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Xbox at E3 shows it finally has games, but is still struggling to match Sony in terms of wow factor

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kretos

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A largely brilliant 90 minutes should have left Xbox fans happy, but Sony still has the upper hand in terms of next-gen showstoppers.
And yet. Why am I somewhat underhyped? It’s a strange feeling. I’m feeling good about Xbox, looking forward to all the games coming to Game Pass (just look at that image below for a taste of what’s coming, not all of it), and we finally saw some truly next-gen looking games in the form of Microsoft Flight Simulator and Forza Horizon 5, but something was missing. As an event, a talking point for the industry and its fans, the showcase was a little flat. It was flat largely at a high level, only really dropping down in my opinion during the slightly too long look at Stalker 2.

I was looking towards the new Xbox Game Studios announcements to raise the roof. I still remember getting chills every time Microsoft revealed a new Halo alongside that iconic music. I wanted to get into a next-gen lather, like everyone did over Sony’s recent Horizon Forbidden West showcase or its Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart presentations. Or, like we all will when we finally get a look at God of War Ragnarok. Those moments simply didn’t come, and for my money the big new games simply didn’t excite, no matter how good they will likely end up being on release.

Contraband, an Xbox Game Studios title in collaboration with Avalanche of Just Cause fame, could have been revealed in an email, such was the nothingness of what was revealed. The Outer Worlds 2, to be fair, had an incredible CG trailer, but how far away is that one from release? Two years? More? And then the “one more thing” reveal.
This is the moment of a conference everyone is waiting for. It was another Bethesda game, but it was an entirely CG trailer for a new Arkane game.

So, that’s where I’m at. I think everyone should be considering an Xbox Series X or S and Game Pass, and Xbox clearly has a strong future (2021 releases look good, but 2022 and beyond will be even better), but when it comes to getting people excited Sony still can’t be beaten. Nintendo, too, is likely to have something to say about this.


that's what i was thinking but didn't want to post in any of the xbox threads didn't want some idiot to report me for warring when i was just saying my opinion, Xbox had a good show maybe their best show in years, but no blockbusters shown, and graphics wise it's hard to be impressed after Horizon Forbidden West
 

Foorbits

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I agree. I watched the whole thing, enjoyed some of the trailers but really wasn't blown away by anything. It really does come down to known IP. MS could show 30 minutes of some brand new cool game but it wouldn't touch the hype I have for even a God of War 2 logo. It's going to take time for MS to build that kind of IP reputation beyond Forza / Halo / Gears.
 
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LordCBH

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My only problem with the Xbox showing was that only a few things were 2021. Some were 2022, and more were still shown with no dates.
I love that they’re making a second outer worlds. But it’s hard to be excited when it has no date, and obsidian is already working on something else that still has no date.
For what feels like the tenth year in a row, they’re asking Forza and Halo to carry while we wait for everything else.
 

Larvana

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that's what i was thinking but didn't want to post in any of the xbox threads didn't want some idiot to report me for warring when i was just saying my opinion, Xbox had a good show maybe their best show in years, but no blockbusters shown, and graphics wise it's hard to be impressed after Horizon Forbidden West
Imagine that, an sony fanboy posting this article. Playstation hasn't had a good conference since 2016, and I know that's going to be difficult for some people to grip.
 

Dr.D00p

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Left me with nothing but an overwhelming sense of...meh!

..and for them not to show anything of Hellblade tells me that it's in serious development hell.
 
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Pagusas

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100% agreed, thats why I gave their conference a C-. All that talent, all those games, and nothing that was "WOW". Its a problem. They badly need some AAA wow power, and what I feel we got was a whole bunch of indie, B or AA games and nothing anyone is going to be excited to talk about or hype up. Do I think some of these will be amazing hidden gems that will turn out better than they showed? Yes, and Gamepass will make it so we all get to try them without feeling ripped off. So I'm happy for that. But yeah, nothing yesterday was a "wow", and that is MS's biggest problem right now. Worse problems to have for sure, but they really need to fix this one.
 

Warnen

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Great showing to me, games hitting this year look amazing, stuff hitting next looks amazing as well.

Halo and Forza this year
Starfield teaser looks amazing...

hell I'm even excited for Halo pvp and I usally hate pvp stuff.
 

Alebrije

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Its called Megatons, I did not see one yesterday...some possible nice games most of them for 2022...but nothing that comprares to TLOU2 or Zelda or Mario....

They keep Gamepass as their most important "tool" to keep fighting vs Sony and Nintendo.
 
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Robb

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I understand that sentiment. The presentation was great for people who are already part of Xbox, especially so if you are subscribed to GamePass.

But if you're not, there probably isn't much releasing in the near future that will push the scales and make you jump in.

Most major titles outside of Halo seem to be a fair way off and games like Forza and Flight Sim don't really interest me personally.
 

McCarth

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Not showing Halo SP was a mistake. The MP looked good, but that's not really surprising anyone. The SP deserved a redeeming showing, and I'm rather shocked they omitted it. Here's hoping they just didn't want a repeat of last year so they're going to wait til the Fall.
 

mckmas8808

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Op run for the hills, it's gonna be a bloodbath in here

It will be a bloodbath, but the author has a point. I think the key point is that most of the best games are still 12-18 month away. But the author is 100% wrong about Stalker 2. It was the best game shown by MS in my opinion. They could have shown 5 more minutes of it.
 
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Excess

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Sony seems to always take the approach of showcasing games like movies because they're single player experiences, ie. GoW, Last of Us, Spider Man, GoT, Uncharted. Hence, why some people use the pejorative "movie games" to describe PS exclusives.

I don't own a PS, but I personally prefer that style of gameplay and presentation, though, and I think that's the "wow factor" that people are often describing.
 

Warablo

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I mean, they don't have a TLOU/Days Gone/Horizon. A lot of Sony games are post apocalyptic. Which is a popular genre.

I do hope Microsoft starts trying to make one for their own in a more realistic artstyle.

I will say Flight Sim and Forza had wow factor in graphics.
 
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It will be a bloodbath, but the author has a point. I think the key point is that most of the best games are still 12-18 month away. But the author is 100% wrong about Stalker 2. It was the best game shown by MS in my opinion. They could have shown 5 more minutes of it.

Yeah I would say stalker 2 and replaced were the highlights for me.
 
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lh032

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The only game wows me, is starfield and stalker 2, and stalker 2 may come to PS5, so I hope its true.
 

Stuart360

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Forza Horizon was the definition of wow factor. You cant get much better than that game for eye fucking. Flight Sim is easily the best looking game ever.Starfield looked stunning for me, and left my imagination flowing, which is what a teaser should do. Stalker looked amazing. That Reaper (i think it was calle) looked better than 90% of games shown at E3, but its and Indie so no one gives a shit.
Awesome show.

Thanks for hunting out these articles for us though.
 
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Coolwhhip

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That title seems spot on. Horizon Forbidden West wowed everyone a few weeks ago, Microsoft continues to simply not have first party games anywhere near that level.
 
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NEbeast

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Imagine that, an sony fanboy posting this article. Playstation hasn't had a good conference since 2016, and I know that's going to be difficult for some people to grip.
They've had the games though, isn't that more important?
 
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can't say i agree. microsoft has all the games i'm interested in. halo, flight sim, forza, hellblade, starfield, elder scrolls, fallout. i'll buy any games from those series.

on the other hand i can't really say much about playstation. the only upcoming game i'm probably gonna buy is Horizon Forbidden West. i've played all the TLOU, uncharted, god of war, gran turismo, etc games and they don't excite me much as they used to. i sold my PS4 in anticipation for the PS5 but ended up cancelling the pre order and buying a PS4 again.
 
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Boy bawang

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Honestly, Flight Simulator is probably the first game that tuly impressed me for this new generation. STALKER 2 would be second. Forza looked good, but that kind of game isn't for me.
I was VERY impressed by what Microsoft showed, so much that I may actually buy an Xbox for the first time in my life.
 

kyliethicc

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Starfield could have been that big wow moment. But they didn't show enough of the game.
 
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Imagine that, an sony fanboy posting this article. Playstation hasn't had a good conference since 2016, and I know that's going to be difficult for some people to grip.
Yup, MS always had the better conferences, as a PlayStation fan I will grant you that... But they still have nothing PLANNED to come out that looks close to Ratchet and Clank/Dark Soul/Hordizon 2, etc. It's annoying, all these studios pumping out Generic WRPG 15 or Generic Shooter 37, none of them looking even close to cross gen games that run on PS5. I mean, have you seen the new Halo? They should cancel this game until they can have something that makes honor to their marquee franchise, Halo is what made Xbox and all they can muster is an "OK" looking game? I don't think FH 5 does anything 4 doesn't (maybe they added RT reflections?).

Nothing there was the bomb, their space game again seemed so far away... and why doesn't MS force Bethesda to move on to a more modern engine? Where are those 12TF going? I want games with as much stuff going on as the new R&C title, with worlds that are more dense, and great visual effect.

Now, with all the studios they have one would hope that within the next two or three years they have a couple of games that can match the quality Sony has on offer? Games that are worth getting on their own, not as part of a mid-tier bundle in GamePass.
 

Aguero9320

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FH5 is the best looking console game so far, and we already know the gameplay is great… No one can credibly say that lacked ‘wow factor’ - and we all know if it had the PS5 logo on it, it would be the ‘best thing ever TM’.

It’s funny how when Microsoft makes something undeniably good the last resort is to dismiss it as ‘not your kind of thing’ and carry on downplaying :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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martino

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Yep sadly for their conference ms games seems not that much about atmospheric or amazing cinematic staging in the content produced.
and it's fine....there is not only one way to do things
but it seems there is only one to win mainstream praises in mass
 
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Vasto

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What WoW factor? I agree that that show did not WoW me but Horizon and Stalker 2 look amazing and are showing what TRUE next gen looks like.
 
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Rolla

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I was looking for that WOW moment. Unfortunately, for me, the calibre of IP doesn't seem to be in the same league to what Playstation is offering. They could have shown gameplay for their first party offering but they chose otherwise.
 

.Pennywise

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Yeah how can you *wow* people just with photorealistic graphics like Flight Sim and Forza Horizon showed?

Or putting some highly anticipated games (like Back4Blood or Stalker 2) on Game Pass day one?

Do you really expect a *wow* from that?

If you want a *WOW* you better put some cinematic 6h long game with a 80€ price tag and there you have your WOW! (Promotion only available if you slap a "Sony exclusive" tag to the game) 😂
 

Kerotan Frog

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I will admit Starfield and Stalker II looked good, Forza Horizon 5 looked really next gen, and Halo is Halo (SP footage trailer scene looked great, but gameplay please), but I agree with the OP. Redfall looked meh (odd tone for a Vampire game) and Contraband was a useless trailer.

I really wanted to see Gears 6, Hellblade II, Perfect Dark, and Fable.. I guess this is another E3 of "wait until next year."

Idk why but MS's games never have megaton impact like they used to on 360. Everything seems so low budget and janky. And my god, everything felt like a shooter. I get its an American console company, but please diversify.

Everyone is waiting for Sony to just drop bombs like God of War, FF XVI, and maybe a MGS remake.
 
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ANIMAL1975

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Op run for the hills, it's gonna be a bloodbath in here
...
Imagine that, an sony fanboy posting this article. Playstation hasn't had a good conference since 2016, and I know that's going to be difficult for some people to grip.
like a boss wow GIF by Red Bull
 

KAL2006

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I feel like Microsoft doesn't have confidence when it comes to showing a proper gameplay walkthrough.

We didn't get another proper Halo Infinite campaign demonstration

Everwild it turned out the developers didn't know what the game is they just out out a trailer for no reason and the director left so they are back on the drawing board with this game

Hellblade 2 was revealed back in 2019 still no gameplay


We had rumours that Starfield will finally be shown at E3 in the end we didn't get any gameplay for this.

I feel why Sony's press conferences are successful is because they have a nice deep dive of their games. I still remember the Ratchet video, or the first time we seen Last of Us 2 or Ghost of Tsushima it leaves a good impression.

The reason why people can't get excited with Microsoft they don't fully know if the gameplay will blow us away. What if Halo Infinite campaign still looks like garbage but slightly polished. What if Starfield just looks like Skyrim similar to how Fallout 4 graphics seemed the same. What if Hellblade 2 isn't as ambitious as what everyone thought it would be and nothing close to that teaser. What Microsoft needs is a gameplay demonstration that will blow people's mind and we have only got this with Forza and nothing else.
 
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MarkMe2525

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No over the shoulder cinematic 3rd person action games shown. I like those for sure, but I appreciate the variety that was on display.
 

wipeout364

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Conference was excellent IMO, not sure what you would consider a megaton or why anybody who is in the Xbox ecosystem would be disappointed? Forza looked amazing, Halo multiplayer looks great, Stalker is one of my most anticipated games in years, Back for blood, BF2042, Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine while all multiplatform look decent to great. Then add on to that the game pass announcements and you have a great show. In fact Starfield is a lot closer than I expected. Personally I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape about studios announcing they are working on a project years out, I personally would rather know then not, if there is no date I just assume its 2 to 3 years out.

Shredders looked really promising as well, I really hope it delivers a really good snowboarding game.
 

SCB3

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What? Forza Horizon 5 alone has wowed me more than most of PS5's games, though I will say R&C has really impressed me so far
 

Techno_Inked

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I watched the show twice. Not because it was so great, but because I lost interest almost right away. Which made me miss most of the show the first time. The only games which grabbed my attention slightly were Stalker 2 and Forza. And unfortunately even after the second time of watching the show (this time giving it my full attention), those were still the only 2 games which grabbed my attention slightly.

I'm not into racing games so Forza isn't a game for me. But kudos to Xbox for finally having gameplay footage that's comparable to what Playstation brings. I'm sure many Xbox fans are really happy about this.

As for Stalker 2, it looks OK but the trailer was edited in a really odd way and it's just a timed 3 month exclusive I think. So I'll just wait and play other games instead before maybe getting it on Playstation.

The flow of the show is good, but the games are simply underwhelming. Not to mention that all the hyped Microsoft rumors didn't come true. For example the Kojima game (I myself don't care much about Kojima games btw, but for most people it seems like a huge deal. Often times I'm on the fence with his games.).

The only true Microsoft exclusive I'm still interested in after all this is Hellblade 2. Which is all the more unfortunate that it didn't even get the slightest exposure during the show.

I'm not someone who is interested in Gamepass and therefor I got no Gamepass. This the reason why I wouldn't rate this show high by any means. But it seems most Xbox fans are satisfied with the show because of Gamepass, which is fair. If I were a Gamepass gamer, I probably would've rated this show OK high as well.

Even though I'm not a huge Horizon Zero Dawn fan, Playstation's State of Play alone did more for me than the entire Xbox E3 press conference. This is just my opinion. If you Xbox fans are happy with what you got, all the more power to you 👌
 
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