E3 2017 HOT TAKE SPECIAL: XBOX BRIEFING

Today, Xbox took to the stage to sell us all on their new… model of console. It’s got TERAFLOPS. Or so I’m told. Did they sell people on that? Who knows. You’re just here for the HOT TAKES.

If you want to watch it before reading all the HOT TAKES, you can do so here:

Here’s everything you need to know and how to feel about it.

  • HYPE VIDEO ENGAGE AND… oh my god, the Scorpio it’s… a box.
  • Xbox appears to be taking the opposite approach Nintendo took in naming their new hardware. Where Nintendo went from NX to Switch, they go from something cool like Scorpio to… “Xbox One X.”
  • Just like at EA yesterday, the 4K graphics they’re showing off really look great on my 720p stream and non-4K enabled television.
  • I’m so happy we’re back to using racing games to try to sell viewers on your console. Not sure about using that racing game to try to sell actual cars, though.
  • Phil Spencer decided that it was probably a good idea to focus on how many games they have, especially how many exclusives they intend to show. 42 games and 22 exclusives. Place your bets on how many are indies. If your bet is under 50%, the house will collect your losings when you place it.
  • Debuting a cool demo of a new Metro title, “Metro Exodus, was a pretty great way to start the presentation. I’m a little worried about how controlled the demo looked, but the graphics were absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to forget to buy it when it finally comes out.
  • The Black Flag team is making this year’s Assassin’s Creed game, which means it actually looks like it might be a good video game. Also it has giant snakes and a pet eagle. Don’t you dare sell me on another one of these games, Ubisoft. I was out for so long!
  • As expected, Xbox is getting Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds first. I say first, and not “exclusive”, because the words “launch window exclusive” were very much also used in its reveal.
  • It is at this point that I should have seen the indies and smaller third party games coming, because Xbox stuffed their conference full of them. Oh, and just like Battlegrounds, a lot of them are timed exclusives, but that doesn’t have the same ring as “22 exclusives”, huh?
  • I linked to this in the last bullet point but I am perfectly okay with stylized 3D worlds with 2D pixelart animation becoming the new norm between Project: Octopath Traveler and The Last Night. More please.
  • I spent about 20 minutes trying to explain to a friend of mine how State of Decay is not “another zombie game”. I need new friends. Also State of Decay 2 might need a second trailer just to explain what it is to the losers that don’t know about the first.
  • Minecraft is coming in 4K. Exactly what I always wanted from my blocky building simulator.
  • Is it just me or was the CodeVein trailer the same one that announced the game a month ago? Okay, a little different. In either case, kudos to Xbox for putting that and Dragon Ball FighterZ on their stage. After the success Japanese games have had on PS4 this year, it makes sense to remind players that they release on your console too… even if they aren’t exclusive.
  • Sea of Thieves got a new, well orchestrated gameplay trailer, and it looks pretty good for anyone that can consistently get multiple friends together with Xbox Ones and several hours of overlapping free time.
  • For like 5 seconds I actually thought they were making a new Conker game. Silly me… fuck man, I just can’t stay mad at a colorful 3D platformer with a cute, baby fox protagonist. IT’S SO ADORABLE.
  • Cuphead is finally coming out in September. Place your bets now if the platforming levels that lengthened development end up taking away from the excellent boss battles.
  • TERRY CREWSSSSSSSS with the most on-brand yelling spree I’ve ever seen.
  • I can’t believe a Life is Strange prequel got shown off on Xbox’s stage. Though judging by a lot of the other games shown off on this stage, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when a good smaller game slips into the lineup.
  • Despite getting somewhere between bored and frustrated with Shadow of Mordor‘s world, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War showed off the kind of color, comedy, and fun that I didn’t find in the last title. Even if the humor didn’t feel like it fit in the Lord of the Rings universe whatsoever.
  • OH MY GOD THERE’S A NEW ORI GAME BLESS. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. THE WORLD IS ALLOWED TO LIVE PAST 2017.
  • Wow Xbox is really sticking it to PlayStation and their executive’s comments about backwards compatibility by announcing that Xbox One is even further compatible with original Xbox games. Or as many as they’re able and willing to port. Not sure how many that will be.
  • I’ve said previously that I don’t think the Scorpi- I mean Xbox One X– would sell well over $400, so that $500 price point does give me pause. I wish them the best, but I’m not sure power is enough to steal back Sony’s current marketshare. Especially without the kinds of exclusives their competitor keeps rolling out.
  • While watching the absolutely spectacular gameplay trailer for Anthem, I couldn’t help but think that, as their closing game, the words “coming exclusively to Xbox One” would sell their system like nothing else could. I didn’t expect them to, obviously. BioWare is a renowned developer and EA is a huge publisher. Exclusivity would have likely cost Microsoft a lot more than they could have gained. Still, I can’t wait to play this game. I bet it will still look great on my PS4.
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