Tuesday, August 21st 2018

Microsoft at Gamescom 2018: Where's the Heart of Gaming After All?

We stopped by Microsoft's booth at Gamescom 2018 in Koln, Germany, to see what the behemoth company was pushing for its Xbox family of products - and, of course, Windows 10. However, the company's presence lacked most of its heavy-hitters - Halo was absent, Gears of War was as well. In fact, Microsoft's presence at this years' Gamescom was limited to Forza Horizon 4 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, when it comes to in-house exclusives. Though that McLaren does look great over there, doesn't it? Oh my.
PUBG made its way into the space as well, being a Microsoft console exclusive for the time being. Spyro served as padding, apparently, to occupy floor space (not being an exclusive in any way), as did Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, and there was a whole section dedicated to Mixer, Microsoft's gaming and streaming app. And let's not forget where Microsoft makes most of its Xbox hardware money - not on consoles, but on the myriad of options available for its controllers via the Xbox Design Lab.
All in all, it seems that Microsoft was only guaranteeing that it wasn't completely left out of Gamescom, but with most of its heavy-hitting franchises still in active development - such as Halo infinite and Gears of War 5 - it really was hard to justify their presence. But Crackdown 3's absence was again felt - it seems there's no end to that games' plight.
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13 Comments on Microsoft at Gamescom 2018: Where's the Heart of Gaming After All?

#1
natr0n
Forza feels like driving a giant refrigerator down set paths.

The xbox design lab is a joke because the analogs they use are so crap. Make something pretty only to know it will fail in no time.
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#2
dozenfury
I've been saying it this whole console gen for Microsoft, but whoever is leading the Xbox ship there is beyond clueless. They've taken a huge product in Xbox and through their own poor decision making have made it largely irrelevant. It's been an almost inconceivable lack of exclusives, combined with cross-play which made owning an XB1 unnecessary. No need to own one to play => no customers => devs going to other platforms => no exclusives, which has been the slow death spiral for XB1.

It's really been an amazing example of how smart, well-educated, top-tier managers can be so incredibly out of touch with their customer base that they make what they think are good decisions that actually destroy their own product far better than competitors can. Literally the only use for my XB1 right now is as a Netflix box, just to save some hours hours running Netflix on other hardware. My how the mighty have fallen...
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#3
StrayKAT
dozenfury
I've been saying it this whole console gen for Microsoft, but whoever is leading the Xbox ship there is beyond clueless. They've taken a huge product in Xbox and through their own poor decision making have made it largely irrelevant. It's been an almost inconceivable lack of exclusives, combined with cross-play which made owning an XB1 unnecessary. No need to own one to play => no customers => devs going to other platforms => no exclusives, which has been the slow death spiral for XB1.

It's really been an amazing example of how smart, well-educated, top-tier managers can be so incredibly out of touch with their customer base that they make what they think are good decisions that actually destroy their own product far better than competitors can. Literally the only use for my XB1 right now is as a Netflix box, just to save some hours hours running Netflix on other hardware. My how the mighty have fallen...
I don't think they did too much wrong so much as the PS4 simply whipped their ass. The PS4 has sold more than even the PS2 now. I never thought that'd happen.
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#4
Kohl Baas
dozenfury
I've been saying it this whole console gen for Microsoft, but whoever is leading the Xbox ship there is beyond clueless. They've taken a huge product in Xbox and through their own poor decision making have made it largely irrelevant. It's been an almost inconceivable lack of exclusives, combined with cross-play which made owning an XB1 unnecessary. No need to own one to play => no customers => devs going to other platforms => no exclusives, which has been the slow death spiral for XB1.

It's really been an amazing example of how smart, well-educated, top-tier managers can be so incredibly out of touch with their customer base that they make what they think are good decisions that actually destroy their own product far better than competitors can. Literally the only use for my XB1 right now is as a Netflix box, just to save some hours hours running Netflix on other hardware. My how the mighty have fallen...
AFAIK the lacking of exclussives is not because the console itself is bad, but because the strategy. What do Microsoft do if they want a promising game to be exclussive? They buying the studio and soon starting to influence it.
What do SONY do? They gave money to the studio and leave them to be wit their game now PS exclussive. They're not buying up every developer team and melt them in to get exclussives. Less money, less problems, more exclussive titles.
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#5
StrayKAT
Kohl Baas
AFAIK the lacking of exclussives is not because the console itself is bad, but because the strategy. What do Microsoft do if they want a promising game to be exclussive? They buying the studio and soon starting to influence it.
What do SONY do? They gave money to the studio and leave them to be wit their game now PS exclussive. They're not buying up every developer team and melt them in to get exclussives. Less money, less problems, more exclussive titles.
That isn't true with most of MS' current exclusives. Sunset Overdrive is an Insomniac game. It's only problem is players themselves are seemingly in the dark and never heard of it. It sucks, but this is all on their own heads. If it was on PS4, it would have sold like cupcakes (Insomniac made the Ratchet and Clank series for Sony). Ori and Cuphead are both still made by their own independent studios, and some of Microsoft's biggest games in the past were only published by them. This is why Bungie went on their own and made Destiny and Gears of War is an Epic game.

I'll reiterate.. I don't think they did too much wrong. They simply got their ass kicked.

The good thing about them that no other developer has is ANOTHER platform. I wish they'd just concentrate on the PC now and drop the Xbox entirely.
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#6
Upgrayedd
natr0n
Forza feels like driving a giant refrigerator down set paths.
That is Forza for you. It doesn't play like NFS. But set paths? Really? Horizon is an open world racing game you can take whatever shortcut you want.. how is that a set path??
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#7
natr0n
Upgrayedd
That is Forza for you. It doesn't play like NFS. But set paths? Really? Horizon is an open world racing game you can take whatever shortcut you want.. how is that a set path??
I was meaning how the the handling is really stiff by set path.
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#8
Upgrayedd
natr0n
I was meaning how the the handling is really stiff by set path.
Kinda boaty like GTA 4 right?
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#9
natr0n
Upgrayedd
Kinda boaty like GTA 4 right?
Yeah.
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#10
BumbleBee
there is a new version of The Elite Controller codename Project Washburn that is launching in Oct for $149. I think it has a USB-C port, Bluetooth, trigger paddles like SCUF controllers.
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#11
hat
Enthusiast
Meh, I fail to see how exclusives are a good thing for gaming. It may generate sales (mostly for Sony) but sales figures alone don't paint a complete picture of the health of the gaming industry.
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#12
StrayKAT
BumbleBee
there is a new version of The Elite Controller codename Project Washburn that is launching in Oct for $149. I think it has a USB-C port, Bluetooth, trigger paddles like SCUF controllers.
Way too much for a gamepad imho. Although I do exclusively use Xbox ones on my PC.

hat
Meh, I fail to see how exclusives are a good thing for gaming. It may generate sales (mostly for Sony) but sales figures alone don't paint a complete picture of the health of the gaming industry.
Sony and Nintendo. Somewhat MS when Bungie was around.
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#13
Upgrayedd
natr0n
Yeah.
Yeah thats what I mean by its not NFS. Its how all the Forza games are, tune your setup right and will get better.
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