Welcome back to Koop Calls It, where our ever-confident staffers duke it out by predicting what we’ll see at gaming’s most anticipated press releases and scheduled news events to see who has the superior sense of foresight.
With Microsoft being the first of the “big three” to kick off E3 this year, Jack and Joe take each other on this time around to see who can better predict Microsoft’s moves at the biggest gaming event of the year. Without further adieu, here are Jack’s five predictions for Microsoft at E3.
UPDATE: It’s over! As it turns out, neither Jack or Joe had a very good guess at what we’d see at Microsoft’s fast-paced, game-centric E3 conference this year. However, Joe knew a little bit more and wins this round of Koop Calls It with a score of 2-1. Congratulations, King Koop!
Check out Joe’s Microsoft E3 predictions here.
1) Oculus Rift support for the Xbox One False!
Alright, let’s get this ridiculous one out of the way. Quickly. Microsoft announcing their partnership with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset isn’t on this list because I feel it’s news that’s coming – I don’t. It takes the top spot because it makes too much sense not to.
With Sony’s rivaling Project Morpheus likely to make an appearance at E3 and Microsoft recently announcing the Kinect-less version of the Xbox One for sale, the reasons to pick up their console over Sony’s are becoming harder to see for me. Not only would partnering with Oculus help keep the system on par with the (currently more successful) PS4, but after Facebook purchased the company, their goals for the VR technology fall very much in line with what Microsoft has been promoting about its consoles in recent years.
Whereas Sony’s Morpheus is, like most of their reveals, based solely around optimized gaming experiences, the Oculus Rift could be the perfect pitch to sell the all-in-one entertainment device idea to the gaming masses. Features like NFL and ESPN packages sound fine and dandy by themselves, but if utilized by the two companies (who both have millions of dollars to play around with) they could turn into something incredibly unique with the help of the Oculus Rift and VR.
You don’t hate the idea.
Again, I don’t think we’ll see it, but the idea is too genius to not at least blindly hope.
2) New Gears of War trailer False!
Now that I’ve met my ridiculous prediction quota, on to the safe bets!
We know the next game in the Gears franchise is coming from Black Tusk Studios, but that’s about all we know. Riding the success of the latest entry in the series, and with not too much currently going on in terms of game exclusivity after the reveal of Halo 5, I think now is the time that we’ll see the big reveal. I expect a name and a trailer, but wouldn’t be too shocked if we received a release window at the very least.
3) Too much NFL, not enough videogames False!
I’ll probably be raged at, but I am going to call this one a safe bet, too. It’s totally fair to say that all of the “big three” have shifted from what they used to typically promote at E3 in order to impress investors, but I’m not sure I can call Sony or Nintendo as guilty as Microsoft.
Over the past four years Microsoft has put a ton of money and resources into selling their consoles to just about everyone under the sun during E3… minus their core videogame demographic. We’ve seen cringe-worthy Kinect demonstrations, choreographed over-the-top dance sequences, social media plugs, and tablet controls. Their most recent product pitch has been NFL and ESPN services exclusive to the Xbox One, and while I do think they have their place and purpose, the majority of Microsoft’s time at E3 shouldn’t be devoted to them.
That is, unless my first prediction comes true. Eh, Microsoft? *WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE*
4) Unneeded and irrelevant celebrity guest False!
While we’re on the topic of trying to appeal to non-gamers, I can’t help but worry about which totally unnecessary celebrity demonstrator Microsoft will drag on stage so they can build up a software title they have no correlation to.
The hiring of a celebrity to endorse your product is almost a surefire way to generate buzz around it… in every industry except videogames. Gamers are not interested in wildly irrelevant stars trying to sell them on products when a simple game trailer does all that and more. I’m looking at you, Usher. Directly. At. You.
Who’s up for some Waka Flocka demonstrating Microsoft’s newest dashboard features?
5) A surprisingly kickass presentation Correct!
While it’s easy to take a jab at Microsoft’s more recent E3 presentations, I genuinely believe they’re going to pull out a lot of stops this year. Microsoft has been finding their footing a bit since the launch of the Xbox One and PS4, and I think they’re finally ready to bust out the hard hitting reasons to pick them over the competition. Sure, we’ll still see a lot of investor-catered nonsense, but I think Microsoft has learned a few lessons from past years and (hopefully) plans to give something substantial to chew on to its gaming audience. Among the madness, I expect a lot of new game reveals and a new approach to the hungry market they once dominated, relying less on the gimmicky trade show ploys they’ve leaned on these past few years.
You’re a gaming company with a lot going for you right now, Microsoft.
Prove it to us.
Microsoft’s E3 presentation will take place at 9:30 AM pacific time Monday, June 9, and can be watched directly from here (among other places.) Be sure to check back after the event to see which of our staffers came out on top!
Have any predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments below!