Every year at E3, Microsoft leads in first with their conference. As such more so than anyone, Microsoft is the one that most definitely has to bring its A-game if ir has any hopes of beating the competition. In the past, it would do this by taking exclusives away from Sony or simply getting the chance to show off big titles first on its platforms at the start of E3. The one thing that Microsoft also has over Sony and Nintendo is money, the one money to back getting exclusives and other content you can only get on Xbox, not to mention making their presence at E3 all the more immense to really get people hyped up over their stuff in particular. Last year, in an attempt to get people pre-hyped for the Xbox One, Microsoft made its own special event a few weeks before E3 to unveil it and let us know what to look forward to. However, this led to disaster when all they showed off was Kinect, Sports games, a lot of TV services, and closed out with an unsatisfying trailer of Call of Duty: Ghosts. In comparison with Sony who focused more on the hardcore gamer and the games, Microsoft’s event was a big disappointment.

At E3 2013, however, Microsoft did try its best to come back with great games being showcased at its conference. However, people still had a bad taste in their mouth after the company’s recent event, not to mention its new policy on “Used Games” which really made gamers heated. So, when Sony came in right after them announcing that they’d be focusing on games, Indies, and with a much cheaper price tag, Sony became the White Knight of E3 that was saving us gamers from the clutches of the seemingly greedy Microsoft who had lost sight of their goal and their audience. Not to mention the lead-in for the announcement that the PS4, a more powerful system that would be 100 dollars cheaper, was the unveiling of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3. And though both those titles are multi-platform, the world didn’t care; people were so excited they only wanted to play it on PS4. After E3, Microsoft began the healing process and went back on what they had planned with their DRM plan and decided to follow Sony’s example. Even recently, Microsoft just announced that they’ll be making a Kinect-less Xbox One that will be at the same price point as the PS4 and they’ll be making Xbox Gold a bit more like PS Plus. This might seem a tad a sad on Microsoft’s part, but perhaps they simply learned that if you can’t beat em, join em, which isn’t a bad strategy. Right now, Microsoft shouldn’t be focused on Sony, it should be focusing on getting back on their feet to make the Xbox One seem more appealing in gamers’ eyes.

So, E3 2014 is upon us now, and this year for everyone, games are the big focus. In Microsoft’s case, however, the company has to bring out exclusives both for first- and third-party that rival Sony’s. While at last E3, though Microsoft did showcase more games than at the Sony conference, it still looked like more of the same. Microsoft needs games that are more innovative than just Halo and Gears of War. Microsoft needs games that rival titles such as The Last of Us, on Xbox One. It needs games that really make the Xbox One stand out as the go-to console. The Xbox 360 led the that last generation, so we know Microsoft has the power to make good stuff, but the biggest lesson it have to learn from last year is they have to read their audience better. Sure, there is an audience for Netflix, TV Services, and Kinect, but those things shouldn’t be what make up Xbox. The hardcore gamer doesn’t want to just play competitive shooters and sports games. The hardcore gamer wants to be invited to different worlds and experiences both in terms of gameplay and story that they can only get with this Next Generation of gaming. And more so they anything, Microsoft has to convince us that we can get those experiences on Xbox One.

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