Halo 4, and Milking Like Crazy
Finally, as much as Microsoft wants to focus on the entertainment aspect of their system, they should know that games make the utmost difference. With that, the team needs to introduce a plethora of projects, both downloadable and retail, to entice gamers. But obviously the big focus will be on Halo 4, the upcoming sequel that’s set to drop on November 6. Microsoft needs to remind us why this sequel is such a big deal and what it means to both hardcore first-person shooters and newcomers who are experiencing the saga for the first time. This needs to have a huge showcase on the floor, with multiple multiplayer kiosks and goodies, like Master Chief plastic masks, to spread the hype. C’mon, Microsoft. Don’t let us down!
Let the Services Flow
Microsoft has done a great job with its Xbox Live services, namely with the UFC channel, HBO Go and Netflix. But what’s next on the board? How about more creative uses of the Kinect and Xbox Live channels, letting people open up their own social channels? Or, for that matter, providing community services that can make up for the recent cancellation of the Inside Xbox channel? After all, Xbox Live has a huge community behind it, with millions of users, both hardcore and casual, taking part and able to provide advice and gameplay tips. For that matter, how about something that lends to the Ambassador side of things — letting them guide new users through their paces across the service and show newcomers what they’re in for? The possibilities are open wide. And for that matter, more sports services — like the NFL Network — would be welcome, as well.
Bring On the Push For XBLA
Now that Xbox Live Arcade is capable of handling 2 GB worth of games at a time (not to mention 400 GamerScore points per effort), we expect to see more developers dropping in with more original and popular efforts for the service, including ports (could we see a Diablo III port making the rounds sometime soon?) and more original games, like the upcoming Crimson Dragon (which should release this summer). With that, we should also see stuff that innovates for the service, including features like online leaderboards and more creative aspects, letting players do whatever they wish with the service. Here’s hoping it comes sooner rather than later. Microsoft needs it.
In just a matter of weeks, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo will take place in Los Angeles, California, giving several gaming companies the opportunity to show what they’ve got in terms of new hardware and software. Microsoft, content on focusing on the here and now with their current Xbox 360 console (in other words, no new hardware), is likely to focus more on the entertainment aspect of their system, rather than “blow away” software that will attract gamers. Will that be enough to win E3? Well, it really depends on the approach that they take. With that, we have a few suggestions…
Get More Involved With the Kinect
When it comes to the Kinect, Microsoft’s motion-sensitive device, the company has done a good job producing software that really involves the player, including Kinect Star Wars (say what you want, it’s a hit with casual players) and Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure. For E3, it really needs to push forward with even more experiences, stuff like a new Kinect Sports game (the series is popular) and other games, both XBLA and retail, which really provide great experiences for those to really take advantage of the system. Here’s hoping we see a few original games and not just licensed fare like Kinect Disneyland Adventures… even though that isn’t half bad.