With E3 quickly approaching, Xbox Enthusiast team members will be writing predictions during the coming days for Microsoft, third-party, and even some “wishful-thinking” predictions, that may happen but are more of a longshot. Below are my predictions for Microsoft’s press conference.
Games, Games, Games, Games
If last year’s press conference was all about “Games, games, games,” then add more games on to this year’s as I think there are going to be more. Last year they had to include the release details for the Xbox One X. This year, I think the only hardware announcements will be a permanent price reduction of the Xbox One S and a Crackdown 3 controller. All of these will be able to happen pretty quickly allowing more focus on games.
Crackdown 3 releases in November
Speaking of Crackdown 3, this has to be the year that it finally releases. It was one of the first games that we knew was being developed for Xbox One and it’s still in development. The game has had some serious development problems with the game now seemingly being in the hands of Sumo Digital with help from Reagent Games (rather than the other way around). We’ve also heard lots of rumours that Phil Spencer decided to invest more money in the project for the good of the franchise. For me, that means that it is going to be Xbox’s big holiday game. It’s going to want to avoid the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Battlefield V, and (of course) Red Dead Redemption 2, so November seems like the best bet. I also think that we will be getting an open multiplayer beta, with an “and you can play it now” moment on the Xbox stage.
Forza Horizon 4 is set in Japan and has bikes
One of the safest bets to appear on the Xbox stage is Forza Horizon 4. Rather than just play it safe and stop there, I’m also going to suggest that it is set in Japan. As this is also rumoured, I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that it is going to include motorbikes. I think this is the next logical step for the Forza franchise. There is very little extra that the developers can throw at the series, at least not in terms of a significant step forward. The idea of being able to ride on two wheels in the Forza universe is incredibly appealing. I also think that Horizon is the place to try it out before adding them to the Motorsport series. Whatever the team at Playground Games add (or don’t) to the new game, this is clearly going to be one of my most anticipated games of the year.
Scalebound is back and launching next year
The cancellation of Scalebound was one of the saddest gaming moments for Xbox fans last year. The game looked to be something special and also unique on the Xbox One. Microsoft has kept the copyright for the name, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the game has been back in development for some time. Clearly, this would still need to be from a Japanese developer to keep the tone of the game in place, but that could explain why Phil Spencer has been making so many trips over there. The idea of battling enemies with your own dragon is so enticing and exhilarating that surely Scalebound can’t be truly dead?
Teaser shown for Halo 6 with a 2019 release date
My colleague, Andrew G, said in his predictions that he thinks Halo 6 will be coming out this year. While that would be the normal schedule for a Halo game to launch, I just don’t see it happening. I think for the good of the franchise, they need to take some extra time to correct many of the storyline threads from Halo 5 and plot a solid course for the future of the series. This is Microsoft’s cash cow. The franchise that the entire Xbox ecosystem has been built upon. They need to get it right because the story of Halo 5 was a major disappointment. I don’t feel that they’re at the point where they need to shut it all off and reboot the series, but if they don’t get this one right, that’s where they’re headed.
New Perfect Dark game coming in 2019
There have been lots of rumours about Perfect Dark returning and I think there is a lot of validity to these. What I think though, is that the game that Black Tusk Studios were working on before becoming The Coalition (and taking over the Gears of War franchise) is the basis for it. That game was supposed to be a third-person heist game with shooter elements. This could easily be transposed to feature Joanna Dark. I would also be happy for it to stay as a third-person game, rather than Perfect Dark’s usual first-person perspective. This would also help to differentiate it from Halo 6 which I think might be coming out around the same time.
Well, those are my suggestions. What are yours? Do you agree with mine? Think they are too far-fetched? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to check out Andrew G’s predictions, if you haven’t already done so.