Microsoft has created a lineup of studios that have been primed to provide a great experience, with a service model that will expand to new audiences. To say that Xbox fans have a weak console generation would be appropriate. This is not to say that the company does not have some great games, but it is a much weaker generation than other platform holders.
Both Nintendo and PlayStation have delivered some of the greatest games on their consoles so far, and sales of each respective platform have raised that critical acclaim. But despite the Xbox One lagging, 2020 is building as gamers await the Xbox.
It may look like a bait-laden headline or a piece that was designed to snap ideas, but the reality is that this article exists in an incredibly unique way as Microsoft became a medium in recent months has gone. Is using whom gaming is watching. Console wars are feared, though sales are still incredibly important for the immediate success of the business.
Microsoft sees a very comprehensive plan of expansion through services. Not unlike how the company already extracts a large portion of its profits. Of course, this doesn’t mean that some great games aren’t the route to the brand-new Xbox Series X or even the current Xbox One, but 2020 is a major turning point for the gaming side of the tech giant.
We know that there are some next games Microsoft is working on. Halo Infiniti, Everwild (a new game from Sea of Thru developer Rare) and recently unveiled Hellblade. 2. Featuring a returning chief, this ramp is the only confirmed release in 2020.
There are sure to be several other great launch versions for the next-gen Xbox console to be shown before release on next year’s holiday. Of course, the current players won’t be left in the dust either, as Battletod and Bleeding Edge from the newly-acquired Ninja Theory should create some waves on Xbox One.
These are only a handful of games, but the real excitement is what we don’t know. Rumors of a new Perfect Dark and the return of Xbox are a conservative game in the studio’s works, and both will be welcomed with open arms from gamers.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of studios such as Obsidian, Double Fine, and the aforementioned Ninja Theory should prove to be massive in creating a steady stream of exclusions for Xbox fans. And it should be noted that these will not be just exclusions, but head-turns, to be in the same vein as The Outer Worlds of Obisidian who was nominated for the Game of the Year 2019 Sports Awards.
However, more than this Microsoft wishes to go beyond its platform to secure an audience. Microsoft’s game streaming service, known as XCloud, has been paired with Xbox Game Pass and possibly wipes out cloud gaming competition with the killer trifecta of exclusivity, accessibility, and affordability. But before cloud gaming makes its expected waves, Microsoft is already expanding its platform with support from rival platform holders such as Nintendo and Sony.
For example, Minecraft gained cross-platform play on the PS4 through its Bedrock update (which required an Xbox login) and Microsoft released several games such as Switch on Orion and The Blind Forest and Cuphead. Hell, they have Banjo and Kazoi, who can join Nintendo’s own Super Smash Ultimate.
Such collaborations are paramount in building an ecosystem that players can invest beyond the hardware built by Microsoft. More new players, more success. This is a simple formula, but one that seems simple when players distance themselves from the anti-consumer stance of platform exclusion as it currently stands. 2020 is going to be a very interesting year for the Xbox, and those willing to place bets on the current underdog can’t wait to see what awaits them.