Competition is what keeps the games industry going. Over the years, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all gained different footholds within it, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. With each publisher now having a shiny new (or new-ish) console to flaunt by the end of 2017, there’s going to be a lot of choices for consumers moving forward. Microsoft definitely has a chance to make 2017 a huge year, and some exciting things on the horizon.
It goes without saying that Microsoft hasn’t exactly started off 2017 strong. For them, January was pretty much enveloped in the news that they had decided to cancel Platinum Games’ Scalebound, a title that they’d been hyping up for years and even showed off at E3 2016. Since then, the Xbox publisher has been on damage control, explaining the situation to the best of their ability. The issue has only been compounded by the rather sparse lineup the company currently has for the rest of the year.
The only Xbox exclusive for the year that has a tangible release date is Creative Assembly’s Halo Wars 2, due out in late February. Everything else that Microsoft has planned that we’re aware of–Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and Phantom Dust Remastered–has either a vague release date (PDR is said to come out “before” this year’s E3), or just straight up no release date. There’s likely Xbox exclusive games in the works, such as another Forza, along with a new season of Killer Instinct, but the expectations as is are more than a little muted. Hopefully, at least by E3, we can expect some big announcements.
2017 also marks the ten-year anniversary for both Crackdown and Halo 3, two games that helped define the Xbox 360 in their own special ways. Exactly what Microsoft has planned to celebrate the birthdays of each game is unclear, beyond possibly making Crackdown and its sequel backwards compatible. Halo 3’s celebration is going to be interesting, given that the game was granted an HD facelift with the Master Chief Collection in 2014, which didn’t exactly go 343’s way in regards to multiplayer. Time will tell on how Microsoft celebrates these two revered titles, or what other surprises they have in store for 2017.