Roundtable: What To Expect From Microsoft At Gamescom

The team got together to discuss what we thought Microsoft would show at their Gamescom conference. Tune in on Tuesday morning to see what Microsoft does next!

Man, Microsoft has been having a rough time on the road to next gen. The 24 hour online check, kinect having to be connected for the console to work, and just the overall bad communication they have been having with everyone. But they have put a big foot forward into fixing these issues, removing both the check and the requirement of kinect. Their whole turn around has been surprising and crazy.

Gamescom isn’t their last chance to rectify things. But it is one of their biggest. Promising an exciting new release from Europe’s biggest franchise, which. To be honest, I have no clue what that could be. The recent news about the kinect, I want to see Microsoft release a skew of the Xbox One without the Kinect. If they still feel like they haven’t done enough I would like to see the kinectless skew price match with the ps4. Other then an actual release date for the console, I don’t expect any more information about the console itself.

However, I do expect more information about the Xbox One launch line up. Especially since all the gameplay features of those games are still really vague. With the launch window getting closer and closer, I expect their marketing campaign on these games to start at games com. Personally I can’t wait for more info on dead rising 3, and more info on smart glass. Their plan on XBLA for the Xbox one is also one particular topic I’m interested in? Will they have a launch line up dedicated for the Arcade? It’s also quite possible that I’m giving Microsoft too much credit. But hey at least they are trying to make things right. It’s the though that counts, right?

Outside of Xbox One talk you can expect them showing upcoming 360 games, I imagine the new batman title being one of them. Maybe a timed exclusive DLC partnership with Rockstar for GTA V, maybe a price drop for the 360 on the horizon of Xbox One, can they really afford to do that with the Xbox E being released just a few months ago? This is all speculation however. Your guess is as good as mine.

As far as the Xbox goes, I’m not entirely sure what Microsoft is thinking. We’ve all seen the overwhelming hate the company is facing right now in the internet, and considering the more expensive price point of the Xbox One, I think there might be some changes coming regarding that. From what I’ve read, the whole reason the Xbox One is more expensive than the PS4 is because of the obligatory Kinect that comes with the box. My guess is, if they want to turn things around, and I know this is a bit farfetched, they might release an optional box without the Kinect included. Nobody really liked the Kinect, and as far as I know, the gaming community just considers it another gimmicky product that isn’t necessary.

Microsoft really wants to push the Kinect, so it’s pretty obvious that they have big plans for it. They’re going to announce games that exclusively use the Kinect to work, like Kinect advetures and the like, but if they really want to move onwards and make it something that is a necessity for gamers, they’re gonna need hardcore titles for it. Reviving an old franchise or making a sequel to an old game would be a perfect opportunity to implement the Kinect and make it something that is worthwhile.

Following from their disastrous first release and swiftly followed by a literal retraction of just about everything they tried to market, I expect Microsoft to start cleaning house and try and follow up on their attempts to win back the gaming crowd, which I admit they’re doing so gradually. Their touted support for indie developers sounds fantastic on paper, and I would love to see more of this elaborated come Gamescom. Microsoft, if playing the right cards, could surely gain a foothold on the next generation and try and jump out of the huge gaping grave they have dug for themselves.

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Of course this comes at a time where they announced a reduced launch window for now only 13 countries, something that could be disastrous if they even try to match Sony’s release date, whenever that is. The only way to possibly lessen the damage is to come first, and possible gain a small audience with their release, before the PS4 comes into play. The rumour going around currently is that PS4 is expected to be released late October, so Microsoft would naturally want to come first. The PROBLEM is, that anytime less than October feels damn too close, especially since it’s already mid-August. I know my money is already tied up with the number of HUGE AAA games that are coming out September-October, and I fear that anytime earlier than the end of October feels too close for someone like me to jump on. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone, but I’d love to share words with anyone interested in discussing this.

Hopefully the Kinect still comes bundled. I get that it’s now optional and you can have it completely off, but honestly, the Kinect was the only thing that explained the higher price point, and I feel that if they’re sticking to that price point, keep the Kinect. Otherwise, announce a new bundle with a lower price and without the Kinect. While the Kinect never interested me and I would never shell out money to buy one separately, I honestly wouldn’t mind the $50 price difference between PS4 and Xbox One if it meant getting one packaged with the One.

In terms of exclusives, I don’t expect many new announcements, I just want to see some more gameplay. Love that gameplay.

I think that this conference is going to be all about Microsoft telling the consumer why they should spend the extra $100 on the Xbox. They’ve spent the last 2 months back pedalling on announcements made at their previous two showings and I think this conference will be all about moving forward into a clear communicated approach of the Xbox one launch. To this date they haven’t really shown why you want to spend $100 on the new Kinect outside of a few OS features. I think a big part of the conference will be Microsoft announcing a few titles that will work exclusively with the Kinect. Outside of Kinect Sports Rivals (which has now been delayed from launch), they haven’t showed a bunch of software that’ll make the hardcore audience feel good knowing that they’ve dropped out extra for the Kinect.

I think that Microsoft will really nail down their exact launch plans. They’ve recently cut down the number of European countries that they’ll be launching in on their original 2013 launch date so I think they will really want to solidify exactly when the console is launching and what their games will be. I think that they’ll show more gameplay of their previously announced games. They’ll show more of Dead Rising, Forza and announce a few more characters for Killer Instinct. I definitely think that they’ve got one or two more BIG game announcements left in them. Maybe not for launch but for Q1 2014. They’ve gone on to say that they have a bunch of Microsoft studio games planned for the first year and we haven’t seen too many of them announced yet.

This conference won’t see too many new announcements overall but it will see Microsoft trying to solidify all of their back pedallings and make sure that the average consumer knows exactly what they’re going to get from the Xbox One come launch time. A lot of people are still confused about what they announced at E3 vs what they’ve since changed on the console so I think this is really their last chance to clear that up before launch.