The Xbox name has for more than a decade been defined by the likes of Halo, Gears Of War and Forza.
That it still faces the prospect of a dry 2017, however, demonstrates that regardless of how good your staple brands are, you need a steady flow of original and unique games to be appealing.
As the Xbox One heads into its fourth year on the market, it’s faced somewhat of a gamer backlash following a disappointing stream of cancellations and underwhelming exclusives.
While the likes of Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Horizon 3 and Gears Of War 4 impressed, its unique offerings in Quantum Break and ReCore struggled to impress, while almost every game revealed at E3 2014 has been cancelled or is MIA.
To say the Xbox team has a long road back to respectability is an understatement, although the likes of the Play Anywhere campaign, not to mention initiatives such as the Games With Gold program, help to reward loyal Xbox fans.
It’s the games that ultimately matter, however, and it needs more of them, and not just third-party games, of which it gets plenty.
The Xbox One needs more exclusive IP, and while there are plenty in the pipeline, fans are still clamouring for more.
Xbox head Phil Spencer has been quick to put Xbox gamers at ease, saying 2017 for Xbox One won’t be led by the likes of Halo and Gears Of War.
Titles like Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 certainly help, although the viability of the first one and the mystery of the second means there’s still work to be done by Spencer and Co..
Spencer tells fans that the games shipping throughout 2017 will be “different” for Xbox. Sea Of Thieves certainly fits into that category. Halo Wars 2 launches next month, although that’s hardly “different”.
Cuphead could be great, but it’s no system-seller. State of Decay 2? That should be good, but again, it’s not the type of game people buy an Xbox One for. There’s also Phantom Dust, but instead of a reboot, it’s now a remaster of the original. Again, not quite “different”.
It’ll be very interesting to see what Xbox reveals between now and E3, and what it unveils during the gaming extravaganza in June.
Xbox Scorpio will undoubtedly be on the agenda, so here’s hoping a lot of the “different” experiences initially planned for Xbox One are replaced by similarly intriguing and fresh new IP for Scorpio.
Monday 23rd of January 2017
Predicted this trajectory back in 2012. The Xbox 360's last few years seriously sucked with no exclusives other than Halo, Gears, Forza, and Fable. And so many of them started implementing microtransactions, argh. I have no confidence in MS, to be honest. Nearly 16 years in the console gaming business and they have so little to show for it in terms of first-party studios and IP investment, compared to where Nintendo and Sony were when they hit the same 15-year mark.
Friday 20th of January 2017
As an example......
I bought a Xbone S pretty much for Forza Horizon 3 and its UHD bluray player. If it didn't have the UHD bluray I wouldn't have bought it.
After getting my hands on it, I've played pretty much all the Xbox exclusives this gen. I've immensely enjoyed each of them......and surprisingly I had a great time with Sunset Overdrive.
I would love to see some new games come out for them in the very near future.