Microsoft’s July Xbox show has come and gone, leaving us without many of the things we were hoping for. We still have no idea when the Xbox Series X will launch or how much it costs. We have no clue when xCloud will officially go live for the world. And as far as Project Lockhart goes, the rumored second console remains just that — a rumor.
That doesn’t mean Microsoft’s show was without news, however.
New Xbox Game Studios projects
In addition to showing off Halo Infinite, Microsoft announced several new Xbox Game Studios titles, including:
- As Dusk Falls
- Forza Motorsport
- State of Decay 3
Forza Motorsport was probably expected from most, though the reboot aspect of its name change might not have been. Fable might fall into the same camp of being expected, thanks to rumors making the rounds about Playground potentially making it. Avowed is a new RPG from Obsidian, which should demand attention despite the fact it looks a lot like Skyrim right now. State of Decay 3 will likely be more State of Decay. And As Dusk Falls is an interesting looking narrative title from Interior Night, which was founded by former Quantic Dreams designer Caroline Marchal.
Add those to a first-party lineup that already includes Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and you have a pretty nice list of Xbox Series X titles. And those will be joined, by the way, by five more games confirmed for Series X upgrades: Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Sea of Thieves.
Everything on Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft’s show may have lacked heavy hitters from big third parties, but there may have been a reason for that. Throughout the presentation, Microsoft repeated that everything viewers saw would be available on Xbox Game Pass. Everything, including some lesser-known third-party projects like The Medium and The Gunk.
In a neat twist for Destiny 2 fans, Microsoft also announced that Destiny 2 would be coming to Xbox Game Pass, as well. Now, you may have one single eyebrow raised at this point, and rightfully so; Destiny 2 is a free-to-play game. What Microsoft meant, however, was that all of Destiny 2 would be joining Game Pass, including the upcoming Beyond Light expansion. Not bad.
Some confusion still exists
To put it bluntly, Microsoft really needs to get its messaging together. Trying to figure out which games are coming to Xbox One and which are solely for Xbox Series X is a cluster right now. Trying to parse terminology like “console launch exclusive” is equally frustrating.
What Microsoft needs to do is shoot straight. Be honest with gamers about what they can play a game on, when they can play it, and whether or not it’ll be available on something else in the future. Microsoft needs to channel its inner Ghandi — “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you don’t like dodgy language, timed exclusivity, or anything else that leaves gamers feeling more confused than empowered, for God’s sake, stop doing it.
We’ll have more for you about the Series X as additional announcements come.