With big budget exclusives like inFamous: Second Son and a plethora of smaller scales indies like Sportsfriends available on PS4, Microsoft will undoubtedly have to pull out the big guns if they want the Xbox One to catch up, especially as there is now a 2 million consoles-sized gap between the two in worldwide sales. The first of the year’s ‘big guns’ was the appropriately shooty Titanfall, but the new IP, as exciting as the prospect of blasting holes in mechs is, isn’t the console shifter that classic Xbox franchises like Gears of War and Halo unarguably are. It won’t help to fling all their press releases to the wind with nothing to show either but as a Microsoft exec has confirmed, not only will we be seeing plenty of huge Xbox One reveals at E3 in June, but the month of May will be filled with surprises too.
Like the rev of an engine before the driver floors it, Phil Spencer, the newly appointed Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Game Studios, took to Twitter to reveal his company’s plans for the biggest game show of the year. According to Spencer, Xbox One players will be stuck for choice over the next 12 months or so as the company plans to announce both new IPs and sequels during their E3 2014 Media Briefing in a move that sees the Microsoft head also refer to hardcore gamers as “the main focus” of their E3 plans, so we’re unlikely to see an Xbox One Candy Crush port any time soon, then. Continuing to wax lyrical about Xbox at E3, Spencer told another fan when prompted that they’ll “announce some new [1st party] studios” that they are working with, suggesting that the Xbox One is set to be a launch pad for another console-defining series soon, potentially from third-party developers.
One of these first party studios that we’ll definitely be hearing from is 343 Industries who are currently working on Halo 5 (still not officially announced or title) to bring the massively popular shooter to next-gen. Spencer previously wrote back in February that “343i [343 Industries] has a great plan in place, will be cool to share with everyone” and in case that didn’t set the hype alarm enough he also reiterated that “Halo news will be coming at E3.” Currently not much is known about the game other than the fact that it will feature new multiplayer modes, and if the words of Steve Downes (the Master Chief voice actor) are to be believed we also know that Halo 5 won’t be out in 2014 either but hopefully E3 will shed more light.
While E3 is still a good month away, Spencer even stated that there would be several Xbox One announcements this month too. Again it’s unclear what the May announcements are or how the “stuff [they] are committed to, from top studios, for this year and future” will fit into their ‘fan focused’ year but as he stated that “May should be a good month for news” that “took [him a month to get plans set”, Xbox One fans will have plenty to look forward to in the next few weeks.
Must the Halo news at E3 2014 be about Halo 5? Will anything other than that disappoint fans? Or are you game for a spinoff or a Halo game in a different genre?