Over the past twelve months or so, Microsoft has had to apologize for a lot of things. They were sorry for trying to implement DRM on their consoles. They were sorry for trying to make you pay extra to use stuff you're already paying for. They were sorry for just being dumb stupid idiot people who don't know how to game too good. Hopefully then, 2014's E3 ends up being their final "sorry" so we can get back to just playing games. Here are my top ten ways Microsoft will say they're sorry and totally make us feel better about buying an Xbox One last year: 10 - Mattrick is gone. Bring in that other guy!
Seriously, this guy. Not only did he try to remain steadfast in a "scary future" for console gaming, he totally bailed ship and went over to some evil third world country called Zynga to go run their IT department or something. We'll see how long it takes to have America deliver some "freedom" to them... Anywho, Phil Spencer is taking the helm, and as a guy who's been running their software department for a bit, chances are he's got some reasonable connections to reality. A guy who knows games leading a game division? Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one? 9 - "We're totally still going to be here in 2015!"
With all this talk about Microsoft jettisoning Xbox because investors don't like it, it is a pretty safe bet that we'll be told multiple times that they're sticking around. I mean, we're totally going to be here! Because we still want to be! Right? Right. Hopefully their plan to legitimize their existence includes a lot of the previous year's apology tour, and a few surprises. Still, they've changed their ways on a lot of things in order to be more competitive. Hopefully with that quick rundown near the beginning of the press conference, they can really focus on what matters - more games. 8 - "Hey '90s kids, remember Halo?"
We've seen the leaked stuff about the Master Chief Collection, and we know Halo 5 is coming. But really, do you guys remember Halo? Because we're now to the point where we can be nostalgic about it
, and nothing is better than nostalgia to sell games and console units! So, we'll retread what the Chief has done, they'll tell us that the Master Chief Collection will get kicked out the door for some crazy price like $60 or something, and then include a beta key for Halo 5... Because they're totally sorry about it not coming out in 2014. And this totally worked for Halo 3. And Halo 4. 7 - "Hey '00s kids, remember Call of Duty?"
I hate to get overly cynical, but I think it has to be an absolute expectation at this point. New Call of Duty, new exclusive DLC for the Xbox, and I'm guessing a big push to get most of the adoption on the Xbox One. Presumably with even more exclusive DLC, and some crazy promise about graphics. Because these are the kids who cared the most about resolution gate, and Microsoft is totally sorry. 6 - "You guy totally still care about Gears of War, right?"
Actually this one I'm not sure about at all. The last one came out. I don't remember many people caring about it. But they want to do a movie, or something. So maybe they'll remind us that this thing still exists. Also, they're totally sorry about not giving you one as a launch title. Because apparently kids care about it.
Okay, so this is going to get into slightly more pie-in-the-sky, crazy guesses. More or less, the kind of stuff that I'd really want to see 5 - Forza 6: We're Sorry Edition
There was a lot of hype going into Forza 5, that's for sure. Problem is, they didn't deliver on as much as they thought they would. They were sorry about trying to get you to buy cars with real money in-game. They were sorry about not having many tracks and ended up giving you free ones. They were even so sorry about their crummy DLC that they added 20 more cars to the premium DLC pack. A safe bet is that Microsoft will show off an early Forza 6, with the proper amount of tracks and cars, and maybe finally give us some stuff that hasn't been in the game before (you know, cars from the previous three or so years - that weren't in Forza 4). Because they're sorry. And they're worried about Project Cars taking away some of their thunder. 4 - Last time... On Microsoft Announces...�
In a race to continue capturing cord cutters and the like, Microsoft is going to announce a lot of TV deals that go far beyond the typical Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube options. Which, by the way, they're sorry for charging you to use. So, in addition to the exclusive content that included the Halo TV show, documentaries, and uh, other stuff
, Microsoft could totally surprise us by sealing that deal for the NFL Sunday Ticket, or letting us get more exclusive content with ESPN, or some other premium providers. More importantly, they'll finally get around to getting more of those video services apps back on the Xbox One. You know, major components like HBO Go are still missing, and inking deals with ABC, CBS and others would be a great way to deliver content for their Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Or, are they extra sorry about charging us before, and let us use all those apps for free? 3 - Battlefront: Super-Duper Sorry Edition
Even though Microsoft had a lot of apologize for over the past year, its pretty well known that EA botched a lot of good faith with Battlefield 4, and to some extent, even with Titanfall. So, to make everyone feel better, we'll get our first look at the new Battlefront running extra-crispy on the Xbox One. They'll make some special promises about better online performance, fewer glitches, and plenty of exclusive DLC. Delivery date? I'm counting on a "when its ready,"
�but they may try to over-shoot and have it ready by Christmas. People will flip either way. 2 - Something new, something blue
If there is one thing that people would very well go crazy about, something that we haven't heard much about as of late, it'd definitely be a new Mass Effect trailer. Although the game is likely nowhere near completion, showing off a new trailer would be another peace offering from both Microsoft and EA for their previous transgressions. Hell, they don't even need to show off much. A few new character designs. Some GCI gameplay. And that still super-cool "Earth makes the logo, ha!"
thing they do. Let the hype train roll out! Just, uh, don't talk about the ending to Mass Effect 3. 1 - We're really, really, really sorry
Microsoft has apologized a lot. They've promised to remedy a lot of the things that they were criticized the most for. But, there is still a lot of things that they've left wide-open that need to be addressed. As many questions as we have about Games for Gold, indie titles, and digital sales, the biggest thing has to come down to them essentially negating the need for the Kinect, and in the end, slashing $100 off the price of the console. If they have anyone to apologize to, it will be the early adopters. If having no Kinect improves performance of the console, and even fewer games and apps will be supporting it, what do those of us who bought it in the first place going to do with it? Whether it is some kind of free game(s), or free Xbox Live Gold, or something... Anything honestly... I'd like to know what they're going to do to remedy that. They do need to make the early adopters feel better. After all, they're the reason why they plan on being around to 2015.