Xbox fan Nick Burton evaluates Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference, where Xbox showed for the first time in years their true potential

A 3rd year Philosophy student at the University of Birmingham. Interested in giving honest opinions with others. Thinking and being passionate are my favourite hobbies, other than listening to Metallica.
Images by Microsoft

Microsoft just showed the world why we shouldn’t underestimate their commitment to making excellent exclusives and showcasing amazing third-party video games being developed by studios around the world. Showing game trailer after game trailer, announcement after announcement, this year’s E3 press conference by Microsoft was absolutely jam-packed with all kinds of games, from AAA western RPGs to indie games to announcing the acquirement of five developer studios. Microsoft has been busy, and it shows.

Opening with the reveal trailer for the next installment in perhaps their biggest franchise, Halo: Infinite looks considerably different from previous installments developed by 343 industries. Shots of nature and wildlife were used to showcase their new Slipspace engine, located on a Halo ring revealed at the end of the trailer leads us to assume (along with the title) that we can almost guarantee this Halo will be different, and could also be a long way off. A lot of people are speculating it to be arriving so that it is a launch title for the next Xbox – it is hard to argue with their rationale.

A confident Head of Xbox Phil Spencer then took the stage to boast the numbers of what we can expect from this year’s E3 conference: 52 games on stage including 18 console exclusives and 15 world premiers. He deserves to be confident – the Xbox team have worked hard for this for years. The payoff is finally being felt, and personally I saw a lot of games I’m excited about be revealed at this conference.

Many games were revealed for the first time, including Dontnod’s The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, the short prequel to their anticipated Life is Strange 2, as well trailers showing the  games coming later this year such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and We Happy Few.

Every game shown looked interesting and different, and Microsoft wisely knew that they needed the first party support this year to help Xbox gamers pre-occupied with other games whilst they help develop the next generations Xbox-exclusives. At this rate I think that’s the best time we can expect the next huge franchises to arrive since games are taking longer and longer to develop. And that’s okay.

Xbox isn’t going to be able to deliver on games like Spider-Man and The Last of Us Pt II anytime soon, but they showed during their conference that they will do their utmost to create games that impactful in the years to come. That being said, showing the next three Gears games means they aren’t just trying to create new franchises, but also invest in the franchises they have currently. That, and it looks like they’re just as interested in using the IP they have – announcing a new Battletoads for instance –  showing their commitment to use the property they have in new and interesting ways.

Closing the show with Cyberpunk 2077 was simply awesome. A trailer which we’ve been waiting for for years now, and it finally gave us some insight about the world and tone of this huge upcoming single-player RPG developed by CD Projekt Red. The trailer was filled with characters, locations, possible quests and more.

The Microsoft conference was excellent. Tight, paced very well, and importantly, showed off great games coming to the platform this year and in the years to come. Microsoft succeeded in taking a step towards becoming the brand it needs to be, getting ever closer to creating experiences that will compete with PlayStations exceptional 1stand 2ndparty line-up.

For a full list of what Xbox announced and showed at their E3 2018 press conference –