The next generation console wars have begun with big opening salvos. What was supposed to be a momentous year for the Xbox and PlayStation brands with big live events have been relegated to online reveals. Nevertheless, gaming is still poised for a big year when both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are launching at the end of the year.
Sony has already shown off their upcoming games for their console and Microsoft took center stage this past week sharing the plans for their newly acquired studios and their focus on their Game Pass service for console and PC.
The Big Guns: Halo Infinite Gameplay Demo – Master Chief is back to his classic roots
The Halo franchise has a huge fanbase in the West for a good reason – it revolutionized what FPS games can be for consoles and the staggering amount of online options has made it the blueprint for many aspiring developers. Halo Infinite is due to launch by the end of the year and it looks like the series has gone back to its roots after the divisive opinions of the later titles.
Master Chief’s new armor is reminiscent of his iconic Halo 3 armor, there are new toys to play with including the Grappling Hook, and it seems like this will be set in an open world environment. With the Halo franchise finding legs once again with the PC ports of the classic games on Steam, Halo Infinite is looking like what the fans of the franchise have been yearning for. The highly anticipated game launches on Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC at the end of the year.
State of Decay 3 gets a teaser trailer
One of Microsoft’s new franchises that have been gaining momentum is State of Decay. The well received first game and its sequel has a different take on the open world Zombie genre and seems like it has all of the elements of a genre-defining game. While the 2nd game had more divisive opinions but they both couldn’t quite put it all together to become classic games.
The announcement of State of Decay 3 is a very welcome development for Zombie fans and they are THIS close to perfecting the formula. The game will launch on Xbox Series X and PC.
Forza Motorsport shows of the Gorgeous new Capabilities of Next Gen
Forza has been a cornerstone of the racing genre and has been the benchmark for great racing games since it basically took over from their main competitor Gran Turismo. Racing games always know how to put the extra shine on their hardware and Forza Motorsport looks to do the same for the Xbox Series X. The trailer showcased in-engine footage with very impressive looking vehicles, tracks and ray-tracing lighting that will surely drop many jaws when it’s ready for launch next year.
Polyphony Digital has dropped the number from the franchise (which was supposed to be 8) and this could mean that they will continue with this entry for a long time via updates. Racing fans have always something to look forward to on the Xbox platform and this looks to be no exception for the excellent racing series.
Rare’s Everwild gets shown off in trailer
Rare is one of the most well-loved studios in Microsoft’s arm and their gorgeous new game Everwild looks to be a game that connects you to nature and the magnificent looking animals in their new world. While there’s not much we know about the game, it gives off a lot of Breath of the Wild vibes which is a good thing.
This game seems like it’s going to take a while before release, but this looks like it has the potential winner for Rare studios and for the Xbox Series X and PC libraries.
Avowed looks to be Obsidian’s answer to Skyrim
Obsidian Studios is one of Xbox Studios’ highest profile acquisitions and their track record speaks for itself: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout New Vegas, The Outer Worlds and Pillars of Eternity.
Avowed looks to be set in the world of Pillars of Eternity but with a new first-person twist ala Elder Scrolls. While this looks to be quite a while before release, this is definitely one of the games I am very interested in.
Grounded looks to be Honey I Shrunk the Kids as a proper video game
Obsidian Studios is very busy nowadays and Grounded is their survival game that’s inspired a lot from the classic 1989 sci-fi film. The hilarious trailer gives a shoutout to Cyberpunk 2077 and this looks like a very fun game for all ages. If Rust and other survival games are your thing, this looks like something worth looking into.
They recently released a demo for the game on Steam as well and it goes on Early Access for Xbox One and Steam next week.
Psychonauts 2 gets some Jack Black music in psychedelic trailer
Psychonauts 2 has been a long time coming for its fans and it looks to get a major musical boost with non-other than Jack Black’s music. They showcased a lot of gameplay in the trailer as well and platforming fans will be in for a big treat. Unfortunately, the game has been delayed (again) to next year but better late than unfinished.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 gets announced for 2021
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise hasn’t seen a release since 2009. That’s a long time for the well-received survival-horror FPS franchise. STALKER 2 has been delayed and cancelled several times over the past decade and it’s finally set to release very soon.
A lot of classic locations were seen in the trailer and fans from 13 years ago are definitely rejoicing and the series might just get a needed boost from next gen. If you’re curious to see what Chernobyl looks like and you’re a fan of horror this is definitely a very intriguing game for you.
The Medium looks scary as hell, in a good way
The Medium gets revealed more in this new trailer, showing off what the duality gameplay will look like with you controlling the character in the normal world and in the “other” side and it looks like a game that will shake even the most hardcore horror game fans out there.
The psychological horror and visuals look like they are definitely not for the faint of heart and I can’t wait to see more of this game in the near future. To add to the horror vibes, Bloober studio got legendary Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka to compose the music for the game.
Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis gets announced in a next- generation upgrade
PSO is coming to the Xbox Series X in a big way – New Genesis will be a new “entry” to the series celebrating 20 years of PSO. It will be a huge update for existing PSO2 players with a totally new graphics and game engine, basically doing what “A Realm Reborn” did for Final Fantasy IV.
Sega has been focusing on PSO2 for the west and while it’s not been a smooth release, this might just accelerate and ease new players into the game.
Fable gets announced in a surprise trailer, fans rejoice
One of the most requested games for Xbox fans is a sequel to the fan favorite Fable series. And say no more, Xbox Studios has finally announced the next game in the series only called “Fable” so far. While we don’t know anything about the game yet, it’s certainly something to look forward to.
Even More Trailers – Tell Me Why, The Gunk, Outer Worlds DLC, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, CrossfireX Story Trailer etc.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon
As Dusk Falls:
CrossfireX – Story Trailer:
Xbox had a lot more in store for those looking for more games. The Gunk is by the renowned Image & Form Games creator of the Steamworld series, As Dusk Falls is a story-driven game by former Quantic Dream/Sony developers and the CrossfireX campaign is done by Remedy well known for the legendary Max Payne series and Alan Wake.
Game Pass is looking like a VERY enticing deal for Xbox and PC players
Pretty much every game shown off in the showcase is coming to PC along with Xbox which leads to the question “What’s the point of buying an Xbox?”. The point is that Xbox is now more than just a console – it’s a service now that encompasses PC gaming (which runs on Windows, Microsoft’s main platform). Whatever is announced for Xbox is good for the PC platform as well, isn’t that great?
They want to earn your money not only by buying a console box, but also for PC gamers with a focus on cross play and offerings such as Game Pass and offering their games on Steam and Windows Store. If you want to play on PC? Great. If you think you want an Xbox console to put on your TV for these games, even better for them. Consoles are sold for a loss anyway especially for the first few years. It’s software sales that actually makes the money.
Game Pass already has over 10 million subscribers globally for Xbox and PC and its definitely Microsoft’s biggest weapon in the “console” war. All of these games announced plus cloud streaming for $9.99 a month is too good of a deal to pass if you’re interested in even 3 games in the library that’s growing very quickly. Microsoft is leading by a huge mile in the search for the “Netflix of Games”. And they have the more powerful console in theory as well to back it up.
Unfortunately, Game Pass is not available in the Philippines in this time of writing, but the Xbox Games library is at least very reasonably priced on Steam, just in time for big releases such as Halo Infinite.
Did Microsoft have a good showing compared to PlayStation?
I’d say yes, they had a pretty good showing this time around. They showed that their upcoming console and Game Pass will have a huge library of games, and while there were complaints of having too many CGI trailers instead of gameplay, keep in mind that most of these games are due in the year or two, just like the PS5’s games.
I would say they were on equal ground in terms of content with the PS5 showcase, with the PS5 having more questionable indie inclusions during their showcase (ahem Goodbye Volcano High). While the PlayStation brand definitely has the upper hand in terms of mind share, market share due to the huge success of the PS4, and their domination of regions such as Asia, the Xbox division shows that they want to take a different approach with Game Pass. The industry has certainly changed and gaming is on the rise, and we have all of these great games on the horizon.