The Xbox One generation was certainly an interesting one for the brand, especially coming from the heights of the Xbox 360. The Xbox One started out with a fairly serious and competitive attitude behind it, but that has largely dwindled over the generation. It was almost more exciting when there was an intense side of competition. It felt like the platform was battling for customers, and that just doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
While I don’t hope for doom and gloom towards any of the major platform publishers, there was something enticing about the brand being more confident. The boldness to go out at events such as E3 and really come swinging with what they marketed as being the best line-ups. That may not necessarily have panned out, with examples such as ReCore, Scalebound or Crackdown 3 being basically disappointments.
Still, there was a sense that these games could have been something to drive the group forward. Nowadays there’s a real casual attitude going towards the next generation. It’s less about getting consoles out there, and more about driving up growth. Growth is great and all, but it doesn’t necessarily get people behind the platform. I’m personally looking forward to playing games through project xCloud, and love the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
At the same time, it seems like they really don’t care where the games are played. It really seems like that actually. There’s not a real sense that you need the Xbox console to enjoy games. It seems like many exclusives will be sent off to Nintendo Switch in the future, and everything is on PC basically. This is beneficial in regards to hopefully making sure those games reach more players, yet at the same time it doesn’t build confidence on the console side. It’ll be really interesting to see what Xbox Scarlett can do when it kicks off the next generation, yet at the same time it’ll need a more confident and competitive push behind it.
It sounds like it’ll be powerful, and I highly doubt Microsoft will give up industry lead performance/spec wise after the start of the Xbox One generation. That being said, power will only take you so far. There needs to be a created sense of desire for the particular console. When you look at the Playstation 4, it feels like a hardcore gaming console and Sony has worked hard to make that so. It has had a plethora of high selling, high quality exclusive titles over its life span.
That has gone further to building a hardcore identity, and that’s going to be a starting point when it comes to the Playstation 5 which will likely go head to head with Xbox Scarlett in what’s assumed as 2020 for launches. Placing Halo Infinite at launch was a bold move, and maybe they are bidding their time to really come strong with the launch. If it’s done right, maybe it’ll hit the magic the series once held. Not to say the Halo franchise isn’t doing well now, but there was a point of absolute dominance in the gaming space for Halo games.
That’s not to say that Xbox doesn’t have anything else too enticing, the widespread Backwards Compatible library is glorious. A number of the titles are enhanced, and they will hopefully push that forward on Scarlett. The Project xCloud streaming could be a big deal for expanding the experience past the home console and Xbox Game Pass is doing well. The subscription service seems well loved, and it feels almost essential now. There are also many newly purchased studios working on somewhat exclusive titles, and that could pan out well in the next few years. The big question for those studios is whether they’ll deliver at launch for the platform, many of them are still working on existing titles to release as multiplatform games.
It really does feel rather calm on Xbox these days, especially after E3 2019. They showed a lot of games, but mostly just cinematic moments and nothing gameplay wise. Even the big first party Gears 5 didn’t get any sort of proper showing. That’s supposed to be a headlining title for Xbox One and it seems like a very relaxed release. Other than that, there really isn’t anything coming out that isn’t available elsewhere. They are likely saving things for E3 2020, and what’s where they should go more competitive. Create another sense of why the Xbox Scarlett is the console for gamers. Get a bit more of a “flex” out there with the expansive library of historic titles, the push towards future streaming and of course the Xbox Game Pass. Let people know why these benefit them, and what makes the console special.
Less cruise control that seems to be the attitude right now, and more that they really want to carve out a place in gaming, console wise. While it’s always good for gaming to grow overall, there still needs to be a sense of hunger for the customers. To push them into your ecosystem, otherwise you sink into the realm of just being a software group. Eventually software will be the “thing” to be down the road, but there’s still a home console generation on the horizon. This will likely be an even softer reboot for gaming than in past generations, but it’s still a reset point.
It would be great to see a very competitive and eager Xbox throughout the next year towards the new consoles, hopefully that’s what’s presented. Whatever does happen, it is exciting to think about the extra power, the new games and the hidden surprises for any consoles releasing for the next generation of gaming. You can read our preview of Project xCloud from E3 2019 below, or the Xbox One X hub for coverage of that console.
Read our Project xCloud Preview
View our Xbox One X Hub