Yesterday, the long-awaited day for the Xbox team finally arrived. In their presentation, which lasted a little over 90 minutes, showcased a variety of new games, exciting new updates, and of course the next generation of Xbox hardware. Did you miss the conference or need a refresher on the biggest news? You’ll find everything you need to know, right here.
Project Scorpio = Xbox One X
It’s official, the most powerful console ever created (so far) is called the Xbox One X. Launching on November 7th at $499, Xbox One X promises to be the best place to experience first-party titles and the best games from Microsoft’s third-party partners. Xbox One X will be fully compatible with all previous Xbox One games and accessories, including backwards compatibility with select Xbox 360 games. The new Xbox One X is also the smallest Xbox console ever created, despite the power it has under the hood.
Xbox One X features eight custom x86 cores, 12GB GDDR5, 326GB/s memory bandwidth, a 1TB internal hard drive, and a 4K UHD Blu-ray optical drive.
Xbox One X Launch Titles
Xbox One X will launch with two notable first-party titles, Crackdown 3 and Super Lucky’s Tale, on November 7th. Crackdown 3 has been in development for many years now, but the game is ready to ship this Holiday season. A new trailer was shown, revealing the Terry Crews will be playing the main character in the game. Crackdown 3 is a game full of action, explosions, and experimental physics, so it should be an interesting test of what the Xbox One X can accomplish.
On the other hand, Xbox One X will also be launching with a 3D platformer called Super Lucky’s Tale. The first game featuring Lucky, Lucky’s Tale, was an exclusive game for Oculus Rift. Now it’s time for the little fox to jump from VR to a true 3D/2D platformer on Xbox One. Super Lucky’s Tale will feature both 3D and 2D sections, both with the features you would expect out of a 90s style platformer. Both Crackdown 3 and Super Lucky’s Tale will launch alongside the Xbox One X on November 7th.
Forza Motorsport 7
Forza Motorsport 7 was announced. Turn 10 Studios is taking advantage of the Xbox One X to present the most stunning Forza ever released. There will be over 700 cars to choose from at launch, including the return of the Porsche, which was presented on-stage with an actual vehicle. While Forza Motorsport 7 doesn’t redefine the car simulator genre, it does promise to be a worthy show-piece for the Xbox One X. Forza Motorsport 7 launches on October 3rd for Xbox One.
Minecraft’s Important Update
Minecraft is getting a major update this Summer, finally uniting players across different platforms. Players experiencing Minecraft on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices will be able to build together for the first time. PlayStation 4 is not taking part in this cross-play update. There is also a 4K update coming this Fall called the “Super Duper Graphics Pack,” which will add new textures to Minecraft on Xbox One X.
Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility
Ever since Xbox 360 backwards compatibility was announced for Xbox One, fans constantly supported the idea of having original Xbox games playable on Xbox One. Today, that wish came true. This Fall, original Xbox titles will be compatible on Xbox One, starting with fan-favorite Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. You will be able to use original discs and all digital licenses for original Xbox games will carry over. Players will even be able to connect their original Xbox console to the Xbox One X to play games via LAN.
First-Party in 2018
Microsoft provided updates on two major releases launching in early 2018, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2. Technically, both titles have been delayed, as they were expected to launch this year. For the first time, we got a look at State of Decay 2‘s gameplay, showing off the world and multiplayer component of the game. Sea of Thieves received an extended look into its gameplay, presenting new areas and quest objectives. Both titles are scheduled to ship in the first half of 2018.
A sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest was also announced at the Xbox briefing. Ori and the Will of the Wisps was announced, complimented by a live piano performance. While a release window wasn’t shared, we expect to see Will of the Wisps in 2018.
Microsoft’s Xbox briefing had a number of third-party premieres and updates. To start, we got a look into the next Metro game, titled Metro Exodus. The atmospheric shooter takes players through different environments as they fight off monsters with a limited amount of supplies. Metro Exodus launches in 2018. Another big reveal was Assassin’s Creed Origins, the next title in Ubisoft’s hit franchise. Assassin’s Creed Origins takes place in Ancient Egypt and adds a number of new ideas to the Assassin’s Creed series. Players will be able to explore the towns in Egypt, as well as the pyramids the era is known for. Origins launches on October 27th on Xbox One and PS4.
As for other updates, a new 2.5D Dragon Ball fighting game is coming early next year, Bandai Namco’s CodeVein will be a timed-exclusive on Xbox One when it launches in 2018, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War was shown with new footage. Square Enix also announced Life is Strange: Before the Storm on the Microsoft stage, a prequel to the original hit, Life is Strange. Before the Storm will be a three-part series, with the first episode releasing on August 31st.
BioWare’s new IP, Anthem, was presented with a full gameplay reveal. Anthem is an online, co-op, open world adventure game set in an exotic world full of dangerous creatures. Anthem is expected to launch in Fall 2018.
Surprisingly, a huge chunk of Microsoft’s conference was devoted to indie titles, and a lot of them are coming to Xbox first. Cuphead finally has a release date, which will release on September 29th, and so does Tacoma, coming August 2nd. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Deep Rock Galatic are also Xbox timed-exclusives, both releasing this year.
2018 will be packed with indie goodness for Xbox players, many of them being timed-exclusives. The Darwin Project, Black Desert, The Last Night, The Artful Escape, and Ashen are all releasing next year on Xbox One.
Our Take: Microsoft’s conference showcased a number of impressive titles, including a few exciting surprises. However, there wasn’t much to sell us on the Xbox One X. It’s incredibly disappointing that Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 have been delayed to next year, leaving only Crackdown 3 and Forza as the big Xbox exclusives this Holiday. It’s also worrying that there wasn’t any new AAA, Xbox exclusive announcements for 2018. We are incredibly excited to play Cuphead and Tacoma, as well as Metro Exodus and Anthem. The Last Night and The Artful Escape also captured our attention. In terms of games, this was one of Microsoft’s greatest presentations, but they completely failed to convince any of us to buy a Xbox One X.