In an Twitter question and answer session, Xbox boss Phil Spencer made clear that first-party development was "critical" going forward. While the Q&A was largely positive, many of the questions betrayed an amount of worry and nervousness, but also excitement, regarding Microsoft's Project Scorpio and its in-development first-party titles. Phil, never one to avoid tough questions, answered as directly as he could, saying, "Having our 1P games ready for Scorpio is critical."
Of course, Phil couldn't go so far as revealing any specific plans that the Xbox team has in terms of first-party releases or Scorpio launch titles. There are obviously plans at work, but what they are will have to remain in speculative territory. Phil seems like he'd enjoy announcing more Scorpio details and first-party plans, but says he can't for the time being.
Phil did talk about E3 briefly though, stating that he'd love to give the games more time to show off on-stage. "I sometimes feel like we rush telling the story of our games at E3," he says. In response to another question pertaining to an Xbox-focused event outside of E3 like Sony's done with PlayStation Experience, Phil says to stay tuned.
One of the more interesting takeaways from Phil's statements is based on a few contextual assumptions. Xbox fans already know that Microsoft is currently working at least three large first-party titles for the remainder of 2017, including Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, and unofficially, a Forza 2017 iteration. It's this line-up that's led Xbox fans to be worried regarding 2017 and the Scorpio launch. Fans know there are first-party titles coming, but are they the kind of first-party titles that can define a new console's launch?
Phil's responses do potentially show an air of awareness regarding this worried perspective of fans. While no one wants to read into a Twitter message too far, when Phil says that a "strong" first-party line-up is critical, there's certainly an implication. If Phil's aware that fans are worried about 2017, and of course he's aware, it's within reason to believe that him saying a "strong" line-up is critical, he means more is coming. Maybe more is just better educating fans as to why Crackdown and Sea of Thieves are great, or maybe he means there are big announcements in store. Having those games ready for Scorpio's launch, however, is another matter entirely.
In the end, Xbox fans are left waiting to find out just what Phil Spencer and his team's plans are for the rest of 2017 and the Scorpio launch. Nevertheless, Phil, for as little as he could officially reveal, said all of the things he should say to keep fans encouraged.
Expect to find out more about Xbox's first-party titles at E3 2017 this summer.