Microsoft delivered a solid round of announcements last year, balancing its showing with a roster of new and pre-existing games alongside exciting new hardware features. But if Microsoft hopes to create hype surrounding Xbox One and its fans, it needs to showcase something even grander than years prior. So what does the company need to reveal this time to top last year's press conference? Here's what our editors think Microsoft needs to do to win the hearts of gamers at E3 2016.
What do you think Microsoft needs to do to win E3 2016? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other round-ups asking the same question for Sony and Nintendo.
Make Good on Games and Major Announcements | Eddie Makuch, News Editor
The Xbox One is in second place behind Sony’s PlayStation 4, and being in that position may inspire Microsoft to make some big announcements to turn the tide. Last year we saw backwards compatibility; what could the big reveal (or reveals) be this year? If Microsoft wants to catch up to Sony, they need to show big games and make waves with more major announcements. Announcing a slimmed-down Xbox One might be good for newcomers, but for existing users, we need to hear about why our Xbox One experience is getting better. I want to hear about new features (background music being one of them) and why the Xbox-PC convergence is good for me.
But Really, Show Us Some Awesome New Hardware | Scott Butterworth, Editor
It’s true that a slimmer Xbox One would likely appeal more to new console buyers than existing console owners, but it would still be a welcome announcement, especially if it came coupled with a few other pieces of new hardware. The rumored two terabyte hard drive alone could prove useful for plenty of people, but beyond that, an affordable, lightweight streaming/gaming box could provide a really cool “in between” console that’s a perfect portable companion. I mean, imagine if that device could operate your home console remotely, allowing you to play your Xbox One games while traveling without lugging an entire console with you? Christmas break with the family would never be the same.
Lean Heavily on Those Exclusives | Alex Newhouse, Editorial Intern
Last year, we got very short glimpses of a bunch of Xbox exclusives that sounds very interesting. But we haven't really seen anything of many of them since then. I mean, we're getting a new game from Rare and we really don't know anything about it! Microsoft really coming out strong with a big showing from Rare's Sea of Thieves could immediately turn things in Microsoft's favor. Halo Wars 2, as well, got a big response when it was announced at Gamescom last year, and Microsoft's other exclusives like Forza, Recore, and Scalebound are all positioned to significantly differentiate Microsoft from its competition. This isn't even considering the two blockbusters in the Microsoft arsenal, Gears of War 4 and Halo 6. Gears 4 will almost certainly have a big presence, and it'd be surprising if we didn't hear anything about the next main Halo game. The PlayStation 4 might be winning the sales battle, but the Xbox One seems to have the potential to win the exclusives battle in the future.
Show Off That Stream Box | Mike Mahardy, Editor
If Microsoft wants to keep up with Sony's almost definite PlayStation Neo announcements at E3, and the momentum leading toward Nintendo's NX reveal sometime next year, it will need to do more than just downsize the Xbox One. That's where the company's streaming capabilities come into play. If Microsoft can avoid the word "cloud" and drive home the idea of compounded RAM from remote servers, as editor Peter Brown describes it, the potential for mass destruction a la Crackdown 3's multiplayer could help tip the scales in Microsoft's direction. Not only would it give Microsoft the upper hand leading into next year, but also get out ahead of Nintendo's NX news--whenever we might get that.