Yesterday, Microsoft finally gave fans an idea of what they’ll be able to play when the Xbox Series X launches later this year. The company followed the example of Nintendo’s Direct videos and wasted little to no time between games. They kept the games coming for almost a solid hour, with several reveals bringing a decent amount of “wow” factor. Overall, the show’s contents painted an encouraging picture of the Xbox Series X’s initial launch period.
There were plenty of worthwhile titles on display during the show, but its bookends were arguably the most interesting to many of those watching. The show started-off with quite a bang by wowing everyone with a brief gameplay demo of Halo Infinite. Put bluntly, the reveal was impressive. Halo’s traditional gunplay was looking as polished as ever and more recent abilities like sprint were nowhere to be seen.
That’s not to say that Chief didn’t have any new tricks though. One prominent new feature was a grappling hook, which could be used to scale walls and grab enemies. It’s also exciting to see that Halo Infinite will be following a limited open world structure, allowing players to enjoy exploring the new Halo ring world without bringing in too many open-world conventions. It was a great showing which’ll likely leave fans feeling hopeful for the series’ future. The show’s other bookend, Fable 4, was exciting to see, but its trailer was basically just a reminder that the series still exists.
Aside from Fable 4, the showcase featured plenty of other world premieres. These ranged from indie projects like Exomecha to new titles from established studios, projects like Obsidian Entertainment’s “Avowed.” Like Fable 4, these were encouraging to see; they all basically confirm that Xbox Series X will have unique and interesting things for fans to enjoy. Unfortunately, the heavily cinematic nature of most “world premiere” trailers kept these reveals from being truly exciting. Thus the task of truly impressing fans was left to DLC expansions and other previously-announced titles.
The Outer Wilds: Peril on Gorgon, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Psychonauts 2 and Tetris Effect all put out exceptionally impressive trailers, and it was revealed that they will all be available on Xbox Games Pass. In fact, Microsoft made sure to stress that every game featured in the showcase would be available on either Xbox Games Pass, Project xCloud or both. This means subscribers will have a significant selection of both new and major titles to enjoy should they decide to pick up an Xbox Series X in the future.
Overall, Microsoft did what they needed to do for this show: they brought the games. They didn’t talk about hardware for once and didn’t mention a price or hard launch date yet. It would have been nice to get those details, but games are king when it comes to picking a new platform. If a system doesn’t have anything interesting to play, then many people won’t bother with it. Before this showcase, it wasn’t clear what fans would have to look forward to on the Xbox Series X besides Halo Infinite. Now that the show’s over, though, fans can probably be much more confident in their decision to pick up Microsoft’s next generation console.