Ever since they introduced the gaming world to the concept of Scorpio at E3 last year, Microsoft has been working overtime to repair their image with hardcore gamers. Promising a high-powered console that would essentially represent a generational leap is a bold move for Microsoft, but if they can nail the messaging and succeed on the vision, this could be one heck of an E3.
Project Scorpio Reveal
First, let us get the lockiest of the locks out of the way. Project Scorpio will be fully revealed, priced, and officially dated. The only twist we can offer is that I firmly believe that it is coming earlier and will be cheaper than previously thought. Our guess is a September launch with multiple price points at $450-$550, depending on hard drive size.
When it comes to Project Scorpio, cool hand Phil Spencer has said and done all of the right things. He has repeatedly pounded his fist in the name of giving the customers the best place to play games, all while trying to be as honest and transparent as possible. Unlike his predecessor, he continuously comes off as smooth, genuine, and most importantly humble. Gamers have been drawn to this approach and have patiently been waiting for Spencer to make his move.
Crackdown 3/Sea of Thieves/Forza 7
Along with Scorpio’s reveal, the full reveals of Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and Forza 7 are also ironclad locks. All three games will be fleshed out with high-end visuals, silky smooth frame rates, and on stage demonstrations, serving as testimonies to the power Scorpio can provide.
On top of that, we will learn that we can play Sea of Thieves later that day, when Microsoft rolls out a public beta for all Xbox and PC Gamers to enjoy. We will then learn that Sea of Thieves will be out in November of 2017.
Also, do not be shocked if there is a free-to-play/start version of Forza 7. Microsoft wants to dazzle fans with the graphical prowess that Scorpio can provide and racing games have long been console debut favorites because they are moving works of benchmark art. It would behoove Microsoft to get a game like Forza in the hands of all new Scorpio owners so they can see the proof is in the pudding and provide some incentive for purchasing the premium console.
Halo 5 DLC
343i has confirmed that Halo 6 will not be present at this year’s event, but they did tease a little something for Halo fans. Could it be a new Halo web series/TV show? Possibly. Could it be an expansive DLC for Halo Wars 2? Probably. However, we think it could be an ODST-style DLC that focuses on following the story of Blue Team, giving players a glimpse of Master Chief and crew’s adventures.
With the recent comments of 343i’s Frankie O’Connor stating that they have heard Halo fans and their desires for more Master Chief, what better way to ingratiate yourselves with diehards than give them exactly what they want in unexpected yet thrilling fashion.
Here is a pie in the sky prediction: A once promising new IP and a once successful franchise both make surprise appearances at this year’s E3.
We know that Microsoft halted the development on Scalebound after disagreements with Platinum over the direction of the game and its development. We also know that Microsoft is keeping hopes alive after recently renewing Scalebound’s trademark and while it could be a purely business move, what if there’s fire behind that smoke? Furthermore, what if it was the first Scorpio-only game in development?
On the other hand, Fable was a commercially successful franchise, albeit not always a critical darling, that decided to try its hand in the free-to-play, 4v1 space. While this move ultimately spelled doom for the cheeky title and its studio, Lionhead, Microsoft declined to sell off the title and instead have remain tight lipped on any plans, outside of a card game helmed by ex-Lionhead employees.
Both of these scenarios may be highly unlikely, but they also have a tinge of “that makes sense” to them. Right now, Microsoft has a slim first party catalog and it would be logical for Phil Spencer and crew to continue work on properties that have some sort of influence to them.
Odds and Ends
Here are this year’s quick hit predictions:
Phil Spencer will reveal a renewed relationship with Japanese developers and with it, a surprise release (Monster Hunter?)
- Cuphead will FINALLY get a release date and guess what? You can download it after the show.
- There will be another fan favorite original Xbox revival akin to Phantom Dust and Voodoo Vince. Our guess is Crimson Skies.
- Xbox Live is now FREE! Ok, fine. We can dream, right?