Xbox E3 Thoughts

So, you may not know this since I mostly post politics, but I’m a gamer every now and then when I’m not dissertation writing or raising a daughter. This means I haven’t picked up a controller in almost 18 months (though I’m hoping to finish Dragon Age 2 by the end of this year.

Xbox just wrapped up it’s media briefing and I’d like to give it a quick hit on thoughts.

If you missed it, no one has posted a full wrapup yet, but Engadget has it’s live blog still posted, to skim through.

I have a few random thoughts.

  1. Project Scorpio’s forward compatibility means that people like me who basically skipped this generation might as well wait it out at this point. If there’s anything I really really want to play *coughHalo5cough* I’d be best served by borrowing an Xbox. Maybe picking up a used one, something of that nature.
  2. The vast majority of MS exclusives are on Windows 10 and Xbox One (all of them I think) and have cross platform play. Though they didn’t say it outright, this is a tacit admission that console exclusives don’t sell consoles to PC gamers. Although, I think it gives them a minor leg up over Sony, in that if you want a console to supplement your PC, MS is allowing you to play games on both systems. (Well unless you’re a Mac or Linux user…heh.)
  3. Following this, depending on if the Surface can run these games (I honestly don’t know) it just became the premier gaming tablet I suppose.
  4. They seem to be really placing some stock in VR. They had a Samsung Gear VR on stage for minecraft, and Fallout 4 apparently is going to be VR now. This aligns with Project Scorpio, but at the same time I’m not sure what this means for price point in 2017. Samsung is quite literally giving away Gear VRs which is all well and good for Minecraft, but I doubt it’ll be able to run Fallout 4, unless they come up with some really wonky way to patch into the phone. Oculus Rifts run almost $600 at this point. The tech behind them really can’t be offloaded to the Xbox anymore than it already is that I can see, so…yeah pricy. If the Scorpio lands at even a meager $399, that’s almost $1k for a VR rig.  That’s not consumer ready. (By the by, my PC would need a new processor and a video card to run the Rift as is. Granted my PC is 7 years old, but it also had some nice stuff.)
  5. Several games look nice, several of the indie games were also shown in previous years. That does not bode well for those games development.
  6. Every mention of “Mobile” did not mention Windows Phone or “Windows Mobile 10” at all. That platform is deader than dead now. (My decision to leave for Android looks solid.)
  7. They discussed “beyond generations” noting that everything on the Scorpio would work on the Xbox Ones.  Frankly this is impossible to believe. The first VR only game to come out cannot possibly work on the Xbox One without something short of magic.  So there’s no boundaries yet. They’ll come soon enough.

If anything else pops into my head I’ll post in the comments.