Feature Article

Was Microsoft Able To Live Up To Its E3 Promises For Xbox One Last Year?

Microsoft had a big show last year.

E3 2018 is right around the corner. We're expecting tons of big announcements during the big briefings from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and others. But before that, we're taking a look back at last year to go over what was announced and determining if each company lived up to their promises. We've already looked at Nintendo and Sony, so now it's time to check up on Microsoft.

Project Scorpio Becomes Xbox One X

The biggest news from Microsoft's E3 2017 briefing came at the top of the show. The company officially announced the name, price, and release date of its super-powerful console. So long, Project Scorpio; hello, Xbox One X. Microsoft also talked about how the console was its smallest and most powerful yet, while the company announced a list of games that would receive enhancements on Xbox One X. The list has grown substantially since then. Microsoft does not announce Xbox sales numbers, so we don't know how well the Xbox One X is doing. One thing is clear, though: many multiplatform games, including Assassin's Creed Origins, look and perform the best on X, so Microsoft has the advantage over PS4 in that department.

The Xbox One X
The Xbox One X

OG Xbox Backwards Compatibility

Backwards compatibility support for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One is one of the system's most popular and beloved features. So it was great news last year when Microsoft announced that original Xbox games would join the catalog. Although there are far fewer OG Xbox games playable on Xbox One than Xbox 360 games, there are some great ones in there, including The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Jade Empire, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Given the interest in and popularity of backwards compatibility on Xbox One (a feature that the PS4 does not offer outside of PlayStation Now), it will be interesting to see what more Microsoft does this year in that department beyond adding more games to the library.

Forza Motorsport 7 Looked Stunning

Its announcement was no surprise, but it was still impressive to see Forza Motorsport 7 for the first time during Microsoft's E3 2017 briefing. Running at 60 FPS and in 4K on Xbox One X, the game looked absolutely stunning; a powerhouse of graphical quality. With more than 700 cars on its roster, the game has one of the biggest lineup of cars ever in a racing game. It was announced for an October release, and it launched on time. Given the rotating schedule between Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon, 2018 would appear to be a Horizon year, so racing fans are looking forward to a reveal at E3 in June.

No Caption Provided

Cross-Play

Another big announcement during Microsoft's briefing was about cross-play. In a somewhat surprising move, Microsoft announced a big update for Minecraft that would allow people on almost every platform to play together. With the update, people on Xbox One can play with those on Nintendo Switch--and PC and mobile (but not PlayStation 4). Microsoft and Sony still cannot come to an agreement on cross-play, so PS4 is left out for now. It is encouraging to see Microsoft push so hard on cross-play and help unite the overall gaming community, and it's exciting to think about what other cross-play pushes we see from Microsoft this year.

PUBG On Xbox

So much can change in a year. This time last year, PUBG was dominating the battle royale genre, not Fortnite. Microsoft partnered with Bluehole to bring Playerunknown's Battlegrounds exclusively (at least for a period of time) to Xbox One. Microsoft announced the game would launch in 2017, and it did, arriving on the console in December. The game, which is still in an early access state, continues to be somewhat rough around the edges, but it is undoubtedly improved. The game's second map, Miramar, was recently added on the game's test servers. There was a rumor that Microsoft sought to extend its timed-exclusive partnership with Bluehole to keep the game off PS4 for a longer period of time, but no official word has come down yet.

Anthem Gameplay

Following its announcement during EA's E3 briefing a few days prior, Microsoft provided the first in-depth look at BioWare's new IP, Anthem, on its own stage. We saw a multi-stage mission play out, providing the first look at BioWare's Destiny-like multiplayer shooter that certainly looks very nice. The game was supposed to launch in 2018, but EA delayed the game; it is now due out on Xbox One--as well as PS4 and PC--in March 2019. After the shortcomings of Mass Effect: Andromeda, fans will be looking for BioWare to return to form with Anthem. Intriguingly, BioWare owner EA recently said it wants to involve fans with the development process for Anthem early on to help make the game better, and that is encouraging news.

Crackdown 3 New Gameplay And Release Date

Crackdown 3 for Xbox One and PC was shown off with an explosive, Terry Crews-filled trailer on Microsoft's stage at E3 last year. Microsoft also announced that it would launch on November 7 alongside the Xbox One X. That was exciting news for fans looking to pick up a new first-party game at launch. Unfortunately, Microsoft delayed the high-octane, open-world sandbox game, and it's now due out sometime in 2018. Some have suggested that Microsoft's lineup of exclusives is weak compared to Sony, which just put out the critically and commercially successful God of War on PS4. Being one of the biggest companies on earth (Microsoft is close to becoming a trillion-dollar company) fans will hope to see Microsoft flex its muscle at E3 with some big exclusive announcements. In addition to what's expected--a new Halo, a new Gears, a new Forza--all eyes will be on Microsoft to show that it can compete with Sony in the area of exclusives with new franchises. After all, we recently learned that Microsoft was opening a studio in the Los Angeles area to work on a brand-new AAAA game (yes, that's four As).

Game Reveals

A lot of big-name games were announced on Microsoft's E3 2017 stage, including much-anticipated sequels Assassin's Creed: Origins and Metro Exodus. Origins was released in October last year, and it proved by some accounts to be the return to form for the franchise that many were waiting for. Metro: Exodus, meanwhile, was originally scheduled for 2018 but is now due in early 2019. It aims to expand on the first games by giving players a more open sandbox to explore instead of the linear nature of the games that came before it. Also announced on Microsoft's stage in 2017 was Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game was announced for an early 2018 release date, and it made it; the game shipped at the end of January for Xbox One, as well as PS4 and PC. Microsoft has said it is committed to highlighting games from Japanese publishers at E3 this year, so it will be interesting to see what's in store.

Cuphead Release Date

After years of development and some delays, indie developer Studio MHDR announced Cuphead's September 2017 release date on stage during the Xbox briefing. The gorgeous-looking and brutally challenging Xbox One and PC platformer (that Microsoft partially funded) made it out then, and it was a big hit. By the developer's latest count, the game that looks like a Disney movie had sold more than 2 million copies. Given that huge success, gamers looking for a new challenge will be hoping Studio MDHR has something else to show this year.

To Recap:

Microsoft's E3 2017 briefing was understandably focused around clearing up the final questions about Project Scorpio, and the company delivered with those details and a smattering of other big news for fans. But there some notable omissions, too. Some left the show wondering where all the big game reveals were; after all, we didn't see or hear anything about the next Halo and Gears of War games, or anything totally surprising either. The $500 price point for the Xbox One X was also a shock to some. Microsoft had always billed it as a premium console with a price tag that would match the ambition of the system, but $500 (which is a full $100 more than the PS4 Pro) was still a lot for some to stomach. Microsoft is in second place right now behind Sony, and you should never bet against a company that wants to move up the ladder. Even if Microsoft can never catch Sony as it relates to hardware sales this generation, the company can do well by its existing player base and draw in new users with big game and service announcements that make the Xbox One an even more compelling purchase option.

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nintendians

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not that much last year, but curious about this year.

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Shantmaster_K

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MS needs to bring it this year.

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brimmul777

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Not interested in E3 17. Interested in E3 this year "2018".

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alaannn

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they had a better year than sony,but they could of did better,the xbox one x ive seen alot of people that have skyrim on the xbox one x say the xbox one x patch broke the game also they never increased the mod limit for skyrim or fallout so why buy a more expensive console if they wont use the power on gaming,they released good backwards compatable games but they should try and release alot more

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wwefan4ever

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@alaannn: Better year than Sony? HAHAHAHAhA are you drunk?


Sea of Thieves was a flop, Crackdown was pushed back to 2019, and State of Decay 2 was a flop. They showed off a Forza game which comes out every year.

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Pedro

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The answer is simple. No.

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derekscorp

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Microsoft is not near becoming a trillion-dollar company. They still have about $250 billion to go.

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Ant_17

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Nope. Glad they picked PUBG and payed for their lawsuit with Fortnite.

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BeefoTheBold

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"Some have suggested that Microsoft's lineup of exclusives is weak compared to Sony"

This isn't a suggestion. It's a verifiable fact similar to how it's just a fact that the Xbox One X is more powerful than the Playstation Pro.

4 • 
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SolEvolutis

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You did not mention the status on Minecraft's super duper pack. They have made no press releases about it since last year's E3.

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ballaShotCaller

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Edited By ballaShotCaller

They had a good E3 and delivered aside from pushing Crackdown 3 back but that was necessary cause that game needed work. Next gen will be Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, 4K, 60fps.

2 • 
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justerthought

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Edited By justerthought

@ballashotcaller:

Did MS deliver the promised native 4K 60fps on all games that was supposed to be the differentiator between the XB1X and PS4 Pro? No, and all the games turned out to be meh. It is a game console, right? Or just a replay machine for reliving the good days of the 360.

The only game that delivered was Forza 7. MS put all their eggs in that basket and everyone bought the console based on that game. One great game is just not enough to justify a game console. All the great multi-plat games where perfectly fine on the cheaper PS4 Pro which also had superb exclusive games as well.

Phil Spencer says be patient for the great games. But MS have been sleeping on the job as far as exclusive masterpiece games go, so be patient and be content with no great exclusives on your XB1X. Great games take 4 years to make so don't expect any great exclusives on the XB1X. Even if they start now, they won't be ready until after the XB2 arrives.

So you think next gen will all be about Dolby tech for movies. Have you learned nothing. The XB1 was crucified by Sony because it was designed as a multimedia machine. When someone wants to buy a game console, the last thing on the list is how good it plays movies. It's like going to buy a new TV and the shop says, this model only has an average picture but it makes great fried eggs. Not exactly what I wanted.

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Cenobyte

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Edited By Cenobyte

@justerthought:

Yeah I've been perfectly happy with my Xbox One X (Scorpio edition). And I most certainly have never purchased Forza 7 (you're generalizing). I also own a launch PS4 Pro, which I love too, however it's just a fact that when it comes to multi-platform games, they look and play better/smoother on my Xbox One X... comparing Overwatch or Assassin's Creed Origins on both platforms, which I have, there is a noticeable difference in fidelity. It's highly likely that if you owned both consoles you'd be doing the same thing... also I like that my Xbox One X has a 4k bluray player! lol Anyway, it's great that you have an opinion on the subject, just know that it doesn't necessarily line up with actual use cases out there in the world. :)

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Vodoo

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@justerthought: I don't think a single person actually bought an Xbox X to play Forza 7. That is not a system selling game by any stretch. It's a cool racing sim if you have the system, just like The Show is a cool baseball game on PS4, but nobody buys a PS4 to play it.

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deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

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@justerthought: I’m a Sony Fanboy and after watching Microsoft announce Scorpio at E3 2016 when did they ever announce every game to be 4K Native and 60 FPS compared to PS4 Pro? I have a PS4 Pro running on a calibrated LGB6 and I fully admit that Multi Platform games are getting destroyed by Xbox One X. It’s sad when the biggest “Sony Fanboy” is stuck in denial and doesn’t admit the truth, keep on using your magnifying glass when playing your PS4 Pro on ur 1080P HDTV. Plain and simple PS4 is a basic “Mid Gen Upgrade” while Xbox One X is the definition of what a “Mid Gen Upgrade” should always be.

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Creepywelps

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@ballashotcaller: 4k 60? Fat chance.

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Creepywelps

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They haven't lived up to anything since the gen started.

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Blaise0fGl0ry

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Edited By Blaise0fGl0ry

The only "exclusive" MS has be bragging about since E3 2017 is PUBG which still runs like a one legged dog on console. They are trying to ride the battle royal hype train all the way to the top, but I think they backed the wrong horse. They need more first party exclusives to make people care about new hardware. You can only coast on Halo and Gears for so long, and its been such a long wait for Crackdown that I have completely lost interest and bet it will be a mess when it releases. Sea of Thieves turned out to be a big fart in the water. What is the point of having the most powerful console if you have no compelling games to support it?

Sony has really taken the reigns for me over the past couple years. Probably because no matter what season it is they have something to get excited about and their is no shortage of good exclusives.

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PlaystationZone

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@blaise0fgl0ry: crackdown 3 won’t be better than past games I think. Know why crackdown 3 won’t be any good it’s because sumo digital doing game ya the company destroy lbp 3 with full of bugs and broken game .

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Blaise0fGl0ry

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Edited By Blaise0fGl0ry

@playstationzone: Yeah like I said Im not expecting much. Any game that is delayed more than 3 times usually turns out to be a train wreck.

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NSA_Protocol44

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Cant wait for some nice XBOX exclusives so i can play them on my PC.

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ConsoleHaven

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Not sure MS can do a whole lot to sway its fan base back from Sony. The PlayStation platform is incredibly compelling: with Pro you get (upscaled) 4K gaming, with PSVR you’ve got a comercially friendly introduction to VR with some really fun titles to play, a long list of exclusive titles from multiple genres, and multi platform games on the base hardware look and play their best on the PS4, with the PRO performing better than the X by most accounts (native 4K is very taxing which unfortunately gives a slight edge to the PRO in terms of performance). I really love my One X. I’ve been playing in Microsoft’s ecosystem a lot more since I bought it, but gamers who can only afford one console are mostly better off with the PS4 unless backwards compatibility is important to them and Forza and Halo are their all time favourite franchises.

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hughesyboozy

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@consolehaven: I have both consoles and love then both. They actually sucked me away from PC gaming, well that and the increase in price for GPU's and ram.

I think more often than not these days people own more than one console, it's not like the old day where you were either Nintendo or Sega fans. Obviously on sites like this you see the pettiness, because the internet seems to bring out the worst in people.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

Nintendo had a really good show, MS had a decent show and Sony basically phoned it in. As far as hype goes, the average person wasn't expecting a whole lot from Nintendo so they surprised and over delivered and more than met expectations. MS didn't have many surprises but people were anticipating the new hardware and they had nice presentation but again, not much in the way of surprise exclusives so they were a little under people's expectations. Sony being in the lead and still riding the hype train made for high expectations but their presentation was a real snooze. It's like they just didn't care and, as I said, could have just phoned it in. They did show some good games which is what E3 is all about but their enthusiasm and presentation were just bad so they were a little below expectations for me. Every year people say X company won E3, depending on their favorite brand. How you win a trade show is beyond me but people insist their console manufacturer of choice was the winner pretty much every year. Whatever.

By the sounds of it, MS is trying to hype their show a bit this year which is always a bad idea. Just have a show and stop tweeting about it before hand. Then you have Sony which sounds like its going to be a lot of multiplats and exclusive DLC but also a solid line up of games we already know a lot about but are still highly anticipated so hopefully everyone will have more well rounded show this year. Still hoping for an announcement of a proper non-3DS Metroid from Nintendo.

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csward

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@bdrtfm: From a fanboi perspective I suppose....

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

@csward: It has nothing to do with fanboism. Sony's show last year was widely panned as boring and underwhelming. So I was actually being rather kind. I play mainly on PC and the least amount of time on Nintendo so how is saying Nintendo had the best show and both MS and Sony performing under people's expectations considered a fanboi view? Please explain your logic behind that one. If I were being a fanboi, I would have said PC kills all or Xbox destroyed everyone. Yet I said Nintendo was the best show. Your reading comprehension needs a little work. I said one thing, you inferred something completely different.

Unless you are talking about how everyone thinks their console of choice wins every year then I agree about it being a fanboi perspective because, as I said, you can't win a trade show. It's a trade show, not a competition. You don't go to a boat show and walk out saying, "Man, Corsair Marine, really nailed it this year. They win the boat show hands down." I mean that's just stupid.

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j15reed

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@bdrtfm: If your not praising every move Sony makes it makes you a fanboy I guess..

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ballaShotCaller

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@bdrtfm: sonys show was boring I agree, it was just clips of games we already knew about and the only real news were some small vr titles

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Moviespot

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My half assed observation is that most of the gaming community thought Sony had a 'poor' presentation in 2017. Everyone was so hyped for Nintendo and believed they 'won' and that Microsoft was a close second. Personally I think Nintendo did quite well. Sony gave us everything they promised to and microsoft delivered a new console, though majority of the games they showed trailers for weren't even exclusives. Microsoft has to have a big year, and not one where it treats their fan base like shit showing multi plats. They need to prove they've put consumers money in the right places. Personally though all I want is starbound for Xbox or ps4.

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Thanatos2k

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@moviespot: Let's see what gamers actually said:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/poll/6747-who-won-e3-this-year

Nintendo, followed by No One, followed by Sony, followed by everyone else, followed by Microsoft....

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ConsoleHaven

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@moviespot: Yeah, Sony isn’t interested in giving shows anymore. They’re doubling down on last year’s formula it seems, showcasing all of their games on video with little to no dialogue in between. That’s what they announced anyway. Nintendo has had a really great year. They are riding on Wii U’s failure. Many games that should have come out in the twilight years of that platform were repurposed and are shipping in the first years of the Switch within months of their being announced, Metroid Prime 4 notwithstanding. That trend should continue this year. I don’t think MS will put much more effort into this current gen. I do believe they will take what they learned from making Xbox One X and come out swinging with their next console. In any case, it’s still one of the greatest times to be a gamer.

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kanekan-slaugh

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Came here for some salt. Already I'm not disappointed, fanboy/girls are always the same.

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Berrlett

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MS E3 2017 was an embarrassment, there was the reveal of the X at a whopping 500 USD/EUR and a bunch of "imaginary exclusives" most of which are actually timed-launch exclusives, mediocre looking indie titles so that they use the psychological argument of "we've shown 43 games" + Forza 7 (yet another Forza) so there was nothing to deliver and this is shown in Xbox sales that continued to decline. Sea of thieves ended up a disappointment, State of decay 2 looks to follow suit, Crackdown 3 with or without destructible environment on MP won't cut it. E3 2018 MS MUST (if its not too late);

1. Contract New Studios to operate under MS.

2. Introduce 2-3 NEW IPs at least one of which a potential AAA title with some sort of Xbox exclusivity either in full or special content (DLC/online features etc).

3. Reveal Fable is back as a project and entrusted to a good studio to work on for a 2019/20 release with some sort of Xbox exclusivity either in full or special content.

4. Wipe out the disappointment of Scalebound by re-announcing it as a revamped, renewed and in development soon by a good MS studio with some sort of Xbox exclusivity either in full or special content. .

5. Provide Funds, support and freedom of creativity to these studios and manage them for a long term relationship.

6. Make sure quality of previous MS/Xbox big titles such as Halo & Gears are excellent in both on-line and campaign story and other modes before announcing or releasing rather than doing more damage to famous franchises.

If you consider Sony a success in the console market and go to crack their vault to find out their secret of winning you'll find above formula or at least very close to it. No 4K, No Blue-ray playback, No Porsche on stage, No imaginary exclusives. When above points achieved, Backward Compat will look very good but first they need to establish a solid foundation.

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deactivated-5afeea4d8be41

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To answer the question of the article, no it didn't.

The Xbox one X was great but all the game announcements came across as rushed and obnoxious. We get it you need the appearance of exclusivity, but none of the games were up the standard of of say God of War or Spider-man.

This year they NEED to show Crackdown 3 in all its glory (assuming it has glory) and show it's destructible environments in multiplayer and show a slew of unannounced games. Crackdown is literally the only AAA game confirmed for this year and it's meant to be out in a couple of months!

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DustbusterGF

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So Nothing...till 2020

Cant wait for the XboxoneX to hit $199 then I get it.

6 • 
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Jako998

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Hardware? Yes

New IP? not really

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AlexOfBurg

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Absolutely they did, but so did Sony and Nintendo so.

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Barighm

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Actually, it's third. While the X1 sales are ahead of the Switch right now, the Switch's growth rate is WAY ahead of the X1's and should overtake it in a year or two whereas the X1 is winding down.

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XenomorphAlien

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@Barighm: Switch is a new gen, so no, it's not third.

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runstalker

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@xenomorphalienSame gen.

You can isolate it to Nintendo and say the Switch is the successor to the WiiU, but the Switch is firmly part of the same ongoing generation of consoles.:

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XenomorphAlien

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@runstalker: 3DS started off during the 7th gen, still an 8th gen console.

Wii U went head to head against the 360 and PS3, still 8th gen.

Dreamcast was a full two years against half of the 6th gen and went up against 5th gen consoles, still 6th gen.

Obviously there's gonna be more time between the Switch and the rest of the 9th gen consoles but that's only because the Wii U was such a flop Nintendo needed to jump start the next gen early.

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runstalker

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@xenomorphalien Then it's far more logical to look at the Switch as quite literally a mid-gen replacement candidate (due to predecessor's failure/abandonment).

And if we look at the multiplatform releases, if we look at the relative generation of spec - CPU/GPU generation and themes, shader generation, relative DX/Open GL generation, so on and so forth -- the Switch is firmly part of the current gen.

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XenomorphAlien

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@runstalker: I've never heard of a console maker releasing two consoles in the same gen.

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runstalker

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@xenomorphalienA testament to the abject failure of the Wii U, rest her soul.:

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Naughtydog94

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@xenomorphalien: It's not though. How can it be next-gen when the next-gen is not even happening for 3 or so years?

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XenomorphAlien

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@naughtydog94: Because Nintendo ended the Wii U. Ever hear of a company making two consoles in a single gen?

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Naughtydog94

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@xenomorphalien: They're both still part of the same gaming generation though. We've been in the eighth generation since 2012, and no amount of new consoles from one company during that period is going to change that.

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XenomorphAlien

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@naughtydog94: Actually we've been in the 8th gen since the 3DS came out in 2011, but still, let me restate my question:

Ever hear of a company making two consoles in a single gen?

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runstalker

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@xenomorphalienPS4 Pro and Xbox One X: Also part of the same generation, and same family of devices and software as their lower-spec brethren.:

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XenomorphAlien

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@runstalker: Those are just upgrades though. They play the exact same games and have the exact same features, the Pro and X are just amped up versions.

The Switch and Wii U are entirely different consoles. Hell, Wii U support was wiped out to make way for the Switch.

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