E3 Week: My Highlights from the Microsoft Xbox Press Conference

After the EA conference felt like a company floundering for something to put on stage, and then subsequently not actually making an effort once the stuff was up there. Microsoft came out like a company with something to prove. True, they are trailing behind Sony and the PS4 in terms of sales and install base, but Microsoft also have their fingers in the PC space, so it’s not like they’re desperate…

I’m not going to break down the entire conference for Microsoft like I did for EA, there was far too much on display here and a lot of it I don’t have a strong opinion about, or there wasn’t simply enough there before jumping to the next thing to say anything about it other than stating it’s a thing. So I’m going to go down my notes and talk about the things I felt the strongest about, in either a positive or negative light. So let’s get started.

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The Decline of the Halo Series

This year’s E3 will most definitely announce the next game in 343 and Microsoft’s Halo franchise. The “6th” game and finale to the series’ post Bungie trilogy. The weirdest thing about this, nobody is really talking about it. There was a time that Halo was the biggest franchise in the industry, now it’s a languid shadow of its former self.

Back when the original Halo trilogy was in the zeitgeist, it was seen as the definitive game in the genre. The first game received near universal acclaim from all major publications, as did the second and third for the most part. Not only that, the franchise had a major guiding hand in the direction that, not only the FPS genre moved in on console, but had an impact on modern game design sensibilities and the approach to online play in general. It was certainly the first game I was really aware of playing online on console.

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My time at EGX 2017

So I went to EGX again this year. This would be the point in the article where, if I’d have been a real journalist, I’d have given a brief background into EGX. But I honestly can’t be bothered to make that kind of effort right now. All you need to know is that it’s a big video gaming and culture convention that take place in the West Midlands of the U.K. for 4 days a year.

It’s the third time I’ve gone in as many years and it’s pretty standard fare as far as these type of conventions go. A bunch of developers, large and small, show up and pedal their wares, so to speak. On top of that there are plenty of other attractions. People selling niche and retro merchandise based on video games, or other things the type of people who go to this type of event will probably like. Continue reading “My time at EGX 2017”