Well, I'll try to make this short and sweet. This isn't going to be a rundown of the conference, but my thoughts on the event as a whole. If I may be so bold to para-phrase the late Dennis Green in regards to Microsoft...... "They are who we THOUGHT they were!!" Unfortunately for Microsoft, I'm NOT letting them off the hook. What has been the established-pattern from Microsoft with their E3 Conferences? ~ Showing us more games that will also be available on other-platforms than games exclusive to their own. They like to try to hide it behind a fancy-title such as "Console Launch Exclusive." Translation = Multiplat. ~ Showing us games that are already available on other-platforms (some of which have been out for years.) ~ Pretending that a certain-game that they want to push that no one heard of before (or cared about) is some huge game-changing revelation. Again, using subversive-rhetoric like "the Long-Awaited" *insert obscure-game here*. ~ Showing us games that look okay, but nothing revolutionary or anything that shows use of the hardware-capabilities of their console. ~ Not showing us actual definitive gameplay-footage of key titles. Once again, hiding behind clever-spin such as "In-Engine Footage." ~ Leaving information about the title we want to hear about the most on the cutting-room floor. ~ A long and cringe-worthy presentation of Forza as if for some reason Microsoft thinks that we forgot what it looks like to see someone driving cars. They love them some Forza by golly.
So what did I think of Microsoft and Bethesda's conference? I give it a C-. This was a "hold-serve" type conference and Microsoft in not in the position to do things like that. Especially after what happened last year. Halo: Infinite does look a LOT better and some of the new game-mechanics look interesting for multiplayer. Halo is Halo, so I don't really need to see a whole lot of that. I would like to have seen Fable, Perfect Dark, and at least an announcement of the next Gears installment. I did find it a little humorous when they took digs at themselves at little with the Outer Worlds 2 trailer in terms of not having things ready. It's good when you can poke fun at yourself. The world needs more of that. I was EXTREMELY excited about the announcement of Slime Rancher 2! That was the highlight of the show for me even though for non-fans of the game that would move the needle at all. I have to be honest though. Literally NOTHING that I saw during this conference would make we want to buy an XBOX console if I didn't already have one. Literally everything that I saw that was worth anything IMO will be available to play on other-platforms. That includes Halo: Infinite. If anything, this conference definitively answered the question to any consumer out there still fishing around trying to get their hands on a XBOX Series S or X that they do NOT need to bother. I'm not a Sony guy, but I give credit where credit is due. The footage that they showed for Horizon: Forbidden West was better than ANYTHING I SAW on Microsoft and Bethesda's conference. Not one single game (Halo included) looked "next-gen" to me and the XSX is SUPPOSED to be the most-powerful console ever. How is it that we are almost a year into the console's lifecycle and we haven't even seen a true next-gen title even in the pipeline for it? I'll tell you why. Microsoft is a services-company. They care about selling you services. Not software. Not hardware.
The XBOX, PCs, Surface tablets, etc. are a means to an end to sell you the Microsoft "brand" and to have that "brand" on as many consumer-devices as possible so that when you do anything, Microsoft as tied to it somehow, somewhere. This is why you can have a conference where your major 1st-party IPs get treated like the red-headed stepchild. This is why you hear more about multiplats than about 1st-party titles on their conference. I'm not surprised or disappointed because this is what I expected from them. This is the reason why Sony doesn't even bother with E3 anymore. Microsoft does all the work for them. This conference told and general-consumer why you DON'T need a XBOX. Not because you have anything against Microsoft, but if you have a PC already, you don't need the XBOX. Once XCloud gets rolling, smart-devices will get into the act. Sony has shown you why you need a PlayStation 5. I'm sure Nintendo will show why you need a Nintendo Switch (or possibly a Switch Pro, Switch XL, or "New" Nintendo Switch or whatever they call the console that everyone says is coming accept Nintendo themselves.) Microsoft just wants you to buy XBOX Game Pass and Windows. I'm not trippin' over it. If it works for them, I wish them all the best.