The Xbox One’s first reveal had an absence of games and a heavy focus on TV integration that left many feeling lukewarm. In Microsoft’s defense, the company initially announced that its new console’s unveiling would be a two-part event with the second act focusing on games at E3. Now that the big show is almost here, what can we expect from the folks from Redmond?
The slightly confused company recently cleared the air about how its console works, there’s still a lot of unknowns floating around. On the road to E3 we’ve seen quite a few tidbits that give an idea of what we might see on June 10th. That being said, we’ve compiled a list of what we expect to see when Microsoft’s major players take the stage in Los Angeles.
Games, games and more games
Microsoft stated that it plans to release more than 15 exclusive games during the Xbox One’s first year and while we’ve already got an idea of what we might see, there’s certainly room for a few more surprises. Recently, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall was pegged as a Microsoft exclusive with it slated to release on the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. If this rumor holds up, we can expect Microsoft to celebrate this arrangement during its showcase.
Keeping the trend of fancy Sci-fi shooters going, what would a Microsoft E3 keynote be without the mention of a Halo game? While it’s a bit of a long shot, we’d be less than surprised if we see some type of teaser for a game based in the Halo universe. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Halo 5 (see: Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST). Just because Halo: Spartan Assault turned out to be something else, we’re willing to bet a buck or two that we’ll see a next-gen glimpse of a new Halo project, even if we’re not staring at the Master Chief’s hand during the demonstration.
On the less than likely to happen side of things, there’s been a rumor of a new Banjo Kazooie and Fable game floating around. While we’re expecting to see the latter, we’re extremely skeptical about seeing a refresh of Rare’s popular platformer. However, in terms of an E3 resurrection, we’re just about positive that we’ll see Crytek’s former Kinect-powered brawler Ryse during Microsoft’s game reel.
Toss in the already revealed titles, like: Forza 5, Quantum Break along with a few bubblegum, cutesy Kinect games and a plug for Call of Duty: Ghosts’ DLC and you’ve pretty much got Microsoft’s games announcement. Oh yeah, there may possibly be a new Crackdown game in the works as well. If so, hopefully it will play like the series’ first installment and less like its last effort.
As for a “hey that would be cool if it happend” moment, we’d love to see a sequel announced for the Xbox Live blockbuster Shadow Complex.
Release date and price, price baby
During its May reveal, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would be available sometime this year. Your name doesn’t have to be Captain Obvious to predict that the Xbox One will launch this holiday season, but exactly when and how much will it cost? Analysts have estimated the systems price at around $400. We’ll go the extra mile and say $450 or more.
As for the Xbox One’s release date, when it comes to its Xbox platform, Microsoft appears to be smitten with the month of November. The first Xbox launched November 15th, 2001 and the Xbox 360 launched November 22nd, 2005. After asking our magic 8-ball and noticing a small pattern, we’ll go out on a limb and guess that the Xbox One will release on November 29th, which just so happens to be Black Friday.
In an effort to stop analysts from playing crazy guessing games that might set an inaccurate pricing expectation, we believe that Microsoft will step up to the plate and close its event by revealing the Xbox One’s pricing and release date. How else are you gonna have enough time to save up and pre-order this thing?
Loose ends and what ifs
There have been rumors of Microsoft restructuring Xbox Live to where Silver members would finally get access to services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Considering the fact that the Xbox One’s competitors already offer these apps as freebies, such a move isn’t really much of a stretch. In addition to opening the floodgates to its frugal customers, there’s also been talk of adding exclusive, Xbox only programming for Gold subscribers.
Microsoft has also been rumored to be retiring its in-house currency (Microsoft Points) in favor PayPal, credit and debit cards. E3 seems like the perfect stage to make such an announcement.
Finally, we’ll circle back to the question of price. Is $400 – $500 too rich for your blood? You’re probably not alone. One of the most plausible Xbox One pricing rumors is that Microsoft plans to offer a subsidized bundle. The idea is that customers buy an Xbox One for around $100 – $200, along with a service commitment to Xbox Live for around two years at a slightly higher premium.
What makes this scenario believable is the fact that Microsoft has already done something like this with the Xbox 360. Similar to most wireless carriers, such a setup would likely be a credit based decision and would require a large number of retail partners.
You told us so
Now that we’ve put ourselves out there and laid out our Microsoft E3 predictions, we’d love to hear from you. Do you think we nailed it, or completely missed the mark? Be sure to share your E3 predictions and conspiracy theories via the comments below.