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M3: My Morning Musings - Halo 5, Kinect-less Xbox One, and E3 Predictions

Today, Microsoft announced an official release window and title for the next Halo title.  Bonnie Ross, General Manager, 343 Industries had this to say today about Halo 5: Guardians:
“Any time you transition to a new platform, there is the opportunity to look at things with a new perspective. For us at 343 Industries, the launch of the Xbox One was an opportunity to think about what stories we wanted to tell, how to tell them, and how best to push the “Halo” franchise to showcase the platform. And, most importantly, combining our passion for “Halo” with the vocal and informative input from our fans.

Halo isn’t simply a perennial game franchise, it’s a part of the Xbox platform itself. In terms of innovation and ideation, it’s sometimes important to people who might not even play “Halo.” And of course it’s a passion and an essential experience for two generations of gamers.  So we asked ourselves, how do we begin and where do we go with “Halo” on Xbox One? 

Many fans noted that I was very deliberate with my phrasing on stage at E3 last year. I spoke about a “journey,” rather than a destination – and that journey definitely begins in 2014 with a giant leap, rather than one small step. We’ll give you much more information about our plans for this year at the Xbox E3 2014 Media Briefing on June 9, and we’re confident that “Halo” fans will be pretty excited about the special plans we have in store.

So until E3, I’d like to express my gratitude to our massive and varied Halo community, whose energy, enthusiasm, criticism and kindness are the driving force behind what we do and what we hope to achieve in Halo 5: Guardians.”

Definitely looking forward to what Microsoft has to say and show for Halo 5 at E3. But what else could they say? How about Halo 2 on Xbox One?

Microsoft is also getting ready to release a model of Xbox One without Kinect on June 9, 2014 for $399.99. This matches the price of the PlayStation 4 but creates a new problem for Microsoft. You are now dividing your Kinect user base and developers must assume that the user won’t have Kinect. This probably means that nothing good will be coming for Kinect in the future. 

Kinect will, however, be sold separately at retail this fall.

Microsoft also unveiled plans to no longer require Xbox Live Gold to use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu or using Internet Explorer. This is simply fantastic news for Xbox users as the console now will allow users to utilize video services without paying Microsoft extra to do so. This is how Sony handles it and I applaud Microsoft for this.

You will, however, need to pay for Xbox Live Gold to play any games online.

So what should we expect from E3? Besides Halo 2 from, I expect them to have a big exclusive lined up. Sony has a full show planned and it should include: Guerrilla Games open world Action RPG, Quantic Dreams next game, Media Molecule on Project Morpheus, Uncharted for PS4, a Siphon Filter reboot, Project Beast (FROM Software-—makers of Dark Souls), and Wipeout for PS4. A little birdie also suggests we might see the media darling The Last Guardian may be mentioned. 

The only questions that remain are will Call of Duty be shown in the Microsoft Press Briefing? Will Metal Gear Solid 5 and Destiny be shown at the Sony Press Briefing? Where will Ubisoft show Far Cry 4 at?

This may see this E3 as the least surprising show in several years. Hopefully I am wrong but we will see in just a few weeks.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 05/16/14

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