At E3 this year, Microsoft defied expectations. Last December it was revealed that the company was going on a shopping spree for new games and studios. And boy did Microsoft do just that.
What surprised us?
Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced that since last year it'd bought four development teams (including Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice studio, Ninja Theory), and formed another with the former head of Crystal Dynamics. The Xbox team showed off a plethora of new games, including Devil May Cry 5, and a peek at a brand new Halo, Infinity. Oh, and Microsoft is getting back into mobile gaming, with a Funko Pop version of Gears of War coming to Android and iOS.
What announcement drove the audience wild?
Cyberpunk 2077. Microsoft ended its media briefing this year with a surprise: a trailer for a long-in-development, hardcore role-playing game from the team responsible for The Witcher. Cyberpunk's dystopia looks positively inviting, not oppressive like so many other futuristic sci-fi yarns. There's a lot of neon, not a lot of fog or rain (yet) and, of course, plenty of imagery that'd make William Gibson proud. Or not. He's already tweeted that the game looks like Grand Theft Auto, albeit "with a generic '80s retro-future" motif.
What sucked the air out of the room?
If there was a low point, it was the new trailer for Crackdown 3. It felt like a "director's cut" version of last year's Terry-Crews-led reveal, except this time, it was appended with news that the game wouldn't be out until next February. This was Crackdown 3's third E3 in four years, and you won't be able to buy it until 2019. Maybe. If the stars align, and the unicorn-blood ritual goes off without a hitch.
So, was it good?
It was the best media briefing Microsoft has had in awhile. But, as years prior, so many of the announcements were for games coming out early next year, or for other platforms as well.
What's left to look forward to at E3?
Quite a bit! Earlier today we've got Square Enix's and Ubisoft's media briefings, and then tonight Sony's media briefing marks the end of E3's pre-show portion. And of course, we can't forget about Nintendo tomorrow before the show floor itself opens up. There are still a raft of announcements to come, and we're here to help you sift through all of them.
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