Microsoft’s gearing up for the big show just like all the other gaming companies…E3 is a matter of weeks away now. The big question: What can Microsoft do to enhance its showing and face-off with the likes of the Wii-U? Here are some ways that Microsoft will try to sway the crowd at E3 this year, along with a measurement of likelihood that event will happen:
Remind Us Why Xbox Outsells the Competition
Odds – High
Every company starts out their E3 presentation with a big statement that declares how fantastic they are, complete with numbers that mean almost nothing and sales figures meant to dazzle the world. Microsoft will start off with their fair share of numbers just like everyone else, but will likely include a bit about the recent successes of the Kinect as compared to motion rivals Playstation Move and the Nintendo Wii. Kinect Sports Season Two, Kinect Disneyland Adventures, and Kinect Star Wars were all 360-exclusive titles that surely bolstered sales of the system, but it’s pretty likely that the Kinect versions of Just Dance 3, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Mass Effect 3, and Tiger Woods 13 outsold the versions released for other consoles. It’s pretty likely that we’ll hear that these performances were due to the enhanced capabilities the Kinect offers with voice recognition, and controller-free full-body tracking.
Convince More People to Buy Kinects
Odds – High
A big part of their presentation is definitely going to be games with Kinect compatibility like last year. Since this isn’t supposed to be a show about the Durango/Xbox Next, they’ll have to highlight the technology they’re currently using. Games which have specialized Kinect-compatibility like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Mass Effect 3 from last year’s show will be featured in order to appeal to the hardcore gamers, while more family-friendly titles will continue to be used to appeal to all audiences.
Wow Us with Halo 4
Odds – Medium-High
Don’t get me wrong, Halo 4 will be Microsoft’s big title for the year, and they’re going to put tons into their E3 presentation to prove it. It’s a strict Xbox-exclusive, a brand new trilogy, with a new company working on the franchise…they’re going to pull out all the stops showcasing this title. But with a release date dreadfully close to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Microsoft may have to fight to pull people away from COD. Given, many have talked about how Activision’s premiere franchise is getting stale and repetitive, but will that stop BLOPS2 from being the best-selling game of the year? I think not. Sure, Halo 4 will be impressive, but they’re going to have to really make it look phenomenal.
Drop an Amazing Surprise Game
Odds – Medium
Will they show off a title that we’ve heard little to no information about at the show? Probably. But will the title be something that will blow us all away? That’s hard to say. Considering the stake that they’ve placed in Halo, the past experience of pushing family-friendly Kinect games, it’s a bit of a toss-up that whatever secret project they release is going to be mind-blowing.
Provide In-Depth Durango Information
Odds – Medium
With some sources slating a release date as early as November 2013, Microsoft’s surely going to be peppered with a few questions about their forthcoming system. However, considering the Wii-U’s release this year, Microsoft may hold off on pulling out the big guns. I’m thinking it’s likely that they’ll drop small bits of information, teasers to get everyone excited about the system, then give out the big information at a time they can grab more attention.
Make Big LIVE Changes
Likelihood – Medium
PS3 owners may taunt 360 users for the $60 a year they pay for LIVE Gold accounts , but dynamic changes in the offerings LIVE has made lately is making the service much more appealing than it used to be. Steaming TV service from Comcast, dashboard offerings from places like Crackle and IGN…Microsoft is trying to dominate the online console services market, but will this demand a price-restructuring as they secure more content? If so, then we likely won’t hear too much about LIVE at E3 because it would give people something negative to say at the show. The price raise from $50 to $60 a couple years back was already received poorly; going any higher would just give Sony more ammunition for their free-to-play Playstation Network.
Revamp the Xbox Dashboard
Odds – Unlikely
Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, but I damned well hate the new Dashboard revamp. Sure, it looks pretty on the surface, but underneath the sleek veneer is a navigational nightmare. I understand it’s supposed to make it easier to use the Kinect for searching, but demos and other items I used to be able to find with ease are now buried in multiple menus, and the Kinect motion sensitivity takes longer and is more difficult to use than simply busting out a controller. Heaven forbid there’s an ad I’m interested in and it rotates away, because then I have to sit around and wait for the ad to come back to me. I understand it probably won’t happen, but if Microsoft came up with an alternative dashboard similar to the old one I’d be pretty damned thrilled.
Microsoft’s got a lot of work to do if it’s going to try and steal the show from Nintendo’s new hardware. What else would you like to see Microsoft do this E3, and how likely do you think it is they’ll do it? Drop comments at the bottom!
Also be sure to check out: 10 Ways Nintendo Can Win E3