9:20AM This place is like a concert. If there wasn’t a giant XBOX logo plastered across the stage, I’d half expect Beyoncé to walk out. What’s happening in my mind? Mostly questions: are we going to hear specifics about the XBOX Scorpio? Or was the XBOX slim that leaked to NeoGAF yesterday all the solid news we should expect? Should I worry that Jake has a huge stain on his sweater and such intense gratitude for free valet parking? Probably. He keeps leaning over and whispering about the rumor: the 2017 date on the Scorpio is just a lie. It’s going to be announced for 2016. Also, he wants me to include an inspiring bit about the gaming community. Apparently we come in all shapes and sizes, races and creeds. Etc. I agree with him, but I remain keenly aware that we are in the belly of the beast. This is a giant advertisement, and we are active and willing participants. No wonder we’re all bathed in green light.
9:36 OK. Big news. ‘Play Anywhere’ will mean ownership exists across platforms: PC and XBOX. Cross-saves, no more double-spending. Jake just audibly orgasmed. We got the big XBOX S (stands for ‘slim’) announcement, as expected. Makes me think we might get a big surprise later. Now we’re watching Gears of War 4. Looks like a handsome murder stab kill thing. Just realized the entire inner pit of the show room is filled with Microsoft employees cheering as loudly as possible. Could they be articulated Real Dolls? Gears of War 4 looks like a macho shooting fantasy. No surprise there. Jake leans over: “I’ve never been a big Gears of War fan, TBH”. Yes, he said “TBH” and not “to be honest.” 33 years old. His sweater stain seems to be drying.
9:45 Killer Instinct is the most played fighting game on XBOX One. Huh. The more you learn.
9:47 Just felt strangely emotional about Forza Horizon 3 trailer. Maybe it was the little kangaroos? I hope we don’t run them over in-game. Something about the volume levels of the speech (hardly audible above the car motors) makes me feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. September 27th. XBOX and Windows 10. Looks like they’re betting big on those owning both.
9:53 Recore trailer had some pretty things. Jake: “eh.”
9:45 Squeenix takes the stage. Final Fantasy XV “fluid battle” demo. Looks a lot like God of War in a way. Giant monster, climbing. Lots of stuff on-screen. Sort of stuttery though. Feeling a bit underwhelmed. Actual quote from game: “no more mr. nice guy.”
9:58 Time for Ubisoft to show us some The Division: Underground footage. Quick in-and-out. June 28th XBOX, a month later for everyone else. Hmm.
9:59 DICE will now try to show us how World War I can be a great time in Battlefield 1. They’ve certainly made it pretty. You haven’t experienced the greatest source of European trauma in the 20th century until you’ve experienced it set to banging electronic music in high-contrast colors. More weapons and more fields and more battles and never the same anything, ever. Etc. We are in an advertisement for everything that went wrong.
10:04 Xbox Live will let you customize background music. And um, you’ll have ‘Clubs’ now. And LFG. And ‘Arena’ which looks like a massive competition platform with a few people on board. Daybreak. EA. FIFA gon’ be there. Maybe it’ll be realistic and allow you to sacrifice construction workers to build stadiums? Or bribe your way to the top as an official? “XBox Live is the place to play.” Almost sounds like a plea. Add a question mark at the end.
10:07 Minecraft players are going to play together across Android, iOS, Windows, and XBOX. “The Friendly Update”. This is an awkward intro to John Carmack who is apparently going to use pistons on himself. He’s in VR, because when isn’t he. He’s hired people to siphon off his pee so he never needs to leave. This entire presentation is anxiety-inducing. Villagers are Men in Black. There’s aliens. Minecraft is um…. futuristic. Big explosions. Stuff in the sky. Everything is being read off a prompt. The whole thing is scripted. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? Jake is encouraging me to include the couple in front of us. They’re awful. A couple that is selfie-ing nonstop and somehow blocking our view of the stage with a crappy digital camera on a stick.
10:13 The XBOX controllers can now be done in a million different colors. Design Lab, they’re calling it. Pick your buttons and controller color. People are cheering.
10:14 Inside looks a lot like Jake’s soul. Empty. Dark. Atmospheric. Oh and LIMBO will be free for XBOX people. Time to launch into a bunch of Indie titles. Cuphead and OMG Stardew Valley is coming to XBOX One. Big deal, that one.
10:17 If you buy Ark: Survival Evolved on XBOX you’ll get it on PC. But if you buy it on PC you won’t get it on XBOX? My Steam copy won’t be providing much in the way of cross-play, methinks. Looks like Microsoft wants you to buy through the Windows Store or the XBOX storefront if you want any of that sweet, sweet candy.
10:21 We Happy Few demo is taking a long time, but ultimately it seems like a cool game. Maybe not my cup of tea (ha! British joke. Get it?)
10:23 CD Projekt Red just confirmed the Gwent card game with a strange live-action trailer. PC or consoles, we can all play together. And there’s a singleplayer campaign! All looks quite fun. Closed Beta coming September 26th. I just clapped. Maybe I’m very into this. Maybe… these people care about me. Thanks MKIceandFire for the youtube video.
10:27 Two Japanese people are punching each other. Tekken 7. Jake: “Not that I give a single fuck about Tekken. But I know a lot of people do.” Looks like Tekken 7 is coming to XBOX. It will “transition seamlessly from cinematic stuff to blah blah blah punching.”
10:32 Dead Rising 4 is “a little too goofy” for Jake’s tastes. It’s all Christmas-y.
10:33 Microsoft Studios is having a canned speech. They’re basically talking at us. Bless them. They sound a little Father Comstock-y. And again with the Play Anywhere.
10:34 Scalebound. Jake: “Like Monster Hunter but better.” Another Japanese dev playing the game. It looks as relentlessly maximalist as the other titles we’ve been shown. Jake: “Awesome. I’m in. 100%. Monster Hunter on dragons with four-player co-op? I’m in. That boss looked kinda easy though.” I wonder if he knows this is all scripted. It looks like God of War all over again. It could be Final Fantasy XV. Did the protagonist just jump into a giant pink pulsating anus? Possibly. Or a giant spider brain. Available September 27th.
10:40 Pirate stuff. The pit is bathed in water-looking light effects. Smoke coming from the stage. Cannons shooting. Fighting skeletons. Swimming with sharks. All of it in cartoonish style. Sea of Thieves. Jake loves it. “Emergent… infinite adventures.” But maybe they’re just trying to fuck me? Here is a gameplay trailer cut from real players. A bunch of excited kids shooting cannons, sailing together. Looks to be good fun. Jake: “Woah. Woah. Great way to show it off, too.” He’s laughing like a child playing with his favorite toy. His eyes are glinting. He’s clapping. I think I saw him wipe away a tear.
10:45 Jake: “New State of Decay. New State of Decay. Oh yes. The protagonist is opening his car door on the open road to hit zombies. “It’s gonna be co-op. It’s gonna be co-op. Oh my god.” This whole Existential Gamer thing is worth it just for Jake’s stupid face right now. He’s clapping again.
10:47 Johnny-Cash-sounding motherfucker over some maximalist war stuff. Another exclusive. Everything’s exclusive. DON’T PLAY PS4 KIDS. Nothing’s out on that old thing anymore. Or so they want you to believe. Anyways this one was Halo Wars 2. Jake: “We don’t care about this.” Week-long Beta on XBOX One launching right now. Jake: “Woaaaaaa I don’t care.” Two seconds later: “Actually, hold on a sec.” He watches some footage. Looks down at his phone. It’s definitely an RTS. Jake: “Looks like a nicer Command and Conquer. Which I like. But who has time for that shit.” Words of wisdom, kids.
10:54 ARE THEY GONNA ANNOUNCE SCORPIO OR WHAT? COME ON. Here we go. PROJECT SCORPIO. Blah blah blah, all the specs you already know. Holiday 2017. So a year 1/2 from now we will have VR and insane performance. OK. Big news is that all games will be compatible on XBOX One, One S, and Scorpio. One more time they say it again: “play without boundaries”. Except Exclusive. That’s a boundary. No boundaries if you come with us. (Thanks E3 Trailers for the video)
11:00 Highlight reel playing now. It’s all explosions, people smashing things into things, and giant bass drops. We have not changed gaming yet. But maybe we’re on our way? Probably not. Still, this was a very exciting experience for Jake, and I was here to watch it. And hey, come on, I also really enjoyed it. Now there’s smoke pouring out from the stage and everyone’s leaving. It’s gonna be a long road back to real life.
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