E3 Get Off the Hype Train: Microsoft

By: Stephen Chislett

Microsoft is a big player in the gaming industry. Not only does the Xbox One set the bar for the next-gen consoles, but they’re one of the biggest tech companies in the world. That being said, they have left a lot to be desired. Let’s take a look at what they didn’t get right.

Xbox “Elite” Controller

Despite its sleek design, this controller is absolutely ridiculous. It looks oddly gimmicky. Between the extra triggers and the weird D-pad, I’m not sure what Microsoft was going for. It seems that Microsoft missed the memo regarding the K.I.S.S. approach: Keep It Simple, Stupid. The original Xbox controller worked just fine. If anything, the Xbox 360 controller was better–I found the Xbox One controller too bulky. Not only that, but at a steep price of $149.99, it just doesn’t seem worth it.


Xbox Game Preview

It is perfectly acceptable to have a game in beta. It’s also acceptable to have people play your beta to find any bugs or to see what need polishing. What is NOT acceptable is making people pay for an unfinished product that ultimately has no repercussions for the developers if they decide to back out. It’s like buying an unfinished LEGO set and having the company mail you handfuls of bricks every month or so. Except LEGO can just say “nah, we’re scrapping this project. We get to keep the money”. Which is really funny, because in a sense, LEGO is doing that right now with its new game LEGO Worlds. And now Microsoft is encouraging this mindset by enabling developers to do exactly what developers have been doing on Steam. This is highway robbery, and Microsoft is the getaway driver.

Minecraft HoloLens

With Microsoft acquiring Minecraft last year, it was only a matter of time until they put the game to use. With Microsoft’s new tech, the HoloLens, players are able to overview and manipulate their Minecraft worlds. This would be great, if the tech wasn’t ungodly expensive. With the growing trend of “Make things expensive, get people’s money” for Microsoft, the HoloLens will be the latest Christmas gift for every wealthy child on the planet, while the rest of us watch from afar. On top of the expenses, it’s just a stupid gimmick that might see potential for modders, but very little for practical gaming use. Virtual reality still has a long way to go before it strikes a chord with the common gamer.


Rareware got lazy

They packaged a bunch of their old games on a disc and they’re selling it. This is great, if you love Rare games. This is especially great, considering most of the games are impossible to play without the ancient hardware. But simply put, this is a cop-out. A lazy excuse for not putting together any new IPs or even generating a sequel. If anything it’s only worth getting for Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Battletoads. Goldeneye and Donkey Kong 64–none of which are included, so Rare’s list of reputable games falls short. That being said, it is only $30, so I suppose the ends justify the means.


Everything here can be forgiven by the glorious feature of backwards compatibility for the Xbox One. Although it should have been packaged with the console to start with, it gives Microsoft fans a reason to ditch their old Xbox 360’s for a shiny new Xbox One. All in all, it was a mediocre conference. I wish Microsoft brought more than that to the table, but Halo 5, Forza 6, Tomb Raider (again) just don’t cut the cake anymore. Maybe next year, Microsoft.

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