The June 12 Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase was Xbox’s chance to prove to the gaming world that it has an incredible lineup of titles to come. And it is, but not any time soon.
red fall was due out this summer, with star field following November 11. This would have given Xbox a list of must-have exclusive games in 2022, however, they’ve both been delayed to 2023. Now that Microsoft’s showcase is complete, Xbox’s first-party portfolio in 2022 appears to be a repeat of the display of the company in 2017: Sterile compared to its competitors.
What is Xbox offering in 2022?
During the showcase, Xbox announced As dusk falls’ Release date of July 19, confirmed that the launch 1.0 for Based arrives in September and revealed Pensively. Based and Repentance both are from Obsidian Entertainment, so I can’t wait to check out both of these games when they release. Still, these aren’t the kinds of games that excite the mainstream masses hungry for blockbuster titles like Infinite Halo, God of the warWhere The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In that regard, Xbox is sorely lacking this year. Forza games usually launch in the fall, so a lot of people were expecting Turn 10 Forza Motorsport come out later this year. This is not the case, however, as Microsoft revealed during the presentation that Forza Motorsport will actually launch in the spring of 2023. That leaves Xbox with nothing comparable to Nintendo’s pokemon scarlet and Purple and Sony The Last of Us Part I during the second half of 2022.
Nintendo had a great year with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Triangle strategyand Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Sony launched Forbidden Horizon Wesyou, MLB The 2022 Showand Gran Turismo 7. Xbox hasn’t released any compelling exclusives so far this year, and it doesn’t look like there will be many more throughout this year.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is technically an Xbox Game Studio game now that Bethesda and Tango Gameworks are owned by Microsoft. However, Sony managed to secure a timed exclusivity deal for the game on PlayStation 5 that lasts until at least 2023, meaning Microsoft hasn’t released anything console exclusive in 2022. It’s also surprising that Death Loopanother Bethesda game, was not shown given that its timed exclusivity is set to expire in September.
For all the effort Microsoft puts into Xbox Game Pass advertising, get Death Loop on the service would have given Xbox owners something more to look forward to this fall. It will surely happen at some point, but maybe it’s just that Microsoft wasn’t ready to show it yet. Even after the showcase, Xbox’s 2022 slate recalls one of the platform’s worst years: 2017.
A repeat of 2017?
Public perception of Xbox really started to drop in 2017. Scalebound, an Xbox exclusive from Platinum Games, was officially canceled in January. The PlayStation 4, meanwhile, hosted a whole host of notable console exclusive releases during the first quarter of the year:
- January 2017: Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, Tales of Berseria, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- February 2017: Horizon Zero Dawn, nioh
- March 2017: Deny automata
- April 2017: personas 5
It was a pretty hectic first few months for Sony as Xbox Game Studios only released Halo Wars 2, so it was hard not to see how the PlayStation 4 fared much better. The second half of 2017 was a bit lighter for PlayStation with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Everyone’s Golfand Yakuza Kiwami. But the incredibly busy first half of 2017 made that easy to ignore.
It was also the launch year of the Nintendo Switch. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was quite the launch game, with Splaton 2 coming later in the summer. Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 launched towards the end of the year and really helped to help the system gain a foothold. He is now going to have a monumental 2022 with games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3, live alive, Splaton 3and pokemon scarlet and Purple.
For the remainder of 2017, Xbox Game Studios only released Halo Wars 2, Cuphead, Super Lucky’s Storyand Forza Motorsport 7. Admittedly, these aren’t bad games at all. But Microsoft released another Halo spin-off and the Forza game wasn’t a great look when PlayStation and Nintendo had strong lineups that year. Although Cuphead was touted as a “true console exclusive” by developer Studio MDHR, the game eventually released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, as did Super Lucky’s Story.
While this was the year Microsoft released its mid-gen Xbox One X console, its list of exclusives was so terrible that Super Lucky’s Story was the “big” game to push console adoption. It really wasn’t the kind of game to show off what an improved console could do.
Xbox 2022’s lineup of exclusive content just doesn’t have the blockbuster energy we’ve come to expect from a first-party platform. As dusk falls and Repentance are the only new games slated for release this year, Xbox’s schedule is reminiscent of 2017, when it didn’t have much to show for it. It’s not the predictable combination of Halo, Forza, and Gears of War builds that Xbox is known for, but at this point it sounds better than what we have right now.
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