Yesterday, Microsoft hosted its Inside Xbox special from Mexico City, with a number of announcements surrounding new expansions, game releases, Game Pass additions and acquisitions. It was a pretty jam packed day, though the special didn’t quite overwhelm everyone.
Some folks were thrown off by the over-”talky” segments that were in the special; others felt that the live crowd kind of overwhelmed a lot of the reveals. But there’s no question that Microsoft innovated with the show, and caught us off guard with a reveal or two. You can catch the highlight reel below.
On top of that, however, it did something far more important -- it set the standard for what it has planned in the future, both in the months and years ahead. Let’s take a look at the most fundamental points from the special, and what it means down the road:
The biggest news from X018 undoubtedly took place during the end of the show, in which it was revealed that two new studios were joining Microsoft’s internal fold. The big one is Obsidian Entertainment, the makers of Pillars of Eternity and South Park: The Stick of Truth and Fallout New Vegas, amongst other games. Their role-playing repertoire will no doubt play a big part in what the company has planned for the future. Could we see Torchlight return? Something new? Possibilities are wide open.
Not to mention Inxile Entertainment. The team behind the Wasteland series could also lend a storytelling hand to future Microsoft projects, be it an existing franchise or something entirely new. They do great work in their own right, and pairing up with other talent in the Xbox fold could be huge in the long run.
Tie these studios together with the likes of Ninja Theory, Compulsion Studios and other internal teams, and you have Microsoft building up immaculate talent for what it has planned ahead, with the Xbox One hardware and even beyond that. They’ve got a killer hand here -- and we can’t wait to see them play it.
There was a point in time in which Crackdown 3 had become a running joke. The game was originally supposed to release at this point last year before being shelved for what seemed like an eternity, leaving Microsoft in a curious position for its holiday rush.
But the joke’s about over, as the game finally looks to be nearing the finish line, set to release on February 15. What’s more, a new Wrecking Zone mode was revealed, showing an unparalleled amount of competition and destruction that, well, looks like damn fun.
And of course, you’ve got Terry Crews back for the advertising push. And how. I mean, I’m not sure if it’s even possible to fit him in a duffel bag, but it’s pretty hilarious to watch him bursting out of one. Check out the hilarious commercial below.
Some skeptics believe that the game could be delayed again before it finishes development, but we doubt it. Microsoft is going all in to start 2019 on the right foot; and Crackdown 3 could be the key.
On top of that, you can play the original Crackdown for free. Can’t beat that.
One huge portion of Microsoft’s service that got a heaping amount of attention yesterday was the Xbox Game Pass. And why not? It’s clearly one of its most popular features, going for $10 and featuring over 100 different on-demand games to choose from, including new releases.
So not only was Crackdown 3 confirmed for the service, but a handful of others also were, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (a big one), Agents of Mayhem, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (excited for this one), the two Ori games, the new indie game Void Bastards and a handful of others. Some good variety there, and combined with the service already offers, it makes it that much more of a sensational value. Not to mention that you get the first month of service for $1 -- not bad at all.
There wasn’t any mention of the revealed PC Game Pass, but Microsoft may be winding up its Windows game lineup before we see that. For the time being, though, the Xbox Game Pass is full steam ahead, and there doesn’t appear to be anything stopping it anytime soon.
The rest of X018 was a mixed batch, but still a good show overall, particularly with the Devil May Cry 5 showcase; the introduction of Forza Horizon 4’s new expansion pack; the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer (with Winnie the Pooh!); and, of course, the return of “Crazy” Larry Hryb and the Black Friday deals. Overall, it was a decently balanced show, if not the best one out there.
But the goal here was for Microsoft to continue to establish itself as a player in the gaming market -- and it was mission accomplished all the way. We may not see all its results right away -- some won’t even surface until 2020 -- but we’re definitely getting somewhere, and that was probably the company’s focus from the beginning.
Plus, do we need to reiterate that Crackdown 3 is finally coming? Because really.