E3 is upon us and boy, is it a big one for Microsoft and all things Xbox. With their Xbox One upgrade Scorpio – the only home console capable of true 4K gaming, don’t you know? – due for a proper unveiling, Microsoft simply have to impress. Here’s what we think will go down in Chinatown. Or LA.
Xbox Scorpio Name, Price and Date
Let’s get the easy ones out of the way – yes, the Scorpio will get its official name, a price point and a release date. You can call me Sherlock.
The rumours at the moment are that the old Scorpio will be called either the Xbox One Elite or Xbox One Ultra (so 90s). However, Microsoft seem to be pushing Scorpio as a brand already, so a smart bet would be that – the Xbox One Scorpio. Price point is a little more straightforward, Microsoft would be absolutely mental to go over the $399/£349 threshold, but they are a company with a mistake in them.
Release date is pointing to somewhere around October 13th – Scorpio enhanced Middle Earth: Shadow of War has just been delayed to October 10th, which makes this quite likely.
Show Opens With Forza 7
Again, another obvious one. Racing games are always good to show off what a console can do visually, and there’s nothing better than Forza in this regard. Expect a Forza with all the bells and whistles on, in particular with a heavy emphasis on the recently launched streaming platform Mixer.
New 1st Party Exclusives and Dates For Others
We have to be honest – Microsoft have fallen way behind Sony when it comes to the quality and quantity of exclusive reasons to own their console. This has to change with Scorpio.
We know games development isn’t easy, and we know Phil Spencer wanted to shake-up the make up of Xbox’s gaming division when he became head of Xbox. There’s been some heartache along the way (Lionhead and Scalebound to name but two), but we should finally see the progress this E3.
Expect 2017 release dates for Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2, and an early 2018 date for Sea of Thieves. The smart money will be on some teases for AAA games for late 2018 too.
Third Parties On Stage
Sony have been hoovering up the marketing rights for many games that have been linked with Xbox for a while now, recently adding FIFA to the likes of Call of Duty and Destiny. Microsoft need to reply in kind.
Expect to see Middle Earth: Shadow of War showcased on Scorpio along with the first (official) reveal of Assassin’s Creed: Origins with marketing deals for both.
Don’t rule out some kind of partnerships with Japanese developers either, as Phil Spencer has recently been tweeting about his visits to the East. Regardless, third-party support is something Microsoft used to be much better at and they need to get back at the top table with Scorpio’s release.
Indies, Game Pass and Backwards Compatibility
Could this finally be the year of Cuphead and Below? The former is more likely than the latter, in our opinion. Don’t rule out a “AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW” curve ball either, we all love that.
Expect a big push from ID@Xbox either way, with a few being added to Game Preview and the newly launched Game Pass. Game Pass is something to keep an eye on at this E3 – the free trials for gold members will be expiring around E3 time, and Microsoft will want to be giving gamers an incentive to sign up to what is, currently, a lackluster line-up for a service with tonnes of potential.
Finger crossed for a few tasty additions to backwards comparability – and an outside bet for original Xbox additions.
A teaser for a new Fable, developed by Rare. Come on Phil. Please? Just to close out the show.
If not the above megaton, expect something special to close the event. We’ve just been told that the show will last longer than the usual 90 minutes, so the line-up is going to be packed (hopefully not a full 10 minutes given to Minecraft again, eh?) – but the closing game needs to be something special. Something that’s going to set the tone of what we can expect from Scorpio and Xbox going forwards. Something to get everyone talking for the rest of E3.
That something is Fable. (Most likely a new IP from a new 1st party or 3rd party exclusive).
- Dave Green @davidpgreen83
What are you expecting to see from the big M at E3? Let us know on Twitter @lowfatgaming, on Facebook or in the comments below.