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Xbox@E3- What Can We Expect?

Sony and the Xbox will be gunning for supremacy at this years E3 (as every year) but this year may prove to be pivotal in future hardware. Last week, it was reported and rumoured that Sony were teaming up with a streaming company. Since then, most rumours have been about Sony but this has put Microsoft into its looming shadow. So what about the Xbox? What has it got potentially planned?

Microsoft will have been alerted by all the goings-on related to Sony so will be prepared to combat any potential on-demand streaming game partnerships. It is in the hardware that the Xbox looks weak. Sony can expand, tweak, connect its devices together. Xbox has limited connectivity to other devices and as such makes streaming less likely for the console. Yet an XBLA streaming cannot be ruled out. Streaming PC games that can be playable only on Xbox would be a good move if streaming is announced next week.

Games wise and it is a dead cert of what is going to be shown. Halo, Forza and now Gears will all no doubt have plenty of screen time. The new Gears game was announced this week and is rumoured to be a prequel to the original. Microsoft is reliant on its commercial juggernauts and outside of that group, games are sparse. That said, Halo and Gears combined sales make very good reading in favour of some of the more critically acclaimed Sony games like Uncharted and Little Big Planet. The kinect will need a decent showing. It may have sold by the bucketload but its potential is being wavered away from its obvious innovation in favour of familiarity. Star Wars kinect was panned in the critics and sales died down after 2 weeks of release.

Xbox could use some of its exclusivity deals to good effect. Its deals with Bethesda and Rockstar may help gain some consumer funds quicker over Sony as it has done before. Exclusive timed release for GTA5 would go down well for Microsoft but remains unlikely. DLC for GTA5 would be much more likely. The advertising deals it has also could be boasted for good effect. Sony lacks sponsorship in game and in the dashboard. Advertising boosts profit all round so a bigger push would be welcome.

All in all, the Xbox will hold the quieter keynote this year. I would suspect if they do announce anything major, it would be only to steal Sony’s thunder. Games wise, Gears and Halo will be put under the microscope. Outside of that, what is there? Sony have made bold statements of intent “showing 25 new games at E3.” Xbox has under 10. It is all well focusing on profit but the lack of variety in exclusives for Xbox is its downfall no matter how much it betters the PS3. Microsoft will need to announce killer titles to take the limelight once more instead of sprinting to chase Sony.

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