The Xbox One seemed destined for a strong 2016, and while the likes of Gears Of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and ReCore helped pave the way for the console’s best year on the market, a slew of cancellations and MIAs left fans wondering just how diverse and exciting the exclusives lineup was.
The cancellation of Scalebound sent shockwaves through the industry, which had seen the game as one of the console’s up and coming system sellers.
Crackdown 3 remains hidden behind closed doors, while Phantom Dust went from being a straight-up remake to a “Port+” (that’s snazzy industry lingo for remaster).
So what’s on the horizon for Xbox One?
Halo Wars 2 is about to drop, and Sea Of Thieves could be cool. Beyond that, it’s a fairly thin lineup.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer is confident, however, that the exclusives lineup will be bigger and bolder than what was initially planned leading into the year.
He’s also confident in the way Xbox Scorpio — which looks set to launch in late 2017 — will play Xbox One games.
A fan asked about the new IP planned for the console, to which Spencer responded by saying he had high hopes for 2017.
“I feel very good about this year,” he said. “Should have more first-party games than last year, great diversity, plus launching new IP. Good year.”
The cancellation of Scalebound prompted a fierce backlash from gamers, with many questioning Microsoft’s commitment to the console with Scorpio on the horizon.
Factoring in Spencer’s confidence of cross-platform functionality — and promise of more IP throughout 2017 — it’s encouraging to be an Xbox One owner right now, although it wouldn’t be hard to topple 2016’s exclusive output for the console.
As for Crackdown 3, a much-hyped and highly anticipated exclusive, Spencer insists it’s still on schedule.
It’s been more than two years since Microsoft first lifted the lid on its Crackdown reboot. With the console having just been released that past November and E3 2014 standing to be the first true battleground in the fight for console dominance, Crackdown‘s appearance turned out to be a winner for the console.
Approaching the end of 2016, we hadn’t heard or seen much of the game since its reveal. Some gameplay footage surfaced out of Gamescom 2015, but it was mostly centred around the game’s destructive environments and cloud-based save functions.
One of the Xbox brand’s most underutilised franchises appeared to be dead in the water, but turns out it’s still alive and kicking, and still destined for a release some time in 2017.
Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, responded on Twitter to queries about the game’s progress that it was indeed still in development, and was tracking along nicely.
“Yep, [Microsoft Game Studios] team still working on it,” he said. “Saw a build the other day, looked good. One thing I love about Crackdown: you know it from a single frame. The look is iconic.”
It could perhaps be one of the big exclusives to hit Xbox One in 2017. Fingers crossed!