We’ve been hearing so many rumours for the past 18 months about what the next Xbox is going to be. With only hours remaining, the next Xbox will finally be revealed at 3:30am AEST on Wednesday morning. In this feature, the team got together to discuss what they’re expecting to come out of the conference.
John: Microsoft has been very tight lipped about what we’re going to see at the event, other developers not so much, with games like watch dogs and Destiney being quoted as “Coming to other next gen platforms” It wouldn’t be surprising to see those titles to be in the launch window. I’m also expecting Call of duty: Ghosts but that’s just guessing according to Call of duty’s regular release schedule.
Kevin: Who knows! I’d think a new Gears of War but releasing one so soon after Judgment seems rash so…have to wait and see. The one game that I would love to be announced and think that it could be announced is Alan Wake 2.
Jake: Xbox will need to show their exclusives that has made this such a great system in recent years. Even from the Xbox event if a lot of games are not announced, there is E3 just around the corner for the announcement of launch titles. Apart from the generic games that are stated for a pre-Christmas release such as: Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassins Creed 4 and Watch Dogs. Which will undoubtedly be launch titles. I as a gamer can only hope that new exclusives will be announced as launch titles. Gears of war 4 or another branch of the story, another Fable perhaps? A racing game will certainly be needed and one can only hope that a new Forza addition will fill that void!
Shannon: I actually don’t think that many exclusive first party games are going to be announced at this event. I think this event is going to be one that launches the new Xbox in a good light and really talks about the new features that are going to make you want to have the new Xbox in your living room come this holiday season. I expect there to be more exclusive third party announcements. I expect Microsoft to announce that they will be getting exclusive Ghost DLC or exclusive modes from the onset only on the new Xbox. I think that Microsoft will save their new big IPs for E3 and I really think that they’ll have quite a bit to announce. Not much has come out in the last few years and I think this is the reason why. I expect them to announce a new first party FPS. First Xbox had HALO, the 360 had Gears of War so it only seems right that they’ll try and announce something even bigger.
Tyla: Once an avid 360 fan, the console was originally released with a whopping 18 titles. Call of duty 2 being a massive favourite among the new gen console gamers in ’05. I suspect in May 2013 with the reveal of the Xbox 720, Microsoft will announce many new probable titles such as the new Call of Duty game, FIFA’14 as well as a Forza/Need For Speed game on the horizon. As far as Xbox exclusive games, go i suspect they will announce maybe one or two titles that are similar to the halo/gears of war franchises.
Are you expecting the controller to change in anyway?
John: No doubt about it. With all the talk going around of backwards compatibility being scrapped, it wouldn’t surprise me If they change the controller in a drastic way, Microsoft won’t have a year advantage over Sony this time. They are going to have a fight on their hands, they can’t afford to hold back. Even if it isn’t drastic, I’m expecting some sort interaction with the Kinect to be built into the controller.
Kevin: They’ll definitely add another button akin to PS4’s ‘share’ button, but other than that I expect the layout to remain the same. The controller is already so well received by millions of people.
Jake: The controller’s layout wont particularly change too much, if this console is as online as it is hyped up too be then there will definitely have to be something similar to the PS4 “share” button. Xbox will have an online feature button that just isn’t the Xbox dashboard button. Physically the Xbox controller has been renowned for its comfort and ergonomic design so a change wouldn’t be in the pipeline.
Shannon: I do expect the controller to change. I expect the core buttons to stay exactly how they are and the general shape of the controller to stay how it is but I actually feel that there will be a new way to navigate. I feel that this is going to be the true entertainment device so I can’t help but feel that Microsoft are going to give you a way to navigate through your content easily. Nobody enjoys flipping through tiles right now just to change to Netflix.
Tyla: Im quite fond of the idea of that the START and BACK buttons to be moved below the D-Pad and the Right Analog Stick, I believe such a change is necessary for comfort in a fast paced multiplayer scene the next console will offer, checking scoreboards at a convenient pace and such.
Do you think the console will be online only? To what extent?
John: Honestly, no I don’t. While I do think some features will be added that require Internet. Especially with OnLive going under I don’t think Microsoft would be ignorant to the fact that the whole world isn’t as connected as the US or Norway.
Kevin: I don’t think it will be online only, because I refuse to believe Microsoft are that stupid. I do believe online will be a HUGE part of it and we’ll start to see some multiplayer-only games.
Jake: Personally if Xbox were to make an online only console they would be shooting themselves in the foot. Given that not all people can access internet that put out the speeds needed for online gaming but are still huge fans of the company, console and exclusives. Particular people also have no time nor interest in online gaming, they may just want to spend family time playing racing games or simply enjoy the story of a game to themselves. So no an always online console will be a step back for Xbox if they are looking to be competitive and successful in the next generation of gaming.
Shannon: I have no doubt in my mind that at one point, Microsoft were going to make this console online only. They had absolutely no success in keeping hackers out of any version of the Xbox and lost so much money through pirating. I can’t help but feel that this has changed over time though. Microsoft will be TRYING to avoid any sort of negativity coming out of this conference. The PS4 has had 100% positivity ever since its announcement so It’s Microsofts job to take some of the positivity away and not give consumers any reason not to buy their system. I think online will be a massive part of the Xbox but I don’t think it’s something that will be forced to play a game.
Tyla: I can’t see Microsoft enforcing the online only rule to all games; there’s countless single-player only titles that only require a connection for DLC. I think it would be quite ridiculous to ask that of the customer, to always have a connection to the console. I’m sure there will be a happy medium found by Microsoft even in this day and age the only time you’re not connected is when you move house or travelling.
What features do you expect to be added?
John: The Two obvious features to me that we should expect to be added are a Blu-ray drive and an improved Xbox live system that acts like Steam or PSN allowing you to download games on release day, rather then a few months down the track like Games on demand. Otherwise your guess is as good as mine.
Kevin: more online integration+apps and tv/film (ie Netflix/Foxtel) services. So basically more useless junk gamers don’t need.
Jake: Microsoft will feature their power to bring a family together if it be building on their Netflix design, added features to the Kinect or even simply the new addition of some peripherals like a touch pad on their controller for added variation to gameplay.
Shannon: I really expect Microsoft to go all out. In recent years they have successfully turned the 360 into an all purpose entertainment device and tried to bring casual gamers in with Kinect. I think we will see a whole lot more of this in this console. I think this is the console where they try and bring gamers in for the hardcore games and also try to appeal to casual IOS gamers or lovers of TV/Movies through the use of great applications. I think that we will see a DVR type thing built in that has been rumoured. I also expect their to be a huge focus on cloud gaming. Sony have really excelled with this with cross saving, cross buying & PS+ over the last year or so and seem to be taking it to a whole other level with Gaikai. Microsoft will definitely be countering this with their own cloud gaming solution.
Tyla: It’s hard to say, but i’m sure Microsoft have something insane installed for us to bring as many people in as possible to be able to enjoy this console.
What else are you expecting from the reveal?
John: Mostly I’m expecting much of the same as the playstation event. We’re going to see a lot about how the system is such an improvement over the 360, however it wouldn’t surprise me if we get sone information on the new iteration of Kinect. Otherwise with the event being so close to E3 can they really afford to announce a lot of titles? I am hoping we get to see something from capcom about Deep Down the mysterious Dragons Dogma-esque game we saw at the playstation event.
Kevin: I would definitely expect Microsoft to have a detailed reveal of the console and a few launch games. I expect Xbox to hold a lot back for their E3 showing in a few weeks time.
Jake: As a PlayStation fanatic, I would expect Xbox to come out swinging to compete with the hype already built up from the PS4 announcement and to further tease and build more hype leading into E3. Where we should expect both companies to have all their cards on the table.
Shannon: I’m expecting a lot of excitement coming out of this reveal. I really think that we’re going to see a new type of console that will completely rethink the way we use our consoles and play games. I don’t expect their to be a HUGE leap in any given area but I expect that when all of these new features are bought together, a new experience will be formed. The most exciting thing is that we’ve never seen a console announced potentially less than 6 months from the shipping date.
Tyla: I’m expecting to see what the console looks like; a run through of the software and probably a first mission gameplay of an exclusive.
Let us know what you’re expecting in the comments!