Sunday, 9 August 2015


Watched the briefing for Gamescon 2015 that took place on Cologne, Germany this weekend. Lost count of the number of times that the phrases 'We are excited', 'Microsoft' and 'Windows 10' were mentioned.

Of the three games that were highlighted 'Quantum Break' and 'Crackdown 3' don't really appeal to me and the enthusiasm of the 'excited' developer/salesman did not really sell the product. As for 'Scalebound' this looked like a 'Devil May Cry' clone with added dragon and I did like the look of it.

The main thrust of the briefing was centred on the well plugged 'Windows 10'. Upshot and cut down to a rough single sentence means that you will need 'Windows 10' to use in conjunction with the Xbox One.
Well 'Windows 10' was on offer to download for free up to 29th July - though I believe that if you didn't pre-order then you will have to pay £99.99 for this upgrade (something that they didn't mention at the briefing).
My cousin had downloaded 'Windows 10' and his opinion is that it is a load of 'c..p'. Many others have decided not to take up the offer. We did try but we got an 'error' message so deleted everything and won't bother.

I have to admit that the one thing that really did get my interest was new 'Elite' controller. Being able to programme the controller to your needs and the way that you play games sounds almost perfect. Play 'Call Of Duty' multiplayer games with a hair trigger rather than having to depress that RT trigger all the way. With a normal controller you can only re-arrange buttons but to refine what that button does has to be a plus.

Other things that are coming to the Xbox One are free to view TV and later the ability to record one programme while watching another or playing a game. The people at Microsoft are 'excited' about this - but I have to wonder why. I have freeview and there are things like iPlayer - cable and satellite TV comes with a recording device - so why would having this sell an Xbox One to me?

The other thing that became repetitive on the next 'live' transmission was that a) fans were listened to and b) fans were enjoying this, that and the other. This latter with a sweeping gesture towards the hordes of gamers at the stands. Certainly, getting hands on to so many new games for free is a great thing - but once out of the hall and into the cold light of day that enthusiasm begins to go down. I always have a preference to play those games that I know and trust - anything new and I tend to watch in-store to see what gets an early trade-in. Then again I am always wary of the hype - if something sounds too good, then maybe it isn't.

Gamescon hasn't sold me on anything - not even the bald headed, middle aged bloke who tried to sound trendy by using words like 'stoked' - but there is always one or two things amongst the offerings. The Elite Controller and the first look at 'Rise Of The Tomb Raider' which has Lara Croft doing things (like using the landscape for cover) that should have been a part of the previous game. Will have to wait until next year for the PS4 version though.

The three programmes available via the Xbox are interesting if you can get past the 'big sell' for why you need 'Windows 10'.

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