Reviewing E3 2019: Microsoft Press Conference

I was a little stuck on what to write for this week’s second post, when all of a sudden inspiration hit. What if I revive my absolute least successful series from the first year of the blog? This may sound stupid, and it is, but the fact is that other than the predictions post, I didn’t cover E3 at all last year, and that’s awful. So, I’m going to kind of make that right by re-watching all the press conferences and writing what I thought, starting with Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference.

As always, I’m not a news source, especially not for something that happened over half a year ago, so I’m not going to run down everything, just what I thought of the show and some highlights. Honestly, the best thing about this press conference is that it’s a big dumb show the way the conferences from E3’s golden days were. Oh, we’re announcing a Lego add on to Forza Horizon 4? Roll a full-sized car made out of Legos onto the stage. Showing off a new multiplayer mode in Gears 5? Let’s show some WWE wrestlers that are apparently in some hellish looking room under the stage playing it. Keanu Reeves is going to be in Cyberpunk 2077? Have him come out on stage and talk about it. This kind of ridiculousness used to be the norm, and it’s really fun to see it back.


There was a lot of great looking games too. Starting the show with The Outer Worlds by recent Microsoft acquisition Obsidian Entertainment was a great move, as it’s a game that a lot of core gaming audience was looking forward. The fact that it apparently turned out really good (I didn’t play it) is good too, it’s always a shame when big E3 shows turn out to be for bad games. Continuing with showing off what Microsoft’s recent purchases were up to, Ninja Theory showed a brief trailer for Bleeding Edge and Tim Schafer took the stage to announce that Double Fine Productions had been bought as well as show a new trailer for Psychonauts 2. It’s a really good reminder as we head into the next generation that Microsoft suddenly has a lot of really talented studios under their roof.


Speaking of the next generation, this should have been the show that really unleashed all the info on the next Xbox, which we now know as Xbox Series X. Sony skipped E3 last year, as they’re doing again this year, which meant that all eyes were on Microsoft to give us any kind of info on what to expect from the new consoles. And we did get something. A video showing various Microsoft employees played talking about some of the features, it has an SSD, it’s 8K ready, can have games with 120 FPS. And that’s fine, but it’s the kind of thing that we have to really see in order to get excited about.

So, immediately following that video, Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite would be a launch title for the new console, and showed a video of it. I remember being really excited about this. I’m a huge Halo fan and I’ve been really wanting to see how they’d follow up the end of Halo 5. Well, we get a cutscene of some UNSC soldier that’s been stranded in space, apparently for years. Suddenly his systems tell him that they’ve made contact with someone. After trying to hail them, he wipes off the glass in his ship to reveal Master Chief just floating there. He gets him on board, revives him, and then Chief runs off to get into some action. And we see that action, right? Nope. So, I guess I can say that cutscenes will look good, but I really want to see what that game looks like in action.


Overall, Microsoft’s press conference was good. The problem is that it needed to be better than good. All eyes were on it and we were waiting to be blown away. I have a really good feeling about this year’s show, but this one was only “good”.

Oh, before I end this post, since I never got to go over results of my predictions, we’re going to do that now. My Sure Thing prediction was that we would see Halo Infinite gameplay. Nope. My Pretty Sure prediction was that the next Xbox would be fully unveiled and have two SKUs. Nope. And my Shot In The Dark prediction was a new Crimson Skies game. Nope. So, after the first conference, I was at 0/3 predictions correct.

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