With their enticing subscription model and a lengthy back catalogue with some of the most successful games in history, Microsoft – through Xbox – has been in the forefront of the gaming industry for years.
And while we believe their dominance isn’t going away anytime soon, the gaming giant does have to ramp up the quality of their console exclusive titles ASAP.
Year after year, Sony has taken increasingly larger bites out of their market share in part because Microsoft’s latest exclusive titles haven’t been that good. State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves might have been huge sellers, but critics have given them lukewarm scores and players felt the titles were more than underwhelming.
Sum to that a string of high-profile delays, cancellations and studio closures and we have enough to speculate the company is struggling in their original content front.
This year, Microsoft put together their biggest E3 showcase ever, not only having a heavy presence on the Convention Center floor – where the main expo will be held – but also taking over the Microsoft Theater located just across the street.
During their E3 press conference, the company echoed the fan’s sentiment towards their exclusive titles.
“Listening to the fans about how important exclusive games is is really important to us,” Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Xbox, told CNET in a post-presentation interview.
“If fans ask us for exclusives and first-party titles, that’s where we’re going to focus.”
The company unveiled a trailer for their latest Halo instalment, titled Halo Infinite, dubbed by the company as Master Chief’s “greatest adventure”.
Microsoft also announced Forza Horizon 4 will be set on roads across Great Britain’s countryside, unleashing a premiere trailer and a stunning gameplay demo.
Ahead of E3, rumours were circulating that the company would expand the Gears of War universe by introducing two spin-offs alongside a traditional sequel, one of them allegedly being a real-time isometric strategy title similar to Halo Wars, and the other a new battle royale reimagining.
Indeed, Microsoft confirmed the 2019 release of Gears of War 5, debuting the first gameplay trailer. The rumours also proved to be true regarding their strategy title, as Microsoft unveiled Gears Tactics, a new PC turn-based strategy game set 12 years before the first Gears of War.
But what surprised the attendance was the lack of any Battle Royale game. Instead, the company announced… wait for it… a Funko version. Yep, Microsoft stunned fans revealing Gears Pop, a title described as a “mobile Gears experience with an official Funko Pop twist”.
Looks kind of fun, but who asked for this?
The ill-fated game Crackdown 3 was first planned for November 2017, then delayed to 2018, and now Microsoft has confirmed that it will be finally released in February of next year. The tech giant showed a new trailer featuring good ol’ Terry Crews blowing up stuff left and right.