What worked and what didn't at #XboxE3.

As the dust settles on Microsoftís E3 2015 conference, here are my thoughts on what worked this year, and surprisingly what didnít.

What Worked

Backwards Compatibility

A step in the right direction for Microsoft, who have been losing this Ďconsole-warí since the Xbox One first released. Ideally it would be hardware based, but realising their launch mistake Microsoft are finally making good. Whether it requires Xbox Live Gold and online check-inís (with the disc remaining in your disc-tray of course) remains to be seen - all signs point to most likely. But a definitive feature they now finally have over Xbox One competitor PlayStation 4.

E3 Xbox One - Backwards Compatibility

New controller

Having purportedly spent $100 million in R&D on the original Xbox One controller they have now seemingly given up. Instead of releasing a controller set it stone, Microsoft are instead releasing a controller which is interchangeable, allowing you to switch out and swap parts to how you see fit. Those thumbsticks causing you problems? Here are some more precise ones. Microsoft are looking at a list of problems consumers have with their Xbox One console and offering solutions.

E3 Xbox One - New Controller

Indie Titles

Following in the footsteps (and outright copying) from Sonyís conference last year at E3. Microsoft allowed Indie developers on-stage to give quick 30 second tastes of their upcoming games. Whether it was the brilliant looking Cuphead or the Unfinished Swan/Rain mashup Beyond Eyes - this segment plainly worked, and made me interested in the slew of Indie titles releasing on the console.

E3 Xbox One - Indie Titles

What Didn't

Halo 5: Guardians

Never in a million years did I think that I would actually be bored watching this. Instead of being an exciting new entry into the Halo franchise, I was left pondering, visually unravelling all the elements I have seen from every first-person experience in well.. ever. It felt tired, bereft of ideas and I never thought I would feel that way for this title. Whether its 343 Studios just not being as great as we think or itís a bad segment of gameplay (Iím hoping for the latter) remains to be seen.

E3 Xbox One - Halo 5: Guardians

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

As the confusion still drums along on how long this title is actually exclusive on Xbox One for (Holiday 2015), I was left confused over just how bland it looked. Yes, I know itís also a last-gen game (also releasing on 360 and PS3 in future I assume), but I didnít expect it to look visually terrible - at least in a gameplay trailer aiming to market the game. The gameplay wasnít much better, walk 5 steps and a cutscene ensues. I definitely hope this was a case of a bad gameplay segment, as this did nothing for me.

E3 Xbox One - Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Gears 4

This is Gears right? The same Gears Of War where you mow down a bunch of Locust every 30 seconds whilst laughing along with friends. Itís a brand new studio (formerly Black Tusk now renamed to The Coalition) who is developing this new Gears title, but it really did not get the tone right looking closer to a survival horror third-person shooter. Hopefully this is not the direction theyíre going as Gears isnít that type of game and there are much better developers who can do that type of game better.

E3 Xbox One - Gears 4

Shared world / Free-to-play games

There are far too many of these games, each one requiring your entire mindshare mainly because by their very nature they require a long commitment to get the most out of them. But it seems like developers donít get the hint, we like single player games because we donít have to rely on others or invest time to arbitrarily forward the story. There is no way to focus on all these free-to-play or shared world games, so they become entirely redundant to me. For every one that works I see five failing to make an impact.

E3 Xbox One - Free to Play

What do you like at Microsoft's E3? Let me know in the comments below.


E3 - otherwise known as the Electronic Gaming Expo - is an annual trade-fair revealing all the latest titles releasing in the near future, within the video game industry. These days the event's conferences are broadcasted online for the masses to watch.

The first true E3 event began in 1995, which was when Sony first revealed their Sony PlayStation console - the E3 event garnered 50,000 attendees from within the industry paving it's future.

Opinion of: David Robinson
Twitter: @5ypher

Posted on 15th June 2015