The Uninspired Lineup of Xbox One

A lack of belief and vision in Microsoft's E3 press conference made for a lacklustre games lineup and little in the way of surprises.

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After the TV-focused, digital-rights-management-laden debut of the Xbox One that so heavily shunned the core market, it's safe to say that expectations were high going into today's Microsoft E3 press conference. We were promised games that would help to define a new generation of console gaming, but instead what little innovation shown was buried underneath a flurry of gunfire and buzzword-infused hyperbole.

Microsoft gave us little reason to drop a steep $499 (£429) on an Xbox One. Yes, the games were pretty, and at a claimed 60fps I'm sure they'll run smoothly too. But that's far from enough. What we were shown was a sea of sequels that forced the same tired first-person mechanics into shiny new graphics engines. Ryse, with its over-the-top scripted action sequences and quick-time events, was little more than Call of Duty with swords. Replace those swords with mechs and you've got Titanfall.

Battlefield 4 pushed dynamic battles, Dead Rising 3 slaughtered zombies with chainsaws, and Master Chief was flashed up onscreen to push another Halo game. Driving fiends were taken care of with Forza 5, families got a look-in with Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, and the nostalgia brigade was thrown a bone with Killer Instinct. It's the same press conference Microsoft wheels out year after year. But hey, at least Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain's hyperactive horses raised a smile.

The games that showed promise were relegated to absurdly short teasers or prerendered footage. Sunset Overdrive, Below, and D4 (from developer Swery65) were all a little different, and all far more interesting than the rest of the lineup, but all were overshadowed by the blockbuster shooters. The best-looking game shown--Dark Souls II--is an Xbox 360 game: hardly a ringing endorsement for a new platform.

Even the Xbox One's gaming-focused features were more common sense than out-and-out innovation. Xbox points have finally been scrapped in favour of local currency; you can now add as many people as you like to your friends list; and Xbox Live accounts can be shared within a single household. There was streaming, too, thanks to Microsoft's partnership with Twitch.TV, but without the convenience of the PlayStation 4's share button and heavily integrated social features.

"Microsoft can try as hard as it likes to push SmartGlass, but it's ultimately a solution in search of a problem."

SmartGlass made its obligatory appearance, allowing players to view achievements or access in-game menus from a tablet screen--things that aren't exactly hard to do with a controller. Microsoft can try as hard as it likes to push SmartGlass, but it's ultimately a solution in search of a problem. The fact that it's an optional part of Xbox ownership means there's little incentive for devs to try harder. And what about the all-new Kinect? For all the bluster made about the device's heightened accuracy and ability to sense heart rates, there wasn't a single game shown that made use of it. For now, the Kinect seems relegated to voice commands that will likely be slower than using an actual controller.

While Microsoft's media-focused event last month left many disappointed, there was at least a confidence about it, a vision that the company wanted to share with the world. There was no such vision for games today, nothing new for us to rally behind. We were subjected to old men in suits, a stream of buzzwords, and superficial games that valued visuals over innovation. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Microsoft press conference really was the company's vision for the future of games. And if it was, my word, what a dull future it will be.

Discussion

2060 comments
silvergol
silvergol

Xbox one 1000 useless features.

PS4 play games and don´t fuck you!.

Lillemanden
Lillemanden

Terrible article. What about Spark? And the Share button on the ps4 controller? Really, that's important?

Blind MS hate, go buy a turtle neck and an iPhone and leave journalism to people who can stay objective.

Joshuavil
Joshuavil

Man it's funny when he says that the best looking game shown was Dark Souls 2. This is supposed to be a joke right?

tony93666
tony93666

I'll stick with the Xbox 360 and add a PS4.

wrestlingdude
wrestlingdude

I love how these editors say that the press conference was disappointing when almost all my friends and their friends loved every moment of it.  I never listen to the Gamespot editors because they are opinionated.  Other websites gave kudos to MS.  So obviously this editor Mark Walton is shedding his mind, not the fact that MS was focusing on exclusives.  The Sony conference was awesome too, it just consisted of Demos from 3rd party games mostly. I didn't need to read this article based on the first few lines.  I'm getting both consoles, loved both conferences, and I can't wait to get my hands on BOTH consoles.  This article is 100% opinionated.

Laveidem
Laveidem

Comparing Ryse with COD is just ridiculous and by far the most retarded thing I've heard in a while. If you want to continue getting t-bagged by COD and loving every minute of it so be it, but don't compare it to something that actually looks good and original. Something COD has been lacking for years now..

bnarmz
bnarmz

Other than being able to play ps3 games on a ps4 (without having to be forced to sign in) Sony has always made some great exclusives that can't be played anywhere else other than a PS console. Can I play Xbox exclusive games on the P.C. ? If so, than I'm finding it really hard to find features in M$ Xbox1 that will persuade me to choose them over Sony.

FilipinoFatty
FilipinoFatty

I always liked Xbox games better than PlayStation games! Every time I see something about play station, it looks like some disney game. PlayStation doesn't really have that many good choices when it comes to games.  I always liked the game choices I got with Xbox such as Halo and Gears of War.

daemonproject
daemonproject

In saying this I was less excited about the PS4 conference...Why? because I'd already seen most of the lineup they revealed but I'm keen for some exclusives from both consoles...cause I just like games not the crap they're played on...they could look like massive turds and I'd still buy them to play new games. So put it this way I'm supporting the industry of game developers etc..So I am going to enjoy my turdbox one and pieceofshit 4 ;)

Derugs
Derugs

Lol thus the reason xbox was crap in the 1st place.  The story unfolds... Lol 

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

really this game looks terrible on all the levels...

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

omg new IP and all they show is quick time events and horrible animations!  when you slash someone howcome we still dont see the marks or holes in the body, but loads of blood i f***ing hate that?..we have had this problem for years now and SBox1 want to take it into the next gen too along with all their other meth induced ideas..

spawnx
spawnx

i think what Microsoft did is right by implementing a way for publishers to get a cut from the 2nd hand market as at the moment used-games market is killing the gaming industry. Money spent there does not help the gaming industry at all! Not a dime goes back to the makers who make GREAT games! 

anyway that's just my opinion :)

Zero_Echo
Zero_Echo

Xone has been like every new cell phone ad for the past 5 years. Dozens of new "features" that I can't imagine wanting or needing. Shiny new look? Check. Sweet new case? Yup. Everything I never wanted in a phone (read:console)? Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Leon_Kennedy9
Leon_Kennedy9

People complain about how the xone is going to require check-ins every 24 hours...why the hell would you pay 500 dollars for a next gen system if you didnt have internet?it wouldnt even be worth it. so why does it matter if there are check ins. by the way, liked xone's game lineup. obviously multiplatform games are the biggest ones, thats why theyre multi platform, dont blame them for going with the big boys aka microsoft. super stoked for mgs5, if its half the game mgs4 was ill still absolutely love it. Tom Clancy's the division looked fantastic as well. game lineup=thumbs up. oh and to touch on the smartglass interpretation, sure its just a gimmick but a screen in a controller is a gimmick too yet no one got onto sony for that. atleast weve seen stuff for smart glass, havent seen anything for that screen in the ps4 controller yet.

FutonSentinal62
FutonSentinal62

I guess being a straight shooter, and calling it as you see it; is frowned upon by many in the gamespot community. Although, you're kinda asking for it from the fanboys. In the end those who want to get the next xbox, will. Articles like this usually just reaffirm the beliefs of people on both sides of the spectrum.

steelmouth
steelmouth

lol I don't know about you guys but for me this the best MS E3 in years, MS promised games at E3 and they kept that promise, No TV, No Kinect, No COD, No celebs nothing just games after games, it was a good 50 minutes before any mention of anything other than games and that was Smartglass and it only lasted for like 5-10 minutes and we were back at game

Granted Xbox one got some major issues but there is no denying in terms of game this was a pretty good showing by MS at E3, I give it a perfect 10

radikel
radikel

Not sure where i read this, but with current-gen itself developers have been able to hit a practical polygonal limit on their meshes for buildings, characters etc that new gen no matter how much more powerful will be able to push the practical limit. It's just the new gen refines the dynamics & lighting and rendering of scenes that makes games run on them look sooo good(but, having said that Dark Souls 2 FTW!!!!!!!!!) thats all. Otherwise there is no need for new-gen.

Spot on article, if we are going to see new-gen, we need innovative game mechanics shown, not fancy visuals which in any way was a given.

tommynj
tommynj

I thought the exclusives for both consoles were lackluster.  The best games of the next generation will be multiplatform games.

bakagami
bakagami

you guys sound bitter....PS4TW :)

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

Well, it is clear now.  Mark doesn't like videogames.  I'll make sure to skip over any of your reviews in the future Mark.  

Top_Bloke
Top_Bloke

Wow - i've never read such bias.

Thought the line-up of games was great, and you're assessment that Ryse and Tital are Cod-clones is laughable, but hey if they bring in Billions of dollars I don't think it's so bad.

I quite liked what I saw and with half a year before release I think things will get even better - hopefully some great Kinect-orientated games come in.

super_davem
super_davem

Uninspired Lineup?huh? Then what would you call Sony's line up? M$ had 3 times the exclusives! Even the gamespot senior staff writer is Sony fanboy. Just be fair and knock off the slanted reporting.

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

@Joshuavil Absolutely, it was the WORST looking game not the best, it stuck out as graphically inferior compared to the other games (may still be a great game though but does anyone play those games for the visuals?) Makes the rest of his rant look silly after making that statement. Also I thought the trailers/demo's for the smaller games like Sunset and Spark were quite long not just short cgi teasers. He comes across as having quite the bias.

GAKSITAL
GAKSITAL

@wrestlingdude I am not a fan of MS' new polices.   Many are upset with the new restrictions and are trashing everything related to XBOX ONE.

ccl1995
ccl1995

@Laveidem i agree with you..that ryze is in no way similar to COD..but it is similar to 2 other games which are 300 for psp and Spartan Total Warrior but yeah @tahsineo  is right...a little too much QTE's.....


tahsineo
tahsineo

@Laveidem Yes, Ryse looks good, but it seemed overly dependent on QTEs to make the gameplay interesting. A QTE prompt after two hits on every single enemy is too much in my opinion. I'll reserve my final judgement until we see more gameplay in different scenarios but I didn't really enjoy the gameplay style from this demo.

Dr_Umbreon
Dr_Umbreon

@bnarmz but you cant play ps3 games on ps4 offline....its via online streaming

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

Starting in 2014 if your lucky. If they wait much longer than this BC isn't going to matter at all. Plus what, and how are they charging for this service? Does it come with ps+ or is it an a la carte service

@bnarmz 

Madtownbadger
Madtownbadger

@spawnx  That's an excellent point, but what I could see be reality is the developers who aren't making good games and have 30 used copies sitting on the shelves of gamestop and similar stores are the ones throwing the biggest fit. I think there is a reason there is an abundance of those used games. When a company I like sells a game I know I would hate to give up, absolutely will I buy it for full price.

rem234
rem234

@Leon_Kennedy9  I think its still early to tell a lot of this, who knows whats around the corner for any of the systems. What we really shouldnt do is count anyone out.

Microsoft may have been having trouble explaining itself and needs to work on its PR, but there are some solid things in the xbox one, and i think by the time it launches they will have re-evaluated a few things.

But overall the beginning of next gen games looks great and i cant wait to play games on both systems.

daemonproject
daemonproject

@Leon_Kennedy9 Also not to mention smartglass enables a friend to join in your single player game helping with calling in airstrikes etc...seems pretty good to me gives gaming a different kinda angle to co-op play and how much non co=op play was on xbox360 and PS3? Heaps you had to all have a console, TV or just play via live and that sucked! now you can have ya mate/mates join in on the fun with just using their phones..though still it's still just a gimmick but it's a cool thought to be had of the idea!

rem234
rem234

@steelmouth Exactly right, they said they would focus on games and they did in a big way. What annoys me is that simply because sony undercut them in their conference it somehow takes away from Microsofts one.

MS has issues they need to address, they have policies i do not like. I get this. They still had an awesome game lineup that i would want to play. 

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@xxYetterxx mark DOES like videogames, very much so, that is why he prefers the GAMING CONSOLE and not the drm infested total control trashbox dOne.

Top_Bloke
Top_Bloke

Yeah I think Mark and I have very different tastes - will have to remember to take note.

Zero_Echo
Zero_Echo

@super_davem Not reporting. He's in editorials. Damn him for having his own "slanted" opinion! Walton must burrrnnnn!!!

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@super_davem stfu xbot, the xbone barely had exclusives to show, most were multiplatform titles.

Laveidem
Laveidem

@ccl1995 @tahsineoI watched the Ryse stage demo and the guy presenting the game said that they're not QTE's actually, that they're combos you unlock as you play the game. It's a execution type cinematic that if you hit the buttons you'll gain more xp by doing so, but you can always just sit back and enjoy the carnage. Check it out it's about 6:40 minutes into the stage demo video.

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

@Mendax2013 @xxYetterxx Well it is clear he likes one particular GAMING CONSOLE regardless if they bothered to show any new games for it at their press conference

rem234
rem234

@Mendax2013 @super_davem  Ok, most of xbox lineup was not multiplatform. Some of them were coming to the PC eventually. However everyone knows that that exclusive is mostly referring to console exclusivity. 

And the main reason MS has more games on PC is because Sony refuses to allow any game they publish themselves to be on the PC as well, which i think sucks, since it would just help their base.

Ryse, Dead Rising 3, TitanFall, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, Killer Instinct (not my game but people want it), Halo 5, Crimson Dragon, Below, Forza, (whatever Black tusk is working on, which i want to see)

rem234
rem234

@Zero_Echo @xxYetterxx @Mendax2013 

And that somehow makes it ok to show mediocre stuff? (ie, same stuff we have seen with little to no new titles. Not saying the stuff was bad) They undercut MS, good for them, they are doing good with that, also good for them. But their conference was still underwhelming.