Xbox Press Conference Highlights

Xbox E3 2013 Media Briefing

The Xbox Media Briefing event just ended and I’ve got 15 minutes to recap what happened for those of you not watching at home. Also, I took pictures of the Forza car that erupted out of the stage, so there’s that.

Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain

This was our first protracted look at Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. We see Snake and another character ride some horses through the desert of Afghanistan before Snake takes off and does some horse stealth, some diving stealth, and really just general stealth. Graphically, it looked rather amazing, and it definitely showcased the expanded move set of our aged hero. Apparently he’s looking redemption in the most dramatic, Kojima-filled way possible.

New Xbox 360

There’s a new Xbox 360 coming out. It looks a lot more like the Xbox One (for a “modern look and feel”) and will, according to a tweet from the @XboxSupport account, remain at the current price. I guess none of the specs will be changing, though it will be quieter and smaller and is available today.

It was also added that current Xbox Live Gold members will get two free game downloads. However, the stage displays showed two free games “per month,” but the way it was stated by Yusuf Mehdi skews toward just two games “to keep” (unlike the permanently rotating roster with PlayStation Plus).


Ryse looked pretty but, ultimately, looked kind of boring. Most of the battles shook out as follows: 1) slash twice, 2) press B, 3) engage in a quick-time event to go into a kill animation. However, I am interested in seeing more of the army dynamics and seeing how it actually handles, so expect a preview from the show floor in the coming days.

Sunset Overdrive

Remember how everyone thought Fuse was kind of generic and a little bland? Well, it looks like that’s because Insomniac has been busy with Sunset Overdrive. It looks super stylish in a hyper cartoonish way and features zombies, guns, and running. So that last bit may not be that intriguing, but this was just a CG trailer (and actually reminded me of Epic’s Fortnite) and managed to cram in some humor and plenty of Insomniac’s trademark ability to create whacky weapons.

Killer Instinct

Turns out that “historic” franchise that Rare was bringing back is Killer Instinct. I’d still prefer Viva Piñata, but this will do. At least a few of your favorite characters will be back, but aside from a somewhat sexist match that also demonstrated the Xbox One’s streaming and DVR capabilities, all we saw was a very brief trailer.

Forza Motorsport 5

Forza Motorsport 5 reveal

A car came out of the stage and then we saw a learning AI system called Drivatar. It supposedly more realistically recreates human driving habits and can even emulate you. In the demo, an overlay showed how the system interpreted developing situations and the proper response it arrived at. Pretty neat.


Hidetaka “Swery65” Suehiro of Deadly Premonition fame is making another game. It features a heavy ink art style and what appears to be a lot of Swery weirdness. I can’t wait to find out more.

Quantum Break

Expanding on the short little video we saw of a crashing ship at the Xbox One reveal, we see a graphically stunning trailer for Quantum Break that features some broke time progression and a story that responds to your in-game decisions.

Project Spark

Project Spark appears to be Microsoft’s response to LittleBigPlanet. Both seem heavily based in the realm of user creativity; the end of the demo featured a montage video of user-created things like a Geometry Wars clone, blackjack, a Limbo-like platformer, and a lot of other things that seem to rub in LBP‘s face that Project Spark will more easily create 3D goodies.

Dead Rising 3

This looks to be the least goofy Dead Rising game so far, which may not say much given that in the trailer we see a Sledge Saw sledgehammer-chainsaw weapon. But what’s most notable is that you are now dealing with way more zombies to the point where you can agreeably call them hordes and you can craft new weapons on the fly. No sign of Frank or Chuck.



New Halo

Quite the sneaky surprise. Sort of. I guess we all knew it was coming, but it was a nice reveal nonetheless. After a minute or so of seeing a shrouded figure wander an alien desert landscape, he stops in a wide open expanse. The ground rumbles and rocks rise in the air, floating and suspended all around him. The land begins to give way and a gigantic robot(?) creature emerges as the hood flips back on our hero, revealing Master Chief.

Release Information

The Xbox One is coming this November 21 for $499. Yeah, response was tepid in the theater, too.

Battlefield 4

An incredibly beautiful game that looks like more Battlefield (which I don’t really mind). It actually seems to have more environmental interactions and open paths; to wit, the demonstrator shoots a release and drops a jet on some enemies and takes an underground path to circumvent some incoming fire.


I thought I was over the first-person shooter. Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall might change my mind. It’s a new future world where soldiers with jetpacks (with the ability to wallrun) fight alongside gigantic robotic shells controlled from within by fellow fighters. It looks insanely cool; climbing in and fighting looks fast and agile and taking them down looks just as fun. The demo was a multiplayer match and shows off a lot of the same things you’ve come to expect in a FPS like damage indicators, experience points, and whatnot, but I’m still in. Like, way in.

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