According to a Gamesindustry.biz post, Microsoft has no immediate plans to release exclusive Xbox games on other consoles. Instead, Microsoft will focus on its own platforms.
I’m a simple man, so perhaps I was confused by what ‘exclusive’ actually means.
Okay, so I’m not a total dumbass. Anyway in statement to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft did clarify:
“The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios. As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience.”
Microsoft has been releasing titles like Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch as well as Minecraft on multiple platforms. A new generation of consoles is coming into view and Microsoft has been acquiring studios. I’m not surprised that Microsoft wants its investments supporting its own interests.
Microsoft has been dropping some news at Gamescom this year. Nothing groundbreaking, but there was interesting Gears 5 stuff.
In particular Horde Mode in Gears 5 is pivoting into the realm of hero shooters. Each character now will a unique ability. Kait for example, can cloak while JD can request an air strike, Marcus can inject himself with dynabol and roid-rage until he cries… probably.
Also announced at the Xbox conference is a Halo: Reach character pack for Gears 5.
Halo fans will recognize Spartans Emile-A239 and Kat-B320 from Halo: Reach, who will also have their own unique abilities in Horde Mode. Space Meatheads fighting along side with Space Marines. MASS HYSTERIA!
Back in 1999, a friend and I snuck into The Blair Witch Project because it was sold out. It was a groundbreaking film at the time and worth the risk of getting caught and thrown out of the theater by an angry usher. The movie was sufficiently spooky, but the shaky camera footage made me want to puke. Hopefully the video game version wont induce any motion sickness.
Developer Bloober Team released a gameplay trailer and things are looking suitably dark and scary. Also, there is a very good boy and NOTHING BETTER HAPPEN TO HIM.
I’m really digging the candy bar cell phone. Adds a nice touch and ties the game to the same era as the movie.
Microsoft announced that changes are coming to the Xbox One’s user interface.
First off, the home screen will be getting a face lift. Secondly, Cortana is being dumped. Cortana is going to need to pack her bags and find some place else to go. She’s a strong, brave, and independent AI so she will be fine, you’ll see.
Other than Cortana getting kicked to the curb, the updates to the home screen UI are welcome change.
“The Home on Xbox One is the first thing you see when you turn on your Xbox One, and we want to deliver an easy and seamless experience for you to navigate your console. We’ve heard your feedback and have continued to iterate on Home to get you into your gaming experiences faster and keeping more of your content front and center. With today’s update, we’re experimenting with a streamlined user interface.
With this new experimental Home design, the first thing you’ll notice is we’ve removed the Twists from the top of Home in favor of separate buttons that launch your gaming experiences. The goal is to let you jump into Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community and Microsoft Store quicker than ever. We’ve also shifted things around to make more room for your recently played titles.”
Xbox Insider members already have access to the new UI. The new UI will be rolled out to everyone this fall.
Microsoft had a recent investor call and the news was not so rosy on the gaming front.
Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)
Of course, this pales in comparison to the below:
Shit balls that is bad. Of course, the Sony fanboys are gloating and Xbox fanboys are making excuses.
As always, it’s something in the middle. The Xbox One has always struggled against the PS4 since Don Mattrick shit the bed at launch. However, Phil Spencer has turned things around, setting up the next generation.
Speaking of next-gen, Microsoft has whipped their dick out and pretty much revealed what is in the works, so a decline in current hardware sales is to be expected.
Microsoft is also shifting their approach, to be more services centric, than hardware first, even though they claim that the Xbox Scarlett will be a force to be reckoned with. Microsoft is concentrating on multiple fronts, hedging their bets on what the future of gaming will be.
With that said, holy shit, a 48% drop is HUUUUUUGE. Hope Spencer and company have plan in place, because they have their work cut out for them.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, whose name reminds me of the delicious hazelnut spread, believes that his company is in a good position for the future of gaming.
During a quarterly investor’s call, Nadella elaborates that Microsoft is well positioned, for the what the gaming market is becoming.
“First, I’ll say we are in gaming because of what we believe are going to be the secular changes in the gaming addressable market for us. We’ve always had a gaming position with console as well as the PC, but going forward we think that any end point can in fact be a great end point for high-end games, which is where our structural position is, and we now have a business model with Game Pass as well as all the supporting mechanisms for game pass like game streaming, we have a social network in Xbox Live that is the best in the business.
So I feel we’re well-positioned to what is going to be a much larger market than what was traditionally gaming in spite of all the success we’ve had over the years in gaming.
The second point is that it builds on the rest of the cloud investment, so if you think about what we’re doing with xCloud it’s a workload on top of Azure. If you think about capital allocation, what’s happening in the cloud, what’s happening in the edge, how we build the network, how we optimize with streaming… The same infrastructure for example is what Sony has decided to use as well and be on Azure as well as user AI capabilities.
So you’ll see significant synergies in terms of the architecture of platform underneath gaming, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Linkedin all being the same.”
Albeit, it’s expected that Nadella is going to fluff the company during an investor’s call. However, the moves Microsoft have been making to indicate that they are playing a long game, and are covering all bases for a future gaming world.
Microsoft is pretty much going to have E3 2019 to themselves, so they better make the best of it. So we’re going to get treated to some Gears of War 5 stuff at the Xbox press event on June 9.
Look. I like Gears of War. I was 26 when the the original was launched, kicking off the franchise. I was a big dumb meathead back then, so the game really resonated with me. 14 years later, I’ve blossomed into my dad bod, so I cannot really relate to these characters anymore.
I do like the idea of playing as Kait Diaz this time around. Playing as the same old meatheads with guns was getting stale. Also Kait is a badass and smokeshow, so bonus.
“There are currently more than 1,900 games in development for Xbox One, all of which could run on Project xCloud. Developers creating those games continue working normally – building with the tools they have – while we do the work to make their games accessible to the broadest set of players possible.”
All of this, of course will run off of Azure tech, which Sony will apparently be using for their streaming services as well according to the recently announced strategic partnership with Microsoft.
If you as me, I’m not sold on this whole streaming feature yet. I’m a cynical old school gamer who fears change.
However, if you give me the best of both worlds, letting me play locally but give me the option to stream when the conditions are optimal, then you have my attention.