One Year Later, Did Microsoft Keep Its E3 2013 Promises?

One Year Later, Did Microsoft Keep Its E3 2013 Promises?
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E3 is a-comin’. Next week, great gaming companies will take to the stage to show off all kinds of games and make all kinds of promises, as they did in the past. Like last year, for example.

Picture: AP Images

Let’s look at what Microsoft told us at its 2013 briefing. After the somewhat unfocused reveal of the Xbox One in ’13 May, Microsoft opted to focus on just games. And so it did — for both the 360 and the then-upcoming Xbox One, with a few select announcements thrown in for Xbox Live.

Xbox 360

The Promise: A “sleeker” Xbox 360 model will be made available on the day of the briefing, on June 10, 2013.

True? Yep! The Xbox 360 E indeed launched on June 10. This is what it looked like on the inside.

The Promise: The 360 will receive “literally hundreds of games” in the “next several years”. They went on to mention seven games by name which would release in the following 12 months, including Grand Theft Auto V, which would launch in September, and the free-to-play World of Tanks, made available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers that (northern) summer.

True? Apart from one small detail, yes. Every game mentioned by name managed to launch since the day of the briefing:

Grand Theft Auto V also met its promised release window on September 17, 2013. As for World of Tanks, while the game did launch in late June, it was an invitation-only Beta, which later became an open Beta in December, only to end in February of 2014, when the full game was officially released.

Xbox One

The Promise: The Xbox One will launch in November 2013 in 21 markets around the world. The price point was set at $US499, €499, £429 and $599 in Australia.

True? Yes, but not for every market. In August, the number of markets the XB1 would launch in got trimmed down to 13, where the console indeed launched on November 22, 2013. The Xbox One is currently slated to come to 26 more markets, including Japan, later this year. Microsoft has also partnered with China-based BesTV to help bring the console to the country.

You can have a gander at our recently updated review for a closer look at the console itself.

The Promise: Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will come to the Xbox One.

True? Not yet, although the game’s prologue was released in the form of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on 18 March 2014. Phantom Pain itself currently has no release date.

The Promise: The exclusive 300-esque Ryse: Son of Rome will launch on the same day as the Xbox One.

True? Yes, Ryse arrived with the console on 22 November 2013. You can check out our review here.

The Promise: Double Helix will develop a new Killer Instinct game exclusively for the Xbox One.

True? Yep, Killer Instinct launched with the Xbox One. This is what we thought of it.

The Promise: A rather colourful open-world game by Insomniac called Sunset Overdrive will come exclusively to Xbox One.

True? Not yet, and there’s currently no known release date — though we do have impressions of the game.

The Promise: Turn Ten Studios is developing a fifth Forza Motorsport game which will launch alongside the Xbox One.

True? Indeed. Forza Motorsport 5 landed on 22 November 2013, complete with microtransactions which caused headaches for quite a few people.

The Promise: Minecraft is coming to the Xbox One.

True? Not yet, but soon. The PlayStation 4, PS Vita and Xbox One versions of Minecraft will be released in August.

The Promise: Remedy showcased its new adventure game Quantum Break, noting that it will come exclusively to Xbox One.

True? Not yet. Quantum Break is currently slated to come out at some point in 2015.

The Promise: Swery is bringing D4, an episodic, cel-shaded murder mystery, to the Xbox One.

True? Not yet. No release date is currently known.

The Promise: Part game part game-maker Project Spark will come to Xbox One and Windows 8.

True? Not yet, although a PC Beta has been underway since December, along with an Xbox One Beta since March.

The Promise: A new game from the creator of Panzer Dragoon, called Crimson Dragon, will come exclusively to Xbox One.

True? Yep, it launched with the console on 22 November 2013. You can find our review right here.

The Promise: A new Dead Rising game will come to Xbox One in the 2013 holiday season.

True? Yes. Dead Rising 3 was a launch title, released on November 22, 2013. You can read our review here.

The Promise: CD Projekt Red’s new RPG, The Witcher 3, will come to the Xbox One with exclusive Kinect and Smartglass functionality.

True? Not yet. In fact, The Witcher 3 has since been delayed to 2015 February.

The Promise: The next Battlefield will be on the Xbox One, and its Second Assault map pack will launch on the Xbox One first.

True? Yes — the Xbox One version of Battlefield 4 was released on 22 November 2013, along with the Second Assault pack, which only made its way to other platforms in 2014. Here’s what we thought of the game.

The Promise: Capybara games is developing a new roguelike called Below which will come to Xbox One.

True? Not yet. No release date has been announced so far, though the game has been confirmed to be coming to PC as well. Below was also playable at PAX East; you can check out our footage here.

The Promise: Vancouver-based Black Tusk Studios is developing a “brand new, triple-A exclusive game” for the Xbox One.

True? No. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer confirmed to Polygon that the teaser shown at E3 was “a concept piece”, and not an actual game that was in development. Black Tusk is currently working on the next Gears of War game.

The Promise: The fifth main Halo game will come exclusively to the Xbox One.

True? Not yet. Halo 5: Guardians is set to arrive in 2015.

The Promise: Mecha-shooting multiplayer game Titanfall will come “exclusively to Xbox” in Q2 2014.

True? Yes, although it landed on PC too. Titanfall came out on March 11 on Xbox One and PC, and on April 8 on the 360. We have a review for you right here.

Xbox Live & Twitch

The Promise: Hassle-free game streaming will be part of Xbox One in the form of Twitch integration.

True? Yes, but not at launch. The feature was officially announced in 2014 February as part of the following month’s March system update.

The Promise: Xbox Live Gold members will start getting two free games per month for their 360s, which are theirs to keep forever, starting 1 July 2013. These games will include Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3 in “the next several months”.

True? Yep.. The first free game made available on July 1 was tower defence title Defence Grid: The Awakening, though Fable III was also free to grab until the end of June 2013. Assassin’s Creed II was the July 2013’s second free game, while Halo 3 was made free for two weeks in October 2013.

It’s a bit different for the Xbox One — free games will only be available as long as you remain a Gold subscriber. More details on Microsoft’s recently revealed policy here.

The Promise: You’ll be able to share “many” of your Xbox Live Gold benefits with “anyone in your house.”

True? Yes, Xbox Live Gold sharing indeed became a thing. Basically, multiple people can use the same subscription to play games on the Xbox One — you can read about how it works here.

The Promise: Xbox Live memberships will carry over to Xbox One.

True? Yes, Xbox Live memberships are valid on both the 360 and the Xbox One, as stated here.

The Promise: Xbox Live’s 100 friend limit will be removed.

True? Technically no, but practically yes. The limit stayed, but it was increased to a more reasonable 1000.

The Promise: Microsoft points will be removed, with local currency taking their place on Xbox Live.

True? Yes, this was implemented on 26 August 2013.

That’s all for Microsoft. Stay tuned for a similar analysis of Sony’s 2013 briefing tomorrow.


  • The promise: Turning your Xbox One on with voice.
    Truth? Only if you’re American
    The promise: Controlling your TV Tuner with voice
    Truth? Only if you’re American or a Pom.
    The promise: Oneguide will change the way you watch TV
    Truth? Only if you’re American or a Pom.
    The promise: Kinect will be the future of the Xbox and a core part of the experience
    Truth? Virtually dumped within a year, becoming another sidelined optional accessory.

    At least I can use it for far more of a media experience than the PS4. Still happy with my choice based on that and Xbox game exclusives, as well as a better controller.

    • I didn’t bother getting camera for PS4 since it was useless, same as my Kinect on X1. The only thing I use my kinect is for auto face recognition login haha.

      I like PS4’s LR buttons more than X1, easier to press and I still have yet to play a game that fully utilize the X1’s trigger rumble. X1’s LB RB button is so hard to press.

      • Well considering after a motorbike accident my left thumb now falls naturally forward and can’t reach a dual shock stick, I’m very glad I bought an X1 and wont ever be buying a PS4. haha, not Sony’s fault obviously.

        As for Kinect voice though, it’s fantastic. Once you get used to it going back to using a controller or remote to do anything on a PS3/Xbox 360 feels totally un-natural.

        • Play station controllers are bad, really bad. But just like anything else you can get use to it and learn to love it.

          • I started PlayStation and it actually took me a while to learn Xbox. Hated it on the original judge controller but eventually got used to 360. But my thumb seriously wont go past 30 degrees anymore lol, not the full 90 the other hand does.

    • Promise: Watch Netflix on Your Xbone! Now for without the Gold pay barrier!
      Truth: Only if you’re American,

      • That’s Netflix fault, not Microsoft’s. Plus you’ll get access to any Aus streaming apps without Gold now.

        Or just do what I do and run unblock-us :p

  • I was expecting to see a lot of BIG broken promises . But it looks like Microsoft kept to their word on 99% of things.. Now lets hope that those promises with Voice controlled TV’s that were kept and released to the American and UK markets filters through to the Australian markets as well.

      • Microsoft is a company where creatives occasionally get a foothold, do a piss poor job of selling their vision, and then the dull corporates come charging in, boot them out and paint everything a dull grey again.

        They’ve gone back into a corporate cycle, hence start menu coming back, and the Xbox One being regressed back to Xbox 360 v2.

  • If more Australians used their Kinect instead of bitching about it then maybe we would have the voice samples to properly implement all the control features we are missing.

    • Well I say Xbox On, but it doesn’t seem to be listening? Works fine in US region, however Xbox Music and Video do not.

      • I cant get my ‘record that’ to work when in US region, kind of annoying always seems to crap out when do something awesome.

      • You could always go onto a forum and cry about how it’s Microsoft’s fault? that will change things right 🙂

    • We didn’t even have voice support when it was launched on the 360 from day one – it’s not like they gave it to us, then said “nah, you guys clearly aren’t interested” and took it away.

    • Maybe they have the samples but can’t understand a word we’re saying, can you imagine us trying to develop this for Kiwis?

      • a friend of mine is a South African who grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Australia – HAVE FUN WITH THAT ONE, MICROSOFT :p

  • In terms of keeping their E3 promises, this list sounds like a rousing success, with only one definitive ‘no’ (which was a sort of half-yes anyway, because of Gears of War) and a handful of ‘not yet’s.

  • I haven’t bought a new console yet, but after having an xbox, then a 360, I think I’ll be making the jump to Playstation for this generation. Their ability to just drop features at a second’s notice worries me. It started with the game-sharing, then the “kinect is always on”, then “you must be connected to the internet to play games”, and they flipped on all those features. Then they talked about how much more integrated the Kinect was going to be, and marketed it like it was going to be the cornerstone of the Xbone, and now they’ve basically turned around and said “naaaah, you don’t need it” and flipped again.

    PS4 just feels like it’s showing more long-term promise at this stage than the 360.

    • In their defence if they’re getting slaughtered by a painful majority of games journalists and consumer backlash are you saying they shouldn’t have changed things? Just a thought but as far as I’ve seen so far they’re doing a much better job of updating and adding features to the XB1 than the PS4 but both were rushed out of the gate and have gaping holes.

      All in all it’s your preference that counts 🙂

      • I’m all for improving on valid criticisms, but they changed some pretty major core functionality in what felt like an overnight decision. I have a 360 with a kinect and I was quite excited about what the Kinect would do for the ‘Bone, but given that it’s been given a backseat, I think that’s really disappointing. I guess that’s what the final straw for me was.

        But, like you said, both consoles have their problems right now, but I think I’m going to bank on Sony – when the PS3 came out, many people thought that it would tank and be ripped off shelves, but they came back, so I’ve got a bit of faith in the way they handle things more (at least, way more than I did during the early PS3 days).

        …. man I hope I don’t end up eating my own words.

        hurrah for sensible conversations online! Have yourself an imaginary internet point!

    • PS4 can’t even stream media yet can it? No way of watching TV, all it does is play games. Sony don’t have a good track record either, the PS3’s playstation eye was abandoned for years before the stupid move stuff came out, and playtv was a great concept that they pretty quickly abandoned also leaving us with a half arse solution and lack of updates.

      • Well considering you could just watch TV on your TV instead of through your games console that most people buy for… you know.. games.

        And, of course, the stuff is coming (The PS3 had PlayTV that will most likely be ‘ported over’ for those interested I suppose. Ironic I suppose that the X1 is better at being a media centre than the PS4 seeing how the PS3 is still one of the best media centres around, and certainly more capable (ATM) than the new consoles are SO FAR).

        They are both good consoles and both are in good condition considering where they are in their life cycle. One does ‘more’ better for now but the other is easier to use and most importantly: Both have decent ‘launch’ titles and BOTH are getting new titles that look promising.

        Both systems will be updated and streamlined and features available now, only 6 months after launch, really shouldn’t be a major contributing factor into which system to buy right now. IF you are buying a console now you should, IMHO, be buying for, in order of relevance I suppose:

        1) What your friends have
        2) Which developers/ exclusives you want later on
        3) Which exclusives you want that are out now

        I myself am a PC guy who also owns a WiiU and PS4 for the respective exclusive offerings and I hope to get an X1 for the Halo collection if the money allows it. I just thought I would chip in because you seem to be giving a very one sided argument in a thread that, frankly, isn’t that one sided. I might be misreading, but that’s certainly how it looks.

        There really aren’t enough differences this gen (YET) to get defensive about IMO.
        Edit: Both have great controllers this time around and both have hit and mis areas. Both have very similar hardware and are similarly priced. Both companies are continuing to develop ideas for future gaming, be that VR or else where. And both can do/ are promised to do different things and both have things that don’t work well are being updated to fix that stuff and add to it. Most importantly: BOTH were rushed out the door.

        As far as Sony’s track record? As a relatively unbiased dude (Loved both my 360 and PS3) Sony have a great track record with their first party studios which is what matters for me in a console.

        • I personally only got my 360 when the slim came out, and while it was crappy for media, it was definitely better for games. I definitely felt jaded with how Sony handled the previous generation.

          As for media capabilities, besides 3D I honestly can’t think of anything my PS3 can do that my One can’t, except natively play FTA TV with software that hasn’t been updated in years :p. I definitely wouldn’t trust Sony with my money for a PS4 Play TV.

          Why wouldn’t you want a game console that can do everything btw? I can be watching a bluray, TV, Netflix, or listening to music, and if a friend jumps online or invites me to a game I just jump straight in. What’s not gamer about that?

          • Ironic.

            You say “and while it (The 360) was crappy for media, it was definitely better for games. I definitely felt jaded with how Sony handled the previous generation.”

            But you find that the best thing about the X1 is that it is.. Exactly what you felt ‘jaded’ about with Sony and the PS3 last gen?

            And also, having used PlayTV its fine, it was a little buggy at launch though so yes I do see your concern. And it’s not that I don’t want it to be a media centre, but that I don’t need ANOTHER one.

            The PS3 could handle most media centre functions, as I said earlier, many people believe that they are still more capable than the X1 when it comes to that. The bitter truth is that I never used any of those features on the PS3. Other than to watch blu-rays anyway. i played games. Plus there are just far better devices to do the other specific jobs to have to battle to do it as well on a console with clunkier menus etc.

            In the end: Do I want an X1 right now? No.
            Do I want one eventually? Yes. Why: For Halo/ other exclusives. It’s the same as the reason I own a WiiU and PS4. In the end nothing else matters. Not the hardware, peripherals, manufacture allegiances etc: Just the games.

          • The One does media and games I want, so not really ironic. While the PS3 did media, in a disjointed way, and was poor at gaming until late in its life.

            PlayTV is also incredibly buggy with any slim PS3’s, worked fine with the phat, but they haven’t been sold in years. As for X1, it doesn’t have a lack of capability, it has a lack of training and selling of the product. PlayTo works a shit-tonne better than DLNA browsing on the old consoles, but I’m yet to find someone I know with a One who even knows about it. They’ve literally made it so seemless if you don’t already know about it, you wont find it.

        • that’s basically exactly how i feel – i have currently a PC, a PS3 and a 360 (mainly because I used to write some freelance game reviews, but I don’t really do that anymore, so I can’t continue to justify multiple console purchases). Admittedly my PS3 became a glorified media/blu-ray player, but that was more due to the fact that most of my friends had a 360. But looking at what’s coming up, I’m more interested in PS’s releases: I never got around to playing Last Of Us, I’m excited at the prospect of a new God Of War, Uncharted and whatever this new thing is that From Software are making (i’m a DS fanboy, so even the rumour of a PS4-only is enough to tip me into getting a PS4). I’m not sure what else MS has coming up that’s X1 only, but I have zero interest in Halo.

          The media player thing doesn’t bother me – I’ll just copy the latest episode of whatever onto a USB and stick it in the TV, and I never listen to music while playing games.

          Even though I think MS handle multiplayer better, PS are making improvements, and PS+ seems a better deal than XBL Gold.

      • Yeah. Not getting into a PS4 vs XBOX One fight, but Sony’s big victory this generation is Microsoft crapping it’s pants very publicly. The PS3 out performs the PS4 in the same areas the XBOX 360 out performs the XBOX One. It’s actually quite crazy how much stepping back is involved in upgrading right now.
        The only major difference to me right now is my PS4 installs games like a champion while installing from a disc on my XBOX One still takes forever. I’m actually finding the amount of waiting between buying a game and playing it to be a massive buzz kill. I think everyone’s first night of owning an XBOX One is spent aimlessly navigating the menus looking for something to do while waiting for their games to reach a playable state.

        Not saying don’t consider buying a PS4 (or XBOX One). Just be aware that they’re both delivering a pretty underwhelming experience right now. Microsoft are just getting more attention for it because they keep making changes.

        • Well said. That’s the type of thing I was trying to say. I don’t see a point distinguishing them by what they don’t do this early on.

  • Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Consumer’s cried breach of privacy when the announcement came out regarding the Kinect being in a stand by mode (always listening).
    MS has taken on these concerns, and many others, and has dropped the Kinect as being mandatory and now a whole new group of consumer’s are crying out that MS has taken a back flip on their promises. Buy it or don’t buy it. Simple as that.
    Happy Gaming 🙂

    • Difference being the tin foil hat wearers were idiots, but now get what they wanted. While those who bought in the last 6 months were lied to.

        • Want different things? Sure that doesn’t make you an idiot. A fear someone is watching you play Halo naked in your loungeroom? Yea, nobody wants to see that, you’re an idiot.

          • I think the main argument with including KINECT was that it pushed the price of the unit up $100 for something most people don’t want.

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