With Sony skipping E3 for the second year in a row, it seems some people were concerned that Microsoft (arguably Sony’s biggest competitor) would also be dodging the festivities. Fear not, Xbox loyalists, because Microsoft’s own Phil Spencer has confirmed the company is flying on down to Los Angeles this summer to announce new stuff for the Xbox brand.
In a statement on Twitter, Spencer reassured fans that Microsoft is taking E3 seriously and will be bringing a ton of exciting announcements to the show. Citing something about “the cross-section of creativity and technical progress,” Spencer sounds pretty jazzed about what the company has in the pipeline. This could be a stellar showing for Microsoft.
Without Sony’s presence last year, E3 felt a little flat. It wasn’t that the games announced weren’t exciting, but more that no one was directly competing with one another. Nintendo has been doing exceptionally well with the Switch -it has even managed to outsell the Xbox One in record time-, but the company marches to the beat of its own drum. Microsoft is more in line with Sony and without that direct competition, 2019 felt like Microsoft preaching to the choir.
That doesn’t mean Microsoft will be phoning in a conference. One of the biggest surprises last year was the announcement of Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves being in Cyberpunk 2077. While not strictly an Xbox related bit of news, it was a shock to see him on stage and being so genuinely excited for the game. Microsoft pulled a win out of its hat with that publicity stunt.
The one concern would be that the company attempts to make lightning strike again for 2020. We saw The Game Awards try and fail and recapturing that magic by inviting a bunch of celebrity guests to the ceremony. What made Keanu work was the lack of marketing around his appearance. He just showed up and was awesome.
I don’t personally think Microsoft is going to rely on the same gimmick twice. With the next Xbox launching in Holiday 2020, it is more likely we’ll see some hot new games taking advantage of that new hardware. That would be a wiser use of everyone’s time.
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