There’s no doubt in my mind that Microsoft don’t really care whether you buy a Series X or not. With xCloud set to release in September and become a part of the Game Pass Ultimate subscription, Microsoft are set on gearing Game Pass as the number one place to be for anyone interested in the Xbox ecosystem. xCloud will make that access even easier, since you’ll no longer need to buy a console to join in.
That’s not to say Microsoft aren’t interested in selling consoles, but their intent is to give people choice in where they play. And that also includes Windows 10 PCs, with xCloud currently in testing for the OS. Such means you won’t even need a gaming rig to play the wealth of games supported on Game Pass. Why would I be talking about this, though, when the article’s about the latest showing of games from Microsoft?
It's all connected with Game Pass, with every game shown at the Games Showcase coming to the service at launch. That means new Rare game Everwild, Obsidian’s new game Avowed, and even third party hits such as Tetris Effect. There were plenty of games shown off, with a few new announcements shown off during the Summer Games Fest pre-show.
I had been expecting to see Forza Motorsport here, and while I wasn’t disappointed at it showing up, it does seem the series is undergoing some sort of reinvention. It has been said to be in early development, with new concepts and technologies going into it to produce what should be a great breath of fresh air for the series. Or there could be little changed despite the extra time going into it, but I’ll remain hopeful that the game will prove the reinvention was worth it.
The showcase revealed that Ori and the Will of the Wisps is getting an enhancement for the Series X that improves upon the audiovisual experience. Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves were also confirmed to be getting such enhancements. And speaking of those games…
Rare gave us a new trailer for Everwild, but the game still remains a mystery. It’s set in a world of nature and magic, but that’s pretty much all we know of it. We should expect our experiences within the world to be unique and unforgettable, which is a tall order to achieve, but I feel Rare can pull it off. Sea of Thieves is a great experience, where setting sail for the first time and exploring the open sea is a magical moment. If this new game can recreate such moments, then it will have pulled that off.
As for Playground Games, the best kept secret in gaming is finally out in the open. They’ve been working on a new Fable. It’s a series I’ve only had little experience with, having played a few hours of the third game. I know that there was a greater focus on rolepaying within the series, where it’s possible to ignore the main quests and just enjoy living day to day life with a variety of activities, so I hope that’s something that can be built on further with this new one.
Obsidian is bringing a new RPG to the platform, and though we know little of it, it should be another interesting one to get stuck into. And yes, I say that fully with the knowledge that I have yet to experience The Outer Worlds. Yet that game featured here as well, with some DLC confirmed for it. I do plan to make time for it, as it has always been pinging me with the sci-fi theming. Such is also happening with the fantasy theming Avowed has.
There’s a lot coming, with over twenty games coming from this presentation, and more is set to be revealed soon. While I find it unlikely that I will be getting a Series X at launch, I am still dedicated to the Xbox ecosystem, and Game Pass is clearly the reason why. With so much investment already made, and with Microsoft also continuing to commit to backwards compatibility, it’s the best choice for me.