Impressions from The E3 2014 Press Conferences: Microsoft

E3 2014 is off to a start at Los Angeles, and Microsoft was the first to kick things off on Monday with the big press conferences. Showing off a number of its big upcoming titles like Sunset OverdriveFable Legends, and third-party games like Dragon Age: InquisitionCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Microsoft had plenty to offer to make its console a showcase for games – but, was it enough?

While currently in attendance at E3 2014, DualShockers’ staff had their own opinions of each of the press conferences (so far), and this time we’ll break down the highlights, the lowlights, and the just-plain awesomeness that was present at Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

Tony Polanco (Staff Writer): 

Microsoft did a lot of things at their press conference but messing around wasn’t one of them. As soon as Phil Spencer hit the stage he promised wall to wall games, and that’s exactly what was delivered. With a presentation that showcased both first party and third party games, Microsoft definitely set the bar high for this year’s pressers.

While I knew that the Kinect wouldn’t be as prominent this year as it was in the past, it was still interesting that it wasn’t mentioned AT ALL. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the peripheral wasn’t exactly a fan favorite. Now that the Xbox One won’t come bundled with the Kinect, it really doesn’t make much sense to talk about it. This is huge shift from previous years where you may as well have called these “Kinect Konferences.”

Even though the Xbox One officially costs $399 as of today, this wasn’t mentioned either. This news was a category-5 megaton bomb when it was announced, and MS knew that this news would have overshadowed anything they would have announced at their show – hence, why they announced it week ago. Still, I think a quick “Xbox One, now for $399” should have been dropped by someone on stage.

As far as games go, they had a few first party games like Sunset Overdrive, Fable Legends and a new Crackdown. What we saw were a lot of third party games with timed DLC which will hit the Xbox One first. These include Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, The Division, Evolve and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Microsoft may have switched gears with the Kinect and DRM, but definitely not with buying timed exclusives.

Microsoft has definitely learned how to eat humble pie as this conference has clearly demonstrated. The company has learned a hard and bitter lesson and they are now all about pleasing gamers and not about shoving peripherals and apps down their throats. While it is technically backpedalling, this is in the interest of their customers and will ultimately end up benefiting the Xbox brand in the long run.

Ryan Meitzler (Staff Writer):

Coming into this year’s E3, Microsoft was already caught between a rock and a hard place. Last year’s E3 put a big bullseye on them after their numerous announcements with the Xbox One that rubbed many gamers the wrong way: flash forward one year later, and most of those announcements now no longer apply to the system any more: Kinect is out of the way, online-only functionality is gone, and the system is now $399.

With Sony boasting of their success with the PS4, E3 2014 was the big chance for Microsoft to rebound and show that Xbox One was just as capable, and noteworthy, of a system as Sony’s competitor. After Microsoft took the stage at E3 with its press conference of titles releasing this year and showing what’s to come, the company definitely seems to be in a much better place than it was a year ago, even if it was evident during a conference that very much played it safe.

Unlike last year’s “all-in-one” focus on the Xbox One reveal with its powers as a media center-type device, Microsoft’s conference this year spent 95% of its focus on games, a big change (and a much needed one) following last year’s reveal. Little was mentioned on Microsoft’s plans for live action TV series, and NOTHING was mentioned for Kinect or the system’s recent $399 price drop that went in effect today across the nation. Instead, the conference was a games-driven one that showed the stable of what Xbox One has to offer in the next year, and beyond.

Many of the usual suspects showed up at Microsoft’s press conference, with the show bringing some new trailers (and snippets of gameplay) for several upcoming titles like Halo 5: Guardians, Fable Legends, Sunset Overdrive, and even a few surprise inclusions like Dragon Age: Inquisition. Included among the pack were plenty of newly-revealed titles, like a revival of the long-dormant Phantom Dust, Rise of the Tomb Raider, the crazy Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 DLC, monster-hunting Scalebound, and a brand new next-gen Crackdown.

Microsoft’s big win at the press conference though was not only showing a solid selection of first-party exclusives, but bolstering that with a renewed fervor in indie game support alongside a host of “second-party” titles that will notably act as “exclusives” for the company, especially with timed-exclusive DLC deals for many titles.

Accompanying nearly every trailer shown at that conference was a tag for “New content first on Xbox,” showing that Microsoft is heavily investing into building exclusive partnerships with developers, and it showed at their conference. With DLC that will be coming first for titles like Evolve, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and The Division, what Microsoft may lack in first-party exclusives compared to Sony, it is proving to more than make up for with their exclusive content and “second-party” exclusives that will be tied to Xbox One, a strategy that already has proven itself year after year with Call of Duty.

Microsoft’s conference overall was safe: it didn’t cause a huge outcry like last year’s event, but notably the event didn’t contain quite the bombshells that might have been expected to be shown (the new Gears of War, the long-rumored Fallout 4), but what was there showed Microsoft is looking to expand on its game selection and refocus their console on what matters the most.

With promising exclusives like Sunset Overdrive and Fable Legends coming by the year’s end alongside a new crop of indie titles like Playdead’s Inside and Capybara’s Below, it was a notably less-explosive show for Microsoft this year, but one that provided a pretty secure future for Microsoft and Xbox One and their stable of upcoming games.

Join the Discussion

  • Balalaika

    What happened to the MS Cloud, Exclusive new IP’s, and TVSports that made last year E3 so special and fun! Whats going to happen to the fans who bought the system for the exclusive TV content and power of the Xbox One!!

  • Ritsujun

    No announcement of the power of teh universe?

  • Cassive

    Microsofts press conference was lame, I thought they would go hard since their console isn’t selling very well, nothing was exciting, nothing was impressive, everything was just mediocre. Sunset Overdrive looks fun, not amazing, Halo is a great franchise but it’s the same old same old really, I can’t even remember the rest of the games, Forza Horizon 2… meh.

    I hope Sony doesn’t make the same mistake. Not being a fanboy, I’m being honest, if Sony come with loads of rubbish too, I’ll be honest and admit it

    • Sea-HAWK fan

      and they did.. e3 sucked this year!

      • Lydon Freekstile Nakamura

        Nah. Sony did great and any real gamer knows this.

        • Dameon Percival

          Yea, a great job of boring people!

          • superkarma

            Let the butthurt flow through your veins, fanboy.

          • GodGamerDerp

            PS4 games not on Xbox One revealed at E3 2014: Bloodborne, LittleBigPlanet 3, Entwined, Bloodborne, The Talos Principle, Grim Fandango, Let It Die, Rachet & Clank, Infamous standalone sidestory, Kingdom Under Fire 2 and tons of indie games. No Man’s Land and ABZU timed exclusive.

          • Sucka Free

            you said Bloodborne twice

          • Guest

            hey it’s just THAT good

          • Dude, just a little cranky today? Lol…

          • Sucka Free


          • Twix

            Microsoft showed more games. Greater games. Games that will actually release within the next year.

          • superkarma

            Wrong. Sony showed more overall games, more exclusives, more content, and more actual gameplays. Keep trying.

        • wrestlefan01

          last year microsoft harped on tv and apps most of the show..yet people said it does the same thing this year yet people say it was great..riiiiiiight

          • P-IST-4

            20min out of 110. Do the math genius.

          • Ritsujun

            Yeah. Do the math, genius.

          • Almighty-Koz

            so your definition of harping is 20 mins through a 90 min show, and tv only took up 8 mins 5 mins for the tv series and 3 mins for ratchet movie, the other 12 mins in that were talking about ps now, morpheus and some stats on only play and shit…But yea your right its harping /s

    • matt dickinson

      I thought Sunset Overdrive looked incredible. A lot better than Infamous in fact! Really colorful, with a lot of action over a long area (like as he approached the roller coaster at the end of the trailer). Really impressive stuff.

      • Sucka Free

        I think that it looks like they borrowed an awful lot from Infamous SS. Have to wait and see if it is any good

      • Almighty-Koz

        i thought it looked dumb, i mean its infamous style grinding with guns, the premiss behind the game is lame, evil corp give people tainted energy drinks that turn them into monsters who want more energy drink….this game will sell in the first week and then fade into obscurity

    • worryingrash

      As usual, while Dualshockers’ writers take a neutral line, the readership is so one-eyed it’s unreal.

      Enjoy the mutual-masturbation session boys.

      • John Nemesh

        Enjoy the decline of the Xbox brand over the next several months.

    • wrestlefan01

      if microsofts was lame then what was sony’s both had underwhelming briefings imo.

  • They Call Me Senpai

    Call of Duty apparently sold better on the PS4, which leads me to believe that people want the game that runs best, not the one that’s getting content early. Exclusive content also helps, just look at the sales for Batman: Arkham Asylum, it sold better than its superior 360 counterpart because it had platform exclusive (not timed exclusive) content.

    Timed dlc likely won’t help Evolve and those other games sell better on the bone, because it’ll make it to the PS4 eventually.

    • Almighty-Koz

      timed exclusive at least for me means i wont be buying at least one of the dlcs cause by time that last one comes out im getting ready for the new game.i havent bought the 4th dlc for Cod in years, on top of that most of the time i dont buy the 3rd one either so i hope MS is shelling out enough to cover the cost of the lost income i assume they will get.

  • William Nugroho

    I think microsoft did well compared with what they did last year, they make a good progression under the lead of Phill Spencer, nice presentation focusing on games and they could make a deal with several developers to get time exclusive dlc.

  • Alter

    oh god LBP3 🙂

  • Alter

    bloodborne = project beast

  • Dangerousjo 1985

    Best conference of e3 so far let’s go xb1!!!

  • Sea-HAWK fan

    So Little big planet and uncharted vs sunset and fable? I will still take Sony’s over freaking fable and jet set radio.. Why are they making another crackdown? I remember buying that game in the bargain bin for like 2 bucks and it was one of the worst games I have ever played IMO.. gta, batman, destiny vs dragon age, cod and tombraider, sony wins again for dlc.. i might have missed some stuff but yeah, but e3’s sucked.

  • matt dickinson

    Xbox has completely blown me away in terms of the quality and creativity of their new game lineup. It seems 3:1 better than PS4’s and really makes me regret getting a PS4 now. Just a really amazing lineup all around. Some of those indies are really nice, if they are exclusive. Check out Cuphead for instance, or Fru,
    Ori and the Blind Forest, etc.

    • Sucka Free

      Then go sell the damn thing and get an Xbox.

      • matt dickinson

        No, it’s frustrating. Don’t really want to own two similar consoles like that.

        • superkarma

          No one is forcing you to own both of them. Sell one or stop complaining.

          • matt dickinson

            Sigh, wasn’t complaining, was just commenting about the awesome games coming out.

        • Sucka Free

          Then, what can I tell you? STFU and find a new hobby? because it seems clear that you wont be happy no matter what

          • matt dickinson

            Why are you telling me to shut up?
            I was just commenting on my enthusiasm for the new games coming out for Xbox. Not badmouthing Sony, Playstation 4, you, anyone here, etc.

            I wasn’t trying to fight with you or anyone here but I see this place is full of jerks

          • Sucka Free

            whatever man…

          • matt dickinson

            yeah, WHATEVER.

          • Sucka Free

            As if that tired old “I’m so sorry I bought a PS4, it sucks I wish I had bought an Xbox” shtick hasn’t been done a thousand times already. And now you’re going to act all coy about it with “I was just expressing my enthusiasm” LMAO, yeah…..

          • matt dickinson

            What are you talking about? They came out with a lot of games and they looked great, so I said so.

            I’m sorry I said so, since leaving such opinions on the Internet always means you receive hateful comments in response, but yeah I thought their games looked nice and creative. The ones here:

            The indie games in particular.

            Sue me. I’m sorry I liked their games.

          • Sucka Free

            Okay, you’re not a troll, you just happen to say all of the same things that trolls usually do, and you have a fresh new trolling account. Very credible, don’t know why I ever doubted you….


          • matt dickinson

            I’ve posted here before, under this same name, the same one I’ve had since 1982. We’ve even talked before.

          • matt dickinson

            You’re just rude and ugly to everyone. You stick your tongue out. You tell them to “STFU.” Why not get some manners and stop being so ugly toward people? Your avatar is the kid flicking everybody off.

          • matt dickinson

            I’m deleting this account. I hate trying to talk to people on the Internet.

          • Sucka Free

            have a nice life….

    • They Call Me Senpai

      Except that Sony’s games were of a higher quality and Entwined and LBP were the most creative games revealed.

      • wickshot

        Thought project spark was more creative than either of those two

      • Michael Balchunas

        I’m all about Sony’s conference over MS’s, and I love good indies, but Entwined looked boring IMO.

  • sergeantnorider

    They sold me on Sunset Overdrive. I was only sorta interested before but it looks like they improved the animations from the last time I saw it being played. Game is fluid as hell now and the transitions are crazy–plus 8 player co-op. Trailer was pretty funny as well. Good on MS for letting Insomniac poke fun at cover based shooters since that is one of MS’s cash cows. No Gears though. Next year. For now Sunset and the Master Chief Collection (which is crazy–100 multiplayer maps!) are definite day one pick ups.

    • Almighty-Koz

      full honest i can find the article if i need to but the game is more fluid since the june update allowed them to turn the stupid ass kinect off giving them 10% bomb in gpu access. i read that in a article earlier today somewhere but cant remember where.

  • Vious

    no TV as the Microsoft conference. it was all games games games

  • Vious

    I think it was also cool that Microsoft showed game play and live action with most of it’s lineup. there’s a lot of 2014 games to pick up on the xbox one that’s coming out. looking forward to picking up
    sunset overdrive
    Forza Horizon
    COD: AR
    Halo Collection

  • alberto suarez

    Really does it matter who did better? There were games on both consoles that had me excited and I can’t wait to play them all. No real need to hate on either console. I agree sony was more exciting and fun but I am excited to see some of microsoft’s games as well. I went to the E3 experience and got destiny alpha code, battlefield hardline beta code, and a couple other little things and loved it. Sony did an awesome job but I think the safe route really benefited microsoft as well. All in all a great E3 so far!

  • Twix

    Microsoft showed off the better exclusive games this year at E3 (as they have been) and there’s plenty lined up for the near future. Unfortunately Ps4 users will still be “awaiting greatness” for several more months :/

    • Jecht_Sin

      Yeah.. That’s why everybody in here and IGN is talking about Bloodborne.

    • superkarma

      The only new exclusives they announced were:

      -Ori and the Blind Forest
      -Phantom Dust (CGI trailer)
      -Scalebound (CGI trailer)
      -Crackdown (CGI trailer)
      -3 Kinect games

      If that’s your idea of better exclusives, so be it. You’re certainly entitled to think that. Just keep in mind, the general consensus disagrees with you.