Home / Opinions / Xbox One at E3 focusses on games but loses focus of its identity

Xbox One at E3 focusses on games but loses focus of its identity

evan kypreos


Xbox One
Xbox One

OPINION on Xbox One E3 conference: TrustedReviews are at E3 in LA covering all the latest gaming news. Evan Kypreos shares his view on Microsoft's press conference.

Microsoft has not so much back-tracked as made a full scale retreat on the Xbox One. Pleased as I am that draconian DRM measures are a thing of the past and that those who really don’t fancy Kinect don’t have to pay for it, there’s no denying that the Xbox E3 2014 conference was weak. There was very little to make the Xbox One stand out from the crowd.

Microsoft played it safe, too safe.

"Today we are dedicating our entire briefing to games" started Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. It’s a pity so few of them were Xbox One exclusives.

SEE ALSO: Sony and the PS4 won E3 2014

The press conference started with “the bestselling franchise in Xbox history”. Which Xbox exclusive title is that? Is it Halo? Nope it’s Call of Duty, a series also available on Playstation and PC. While Xbox One owners will get add-on content first it’s hardly the must-buy title that will make you dash out to get an Xbox One over a PS4.

The press conference carried on with Evolve (also on PC and PS4), Assassin’s Creed Unity (PC and PS4), the Witcher 3 (PC and PS4) and Dragon Age Inquisition (you guessed it, PC and PS4).

Focus was given to these AAA cross-platform games in a conference that should have done everything to raise the perception of the Xbox One as something different, as a console like no other. Getting some DLC content on these titles first just won’t be enough of an incentive to most.

There was a small silver lining, though, with some updates on Xbox exclusive titles. The Halo Master Chief Collection will please many die-hard Halo fans while they wait for Halo 5. Who doesn’t miss the multiplayer bliss of Halo 2? Forza Horizon 2 looks stunning and Sunset Overdrive could be a fun new IP. Others looked less promising. Can Fable reinvent itself after the dreadful Journey with Fable Legends? I’m not convinced.

Phil Spencer didn’t lie at the start of the presentation; it was all about the games. What was surprising was the total lack of any mention of the Kinect. Not a single major game shown used the Kinect in a meaningful way. Without it is there enough to give Xbox the edge over the PS4 and its superior graphical capabilities? What makes the Xbox One different? What gives it a unique identity?

Not much at all. Microsoft still points to Xbox Live, but PSN has closed the gap and offers a comparable service that some find superior. ID@Xbox has led to a number of great indie games, but then so has Sony and Steam.

It’s hard to see how Microsoft is going to make the Xbox One a must-buy console. It needs more killer IPs and it needs to offer something that people actually want, like the PS4 and PS Vita Remote Play.

“We showed you that this holiday the best place to play games is the Xbox One” concluded Phil Spencer at E3. Sorry Phil, you only showed us that it is a place.

Next read: Xbox One vs PS4


June 9, 2014, 9:15 pm

Regardless of PS4, and it's "Superior graphical capabilities", as this article CLEARLY states most, if not ALL major titles are cross platform and the devs are not going to make one better than the other becuase they have no loyalty to Microsoft or Sony. With that said the games will look good and look the same so all of PS4's "superior graphical capability" will be for not, aside from a select few exclusives like Uncharted 4 and such.
Also to be honest there isn't a single new IP that will get someone to run out and buy a console over the other. We are at the point now where it is fanboy bandwagons. If they had Sony last gen they will get Sony this gen. No one wants to take the chance to buy a console based off a new IP exclusive that they have no idea will be good or not. People will buy a PS4 becuase they like God of War, people will buy Xbox 1 because they like Halo. Unless GTA 6 or Call of Duty goes exclusive to one console over another people will support the console they are loyal to.

Also what is so "superior" about PSN over LIVE? I'd like to know...
People want Vita remote play? Has the PSVita sales spiked since the PS4 launch? No! Stop with the false reports already, you make yourself look dumb.


June 9, 2014, 9:42 pm

I have a suspicion this trend will continue into the rest of E3. There is so little to separate the two main 'platforms' these days.

I am unanimous in that

June 10, 2014, 4:05 am

The lack of any originality was overwhelming. Just put a 15 sticker on last years 14 edition. Fifa 15, Madden 15, NHL 15 etc etc.Yawn.


June 10, 2014, 6:24 am

The Sony conference was whole different kettle of fish. As well as some interesting PS4 only IP there was also a much bigger focus on indies and the fact that we have PSTV and Morpheus. Can't wait to give that a spin tomorrow...


June 10, 2014, 6:32 am

I did not say PSN is better than LIVE. I said some people now think it is better. Very few would have said that a few years ago.

Secondly if you were offered two PCs at the same price that both played exactly the same games but one had slightly better graphical performance which would you go for? That's my point.

Lastly PS Vita sales have grown massively since the PS4 launched not to mention the people who have dusted their Vita's off and started using them since they bought a PS4. http://www.ign.com/articles/20...


June 10, 2014, 8:36 am

Have to agree with Evan - which makes me wonder, does this play well into Nintendo's hands? I have all three consoles, and time is split between PS4 and the Wii U... I'm not sure why I own an X1 anymore...


June 10, 2014, 9:45 am



June 10, 2014, 9:54 am

Damned if you do and damned if you dont. Sick of how the majority dictates what is good or bad for all. Why can't all just enjoy the games and stop nit picking the resolution and frames per second?

Vivek Bhalla

June 10, 2014, 12:44 pm

But that's the author's precise point - the level of differentiation
is simply not sufficient in the case of what was presented at E3 by

You say the software available is not the same, yet
based on the titles this hardware manufacturer was drawing attention
to....actually they are EXACTLY the same releases that will be available
on alternative platforms!

Taking Even's analogy further - its like being offered two closely comparable sports cars from two different manufacturers. Different engines, technical specs but essentially one vehicle offers 90% of what the other one can do.
Unless there's a huge price differential, I'm going to opt for the
superior model that is 10% faster, better handling and advanced...even
if the current laws mean I may only be able to drive the thing at 25% of
its top speed today, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing the
capabilities are there should they ever be required.


June 10, 2014, 1:29 pm

You don't read many game sites and the comparison of the same game on the different platforms. Games do differ in performance, sometimes it can be that one has lower framerates in sections, but others can be that one game looks better on one platform. The difference isn't major - as the consoles are close enough in terms of power, but it can be enough to make a difference.
Of course, if you only have one console it won't matter.


June 10, 2014, 1:31 pm

It's a money business. Guess which games people buy a lot of?
Unless you've money to burn, buying a game you know you'll play a lot and enjoy can be better than risking the investment in a game you don't like - assuming you don't trade it in.

Rorison Meadows

June 10, 2014, 1:44 pm

Both systems are 1080p. The difference between 720p and 1080p is a lazy developer.

Rorison Meadows

June 10, 2014, 1:46 pm

"it can be enough to make a difference"

No it can't. The difference can't be seen by the average moronic consumer. They go on word of mouth and marketing. They believe everything they are told as long as it's flashy and exciting. Hence why they buy up iPhones like sheep. The average consumer is borderline retarded.


June 10, 2014, 2:00 pm

What about multi-platform games which are from the same developer? Such as Metal gear Solid or Witcher?

Rorison Meadows

June 10, 2014, 2:15 pm

Same thing.


June 10, 2014, 2:35 pm

Not sure I understand sorry - if it's lazyness, aren't you sugesting that it's harder to make games 1080p for one console than the other?

Rorison Meadows

June 10, 2014, 2:41 pm

It could be. Or it could be just the mindset about development in general.


June 10, 2014, 3:19 pm


Vivek Bhalla

June 10, 2014, 3:58 pm

"Sports cars are all about emotion and feel" - and Sony/MS don't have their fan-boys (emotion)? Nor those who prefer the navigation and workflow of Xbox Live versus PSN (feel)? In anycase, if the analogy does not resonate for you, perhaps its better to concentrate on the point I was attempting to convey rather than debate on the semantics of the example.

If Microsoft have promoted some exclusive software titles at E3 to differentiate themselves from the competition, please share them. Based on Evan's article, this does not appear to be the case. Perhaps you can demonstrate otherwise?

Robert Willey

June 10, 2014, 4:34 pm

As a big fan of the Xbox brand, I tend to agree with the author. I get the sense that MS is still shell shocked from the abuse they have taken over the last year, much of it completely unfairly btw.....I mean doubting their commitment to gaming???? I mean come on. BUT, unfair or not, that's what happened and MS seemed determined they would use E3 to show once and for all that they are all about games.

That's great. But, the problem is, you left the press conference wondering what console you had just watched 90 minutes of game trailers....was it the xbox? the ps4? Oh yea...it had Halo, so it must have been the Xbox.

I feel these guys get one moment a year in the spot light.....you don't use that moment to react, you use that moment to take charge and to lead. To show us where you want to take us. Sadly, I don't think MS accomplished any of that.

Sony's presser was much more of what you would expect.....great new games, we got great new games....great live gaming platform, we got a great live gaming platform......new upcoming hardware, we got new upcoming hardware.

I swear if you watch the 2 press conferences and knew nothing else about gaming, you would think Sony has this incredible live gaming platform and MS has nothing like it. That's crazy....XBL is their bread and butter. That is really the only thing left they got that still distinguishes itself from the ps4 (and that advantage is getting less and less). They should be pumping the hell out of XBL......give us numbers, give us upcoming cool new live features........we got nothing.

One of the hightlights from yesterday, I thought was the new Achievement App that will be coming this summer....lol...it really looked cool and creative. And yet they only way I know about it is because I watched the activity outside before the press conference.

It's weird. MS has been such a disaster this last year with PR.....like they had new kids fresh out of college running the show. Thing of it is tho, the Xbox One is GREAT console...I would not trade mine for a ps4 for anything. But, with the PR disaster of the last year, you wouldn't know that.


June 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing. Nintendo has a totally different flavour and feel. There is no reason not to have both a Xbox One and Wii U or PS4 and Wii U but there's little point to have a PS4 and Xbox One at home.

Who Cares...

June 10, 2014, 5:24 pm

You are going to continue to see lame articles like this until Microsoft somehow changes the narrative. At this point they could come out with some serious games and the narrative will be the same. They have plenty of time to change that though.


June 10, 2014, 7:13 pm


Brian Reeves

June 10, 2014, 7:46 pm

Honestly this crap is getting old... Microsoft tried to come out of the gates with a forward looking, truly next gen console and what happened... all they did this E3 was give what unfortunately the majority wants... what's sad is looking across various social media outlets there has been a slow reversal of opinion by many who have decided they want Microsoft's original vision. They are not stupid, they may have been a little naive to think people would flock to a console riddled with DRM only because most people are afraid of change and are generally uninformed. Sony didn't help either by grabbing ahold of the initial negativity and playing off of it to make themselves look like the better choice... not to mention how many games were claimed exclusive or were worded well enough to make someone uninformed believe it was exclusive only to later find out it was not in fact exclusive.

Grim Fandango:




Keep up the lies Sony... at least Microsoft was brave enough to be honest about their vision for the console originally...


June 10, 2014, 7:57 pm

Just to be clear. In direct comparison between the XBONE Exclusives and PS4 Exclusives, Microsoft has the edge. Also all this talk about superior graphics and processing power has been denied by both first party and third party producers in the past and now Microsoft has opened up 10% more processing power with removal of Kinect.

Would I have liked to hear something on Gears of War or maybe a nugget about the future of Titan Fall as a franchise... sure. But did Microsoft deliver more interesting first person game titles than Sony... YES, yes they did.

On a quick Kinect note Microsoft announced a hand full of Kinect games including; Disney Fantasia & Dance Central Spotlight.

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