One week closer to E3 gamers! Another week, another preview to knock out before the big showcase. This week we have Microsoft. If you haven’t watched an Xbox E3 Briefing at some point over the last couple of years, to say they haven’t gone well is a bit of an understatement. The woes of the Xbox One all started at a disastrous reveal and presentation at E3 2013. Since then, the Xbox One has never been able to recover from the sales gap between it and the PlayStation 4. Is this the year they turn it around with the reveal of Project Scorpio?
Probably not. Let’s start with that, shall we?
What We Know So Far:
Yes, the official reveal of Project Scorpio will presumably take place during Microsoft’s briefing. We know the system specs and they are impressive. The big thing Microsoft doesn’t have is exclusive games. The biggest IPs for Microsoft – Gears of War, Forza, and Halo – have already made appearances the Xbox One. That essentially leaves no exclusive franchises to help push the Scorpio for its release. I know people have been waiting for it, but Crackdown 3 (if it’s even still coming) will not push the amount of system units to compete with the PlayStation 4. It just won’t.
What Could Be Revealed:
Microsoft’s Achilles heel has always been a weak exclusive games lineup. The Xbox One has suffered tremendously because of it. If Microsoft wants to push the Scorpio, they’ll need to show blockbuster exclusives at their event. They’ll need to show both their previously announced upcoming titles as well as some jaw-dropping new surprises.
Crackdown 3 would be a good place to start. Not much has been seen of it since last year, so a reminder that it’s still coming out would allow Xbox fans to breathe a heavy sigh of relief after Scalebound was canceled out of nowhere. It would also be great to see more of Sea Of Thieves. I would suggest it’s about time to show fans if the game has a single player mode, or if it’s strictly multiplayer only. We’ve been seeing this game for two years, and I still don’t have any clue what type of game it really is. Some clarification could either get me more excited, or make me realize it’s just not a game for me.
343 Industries has said that the will have something at E3 this year, but it won’t be Halo 6. I’m curious to see what it is exactly. One would think it has to be a new IP, considering Halo and all of their spinoffs (like Halo Wars) have already been deployed on the Xbox One and have failed to help it overcome the sales of the PlayStation 4. The other major Microsoft studio that has yet to announce future projects is the Minecraft studio, Mojang. I’ll be blunt in saying that I have absolutely no clue on what they could be working on.
That leaves two indie games to discuss that have made a couple of E3 appearances under the Xbox banner. Indeed, I wasn’t going to wrap up this article without discussing Cuphead and Pit People. This will be Cuphead’s third E3 Expo, and I want that game more than any game Microsoft has published in the last ten years. I’m a huge fan of early age cartoons, and the idea of playing a run and gun game like it seems like a crazy idea that could easily work. Pit People is also heavily on my radar of games that could cause me to boot up Steam for once just to give it a whirl. I’m a huge fan of The Behemoth studio because of their humor and the unique gameplay in their games. The notion of them releasing a RPG has me beyond excited. Finding out from my brother that the Early Access is really fun only made my level of excitement go up, so I hope more footage of the final game is shown in some capacity during the showcase.
That’s it for Microsoft. Could this be a turn-around year for the Xbox One and the yet-to-be-revealed Scorpio? I personally don’t think so, since Microsoft doesn’t tend to excite me at E3. As with all predictions though, I could easily be wrong.
Next week, we’ll look at PlayStation to speculate what Sony could have up their sleeve for the next year.