GamesCom 2015: Continuing momentum

It’s been a couple of weeks since GamesCom wrapt up in Germany and the question that remains is whether Sony’s decision to opt out of the convention could prove costly in the lead up to the Holiday period because Microsoft continued to build momentum. Not only did the Xbox team give us more information about their E3 announcements but they had a few new surprises and a couple of exclusives to get excited about. So lets break it down…

Backwards Compatibility

The big announcement out of E3 got everyone talking and speculating on the impact of this exciting feature on the ongoing console wars. Xbox preview members like myself have already had access for a month but for most it has been a painful wait. It doesn’t put people out of their misery but at least now Microsoft have given us a timeline, 3 months. It might seem far away but come November backwards compatibility will become a reality alongside the Windows 10 update and new dashboard interface. Some analysts are already suggesting that backwards compatibility has had an impact on 360 game sales but we will probably have to wait till after November to find out the impact of this new feature on sales.

TV DVR

GamesCom didn’t just give us news about Microsoft previous announcements as they confirmed the long rumoured TV DVR feature coming to the Xbox One in 2016. This had always been a likely development due to the HDMI through functionality and the release of the digital TV tuner in the US and Canada. Next year users will be able to record TV to a hard drive connected to their console and stream it to other Windows 10 devices.  Unfortunately, at launch the feature will only be available in the US, UK and Canada with no word as yet on expanding support to other regions. Personally I’d like Microsoft to include some ability to record from a streaming TV service e.g. Foxtel play here in Aus, mainly for sport that doesn’t go onto catch up but I’m sure there are a few legal problems in that one, but maybe one day.

Games

The expo gave us a few new glimpses of titles shown off earlier this year at E3 including Halo 5 but Microsoft made sure we had a few more things to think about.

Scalebound

The concept behind this action RPG has a lot of people excited, who doesn’t want team up with a dragon. However, it’s clear from the game play reveal that it still needs work, especially the dialogue which is currently very corny. Like other games in the genre, game play combines melee and ranged combat with a series of special abilities and items. This one definitely has potential and with a 2016 release has plenty of time to develop into everything we hope it can be.

Quantum Break

The makers of Max Payne and Alan Wake take their time slowing game play from its humble beginning as bullet time to a new level where it becomes a weapon. In development for a few years now Quantum Break finally has a release date on the 5th of April 2016 and with a new look at game play it was definitely one of the highlights of Microsoft’s conference. Besides the actual game play,one of the unique and compelling features of Quantum Break is the development of a full TV series imbedded in the game that responds to your decisions which has me intrigued. This one is definitely on my list for next year.

Crackdown 3

A lot of the news out of GamesCom was about Microsoft’s latest instalment in the popular open world third person shooter. Crackdown 3 promises a unque gameplay experience as developers have used the power of Microsoft’s Azure platform to simulate real world physics. This extra computing power far beyound the capabilities of any stand alone console allow the creation of completely destructible environment. I’m glad to see developers looking at the potential of the cloud.

Halo Wars 2

The one more thing behind Microsoft’s conference was the announcement to a follow up statergy game based on the Halo universe. Until 2009 the RTS genre on a console was a dangours propasition but Halo Wars demonstated the possibilities when done right. Its taken a while but we are finally going to see if this potential with it’s symplified controls can develop into a top class RTS. Personally, I can’t wait for any expansion of the halo verse so this one goes straight to my waitlist.

About jgbarry

A teacher, poet, novelist and causal tech guru I am always keen to share my thoughts. A firm believer in critical thinking I rarely rush a decision without any research and once made my mind is primed for a good debate.

Posted on August 31, 2015, in Microsoft, Xbox One and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: