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Xbox's Aaron Greenberg promises to learn from disappointing Inside Xbox show

Call Of The Sea
Call Of The Sea (Image credit: Out of the Blue)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's upcoming next-generation console.
  • It's 2-3 teraflops more powerful than the PlayStation 5.
  • Yesterday, Microsoft revealed a number of amazing games coming to the system.
  • However, many titles didn't showcase gameplay and that left fans disappointed.

Yesterday, Microsoft revealed a number of games for Xbox Series X, the upcoming next-generation console that's 2-3 teraflops more powerful than the PlayStation 5. While many titles like Bright Memory: Infinite and Scarlet Nexus got gameplay trailers, other games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla showed in-engine footage, but not what it was like to play the game. This caused a lot of disappointment because everyone was expecting proper gameplay for all of the titles.

Microsoft is aware that people were disappointed and vowed to do better. Xbox's Aaron Greenberg said on Twitter, "Had we not said anything and just shown the May Inside Xbox show like we did last month, I suspect reactions might have been different. Clearly we set some wrong expectations and that's on us. We appreciate all the feedback and can assure you we will take it all in and learn as a team." Greenberg is the General Manager of Xbox Games Marketing.

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What's good is that the content was solid. Bright Memory: Infinite, Call of the Sea, Chorus, The Medium, Scorn, and others look absolutely phenomenal. The visuals definitely represent a generational leap, especially when you see the detail being shown for Bright Memory: Infinite.

Hopefully, June's event will be better and when the main showcase happens in July, it'll give us exactly what we want — Halo Infinite gameplay and first-party titles. Until then, let's play the waiting game. You never know, given yesterday's disappointing show format, we may get another show sooner rather than later.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

27 Comments
  • It's so hard for these marketing teams to just show real, actual gameplay, that it's appalling. I don't think they're hiding anything per se. Of course, cinemática are more spectacular and enticing, etc. But as with game trailers in Steam, they need to show the actual experience better. Not just carefully built mini-movies.
  • Bright Memory: Infinite was the best-looking game there and that was gameplay from what I understand. I think they just should've shown Assassin's Creed Valhalla gameplay.
  • Personally I thought that looked like a One game enhanced. By far the most impressive showing was The Medium. That has been confirmed to be no CGI. And a mix of cutscene and Gameplay. The game itself has fixed cinematic camera angles like Silent Hill used to. I've never seen graphics anywhere close to that game. That truly looked next Gen. And blew all the other games out the water. It's understandable if people thought The Medium was CGI. Or that no gameay was shown of it. The only thing I don't like is when Naughty Dog showed TLOU2 for example the first 3 trailers were all cutscenes. But somehow thats perfectly acceptable for Sony but not MS. SMH. The Medium blows anything anyone has showed so far away except for Hellblade 2 if that truly was game engine as was stated.
  • I agree. Everything other than Assassin's Creed Valhalla was amazing.
  • Naughty dog didn't advertise those trailers as gameplay trailers. There is nothing wrong with the videos shown, the issue is that marketers keep calling things gameplay trailers when they aren't. Developers have been doing it for the past couple of generations so I guess expecting it to change now is pretty ludicrous but honestly every single trailer shown at Inside Xbox could go either way, The Ascent is probably the most likely to be actual gameplay and maybe Call of the Sea. But we won't know until we see more. And I swear to God if one more person tells me "but it's in engine" I will freak. In engine does not mean gameplay.
  • Everyone makes claims of best graphics ever for any Naughty Dog reveal. Regardless of what is shown. Many ganes nowadays have just as much cutscene as it does gameplay. Especially games like God Of War for example. They are littered with hours and hours of in game cutscenes. That's thing with story driven games. They often don't have groundbreaking gameplay. Take TLOU 1. That game has pretty mediocre gameplay. And the stealth sections are often broken. With clickers stood right next to Ellie and not noticing her at all. But it was the story and cutscenes that drove that game forward. Especially thr last 30% of the game. I'd even argue the first 70% of that gane is nothing special at all. Everyone loves that game based purely on its linear story driven cutscenes and progression. Emotion. I don't see how it's any different for The Medium which is a heavy story driven 3rd person horror adventure. There will likely be a heavy amount of cutscenes and story. In ganes like these cutscene is gameplay. It is so vital to what the gNe is and its target audience its one of the most important things in games like these. Sure a few ganes didn't show ganeplay. But games like The Ascent, The Medium for example absolutely had some gameplay. We were also told at least in The Medium case they would show more very soon. That won't be at the July event. So it could come at anytime as it's entirely upto the Dev when they show more. It wouldnt be appropriate for example to show cutscenes in a Forza Horizon 5 reveal for example. But I'm totally fine with a replay mode being shown. Generally speaking replays in driving games today often look the same as the gameay, but with higher FPS and maybe higher resolution. Some added depth of field is about it. Most of the titles shown were just first reveals. But we did get an idea of what some 1st Gen games can do through titles like The Ascent and The Medium. Enough to at least make me want to see alot more about those 2 games. You can bet we will definately see a full gameplay demo of Halo Infinite. We already has the engine reveal in 2018. And the first ingame cutscene shown in 2019. But don't expect to see much more than 3 or 4 mins reveals for games that have never been seen before. Especially if they aren't releasing this year. Over the next few months expect the 3rd party devs to show off more as when they feel like it. Now they have been revealed. They will carry on just releasing more and more footage. But don't expect heavy story driven games to not show off Cutscene game engine when 50% of the game is in engine cutscene when you play through it. If you go back to Halo Infinite Slipspace engine reveal and compare that to the 2019 E3 7 minute cutscene in engine reveal it got more impressive. Or look at Gears 5. The only difference in cutscene to gameplay is they drop the FPS to 30 in cutscenes for Gears 5 and added some extra depth of field and had better character models. Like facial animations, normal animations etc. But they don't look vastly different from each other. Becazue in gameplay the camera isn't right yp in the face of the character. So it's hardly noticeable.
  • Why did you have to go into fanboy mode? Naughty Dog never announced gameplay trailers for TLOU2.
  • I didn't say they did. My point was none ever questions the visuals when they just see a cutscene trailer for Naughty Dog games. Maybe not the newest trailer due to the controversy surrounding TLOU2 and ND right now. But go back and look at any reveal for a ND game in the last 10 years. No gameplay per se, but every comment is how amazing the graphics are and how it's better than everyrhijf else ever. Yet not a single piece of player controlled footage was shown. People have always done this between the 2 companies. Praise Sony, and put sown MS.
  • You're still arguing a completely separate point, all you are talking about is graphics, I'm talking about gameplay which is what the showcase was advertising. Which is the only thing that should be discussed.
  • The only reason people want to see the gameplay is for the graphics. Otherwise just show the Xbox One version.
  • I'm skeptical about Bright's gameplay based on that trailer, everything about that video screamed Bullshot.
  • They have a larger preview on Twitter, it's gameplay captured from Xbox Series X.
  • Ah nice, I'll have to suss it out. I was just rather skeptical because I feel like those videos where it gives you a clear separation of each specific ability in a row just feel very fake and are never indicative of how the game actually plays.
  • I guess it depends on the collaboration between the 3rd party and MS. I imagine it would be challenging to "force" a 3rd party to so gameplay only. But agree more actual gameplay instead of movie clips
  • I think it was the presentation itself. 3 or 4 of the games looked really good. But the The Medium was the star of the show. It's a shame that that game didn't have a dedicated 10 mins to itself. Becaise the info that came out right after that through a developer interview is fap worthy. I'm positive over the next few months, The Medium will become one of this years biggest ganes alongside Halo Infinite. If you want to find out more info check out the developer interview here. https://www.gamespot.com/amp-articles/upcoming-horror-games-key-feature-...
  • I was a bit disappointed because this could've just been a regular Inside Xbox and just show games coming to the platform. They should of lowered expectations. I for one, knew this was just a taste and tempered my hopes. The games that we saw, IMO were to show the support they are getting from different parts of the world. Most importantly Japan, which we see these niche titles usually announced for PlayStation. But, they stumbled after being so good for the past couple of months with messaging. Next time they do a event, just show us the games that makes us want to buy a Series X. I don't care if is a Jpeg with the title name. Its time to put your money where your mouth is.
  • I guess it depends who you are. A Disappointing presentation means theres no games i like. For the most part just about every game i would seriously consider purchasing. Now if all you want is solo action games then maybe the issue is youre limited range of games you like.
  • This Inside Xbox was the first time Microsoft dropped the ball about next-gen messaging. Most of the games were definitely good looking. However, Microsoft went back to their old ways of over promising and under delivering. How can they not expect disappointed viewers after what they pulled? They literally had Game Play in the title of the show. So, people expected real, god honest game play with everything. Always undersell for something like this. Then if game play does appear people talk about it rather then talking about the lack of not-having it, especially where it was most expected. So, Greenberg's shock about the backlash is mind blowing to me. Sure some games had a some game-play (e.g. Ascent had some great game play and definitely a game I want to play) but several had very little (if any). And the one big game everybody came to see, Assassins Creed Valhalla, had none. At least nothing you could really, with straight face, call game play. And to make matters worst (ignoring again the title of the show had Game Play in it) all throughout the stream Xbox kept popping up messaging promoting AC would have game-play. Something like "stay tune for AC Valhalla game play" kept being shown. The one game people came to see is the one game that had nothing. I talked to a few people after the show and we pretty much agreed that there are some things that would best to follow additional reveals this year. Perhaps get rid of the people. There is very little you can do with each person having different lighting, sound and video quality (god Greenberg's video felt like it was done with a Malibu Barbie's Video Camera and and shot by a Ken Doll). So avoid all that and keep the people to a minimum. Perhaps take a page from Nintendo and do something like Nintendo Direct and Treehouse instead. And more importantly if you can't provide live stream in 4k (which this show was not streamed in) then don't do the show just upload it to YouTube and Xbox websites rather then stream from Twitch, Mixer, etc... at a subpar level. That part was about as disappointing as anything. Games running at 4K and 60fps were streamed at 1080p and 30fps max. Less we forget even 1080p is not 1080p with all that compression on streaming. Even if you had the bandwidth capability to stream at higher resolutions Microsoft did not provide for it on the Xbox Insider stream. That is just another ding against this show. Sure, you could now watch the each game in those higher resolutions after they were uploaded to YouTube later in 4K 60fps but, that is as they say day late and a dollar short. And believe me if you haven't viewed them in 4K go check them out on YouTube. These games look so much better then what was provided during the stream. At the end of the day take a page from Sony in how they sell games through events like this (e.g. God of War game play - actual real game play - sold me on the game years before it came out). And furthermore take look to Nintendo with their tight to the point Direct Treehouse videos.
  • I liked what I saw, but it was a low rent affair. Madden, that dinosaur one, and AC, were not for me. Pretty sure my Xbox can't do 4k... It's a launch edition. I'd like to see the uploads in 4k.
  • I think what they showed was fine, it just didn't match the expectations people had.
  • Same. Gamers will be Gamers, unable to just take things for what they are and constantly expecting the world on a platter.
  • Expectations for both Sony and XBox are being misunderstood. Take, for example, the PS5 Cerny Tech Breakdown. Many were expecting something less Techy and more focused on games. It was widely seen as a snoozefest . XBox's Inside XBox had built up expectations of a Mini-E3 and fell flat. People were expecting more gameplay and possibly a dash of what's to come. What we got was little gameplay, no teasers (for hardware of first party games). Personnally, I only found a handful appealing to me. The most anticipated for me was AC Valhalla and I still don't have a very clear picture of what to expect. It seems that marketing are so afraid to show real gameplay that trailers/cut scenes are the safest bet. Gamers want something to sink their teeth into.
  • I don't think they were misunderstood. I think the PS5 Dev thing, and yesterday's debacle are all on them, it was miscommunication by the companies..Sony actually hyped up the Dev talk as akin to a big reveal. MS, though undoubtedly having some excellent stuff to show, didn't show what they said they would. Trailers are great, but they pitched it as gameplay. I'll be honest, I liked all but three of the games. And, truth be told, I enjoyed the show. But it didn't deliver. I've deliberately avoided getting the One X, as I want to feel the upgrade to Series X. I'm on a launch console, and I'm hyped. One thing I don't see anyone mention is the fact that in years gone by, the Devs would have had another month or so of prep, had E3 happened. MS wanted to keep the momentum, so grabbed what they could, and in reality gameplay simply wasn't available in a standard that the Devs wanted to share. Hence why we didn't get any triple A fodder. MS literally had to scrape everywhere for this.
  • Potatoe/Potato.... Misunderstood/Miscommunication. I believe we're on the same page, just different wording. I'm surprised the presentation even saw the light of day. I do a lot of Demos and we always do a dry run or two before presenting. I would of did a couple dry runs, gotten some opinions, and made adjustments before doing the final run. I agree, that the 3rd party developers may have pushed the Trailers vs Gameplay too much.
  • Agree. Odd how they messed up, old Aaron G will sort it for next time. Can't be good being in charge of a misstep.
  • This show was fantastic. don't pay attention to the stans (rabbid ponies) that complain about anything. not worth apologizing over a good job. these stans will nitpick just about anything that doesn't fit their agenda. and when a good thing like this or back compat happens they find other reasons to whine and be salty. its depressing to see grown men ***** and whine over a console they never played or out of sheer ignorance.
  • shouldn't they have already learned from the Xbox One reveal??