Microsoft has gone back to the starting point with Xbox One. No longer should we focus on the original Xbox or Xbox 360 but look toward a brand new era of digital entertainment. Do you watch TV shows or movies? Microsoft wants to own your living room and have you enjoy all that media through Xbox One. Oh, and the device will have something to do with games too.
Although the Xbox One reveal had nothing to do with games, it has been proclaimed that Microsoft's E3 presence will be all about the games. What about these supposed fifteen exclusive games - will they all be shown? Will we get much-needed answers to our questions about used games and online connectivity? The staff of Game Podunk have put on their "game analyst" hats and are ready to share their best E3 predictions.
A Rare Opportunity
Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief
"Most of us have heard the news by now - Microsoft will be announcing a sequel to a 'historic' Rare franchise, but the question is which franchise are they referring to? Many people seem to think it will be none other than the long dormant Killer Instinct series, and for good reason - Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the series last Fall.
While Killer Instinct is clearly the frontrunner in all this speculation, what if the Rare sequel in question isn't from that series? The Banjo Kazooie series is probably Rare's hallmark franchise and what people love them most for, but somehow I don't think that will be it either. No, we're going to need to go back in time a bit more. There are two series that haven't been considered that would push fans' nostalgia buttons like crazy if Rare were developing a new game for them - Battletoads and R.C. Pro-Am.
While neither series has been relevant for some time, they might provide the nostalgia bomb that Microsoft is looking for in getting some people to jump onboard with the Xbox One. The problem with R.C. Pro-Am is that Microsoft already has a popular racing game in Forza, so unless the former does something dramatically different, we can probably rule it out for now. Which leaves us with Battletoads. Crazy? Sure, but it might just be crazy enough to work and give Microsoft the big surprise they're looking to shock people with."
Silence Is Golden (When It Comes To DRM)
Marcus Estrada | Managing Editor
"Microsoft has recently explained the problematic parts of the Xbox One and is unlikely to step away from them now. So what can they do to calm gamers down during their conference when all they're currently arguing about is a 24 hour internet check in and changing used game market? Simple, they won't talk about it at all!
They're going to focus on their games and other properties but not say a single thing about the online pushback against their decisions. They already canceled their after-conference appointments with journalists so it's likely Microsoft will just clam up about any of this. They've given their answer via the official Xbox news website and are now done discussing it. Take the Xbox One or leave it because the console's controversial features are (probably) here to stay!"
The Great Used Games Tax
John Kidman | Contributing Writer
"I suspect a speedy retreat from the poorly articulated 'fee' surrounding used and borrowed games. Microsoft hit everybody in the jaw when they initially announced the existence of this surcharge, so expect a few audible 'boos' from the audience when they first begin to address the issue that sent the twitter feeds and gaming websites into flame spirals.
Microsoft will likely fully articulate a smaller-than-anticipated ($5 or $10) fee after a few pithy comments, perhaps about 'not believing everything you read on the internet.' I suspect this fee will similar in structure to online passes. The gaming industry is like any other industry, consumer driven, and imposing a large fee is truly a bad business model.
A much better business model would be embracing the used game market on consoles by creating the ability to buy and sell ownership of digital titles, sending 10% of the proceeds of the transaction to the developer and paying the seller the balance in whatever monopoly money the console creator decides to implement."
A Double Dose of Halo
Gaiages | Community Manager
"At the Xbox One reveal, it was stated that the Xbox One was going to get a bunch of exclusive, some of them even being new IPs, so they better flaunt their gaming power at the biggest gaming conference of the year! As to what they will show, that's anyone's guess... and my guess is that we'll be seeing a new Halo game. Yes, I know, there's the Halo TV series, but what better way to hype that than with a tie-in game? Also, Halo is pretty much one of Microsoft's system sellers, so what better way to hype their new system than with a new entry into the franchise?"
15 Exclusives, 8 New IPs, 1 to Rule Them All
Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief
"One of the biggest things about Microsoft's conference is that they're set to announce 15 first-party games for release within the console's first year on shelves. That's a lot of games, especially for a launch console's initial year, which is typically rife with delays and periods of game droughts as gamers weather the wait for the true next-generation games to arrive in year two.
While we don't know if MS can make good on that proposition for sure just yet, we can guess as to what they'll announce as part of the 15 exclusives. Let's start with a few that we actually know of already: Ryse and Ascend: Hand of Kul (formerly Ascend: New Gods). The former was announced in 2012 and is a new IP being developed by Crytek, and the latter is a free-to-play online role playing game being developed by Signal Studios, who created Toy Soldiers for XBLA, and though the game was originally announced for 360, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has moved to Xbox One. Both games would also fulfill the new IP condition as well.
What else do we know is coming? LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel was recently announced. Not surprisingly, Forza 5 is also on the way. Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment's latest game Quantum Break was revealed as a new IP at the Xbox One reveal event. Is it likely we'll see Halo 5 release in the Xbox One's launch year? Likely not, though it's probable if 313 Industries simply continues using Halo 4's engine without any huge upgrades.
You can also bet on seeing some type of new Gears of War title being announced; possibly Gears of War 4. Let's assume Lionhead isn't only working on Fable Anniversary as well and has been working on another next-gen Fable; that would round out the big 4 MS franchises. And last but not least, Black Tusk Studios is reportedly working on MS's next big game, and it's assumed to be a new IP as well.
Breaking down what we know and what we're predicting-
1. Forza 5
3. Quantum Break
5. New Halo title
6. Gears of War title
7. New Fable title
8. Black Tusk Studios title
9. Ascend: Hand of Kul (?)
Assuming Ascend: Hand of Kul does make the leap to Xbox One and that three of the 15 games are new entries in the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable series, then that accounts for 9 of the 15 exclusives that MS is referring to. As for the remaining 6 games? We'll have to wait and see. Expect them to be a mix of smaller XBLA-like titles and a perhaps a few AAA titles. One thing seems certain, though - MS is banking big on at least one big game to really get people talking, and it could very well be the Black Tusk Studios title. Stay tuned as we find out the answer in just a few short days."
What do you think? Do you have any predictions for Microsoft's Pre-E3 Conference?