Xbox E3 2019: All Filler With Little Thriller

With Microsoft dominating the stage at this years E3 event, it seemed virtually impossible for the company to fail on delivering all that it had initially promised. With Sony and Nintendo delivering an endless wave of first party exclusives, Xbox has given little cadence to this factor. Since the One launched back in 2013, the company that once launched an armada of juggernaut exclusives has faded in creativity during recent times. But this is the year when Xbox supposedly was to unearth a plethora of first rate exclusives for its devoted fan base. Yet once again, Microsoft failed to deliver, somewhat. For all it is worth 2019 will be remembered for the E3 that followed the grey light. That in between where little was lost and even less gained in the eyes of consumers. 

A Laugh Out Loud Presentation

One of the main gripes one has with Microsoft this year were not so much the titles they did not present but the ones they actually promoted. Pop Gears of War, Minecraft Dungeons, and LEGO Forza Motorsport are completely disgraceful to Xbox loyalists. The first half hour of the presentation was brilliant but once Microsoft got to these upcoming titles everything went downhill. Crossfire X seems mediocre at best and like many of Xbox’s upcoming games, it’s a multi platform release. The fact that Microsoft would use Minecraft Dungeons as a presentation piece is bewildering considering many were hoping for A list IPs to be demonstrated this E3. In the end, Microsoft provided little comfort for Xbox One owners at their conference and it felt as if this year is more of a launching pad for Microsoft’s future product, Project Scarlet, than anything else. 

The Green Light At The End Of The Tunnel 

Even with all the mediocrity surrounding Xbox at E3, there were a few highlights that helped save their presentation. By far Battletoads knocked it out of the ballpark with its retro inspired couch cooperative gameplay and anime inspired art style. With the retro craze in full throttle, Battletoads will definitely quench the thirst of retro and modern gamers alike. Gears of War 5 also proved noteworthy this year, as its September release window gives this title a sense of substantive truth unlike other franchises that go through long gestation periods. With a complete CGI game trailer with little gameplay reveal, Gears 5 can either sink or swim steadily in the stream of its predecessors. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the true gems in the minefield of Microsoft’s poor presentation as actor Keanu Reeves’ revelation as an in game character proved to be a wonderful surprise in an otherwise lackluster event. But once again, audiences are left to wonder at the absence of exclusives. Cyberpunk is an amazingly beautiful steam punk infused futuristic adventure platform, but its majesty can be displayed on a multitude of systems that take away from the special nature of Microsoft’s

demonstration. But there was one stunning surprise for audiences to awe at. This surprise comes in the form of the one and only Phantasy Star Online(PSO) 2 MMO. 

A former Japanese only release, PSO 2 is the shining light that helps anchor Microsoft’s ship along the rough waters of the current generations console war. Phantasy Star is the perfect franchise to resurrect from the MMO graveyard and although it has not be co formed as an exclusive, its inclusion at E3 2019 is mind blowing. This MMO will do much to fill in the gaps left over by the absence of in house developed RPG’s.  But even this classic franchise can only do so much to save Xbox’s lackluster demonstration in 2019.

In The End, All Are Left To Wonder What Could Have Been

With Gears of War 5 and Battletoads serving up the Xbox only releases this year, many are left thinking what could have been if Microsoft had placed a greater emphasis exclusive content. Fable 4 is noticeably absent and that is truly the game all were hoping to see a trailer for. This franchise is the RPG that truly pushed Microsoft to the top of its creative prowess back in the early 2000’s. Truly a let down when one easily considers the heyday of Lionhead studios and the complete debacle that was Fable Journey. Now more than ever is the time to unleash this once titan of a franchise and yet all audiences received were some gameplay footage of the new Halo Infinite on the tentative Project Scarlet that is still years away from a major market release. In essence, E3 2019 was mediocre at best for Microsoft and truly disheartening for those seeking Xbox exclusivities.  

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About Anthony Frisina 63 Articles
Anthony Frisina is a graduate of the City University of New York-Brooklyn College with a BA in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Anthony went on to attend Brooklyn College's Film Academy and Writer's workshop program, achieving an interdisciplinary degree in Screenwriting and Film theory in the Fine Arts. Transforming his love for classic American cinema, Anthony went on to adapt a number of his own works into different mediums, including his well-received Western novel The Regulator. Anthony likes to spend his free time writing articles for magazines and periodicals that cover a wide range of topics, from science fiction to popular culture. As a screenwriter, Anthony has had his screenplays featured at numerous spec script writing competitions across the country where he one day hopes to write the next great American film.

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