Microsoft is hyping up Xbox customers again, with hints of “one of the most exciting years ever.” In a written statement, Phil Spencer talked about what’s in store for Xbox in 2017.
Much of the talk surrounded the Halo franchise, with the upcoming release of Halo Wars 2. Spencer put a big emphasis on its availability for both Windows 10 and Xbox One, referencing progress and achievement sync across platforms.
Of course, there’s also games coming from Microsoft’s partners. Sea of Thieves will fall this year, as will State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3. Two Xbox classics will also return, Phantom Dust and Voodoo Vince. The latter will feature a remastered version on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam.
Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program is also producing some games this year, including the exclusive Cuphead. This combines with Below, Thimbleweed Park, Tacoma, and We Happy Few. Naturally, the Redmond giant will continue it’s backwards compatibility, though there’s no indication of which title will be next.
In fact, Microsoft is keeping its cards close to its chest in general. The blog post doesn’t mention further details about new IPs. This is something on everyone’s mind after the cancellation of action-RPG Scalebound.
The reason is pretty clear: the company is saving that for E3. We now know that the Xbox press conference will fall on Sunday, June 11, at 2pm PDT.
It’s also when we’ll hear more about Microsoft’s new console, codenamed Project Scorpio. The specs will likely arrive in full, and we’ll soon know if the claims of “most powerful console ever” are true.
In particular, it will be interesting to see how it fares against the PS4 Pro, whose early release forced Microsoft to announce prematurely. On paper, the console will support native 4k versus PS4’s checkbox technique, but some fans are skeptical of that possibility with the information provided so far.
Whatever the case, Xbox in 2017 could change the course for Microsoft. The console has begun to close the gap with the PS4, and its success will likely hinge on what happens next.