To say that Microsoft and the Xbox One were silent during Q1 2017 may be an understatement. It’s been made increasingly clear that the company has been betting heavily on the latter part of this year. Project Scorpio will hit markets during the holiday season under some new name, a bunch of long-awaited titles will finally get release dates, and the Xbox One will once again be an earnest contender in the current battle for console supremacy. While that sounds all well and good, it didn’t do Microsoft and its home console any favors over the past three months.
The Xbox One has been just rolling with the current for the time being. As far as major games go, it’s taken full advantage of the influx of major third-party titles to keep content on the system. Mass Effect: Andromeda, Ghost Recon Wildlands, and Resident Evil 7 have provided plenty of hours of fun. However, on the exclusive side of things, the offerings have been lackluster at best. Halo Wars 2 was the biggest title of the first three months and while solid, didn’t do anything to blow fans away. Plus, as an RTS spin-off, it wasn’t exactly the Halo title that the console needed right now.
Normally, a lack of exclusives during a short period isn’t a big deal. This isn’t the first time that the platform has had a first-party drought, and the competition has faced similar predicaments. What works against the Xbox One, though, is the fact that its drought happens to be occurring at the exact same time as Sony’s rush of stellar exclusives. Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, NieR: Automata (which we know is also on PC), and Persona 5 are all being looked at with reverence. Heck, some are even being considered Game of the Year contenders already. While these games may not necessarily appeal to all fans, it does put a magnifying glass up against Microsoft’s offerings.
There were also no hardware introductions or changes to pull the attention away from the lacking lineup outside of a few tweets from Phil Spencer, captain of the Xbox ship, regarding Project Scorpio’s good progress. To put Microsoft’s Q1 2017 in a nutshell, it was basically telling fans that there are some really cool things coming… eventually. Also, you can’t know exactly what they are yet.