microsoft’s done the smart thing by releasing exhaustive details about how online, Kinect and used games will work in he week just passed, and if they can convince consumers of their console’s chops at their E3 press conference the last month with all its hysteria will be lost to the annals of google caches and never spoken of again.

With just hours to go until the conference there are still very few confirmed Microsoft exclusives for the new console, despite the company’s claim that it will publish 15 games in the first year of Xbox One’s life. So far the games we know are Microsoft are publishing for Xbox One and so will most likely be at E3 are:

  • Quantum Break
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Ryse
  • LocoCycle
Quantum Break


Quantum Break is an experimental TV / game hybrid

The very small teaser trailer we saw at the Xbox One reveal was half live action and half CG. The guys at Remedy — developer of Alan Wake — are more than capable of weaving a good tale, and what better way to validate Microsoft’s recent moves in the television space than to produce a hybrid-media game/series? WE already know a Halo television show is on its way to Xbox One, and it looks very likely that Quantum break will be the original IP to test out the waters.

Many Kinect games

Microsoft will be looking to avoid as much Kinect talk as possible after all the privacy concern hubbub, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be pushing it big when it comes to games. The company claims eight of its 15 exclusive games will be new IPs, meaning seven sequels or new entries in established franchises. Given Microsoft is going to have to take the lead on Kinect development ahead of third parties, expect this to mean a new Kinect Sports, Kincect Adventures, Kinectimals and Dance Central.

Rare shows off Killer Instinct

The company that brought us Perfect Dark and Banjo Kazooie, but lately has existed as a shell of its former self developing games for Kinect, is said to be bringing back an “historic” franchise for Xbox One. While that could certainly be one of the aforementioned series, the smart money’s on Killer Instinct. The latest iteration of Banjo and Perfect Dark have both been sub-par compared to their Nintendo 64 originals — which Microsoft has re-published on Xbox 360 — and Microsoft recently fought hard to renew their trademark for the cult arcade fighter after a dispute with Fox Network. In addition to this the fighting genre (along with the racing genre which Forza has covered) is the one of the best game types for showing off a new piece of hardware owing to its controlled nature and complete graphical emphasis on character models.


Microsoft takes a break from Xbox One talk to show new features for 360

The Xbox 360 is going nowhere, and it makes sense that all the licencing and development effort Microsoft’s putting into Xbox One’s services should benefit the older console too. Expect a redesign of the console’s dashboard software, if not the hardware, to more resemble what’s coming with Xbox One. Also expect any changes made to the way Xbox Live memberships function on the new console to affect the old one as well. It would seem likely that if Microsoft wants Xbox One to be the center of entertainment in the living room, they would position Xbox 360 as a lower cost, less full-featured box that still allows you to rent and buy digital media as well as access all your media subscriptions.

One megaton announcement

Microsoft has a few big exclusives, but not so many that they can afford to blow them all right out the gate. I predict only one huge first party sequel announced at E3. It’s unlikely to be Halo 5 owing to the need for 343 to really get aquainted with the final Xbox One hardware before locking in any gameplay details. Fable or Gears of War, possibly Crackdown would be my guess for the big reveal.

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