E3 2019 – Microsoft Press Conference

Phantasy Star Online 2 is finally getting a release in the west! No other video games need to be announced anymore. Ok, I’m calmed down a bit. Let’s actually talk about Microsoft.

They are the only platform holder that is still presenting at E3 this year. They could phone it in and still probably have the most exciting press conference this year. Last year they had a lot of announcements around acquiring studios and going for a bigger push for games. This year is still a bit soon for much to come out of those studios, so what did they really have to show? Well, acquiring Double Fine studios was one thing.

We had another look at Ori and the Will of the Wisps for the third year in a row. That game still looks beautiful and this time they showed a lot of really large creatures to chase you. Plus a release date for February 11th next year. Cyberpunk 2077 also got a release date for April 16th, 2020. Turns out Keanu Reeves is playing a character in that game? Was actually a really good reveal and that guy is so fucking charming. Bring him out to present for like every game it I will instantly be more interested. Turns out the rumors about George R. R. Martin working with From Soft were true. Elden Ring is the title but the video looked like the kind of intro you get from those games. I have enough faith in that studio to check it out, but I do hope the fantasy setting doesn’t just mean Dark Souls with a new world.

They are showing more support for PC with a Game Pass system, set to include a bunch of indie games they showed. They mentioned some streaming / remote play, but not enough details to compare to Google’s Stadia stuff. I really expected them to have more there. Then they talked about the next Xbox console. Like Sony’s claims a while back, a big focus on removing load-times! Honestly the talking heads about it said the same stuff they always do, “Power that will let developers make the games they want to make.”

While there were some real surprises and stuff I am personally excited for, I truly expected more solid details about the streaming services or the hardware. Without Sony being here it seemed like a prime place to come out with fists flying and all the eyes on them. Missed opportunity.