Though E3 is practicing its own form of social distancing by staying home for the year it hasn’t stopped publishers and platform holders from running their own events. After a less successful start to their announcements leading up to the Xbox Series X launch, Microsoft are promising bigger things this time around. Their livestream is scheduled for the end of the week and is meant to be all about the games with more on the upcoming console to be revealed the following month. How it plays out we’ll know soon enough but there’s no harm in throwing in a few “guesstimates” at this stage. Grocs shared his thoughts earlier this month and so now it’s my time to be making my usually bad predictions. 😉
- Game Pass will replace Xbox Live Gold. With the subscription service taking off it’d make sense to fold everything into the one offering. With xCloud streaming soon to arrive it makes the offering viable for users on any platform it supports.
- More developers added to Xbox Game Studios. A lot of rumours have been circulating of more teams joining Microsoft from developers like Techland to publishers Sega and WB Games. The truth will probably be very different but the end result will be more games available for Xbox, Windows and Game Pass and if Microsoft have enough studios to guarantee new content regularly it makes it far easier to keep people subscribed.
- Oculus will have something for Xbox. With Mixer saying goodbye in favour of Facebook Gaming this could be one of the reasons why it happened so fast. It might be far fetched but its also the most straightforward way for the console to get into the VR space quickly.
- More old PC franchises to get resurrected. With a large number of studios under the Xbox banner there comes the possibility that some may want to dabble in old franchises they wouldn’t have had a chance to touch in the past. And for Microsoft it might not just be new studios they’d be after but the IPs too to allow that freedom. Similarly…
- Rare will (finally) be going hard on their IPs. Of all the developers part of Xbox, Rare is the one that has the biggest portfolio of games, including many that existed long before their purchase by Microsoft. They’ve never really tried to take advantage of that in a substantial way but Game Pass may be the means to do so. Battletoads is on its way but others like RC Pro Am or Jet Force Gemini could work nicely as smaller scale games and could be welcome additions on Xbox.
- Halo goes free to play. Want to bring old fans back to your new console? Have your biggest franchise become free for everyone to play. Halo Infinite‘s title could certainly hint at it adopting a different model to past games so if it’s under the “games as a service model” the possibility is there. Chances of it happening though? NOT LIKELY!!! 😀
Let’s see how it goes… only a few more days now to find out!