More Fuel to the Hype Filled Microsoft XO18 Fire

Despite Halo Infinite’s absence, Microsoft’s XO18 to be held in November marks a sort of celebratory status for the Xbox division’s return to form. I’ve spent much of this generation watching the Xbox One from the sidelines, only recently playing more of the system, and it’s been a journey signed with valleys and peaks to say the least. Phil Spencer’s commitment to making the Xbox One a fantastic place to play, and Satya Nadella’s support of Microsoft’s gaming division, have made its most recent years a joy to watch. What’s more, the possibilities for the Xbox Scarlett, the successor to the Xbox One, are as tangible as ever.

It’s a new era for the Xbox division. Satya Nadella commented over the summer that the company will continue to invest aggressively in “content, community, and cloud services”.

A tweet from Xbox Mexico earlier this morning only aims to solidify the excitement Xbox fans have been feeling recently, what with all of the incredible sounding rumors and genuine announcements alike. Based on this tweet, it seems as though we can expect new reveals as well as special guests. Recent rumors suggest that Microsoft is looking to acquire Obsidian Entertainment, developers of critical knock outs like Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, and XO18 would be the perfect place to announce something this big.

I think it’s too soon for Microsoft to announce something from one of their newly acquired developers, even the Fable project that’s been speculated for quite some time, so if we’re going to be seeing anything big it’s probably going to be some sort of acquisition. Obsidian would be an amazing buy for Microsoft, and would give Obsidian to create games with a much larger budget, but I don’t think we can call this one a done deal quite yet.

Whatever the case, I’d hardly say that Microsoft’s recent round of studio acquisitions is the last we’ll see of the division’s expansion, and whether it happens at XO18 or not, we’re going to hear about more purchases sooner rather than later. I really do hope that X018 is the place, however, because they seem to be making quite a big deal about the upcoming event – as they should be.

What else will be at XO18?

Apart from more studio acquisitions, I would like to see more games announced to have native keyboard and mouse support, a more in depth explanation of how Microsoft’s streaming platform will address latency, hints at Microsoft’s vision for Xbox Scarlett, and third party game reveals.

Crackdown 3 could be a first party game shown at the conference, though I’m almost certain I saw something about a rumored delay. It’s a shame that a keyword around the next gen installment of the Crackdown franchise is “delayed”. In fact, it’s pretty much all we’ve heard aside from “The Power of the Cloud”. I actually had a lot of fun with the first Crackdown even though I’m pretty sure I bought it due to the included Halo 3 beta.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is another Xbox console exclusive that could receive further coverage and an exact release date. Truthfully, any sort of indie exclusivity seems like a good fit for the event.

The only third party game that strikes me as a good candidate to reveal at XO18 would be Borderlands 3. It’s been quite a while since the Pre-Sequel, and I would think it’s coming out in the next couple years.

There were rumors of a new Splinter Cell game at E3, and we know that a new Bioshock game is in the works, but these both seem like they’re far off. Above all, I hope for something big that’s entirely out of left field, something that pushes the Xbox division that much further. A monolithic game, a game changing service or an alteration to an existing one (free multiplayer?!), a new console to propel the industry forward, and so on. Isn’t that what we all want deep down from conferences like these?


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