We now have an official date for when Microsoft will show off more of its future plans for the Xbox One console that arrived on store shelves late last year. This morning Microsoft announced that its holding its briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on June 9th.
Microsoft formally shared the exact date and time for the Xbox One E3 2014 Media Briefing in a post on Xbox Wire shortly after it began sending out media invitations to the press and Xbox enthusiasts. The event will begin at exactly 9:30 am that morning. Microsoft will be airing a pre-briefing show that morning starting at 9:00 am before its larger event. Thankfully, users won’t need a badge to watch what happens during the event.
Like Apple, Microsoft will allow users at home to stream the event in its entirety, no credentials needed. Unlike Apple, Microsoft won’t be requiring users to have one of its devices before streaming it live. Video footage from the event will be available on the Xbox website and through the Live Event Player for the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone. Presumably, Microsoft will launch a version of the Live Event Player for the Xbox One sometime before the event starts. Microsoft is also teaming up with Spike TV to show the event to cable and satellite users.
That everyone can see this video is key to the Xbox’s future. Microsoft needs to get information about the latest games and entertainment offerings coming to the Xbox Live, Xbox One and the Xbox 360 in front of as many people as possible. The need to do so is even more crucial considering that most users think its E3 2013 briefing was the start of a troubled year.
Microsoft didn’t announce the Xbox One at last year’s show, however it did use the show to showcase some of the plans it had for the console. For example, last year it confirmed that users would be required to install disc based games onto their Xbox One console, possibly damaging the health of the used video game market. Microsoft also formally, announced that it’d be including a Kinect 2 sensor with every Xbox One and that users wouldn’t be able to play games without the sensor plugged in. Finally, that announcement indicated that users wouldn’t be able to play their games offline for more than 24 hours. That was because Microsoft originally planned to let users share and gift their digital games. It wasn’t until August that Microsoft backtracked on each of these issues. In the meantime Microsoft shared almost no more information about what it was working on, leaving potential users to expect the worst. Many users complained that the briefing didn’t discuss specific video games enough. That’s a fear many potential buyers have about the console even today.
It didn’t help that Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would be $499 at their briefing hours before Sony announced that the PS4 would cost users $100 less.
So what does Microsoft have set for this year’s briefing? That remains unclear for now. Xbox head Phil Spencer has made it clear that the company has plans to talk about games this year. More specifically, he’s hinted that the company will have more to share about new games that won’t be available on other consoles.
Last year Microsoft teased a new version of Halo. Users watching this year’s briefing can also expect to hear more about Quantum Break, a new shooter from the same studio that made Alan Wake. This new game focuses on a male protagonist who can use time travel as a weapon against his enemies. Last year Microsoft announced that Quantum Break would arrive on store shelves sometime this year. Xbox One users will be the only console owners playing this title whenever it arrives.
Despite what Microsoft has said about showing more games at this year’s show. It’s entirely possible that the company will use its E3 2014 media briefing to share more information about the other Xbox initiatives it has planned. It announced Xbox Music, a refreshed version of its Zune Music service at the E3 2012 briefing and the company has yet to talk formally about how users will get their hands on the content produced by its first-party video studio, Xbox Entertainment. A few of the company’s live action shows are scheduled to premiere in June, perhaps shortly after E3 2014.
Regardless of what Microsoft does, it’s heading into this year’s briefing in a slightly weakened state. The Xbox One isn’t selling badly, but it isn’t selling as fast as the PS4. Part of that is due to the fact that the Xbox One isn’t available in nearly as many countries as the PS4 is.
Read: Xbox One Review
The Xbox One is on sale right now on store shelves for $499. The console includes either Forza 5 or Titanfall. There hasn’t been concrete evidence concerning a possible price drop for the console following this year’s E3 briefing.
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