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Letters from the Front

Back in May, Microsoft showed off a range of games that were touted as the gameplay reveal event for the Xbox Series X, which in the end, didn’t show a lot of gameplay. We were treated to a range of fast-paced and eye-catching trailers for games that looked to be quite good, but the showcase, was in no way representative of what Xbox’s Marketing team hyped up.

Going all the way back several years now, dodgy PR and dodgy marketing schemes has really pushed the idea of an “in-engine trailer” which means that many of the scenes within the trailer aren’t really representative of the final product. It’s no wonder when gamers voiced their discontent with that particular event, which was supposed to be our look at the gameplay we will be experiencing within the Xbox Series X.

Transitions between generations is hard. Traditional marketing schemes are also slipping out the window and being thrown to the wind, with E3 being cancelled for this year. This month, Microsoft is geared to show off what they’ve been promising since 2018 and I personally think its wise that Microsoft takes a look at how Sony demonstrates their games, free of glamorous marketing cinematic cuts that make the game look good, and instead opting for Xbox 360 style presentations where it’s a developer-led demonstration that gives us a true look at the game.

Sony showed off Ghosts of Tsushima back at their event in May, showcasing what this game will truly be like when you pick up and play. The 18 minute long demo was led by a Sucker Punch developer, explaining some of the mechanics and showing off the game’s vistas and offering a glimpse on how this game will run on the PS4 Pro. Microsoft does these events too, behind closed doors, for press but it baffles me why they don’t do this on stage with the general public who are generally interested in what they have to show. As a gamer, and as a consumer, I have no idea why Microsoft can’t do this with the general public and that was essentially the Ghosts of Tsushima demo.

Playstation’s State of Play is the Future

As the world continues to shift to the current world situation, Microsoft’s slow pace to change and react to the changing winds of society may put a stop sign on the road to the Xbox Series X’s launch. Microsoft’s sticking of traditional E3 showcases and TV style trailers is a sign of the old days. Criticism of Inside Xbox was always a thing, even before the coronavirus was a thing to contend with, even I criticize Inside Xbox. It is not the way things should be and it is not the way to properly do a show, but outside of my personal view of Inside Xbox, I want Xbox to go in a more Playstation style of being direct and detailed, focusing on why should I care about their upcoming games. Considering how gamers positively react to Playstation’s State of Play and Nintendo Directs, maybe, it’s time that Microsoft focuses on that and approach that style of showcasing their games.

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