If you have been following the E3 hype, you probably are well aware that Microsoft has been playing their cards close to their vest. After the beating they have taken since the launch of the Xbox One, it isn’t unreasonable to think that they may want to keep any radical updates under wraps until their press conference on Monday. All we really know up to this point is that gaming is changing a bit and Microsoft is touting some things that have “never been seen before”.
This has to have you wondering what those things could be. Is Microsoft going to launch a Kinect 3? Will they also unveil a VR headset alongside the HoloLens? Are they 10m Xbox Ones in houses currently going to rise up and enslave the world? I dunno. What I do know, however, is that lines have been blurring on the console battlefield, and Microsoft has been a strong proponent of seeing that change happen. Could this have anything to do with their big unveiling? I think it is entirely possible, one way or another.
Rocket League just became cross compatible on all platforms, it’s currently one of the most popular games being played on the internet. Overwatch has taken the world by storm and Blizzard has already said that Xbox and PS4 players playing together is indeed a possibility as well. What if Microsoft’s big unveiling is that they will be allowing Xbox One owners to play select titles with PlayStation 4 owners. It would change the industry in amazing ways. Imagine not having to make sure that you and your friends all have the same console if you want to play together. Hell, even games that have active playerbases could become even stronger. Imagine if you could be invaded by Xbox One players while playing the PlayStation 4 version. It would be wonderful.
There’s also a few other scenarios we can look at while we are talking about the ideas of cross compatibility. Xbox One has turned Windows 10 into a big thing for the console. Could it be possible that they decide to embrace the PC games and create a compatibility for popular PC games on the Xbox One? Imagine if League of Legends or World of Warcraft were to come to a console. It would be a whole new user-base for those games. It wouldn’t kill the PlayStation 4, but it would land a solid blow that could help them gain some ground in the platform world again. Plus, the idea isn’t something completely alien, as you can stream to and from the Xbox with many different things. Even a cautious partnership with Valve doesn’t seem completely out of the picture. I mean, Valve wants PCs to be more like consoles and Microsoft wants their console to be more like a PC. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a match made in heaven.
The other possibility is that Xbox and Oculus could potentially become bedfellows. For those unaware, Oculus uses it’s own launcher for the games. This keeps Vive players from playing Oculus titles and PSVR players out as well. If Microsoft were to incorporate Oculus support into their titles, while allowing Oculus games to run on their platform, they would have a system that would be almost a necessity for VR owners. It may not seem like a big deal, but the world of VR is a major tilting point for the future of gaming. If Xbox can get that in their back pocket, they are setting themselves up for the future.
This is understandable a lot of speculation. We’ll find out Monday morning what it is they have up their sleeve. It could be something obvious, like the official announcement of the Scorpio or something completely out of left field, like a portable Xbox device. Either way, they show will have its share of surprises and we can only wait with baited breath to see where the next year in video games will be leading us.
What are your thoughts? What do you think we’ll see? What do you hope to see?
I can tell you one thing, the next year will be an interesting one!