2017 is turning out to be a relatively slow year for Microsoft’s Xbox One platform. The number of exclusive games announced this year is quite low, and with PS4 launching its Pro console and the introduction of the Nintendo Switch, the innovative and thoughtful move of Microsoft releasing the Play Anywhere app still fell short of its competitors’ success. Microsoft also left us feeling a little bit disappointed with last year’s E3 show. A lot of questions were left unanswered and fans were not pleased. We’re hoping at this year’s E3 Microsoft up their game and deliver some answers about what’s to come.
What We Know
On the forefront of fan’s thoughts, I’m sure, is curiosity around what information they will reveal about Project Scorpio. And let’s not beat around the bush here. Microsoft’s Project Scorpio has been a big topic, especially now with E3 just around the corner. Announced shortly after the Xbox One, fans felt a bit jaded about Microsoft’s approach. With that said, I wonder if Project Scorpio is the driver for such a quiet year? Details are slowly surfacing about the project, and surprisingly, information regarding the new console’s hardware specs have already become available to the public. I can only then assume, with such important detail being released, that the price point, release date, and expected games on release will be on the forefront of everyone’s interest. Microsoft have a lot of questions to answer in this department. It’d be very disappointing if these points weren’t covered. Let’s hope this is a good move with Xbox One still being quite a young console.
Before we talk about what we hope Microsoft will deliver, let’s cover off what we already know will get some kind of a mention at E3. The line up of games expected to be covered off are listed below. My hope is that Microsoft give their fans some detail about what’s on offer with the below games on the Xbox One or Project Scorpio.
- Destiny 2
- Star Wars: Battlefront 2
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Far Cry 5
I think many people will be interested to know if Project Scorpio will be able to support the above games, what the purchasing process will be, if their current Microsoft accounts are even compatible, and if the games they already have can be ported over. I think it will be critical to Project Scorpio’s success if these games are available early on in its release. I’m very interested regarding this point, as I believe many other fans are too.
What We Hope
Whilst the expected announcements are already… well… expected, there are some important games which have not yet had a lot of details provided about them. Games like State of Decay 2, which is a highly anticipated zombie apocalypse shoot ’em up, has had some neglect from Microsoft regarding release date. It should be high on their priority given that “Coming 2017” has been the banner of the website for some time now. Very little news is available about the game and the last post provided by the developers was on the 14th of April outlining potential features for the game.
Cuphead (shown below) is another game that has seen some neglect since it’s initial announcement in 2015. The highly anticipated indie game already has a large following, but with such little detail being provided by Studio MDHR and Microsoft, fans will potentially start loosing interest.
It seems like there is a pattern forming here. Ashen is another prime example of a game announced and then neglected in its coverage. Ashen is expected to be a beautiful RPG with a comprehensive story-line. It’s advertised as an open world experience with high risk combat and a non linear narrative. Its art style has many gamers excited for its release. But this game is another former 2016 release, now delayed into the unknowns of 2017 with little follow up from Microsoft.
What We Hope continued…
This list is quite long, and rightly so, and it’s probably very clear by now that we’re expecting a lot from Microsoft as they have a lot of ground to cover. My next hope is that Microsoft announce or at least indicate that Forza Motorsports 7 is in the works. We haven’t had a Forza Motorsports release in some time now and with the fan base growing through the highly successful Forza Horizon IP, we’re desperate to know if Microsoft will be improving on Forza’s predecessor for some high adrenaline, fast paced, car racing goodness. Whispers continue about the release of this game, and snipets of videos have emerged about Microsoft collaborating with Lamborghini. But, no hard evidence is available to even claim this game is coming to existence. We can only hope there’s a time slot in Microsoft’s schedule set aside for its mention.
Before those out there still living in 2015 get mad at me. Sea of Thieves is the next game that really needs some attention. If you ever wanted to become a pirate legend, then this certainly seems like the right game. However, with little details regarding the release date of this game, many people interested have been waiting for details to emerge since it was originally announced at E3 in 2015. That’s a long time to wait! Rare is the company working on the development of this game and they post regular updates regarding the progress of its development on their YouTube page. However, it’s not yet clear how far they have to go before its release. Many suspect that it is certain to be a highlighted game during E3 this year, and that could purely be because Xbox exclusives have been so few and far between.
And finally, the one many of us are pretty much sick of waiting for, and one that’s been slowly ageing in the “Coming Soon” realm, potentially for the longest time yet, is Crackdown 3. With two predecessor games, Crackdown is known for its high thrill action. Another exclusive due to release this year, the original concept for this game was initially detailed in E3 2014! Since then it has had little news about progress and it’s hard to pinpoint details regarding what we can expect with the new iteration of this game. Information about the city being run by Xbox Live is floating around and we also know the city will be destructible, but this information is open ended and not very useful. Will Microsoft lift the lid on Crackdown 3? Only time will tell.
Even with the list above, not everything I mentioned may be detailed. I also did my best to uncover more detail about exclusives due to arrive for Microsoft but most are whispers of uncertainty, highly speculative remarks or just satire poking fun at Microsoft. With such a large fan-base, and the ability to Play Anywhere, you’d hope that Microsoft would pay attention to the opportunities available to them for exclusive releases given their unique approach to connecting their platform base. With E3 just around the corner, I’m not quite sure Microsoft will have enough to tide us eager fans over. I’m hoping this isn’t true. Hopefully they do themselves and the community justice and set themselves up for a strong end to 2017! Is there anything not mentioned on this list that you’d like to see announced or detailed at E3?
We’ll find out during their official conference, Monday 12th June at 7:00am AEST.