It’s just been a few weeks after Xbox One X’s worldwide launch, and Microsoft’s mid-generation upgrade is no doubt well-received by the majority of critics in the games industry. Microsoft is leaning towards on timed console exclusives of specific titles that they announced over at their E3 press conference. But, what about molding and getting better first-party studios? Apparently, this is not what Microsoft is looking into and it’s going to put them in a hard spot of selling the Xbox One X.
I remember reading the comments in my old article about the surprises Microsft has for all of us at E3 2017 – and the only game that made me jump from the edge of my seat was Metro: Exodus – which, in fact, will also launch on the PS4. Apparently, the lineup of games Microsoft revealed at their E3 press conference wasn’t as strong as what I was told from the comments.
However, It’s proven in numbers and through YouTube videos that most of the games look visually better on Xbox One X than on the PS4 Pro. That is a fact. However, it is also a fact that Xbox One X does not run all of its games on native 4K. The machine uses the same checkerboard rendering technique as what is seen on the PS4 Pro – which makes Xbox One X incapable of running most third-party titles like Destiny 2 and Assassin’s Creed Origins at native 4K.
Destiny 2 is a big example that, even if it shows in percentage numbers that its visual output is better than PS4 Pro, there is only a slight improvement over Sony’s mid-generation upgrade. The game performs significantly similar on both mid-generation consoles which leads me to think – what else can the Xbox One X offer aside from all-too-powerful components it has? As of now, aside from Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 and backward compatibility, nothing.
In Sony’s side, they proved 2017 to be one of their best years to date. The success of Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn proved that Sony’s first-party studios have potential in crafting new experiences and stories. And with Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima, this can potentially be another hit as a first-party title – in which Microsoft has failed dearly in this aspect when it comes to exclusive titles.
I’ve listed in the article last year that Sony’s 2017 lineup is stronger with Horizon: Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, Persona 5, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Heck, Horizon: Zero Dawn even had a great expansion out within this year. And this time for 2018, here is the list of games to come out exclusively on the PS4 (with some PC releases):
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4, PC) – 1/19
The Inpatient (PSVR) – 1/23
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT – 1/30
Shadow of the Colossus (PS4) – 2/6
Bravo Team (PSVR) – 3/6
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PS4) – 3/20
Confirmed To Be Released In 2018
God of War
Detroit: Become Human
Shenmue III (also on PC)
Left Alive (also on PC)
While we look at the Xbox One’s side of releases, we can only expect Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, The Last Night, and State of Decay 2. Even if it’s still early to say, Sony’s barrage of games is looking too powerful compared to Microsoft’s. I mean, look at that list. There are tons of games that you can expect in 2018 on PS4 that you won’t be able to play with your Xbox One (that’s if you own one like I do).
What can I do with another piece of hardware if the majority of the games I play like Star Wars Battlefront II, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Call of Duty WWII are also on PS4 (and the Pro)? I mean, yes, Xbox One has Halo, Forza, and Gears of War but I finished all of them already. And the only games I’m waiting for are Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3.
To end this chapter, Xbox One X is one hell of a console. It’s smaller, quieter, has a great cooling system, and looks astonishingly awesome on UHD televisions. But it’s the lack of titles that makes me step away from swiping my credit card for the console – initially, I had plans of upgrading to the Xbox One X but that changed when titles like DOOM and Wolfenstein II came out on the Nintendo Switch. Because what makes a platform great is the games that make it stand out from the rest.
So please, Microsoft, bring in your first-party studios and make them new IPs and not another Halo and Gears of War – or even Forza!