Grading the Show E3 2016: Microsoft

E3 is here and the press conferences have now all concluded. Now it’s time for us to give your our thoughts on each of the major shows starting with the third conference of the week, Microsoft.

Ugh To New Consoles, But Hello We Happy Few!! By Allen

Good job Microsoft! Despite a few lulls, I felt the Xbox has a really good conference today. It was all about the games today and while the titles on display were a little familiar (see Gears of War and Forza), it was the titles coming in through ID@Xbox that really got me excited. For me, We Happy Few, the Bioshockian (which is totally a word now) game that looks equal parts 1984 and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil has me excited enough to play the early access version when it gets released. Beyond games, the studio unveiled their new console options as well as the Xbox Anywhere initiative that copies Sony’s cool Cross Play system. It’s great to see Microsoft getting in on that, especially now that I have a PC that can take advantage of it.


Microsoft’s got their stride back. - Jonathan Paris


Wow Microsoft. This was their best conference this generation and arguably previous generations as well. There were plenty of ways Microsoft could have ruined this conference. Instead of spending too much time with hardware, they did a quick video to kick off the show and finished with the Scorpio announcement. Despite how people feel about the upgraded consoles, it undeniably shakes things up in a way we haven’t seen in the console market on this scale. I look forward to the possibilities it opens up. Everything in between the hardware announcements was primarily just games...a lot of games. I could go on for a long time about all the games shown but in the interest of time (and my fingers) I’ll just name a few. Like I’ve stated before, I’m a Gears of War junkie, so seeing Marcus Fenix looking like a bad-ass at the end of the trailer had me ecstatic. Outside of Gears, I was impressed with Scalebound’s showing as it looks like it’s made substantial progress since we saw it last. Recore was the game that caught me by surprise. I was of the mindset that the game would be in development hell for a few years before we saw a release, so seeing it this early is really cool. Xbox Play Anywhere is a neat feature that I know I’ll take advantage of. Anyways I can’t end this without mentioning two games: We Happy Few and Inside. Both of those games I expect to be indie hits even though I’m not a fan of We Happy Few going into Early Access. Overall Microsoft came out swinging in this conference and for the first time this generation seemed to have found their stride and vision as opposed to trying to correct mistakes of the past.


The Future is Now by Jonathan Miley


Given that Sony has such a commanding lead this generation, Microsoft only had one goal going into this year’s E3: show us why we need Xbox One in addition to Playstation 4. And they pulled it off. While they started with a great looking new, slimmer, cheaper, Xbox One S, they quickly  moved to showing off a great sample of their first-party lineup: a Gears of War that actually looks interesting,  a zanier Dead Rising 4, an incredibly delightful Recore, an even more beautiful Forza Horizon 3, and literally too many indie games to count. We Happy Few much? Microsoft brought the games. And most importantly, it’s all coming out in the next year, most of it this fall/holiday. But they didn’t stop there, they announce genuinely exciting initiatives like Xbox Play Anywhere and sneak peaked the next Xbox iteration. It was an all around great show and fun to watch. Everything they needed it to be.


PC Gamin--er...Microsoft’s Press Conference by Jordan Hurst


Microsoft’s conference managed the odd feat of being totally predictable but excellent nonetheless. Sure, there were several established titles with increasingly large numbers on the end, but there were also a slew of indie games, including fantastic showings from Inside and We Happy Few, and probably the funniest moment of E3: the Dead Rising 4 reveal. ReCore, Sea of Thieves, and Scalebound all received informative gameplay trailers that made me genuinely excited for them, provided the latter’s protagonist comes with a mute button. I am utterly confused by their simultaneous promotion of the Xbox One S, Project Scorpio, and Xbox Play Anywhere, as the latter’s cross-platform support for Windows 10 basically ensures I will have literally zero reasons to buy an Xbox console for at least another year. And since I can’t write anything about E3 without including some cynicism, did I stumble into a parallel universe where Halo Wars was something other than a waste of everyone’s time?


The owner and editor-in-chief of I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.