Xbox One S/X – State of Play

If you take a peek into the future of Xbox you have to admit that in terms of first party games it is looking bleak. Beyond early 2018 there doesn’t look to be any longevity and with a rather short list to look forward to, it is looking grim.

Beyond a poor looking Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Forza 7, Sea of Thieves, Super Lucky’s Tale and PUBG there isn’t much more in terms of exclusives coming for the system, which brings me onto my main point. With the Xbox One X releasing in November the main reason to upgrade is for the extra graphical power that the console brings.

Poor NPD performance over the last few months and especially last month where the console came third to the Nintendo 3DS, it’s no lie that the X has to try and bring something to the table to revitalise the console, and in this writers opinion that is only going to be done by bringing a mass wave of exclusives. I have seen people mentioning that Xbox no longer has exclusives as all the games exclusive to Xbox also go onto PC. Well, I will say that to me they still are exclusive as Xbox uses a variant of Windows 10 for its operating system, so it would be designed anyway for Windows 10, so bringing that game to Xbox would also mean that it would be easy enough to design for PC, there would only need to be a few tweaks for performance etc, but as they share the same operating system, it is still technically one environment which will make development for both Xbox and PC much easier.

I really want the Xbox One X to succeed, I am a gamer, I have an Xbox One S and a PS4 and enjoy playing on both of them and there are games that are coming out on both which I am thoroughly looking forward too.

The one downside of this is that there are considerably more games coming to PS4 than there are on Xbox One. The games for me are what give a console their identity and is also how a console can be remembered from generation from generation. Xbox at the moment isn’t going to live long in that memory, sure, it’s had Gears 4 which you will see from our review was a masterpiece, Halo 5 was good, but could have been better. There have been exclusives on Xbox, but they have been that sporadic that they don’t stick in the brain for long and in total for 2017 Xbox will have had only 7 exclusives…. 7? That is poor, and it is no wonder that the console hasn’t been selling well and is losing out to the PS4 when the PS4 for 2017 will have 30+ exclusives, that makes a big difference when it comes to the image of a console, and for PS4 this looks like it will run right into 2018 with games like Detroit, Days Gone, Spiderman etc.

After the E3 conference, Phil Spencer said that there are more games in development and they are trying to pick this up but they won’t be ready for another 2-3 years, which in my opinion might be too late, or could give the console a final boost at the end of its life cycle.

One thing I will give credit to Microsoft for is the support that they are giving to the X in terms of games that will be upgraded. So far there are 100+ games that are showing on Major Nelson’s website that will be upgraded, and at the moment the support on the PS4 pro is only around the 40 games mark.

So it does look like that Microsoft is making sure that there is going to be at least one game that everyone owns that you will be able to take advantage of the extra graphical power that the Xbox One X boasts.

The X is an impressive piece of kit and one that one day I would love to own, but in the current climate I can’t justify paying £450 when there aren’t that many exclusive games coming out for it and just paying for a graphical upgrade when my S hits 4K anyway would be a bit silly.

For the S/X to gain that momentum it needs those exclusives that are going to wow people, it needs that identity to help give it a push and get the sales going.

Halo and Gears every other year isn’t going to help with this. Its identity needs to come from constantly evolving exclusives, surprise your audience with new games. Quantum Break had so much potential and don’t get me wrong, it was a brilliant story line and very unique with the live action sequences and more of this is needed, more single player experiences are needed. Just look at games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, the Yakuza series, all bringing brilliant stories and single player experiences and this is something that Microsoft needs to capitalise on. These are the games that people are going to remember on PS4 and there isn’t anything at the moment other than Gears 4 and maybe the Forza series that shines for Xbox.

At least from what Phil Spencer said we know that games are coming to the system but they seem a fair way off. Fingers crossed we will get to see something at next year’s E3 to get the Xbox Train up to full pace.