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Pre-E3 2017 – Xbox

Jun 5, 17  | posted by xsuicidesn0wmanx (1760)

A look into the future of the Xbox brand. What we know, what we think we know, and predictions bordering on the absurd. Welcome to E3 2017.

It’s that time of year. Time to break out the decorations and begin the celebration. The eve of our favorite annual holiday is upon us. Whether you are a fan of a particular platform or just love games in general. The Electronics Entertainment Expo has plenty of gifts for gamers of all types. Throughout the week we will be taking a look at each of the three major console manufacturers plus the three individual publishers holding press conferences at the show. Join us as we prepare for the latest peek into the future of our industry at E3 2017.

We’ll be starting off the pre-E3 festivities by taking a look at the Microsoft Xbox. For the past year, Microsoft has been teasing us about having the biggest dong in the country. Now, the state fair is here, so show us what you got hombre! Scorpio is the obvious answer to what ails the Xbox brand, but it is not enough. Gamers want to see games, new IPs. Halo, Gears and Forza are great, but we’re tired of being force fed the same crap year after year. Take note of what Sony is doing and continue your quest to get back to your roots when Xbox was the most powerful console and took on the most risk. Bring back games like MechAssault, Crimson Skies, or even Brute Force. Xbox has the most to prove here, you’ve been punched in the face yet you keep talking shit. Time to show us what you got.

Join us as we will be taking a look at the few things we already know, a few things we believe will be shown, as well as a few predictions, including at least one ‘crazy’ prediction from each of us.

What we know:

This years E3 has been somewhat unique in that there hasn’t been very many leaks leading up to the show. Things got so bad last year that those of us following the Xbox brand knew nearly the entire show weeks before E3. Going into this years E3, seven days away, and not one single major leak. This is unheard of.

That does not mean we don’t have some idea of what Microsoft will show this year. We can say with some certainty that Microsoft will show off the latest Crackdown game. Ditto for State of Decay 2. No one will be surprised to hear Phil Spencer announce Forza Motorsport 7 this year either. And of course, Scorpio will be shown off, dated, and priced.

We also know a few things that wont be at E3. The developers behind the most recent Halo games, 343 Industries, have stated that they will be at E3, but not to show off a new ‘numbered’ entry into the Halo franchise. Phil Spencer has also already stated that he believes it is too soon to start talking about Scorpios’ VR capabilities, so don’t expect any partnership with Oculus or Vive announced any time soon.

What we ‘think’ we know:

There are a few things that we cannot confirm, but feel very confident about.  One of these is that Microsoft will announce an Open Beta for either Crackdown or Sea of Thieves soon after the show. Crackdown is a game that is surely to need a lot of testing due to it’s heavy use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers and cloud computing. Sea of Thieves is also a candidate for Open Beta since the game has been in a closed Alpha state for several months now.

We feel fairly confident that Microsoft will also announce a big addition to the Xbox One backward compatibility program. While this statement is quite vague, we feel it is necessary to bring the subject up since Microsoft has been fairly quiet on BC announcements the past few weeks. We have a few ideas of what this may be, but we’re saving the specifics for our Predictions area.

Finally, Microsoft will announce multiple deals to bring brands heavily associated with the original Xbox back to the Xbox stable. Games like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed will be shown in some form, while a classic first party game like Crimson Skies or MechAssault will be rebooted.

Predictions:

We expect to get a few things wrong, we don’t have as many inside sources as the big sites so we’re bound to make a few mistakes. But that’s what make prediction pieces so much fun. So what kind of article would this be if we didn’t toss out a few predictions, some believable, and a few that may get us some hate mail.

We mentioned that we’re pretty sure Microsoft will have a backward compatibility announcement for the show, but we’re split on just what that announcement may be. We all agree that full compatibility with Xbox 360 games is completely out of the question at this time. Yet we keep hearing a lot of chatter from various sources about backward compatibility for original Xbox games. This would also fall in line with Phil Spencer’s comments about wanting Scorpio to play ‘all of your Xbox games’. Phil knows there is a demand for this feature, and he surely knows that Sony is reluctant to offer a similar feature on PlayStation 4.  Even if they add BC for individual Xbox games, announcing that all 6 previous Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell games are now BC along side the Splinter Cell 7 reveal would surely be a big deal for fans of the franchise. Speaking of Splinter Cell, we think there is a fairly high chance that the game will be exclusive to the Xbox for at least one year, if not longer.

You may have noticed that there seems to be an original Xbox theme to our predictions, well we’re going to go all in on this idea. Xbox will announce they have renewed their partnership with Sega to bring classic Sega IP back to the Xbox brand. This could potentially bring back games like Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon, and Phantasy Star Online. You may think we are crazy, but the truth is there is a lot of evidence pointing to this being possible. First there was Phil Spencer’s trip to Japan to secure more Japanese support for the console. Then came Sega’s announcement that they were going to be investing a lot of money in reviving some of their old fan favorite IP. Now we’re hearing that Microsoft is one of the investors partnered with Sega to develop new and existing IP. It could be nothing, but we’re hopeful that 2 + 2 still equals 4, even in the Donald Trump era.

When you think of the best games on the original Xbox Ninja Gaiden always comes to mind. It should come as no surprise that Microsoft may have worked out a deal with Koei Tecmo to bring the popular title back to Xbox on an exclusive deal. Although this is just a rumor at this point, it makes too much sense. This also fits right in line with original Xbox theme and Spencers trip to Japan last month.

Now, it wouldn’t be an E3 2017 predictions article without taking a stab at the name and price of Project Scorpio. Honestly, we’ve been pretty much set on the new console being $499.99. There is too much new technology in the machine and too much power for the machine to cost anything less than $500. Plus Microsoft already stated that they expect the Xbox One S to outsell Scorpio this year. Not to mention they’re way too far behind in the sales race to possibly catch up to Sony at this point, so why take a loss on each console? But we can’t help but feel that way too many people who know more than us are saying $399.99. You ask anyone who considers themselves an Xbox expert in the games media industry what they think the console will cost, they’re going to say $400. As for the name? Well, we’re still split on that one. It could be the Xbox One X, or it may simply be called Xbox. Either way, we’ll be happy with either name, just don’t call it the Xbox One Two.

Not all of our predictions are built on the idea of bringing back the achievements of the original Xbox. One thing we have noticed is that a lot of Microsoft employees and top Xbox brass have been very open about their love for Player Unknowns Battleground. With Xbox having their own Early Access style Preview Program, we would not be surprised one bit to hear an announcement that Battleground would be coming to Xbox as a timed exclusive or more.

Crazy Predictions:

These are the wildest ideas we came up with and we are fairly certain will not happen any time soon. It’s fun to dream though. If you think we are absolutely batshit crazy and want to send us hate messages give us a follow on our Facebook page or Twitter so we can share your hatred with all 5 of our fans.

We think Microsoft will make another attempt at making their own party game like Nintendo’s popular Mario Party series or maybe even a Smash Brothers style game. While they’ve made two such games in the past under the Fuzion Frenzy title, it makes more sense to make use of all the great IP owned by Rare. Toss in a few of the characters from Microsofts other franchises and give it an adult theme with Conker as the main host and you could have the makings of their next big franchise.

But wait, it gets worse! We’d like to see Microsoft add ALL Xbox 360 games to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

No really, we’re begging for that hate mail here! Our final prediction. Microsoft and Valve will partner to bring Steam support to the Xbox consoles with mouse, keyboard, and Vive support. Half-Life 3, Portal 3, and Left 4 Dead 3 confirmed!

Please be gentle!

Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts/predictions are for the Xbox conference and be sure to join us for the live streams on our E3 2017 page. We’ll be chatting with you guys during each of the conferences starting with Electronic Arts Live @ EA Play this Saturday. A Twitch account is required to chat.

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