TIME e3 2014

Microsoft at E3: Lots of Games, Little Vision

Microsoft's Xbox One game lineup impresses, but it's short on new ways to play.

Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, made it clear at the start of the company’s E3 press conference: This one was going to be all about games.

Over the next hour and a half, we saw a parade of games to come, many of which will be exclusive on the Xbox One. We got a glimpse of Halo: The Master Chief Collection–a repackaging of every major Halo release to date–and saw a new trailer for Halo 5: Guardians, which is coming next year. We heard more about Forza Horizon 2 and watched samplings of Sunset Overdrive and Fable: Legends.

Microsoft also brought out its fair share of third-party publishers, with promises to release additional content first on the Xbox One. This included some looks at cooperative play in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity and The Division, a mission full of room-rumbling sci-fi action in Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and a quick teaser for EA’s Dragon Age: Inquisition.

We even got a few surprises: There’s a new Tomb Raider game (Rise of Tomb Raider) coming late next year, and Microsoft is bringing back a cult classic in Phantom Dust. Another forgotten Xbox franchise, Crackdown, appears to be getting the reboot treatment as well. Microsoft even showed off an eccentric side with games like Inside and Ori and the Blind Forest.

If you’re into games, and felt uneasy about how focused on entertainment Microsoft seemed to be in the past, you could easily be fired up by Microsoft’s E3 2014 showing. Clearly, Microsoft has realized that gamers must carry the Xbox One–at least for its first few years–and there was an air of crowd service in this year’s presentation.

But if appeasing core gamers is the goal, it was hard to tell if Microsoft has any strategy for the Xbox beyond locking up as much exclusive material as it can.

Unlike rival Sony, Microsoft hasn’t done anything with cloud-based gaming or in-home streaming, so Xbox games are still chained to the big box in your living room. There was no talk of virtual reality, even as Sony and Oculus prepare to establish a new frontier for gaming.

Cross-platform play also remains just a blip on Microsoft’s radar, with only a small number of games that work across the Xbox One, phones and tablets, and no new announcements at the press conference. Microsoft’s SmartGlass app, which is supposed to extend touchscreen features to console games, also remains a bundle of wasted potential, and Microsoft said nothing about making it better.

And then we have Windows. For over a year now, Microsoft has been paying lip service to PC gaming, and how it’s working on new initiatives to replace its disastrous (and now defunct) Games for Windows service. So far, Microsoft’s promises have produced nothing. PC gaming was once again neglected at E3, even though a unified Xbox-PC ecosystem is more practical now than it’s ever been before.

What makes all of this especially disappointing is that Microsoft is supposed to be a more unified company now. But despite CEO Satya Nadella’s “mobile first, cloud first” mantra, gaming doesn’t seem to be part of that vision. Even as Microsoft’s rivals dream up new ways to play, Xbox in 2014 remains just a box in your living room with a bunch of games that don’t exist on other boxes.

But hey, at least those games look pretty good.

TIME e3 2014

Watch: LIVE Ubisoft Conference at E3

Let the games begin!

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center is fast approaching. Thousands are expected to attend the over-the-top three-day convention to see the latest games and announcements from the gaming industry.

Watch here for Ubisoft’s LIVE conference from 3:00 to 5:00PM PT.

 

 

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: EA Gives Star Wars Battlefront Sneak Peek

E3 attendees got a look at the much-anticipated videogame Monday

Electronic Arts’ much-anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t dropping until sometime in late 2015 (just before the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VII) but gamers got a sneak peek at the game’s progress Monday during EA’s E3 event.

Check out the footage above.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: EA Gives an Inside Look at Mirror’s Edge Prequel

Electronic Arts offered a look at the development of the Mirror’s Edge sequel at its E3 press conference Monday. The game is still in its early stages, but it looks to expand on the free-running action present in the first game on Xbox 360 and PS3.

The new Mirror’s Edge, a prequel to the original game, will be released for Xbox One, PS4 and the PC, but EA didn’t offer a release window for the title.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: Battlefield Hardline Beta Out Today for PlayStation 4, PC

EA shocked gamers when it announced at E3 Monday that a beta version of its new Battlefield Hardline game is now available.

Battlefield Hardline takes place in modern Los Angeles and transforms the series’ well-worn first-person shooter military gameplay into an enormous game of cops and robbers. A long video of gameplay footage showed players holding pitched shootouts in skyscrapers, ziplining across rooftops and even commandeering a helicopter.

To sign up for the PlayStation 4 and PC beta, visit battlefield.com/beta.

The final game will be released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and the PC on October 21.

 

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: FIFA 15 to Give Players More Real-Life Emotion

FIFA 15 trailer highlights a more realistic gaming experience

FIFA 15, the next version of Electronic Arts’ popular soccer video game, will feature players who show more emotions and goalposts that shake when struck, among other lifelike visual upgrades.

EA previewed the game’s upgrades on Monday at E3. The trailer—”feel the game,” it says—demonstrates the improved gameplay experience, with cleats leaving imprints on the grass and players shoving and tugging shirts as they fight for the ball. Notably, FIFA 15 will introduce a focus on player emotion, with players having “memories” allowing them to cheer when scoring a goal, or fall to the pitch when missing.

Check out the official E3 gameplay trailer above. No release date is set yet for the game.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: Madden NFL 15 Going Heavy on New Defensive Features

Electronic Arts is taking on the difficult task of making playing defense in sports games fun. The company is introducing a variety of new features to improve defensive play in Madden NFL 15: A new defensive camera aims to give defense a more visceral feel, while a revamped tackling system will allow players to more precisely choose where they hit an opponent.

A gritty trailer for the game celebrates past defensive greats like Mean Joe Green, the former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle.

Madden NFL 15 will be released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: EA Goes Medieval With Dragon Age: Inquisition

Electronic Arts showed off the latest game in its Dragon Age series at its E3 press conference Monday.

Dragon Age: Inquisition involves all the types of things you might expect in a game with such a title—looming castles, armored knights and, of course, dragons. The game, developed by the RPG wizards at BioWare, will be released on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC in fall 2014.

TIME e3 2014

WATCH: Fable Legends Multiplayer Beta Coming to Xbox One This Fall

Fable is one of the most well-received RPGs for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles— and the story’s continuing with a pretty significant departure. The upcoming Fable Legends will be centered around a multiplayer mode, with up to four players taking control of heroes and one player choosing to show up as a villain.

The villain mode actually sounds pretty cool: Whoever picks the bad-guy role will have a top-down view of the game and a mission to stop the heroes from completing their missions.

The Fable Legends multiplayer beta opens this fall. Check out the footage from the upcoming game above.

TIME e3 2014

Watch: FULL Electronic Arts World Premiere at E3 2014

Let the games begin!

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center has gone and past. Thousands attended the over-the-top three-day convention to see the latest games and announcements from the gaming industry in 2014

Watch here for Electronic Art’s (EA) FULL E3 conference at The Shrine Auditorium Expo Hall.

 

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser