Yeah I was actually going to post an E3 2019 anticipation thread yesterday but realized it’s still WAY too early lol. But given that MS is the last remaining of the big 3 console manufacturers to be appearing with a full stage show at the biggest event in gaming, I’m kinda feeling like this year, and perhaps moreso next year are going to be VERY telling for the Xbox brand and its future.
I feel like we’ve had a few years now where Phil Spencer has more or less acknowledged the lack of first party support, which is good. It’s also good that they’ve gone out and purchased several studios and I’m fully aware that the fruits of their labor won’t materialize in the public view for years. I totally get that.
But given that those devs are almost assuredly developing for Scarlet (for the most part), I have to wonder what Xbox One’s legacy will be.
I mean, when I look back at the original Xbox, I saw the birth of Halo, Fable and Forza along with several games that haven’t quite made the transition throughout the generations such as Bloodwake, Crimson Skies, MechAssault, Quantum Redshift, Crackdown (until recently), Chronicles of Riddick, NFL Fever, Steel Battalion, Oddworld: Strangers Wrath, Mass Effect, Jade Empire, Project Gotham, Amped 1 & 2, Buffy 1 & 2, Conker, Tao Feng, Kakuto Chojin, Rallisport and several exclusives from Sega including Gun Valkyrie, Sega GT, House of the Dead 3, Toe Jam & Earl 3, Jet Set Radio Future, Shenmue 2, Otogi 1 & 2, Unreal Championship 1 & 2 and Panzer Dragoon Orta.
I’m not going to go through all the 360 exclusives, but suffice to say there were many and they were varied throughout the genres. But I look at Xbox One and I see… Halo 5, Halo Wars, Forza Horizon 2, 3 and 4, Ori and the Blind Forest, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3 and 4, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdive, Gears 4, Cuphead, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, Titanfall, Ryse, Crimson Dragon… I mean, it doesn’t take long before you’ve gone through the high tier titles and you’ve reached the 6’s and 7’s and there’s probably only about three or four 9 or perhaps 10 caliber games in there.
I bring this up because I can look at the original Xbox and Xbox 360 and I can associate certain legacy games with them; certain classics that more or less defined that system. Maybe it’s too soon to look back for the Xbox One, but what are the defining classics of this system? I’d say Killer Instinct is up there, but would most casual, non-fighting game fans say that? I suppose I’d probably go with KI, Sunset Overdrive, Ori, Cuphead and maaaaaybe Sea of Thieves?
I don’t really consider racing games too much given that each title tends to render the last one more or less obsolete, and I fully expect that to happen when the first Horizon game comes out on Scarlet.
All of this is perhaps a rather long way of saying that I think it’s time MS puts Xbox One in the past and I think we’ll see the beginning of that in June at E3. But I think in order to successfully do that and perhaps curry some favor with fans they may have lost this generation and perhaps even more importantly, fans that aren’t quite sure they made the right choice with XB1, they really need to show out.
They have to let us know that Scarlet is going to be a system with a massive amount of HIGH QUALITY exclusives that cover a wide variety of genres. They need to show that they have Japanese developers on board making exclusives for them the way they were for Sony throughout this current generation, because that was a substantial advantage for Sony regardless of whether you preferred RPGs like Persona, Souls-like games along the lines of Ni Oh or action titles like Yakuza… Name a genre (except for shooters) and Sony had an advantage based on this alone.
It’s entirely possible that they’ll have to have not only the most powerful console, but also the cheaper console AND they’ll have to do a significant amount to show fans across several genres that they have you covered, and not just one game her and there. They had Killer Instinct at launch and still lost a majority of the FGC to Sony. They need to show that their ecosystem is the place to go for the kind of games you like and that’s a very tall order.
Gone are the days where they can point to multiplatform titles and say “yeah we have a bunch of games in that genre” because it doesn’t fly when Sony has those games plus several others that MS doesn’t have.
Sony lost a lot of support in the PS3 generation by overpricing their console and perhaps not having the level of exclusives they had in the PS2 and PSone eras. MS lost a lot of support in this generation for the same exact reasons. Sony came back strong with a ton of exclusives in a wide variety of genres and beat MS on price. I’m VERY curious to see if MS can return the favor in the coming generation, because I think that’ll be a very tall order.