Earlier today, Microsoft debuted a new take on the game news livestream format that began with Nintendo Direct over a decade ago. The Xbox Partner Preview featured updates on Alan Wake 2, Metal Gear Solid Delta, and more, but for me, the most notable update did not involve a specific game, but instead the program itself. The Xbox Partner Preview was a major improvement upon previous Xbox showcases, and, for the first time since that first Nintendo Direct in 2012, it feels like we’ve seen an evolution of the format.

Robocop: Rogue City's post-trailer image.
Robocop: Rogue City’s post-trailer image.

QR = quite resourceful

The first addition I noticed were the brief still images that followed every individual announcement. Having covered my fair share of PlayStation State Of Play presentations, the idea of posting blog updates while things are being announced is nothing new. However, devoting a few seconds to mention said blog posts–and even link to the posts via QR code–was a novel idea.

If there was a game I was particularly excited for, I didn’t have to wait for the blog post to appear on its own, or the livestream to end before I loaded up the trailer again. Through a simple QR code, I was right at the information I sought, and I learned everything I wanted to know about the game I’d just seen in an instant. What’s more, that QR code allows Xbox to share more detailed information on each game while keeping the presentation moving at a good pace, without slowing things down to get into nitty-gritty details. While Nintendo doesn’t do the running blog post method, Sony would certainly benefit from taking a similar approach in future showcases like State Of Play.

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