Microsoft has made minimal announcements concerning their plans for 2017 and there has been no shortage of criticism sent their way recently (especially by me). As of now, Microsoft lacks exclusive titles for 2017, but still boasts a couple of potential game-of-the-year candidates in Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2. Time and time again, Microsoft has been able to surprise the gaming community at E3 and they are capable of shocking us all again this June.
#5 E3 surprises
Microsoft’s presentation at E3 is sure to bring with it some exciting expected and surprise announcements. Scorpio, Virtual Reality, and Sea of Thieves (which I will discuss later) are sure to take center stage, but it will also be intriguing to hear what new announcements Microsoft has in store. Will there be any new features announced for Scorpio? What unannounced exclusive games will be released for Xbox in 2017? What will be the Scorpio specific games at launch? Microsoft’s relative silence in regards to upcoming projects for 2017 is hopefully a sign that they have some big announcements in store for their conference at E3.
#4 Virtual Reality
Hopefully it is revealed at E3 who Microsoft will partner with to develop their VR, if they are developing their own, or what current VR system Scorpio will be compatible with. Scorpio will likely feature the best Virtual Reality capabilities of any current console and it will be interesting to see the caliber of VR specific games that they are developing. Microsoft has experience with developing high-end VR for the PC, so hopefully they can create a successful VR console.
#3 Backwards compatibility for original Xbox games
Backwards compatibility is a feature that Microsoft has been able to tout over their rival Sony. Microsoft could take it to the next level by adding the capability to play original Xbox games on the Xbox One (or their future consoles). This is not a far-fetched idea, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated via twitter a few months ago, that he has an interest in working on Original Xbox backwards compatibility. Hopefully this is one of Microsoft’s secret announcements made at E3 this year.
#2 Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is a unique IP, and could easily be the most successful “pirate” themed game that has ever been released. Sea of Thieves also promises to include some of the most immersive co-op gameplay that we have ever seen from a console game. Early gameplay trailers have shown that gamers will be able to explore the open seas hunting for buried treasure, engage in intense ship battles, and drink at in-game taverns with their best mates. A successful showing from Sea of Thieves would do wonders for Microsoft and will likely influence gamers who enjoy multiplayer games to opt for the Xbox console over their competitors. Hopefully delays do not obstruct the release of Sea of Thieves in 2017.
Scorpio has huge potential and will likely be the most powerful console on the market. Scorpio will feature immense processing power, huge visual improvements and 4K gaming capabilities. The ability to play PC games will be a feature that no console has done yet, and if everything goes well, it may be a staple feature that all future consoles will need to include. It will be interesting to see if the expected high-cost of Scorpio (confirmed to be higher than the Xbox S), will have a negative impact on the amount of consoles Microsoft is able to sell. Hopefully they offer a “trade-up” system that would allow a substantially cheaper price for gamers who trade in their Xbox One in order to purchase an Xbox Scorpio.