When you look at where XBox was when Phil Spencer took over and where it is now under his leadership, it is completely night and day. Under Phil’s guidance, you have seen the release of 3 XBox models (XBox One S, XBox One S All Digital, and XBox One X), the start of Project xCloud, the creation of an adaptive controller, the creation of the Gamer Pass, and Microsoft has acquired some formerly third party studios to become first party studios. That is an impressive list of accomplishments, and it makes you wonder how would XBox have fared this generation had Phil been in control since the launch of this console cycle.
Microsoft has been somewhat quiet one what they are bringing to E3. They have however said this is going to be the biggest presentation they have ever done and they will be showing off more than a dozen first party titles. You read that right, more than a dozen first party titles. It has been awhile since Microsoft has had that many first party titles at E3. We know Halo Infinite will be at E3, and although I am more of a Playstation/Nintendo fan, I have always loved the Halo series. The teaser trailer that was show off at last years E3 was nothing short of gorgeous. I truly hope they bring the series back to its roots because honestly, ever since Bungie departed, Halo hasn’t had quite the same feel to it. We also know that Gears of War 5 is in production, and with all the chatter surrounding the new Gears, I would be surprised if Microsoft doesn’t have Gears 5 at their presentation. This is also the year we should be due for a numbered entry in the Forza Motorsport series. I would expect us to see some updates for Sea of Thieves. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see what makes up the rest of that dozen or so games. Over the last two years Microsoft has acquired several studios including Obsidian and Ninja Theory. It would nice to see something on what they are up to. One game that has had a ton or rumors lately is Fable. Fable was an extremely enjoyable series and XBox One fans deserves a proper entry into the series or a series reboot.
Now where I think Microsoft will truly shine is with their future based announcements. First, I would love to see more about their Braille controller that was recently patented. Phil has been a huge proponent of gaming for everyone regardless of their ability. I think it is fantastic that they have made the adaptive controller and looking to make one for the visually impaired. We also know that Microsoft has 2 new Xboxes on the horizon. I feel that Microsoft is going to pull back the curtain on both of them. They may not full show the full model, but I think they may at least give us a peak, much like they did when they teased the XBox One X, known at the time as Project Scorpio. Lastly, I think we will get a lot more information on Project xCloud. We know that Microsoft will be starting their beta later this year and it will be running on the Microsoft Azure cloud server technology to do something similar to what Google Stadia will be doing. I think Microsoft is in a much better position for this. Where Google is limiting it to tablets, laptops, PCs, and TVs, I feel that Microsoft is going to be gunning for a lot more. There have been rumors for months now that Project xCloud would be coming to the Nintendo Switch. I personally would love to see Halo playable on the Switch. It isn’t far fetched for these rumors to be true as the once XBox exclusive game Cuphead, released on the Switch the middle of April. For all the rumors, we know one thing, the Microsoft Press Conference will be packing a lot of games into their time slot, and I am excited to see what they are bringing to the table, both for their fans in this generation, but also what they are brining to the next generation.