Video Games

Godzilla: The Game We Need

Fresh off the heels of learning Godzilla vs Kong has been moved up to a March release (plus another 0.05 second teaser!), I figured it’s about time we get a next generation game the G-Man deserves. His current library of entries is less than spectacular, to say the least. No worries. Here are 5 ways that will ensure the big lizard gets his fair shake:

1. True Next Gen Experience

No lazy, just cashing in on the license game development. No. 4k visuals. 60fps. Smooth gameplay. Polished controls. Monsters have weight. Proper physics. All the next generation goodies like Ray Tracing and Shaders. Night/Day cycle with weather effects. Spine tingling sound effects mixed with a riveting soundtrack. A control scheme that rocks. A fighting system that never grows old. Like Rampage meets Destroy All Monsters meets Awesome.

2. Maximum Destruction

Everything can be destroyed. Buildings, streets, cars, trains, and everything in between. Explosions, crumbling buildings, windows shattering at the sound of roars, downed power lines, ruptured water pipes flooding the streets, and tsunamis created in the wake of behemoths surfacing from the ocean depths. Advanced AI. Humans scrambling an awesome military to launch counter strikes. Like I said before, Rampage on steroids.

3. The Whole Catalogue

Every variant of Godzilla. Every monster ever introduced. Each with their own unique feel, attacks, and approach to combat. Include a Customize Your Monster mechanic just for kicks, but with all the bells and whistles. I want full-sized monster combat with all the carnage and cheesy goodness.

4. An Entertaining Story

This doesn’t have to be a Tale of Two Cities. Maybe just include levels pulled from 25 of the greatest Godzilla moments ever. Future story DLC can add another 25 moments. Give me enough single player content to be entertained and a deep enough multiplayer to keep coming back.

5. Mortal Kombat This Baby

Ok. So Mortal Kombat includes franchises like Robocop, Terminator, TMNT, and Rambo. Why can’t Godzilla have DLC including Pacific Rim, Gundam, Attack of the Titans, Dragon Ball, and Naruto? You could also throw in King Kong, War of the Worlds, DC & Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Iron Giant, and Demon Slayer. Maybe each system gets exclusives (Xbox – Halo, Sony – God of War, Nintendo – Zelda). Imagine tackling Godzilla Earth with the Avengers? Or stopping Shin Godzilla with giant mechs? Maybe Godzilla vs Mega Kiju?!? Or playing as Godzilla and giving Goku a beat down? The sky is the limit if done right.

Sony 2021 Forecast

My last forecast of the year. A special moment indeed. While not as earth riveting as new hardware (Nintendo) or a slew of studio purchases (Xbox), I still expect Sony to give players a reason to be excited about the PS5:

1. Exclusives Cometh

The sole reason for owning the Ps4 were those 1st Party exclusives like Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War and Ghost of Tsushima. With sequels to God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn expected this year, in addition to Ratchet and Clank, not to mention we may see a new Silent Hill, I expect Sony to wow us with the power of their new hardware.

2. Timed Exclusives Increase

I immediately think of Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Ghostwire Tokyo, and Final Fantasy. I also remember hearing they tried to do an exclusive deal for Starfield (before Xbox bought Zennimax), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony snags a timed exclusive deal for GTA 6. Not able to throw around the kind of money to buy a ton of studios, Sony appears content with pumping out extraordinary 1st party gems and snagging a slew of timed exclusives.

3. Give Meaning to Next Gen

That incredible controller for the PS5 is bubbling with potential. I would love to see it given the proper consideration by developers. I really believe this could give Sony a real edge over the course of this next generation of gaming.

4. Answer GamePass

Xbox delivers the best deal in gaming with GamePass. Sony has a lot of catching up to do, but truly cannot ignore the success Xbox has had with GamePass. They will need to respond with their own version in order to remain competitive, especially with new challengers like Amazon, Apple, and Google threatening to enter the ring.

5. New Studio Acquisition

Ok, so I don’t expect them to start gobbling up studios like Xbox, but a smart purchase like Nintendo did with Next Level Gaming? Absolutely. I feel the greatest weakness to Sony’s lineup is FPS. They have so many talented third person game studios. They need someone who can rival Halo. I think it’s the missing element in their arsenal and could be amended before the year is done.

Nintendo 2021 Forecast

While I was surprised Nintendo started off the year by purchasing Next Level Games, I don’t see them making any additional purchases for the remainder of the year. Still, I think it’s a great move by Nintendo and signals we may be in for a big year for the Switch.

1. Celebrations Galore!

For Nintendo, this is a year for celebrations and anniversaries. Zelda. Metroid. Pokémon. Three massive franchises that will hopefully all be getting a ton of love. Pokémon Snap and remasters of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Metroid Prime Trilogy remastered, porting over Metroid 2, and possibly releasing Metroid Prime 4. A Zelda All-Star Collection with Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time, and Skyward Sword. Breath of the Wilds 2. I would love a “Link’s Awakening” like remaster of A Link to the Past.

2. First Party Thrives

Super Mario World 3-D + Bower’s Fury is a great start. I would love to see a Mario Kart 9 and a new edition to Donkey Kong Adventures. F-Zero? Star Fox? Mario Golf? A new Kirby adventure? I think we are in for a massive explosion of great 1st party releases in 2021.

3. More Exclusives & Ports

I immediately think of Monster Hunter Rise, Bayonetta 3, and No More Heroes. With the success and dominance of the Switch now an established fact, I suspect the floodgates are going to burst forth with even more incredible games to an ever growing library of awesome. And I do mean awesome. I love playing on my Switch.

4. Nintendo Switch Pro

Capitalize on the popularity of the Switch and the excitement over next gen by releasing an updated Switch. OLED screen capable of producing 1080p and 60fps on handheld and a dock that can not only hold multiple cartages but also give you 4k goodness on the big screen. More RAM, improved joysticks, more battery life, and maybe even an upgraded pro controller. Upgrade your entire library with a Switch capable of playing next gen ports? Sign me up.

5. Overhaul the Internet Service

Xbox Live Nintendo Online Service is not. It needs a massive overhaul, with improvements to every facet. It’s at the point where I would love if Nintendo just used someone like Mircosoft to do it for them. Their online is that outdated and is holding them back. It’s becoming more apparent with cloud gaming.

Bonus: I really want a Godzilla port of some kind in the vein of Destroy All Monsters. Also, where is Mass Effect and Dragon Age? How about KOTOR and Jade Empire? Fallout 4? Dishonored 1 & 2? Batman Arkham Knight? Shadow of Mordor? Bring on the ports.

Starfield: 5 Things I Want

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: of course, I want gorgeous graphics that take advantage of all the bells and whistles of next gen, a silky smooth frame rate, a beautiful musical score, earth shattering sound effects, and a polished experience.

1. Galaxy As A Character

I want the galaxy and worlds we explore to be every bit as meaningful and rich in history as Rapture was to Bioshock. No lifeless worlds with empty landscapes. The worlds should convey a sense of mystery and intrigue. Environments that flourish with awe and wonder with a sense of danger around every turn. Variety in terrain, cultures, and civilizations would be a welcomed breath of fresh air. Imagine exploring the scene of an ancient battle or walking the corridors of a highly advanced city bristling with life.

2. Drown In Customization

From the character to your ship, including your crew, your weapons and your star base, the more customization options the better. It would be great to give your character and ship some history in addition to fine tuning it in both appearance and performance. But my ship should be an extension of my character.

3. Not Just Fetch Quests

One of my favorite things about Elder Scrolls IV was the side quest missions for the dark brotherhood. And the side quests in The Witcher 3 are phenomenal. And Mass Effect did a generally great job in this department as well. Give me deep, dark quests. Give me goofy, hilarious moments. Give me a blend of wild and zany mixed with brooding and scary. Give consequence to decisions made, and show them in both the short and long term. Show some imagination and eliminate fetch quests as much as possible.

4. Improved Gameplay

Better combat (have the Doom guys assist with the 1st person gun play, the Dishonored team assist with magic and stealth, etc), vastly improved AI, and real choice in how we approach situations. Diplomatic? Explorer? Conqueror? Spy? Assassin? Fool? Throw in some space combat and destructible environments, fun boss battles, not to mention the right feel of weight to your gear. And don’t be afraid to try something new.

5. A Main Story That Entertains

And if the story needs some DLC to get it done, do so. Loved the DLC for Elder Scrolls 4 and 5. But a good quality story that stays with you long after your shut down the system would be well worth all these years of waiting.

At least, that’s my two cents.

Mass Effect Remastered Wishlist

According to rumors and inside sources, we are supposed to be getting a remake or remaster of the original Mass Effect trilogy in October. Add to this a Mass Effect art book with new artwork coming in March 2021, and it appears to be a done deal. Well, barring any Covid-19 delays.

My hope would be for a complete remake, but my gut tells me to set expectations at a slightly upgraded remaster: some tweaked visuals, faster frame rate, all the dlc, and maybe some inventory improvement. This might be fine for a Xbox One or PS4 release, but what if they were to also release an actual remake for the next gen consoles? Namely, the Xbox Series X and the PS5. Well, here is my wishlist.

Let’s start with the cutscenes. Get a studio like Blur, the team behind the Halo CE and Halo 2 remasters. Glorious 4K 60fps movie quality level cutscenes. Then add another three or so hours of added content, fleshing out any loose ends. I especially wouldn’t mind if they included a whole lot more meat on the ending in Mass Effect 3 in order to close out the trilogy on a much stronger note.

For the rest of the game, environments and character models hitting a solid 4K 60fps would be awesome. A thorough polish, ironing out any bugs, would also be appreciated. I want smooth gameplay, beautiful visuals, and incredible sound. Musical score, dialogue and sound effects all have to pop. And if they could create a living , breathing world, more power to them. It’s the little attention to detail that make a world.

Obviously, all dlc needs to be included. And I would love for the combat system of Mass Effect 3 to be streamlined across the entire trilogy. Let me skip the planet scanning sections. Fix the inventory system of Mass Effect 1. And add some more customization options for the ship. Lastly, throw in some Easter eggs for the next Mass Effect. Or maybe also include a steel case collectors edition? Also, why hasn’t 1000Toys made any Mass Effect figures?!?

Like I stated at the beginning, the chances of a complete Mass Effect trilogy remake are pretty low. But if they wanted to reignite faith in BioWare once more, well, few options exist better than this. On a side note, really liked what I saw of Dragon Age 4. Here’s hoping next gen consoles can deliver the next evolution of RPGs I’m craving to dive into.

Xbox: The Comeback Kid?

Does the delay of Halo Infinite sink Microsoft? Simple answer: no, not even close. That’s not to say the sailing ahead won’t be rough. Xbox is in this for the long haul. They have the superior system in terms of raw power. They have GamePass and XCloud and full backwards compatibility and smart delivery. And the pro-consumer message is only strengthened by delaying Halo Infinite. They want to do their fans right and the franchise justice. But where do they go from here? I have some theories and suggestions.

Price: it’s not a secret Sony is throwing money at 3rd party developers for exclusivities: be it special content (a la Spiderman in Avengers) or timed exclusives (Final Fantasy XVI). And if all the leaks I’ve heard are true, they need it. The PS5 is struggling with true 4K resolution. It’s having difficulty with 60fps. They need the exclusive deals, alongside their magnificent 1st party games, to give them an edge over the sheer power of the Xbox Series X. And, I think it will work in the short term given their sheer slice of the market pie. They have the bigger base and the momentum. They also have Spiderman: Miles (DLC? Expansion?)

How does Xbox counter? With affordability. First, smart delivery means next gen upgrades are free. That’s huge. Sony would rather continue the model of constant remasters (like Spiderman).

Second, is offer various models at affordable price points. That’s where the Xbox Series S factors in. If they can release that at $200-$250 and drop the Xbox Series X in at $400, it would be a mega bomb. Especially if the leak is true that PS5 is at $500 and their all digital is coming in at $400. That’s a massive price advantage that will make waves over the holiday season.

Third, is Xbox Live. I have a sneaking suspicion it will go free, or be bundled into the GamePass. Either way, I don’t see Xbox having two subscription fees at the launch of their new system. And with the positive outpouring of support for Halo multiplayer being free, it’s the kind of pro-consumer move that can become a deciding element at the register.

Studios: having the most powerful and most affordable next generation hardware sounds great on paper, but ultimately, it will come down to the games. I love what Xbox is doing in the long run with titles like Avowed and Fable. I think we have a lot to look forward to, and I do believe that Halo Infinite will also be a tremendous success. But my gut tells me the smart move is to keep enlisting talent, keep expanding the portfolio, and to continue to acquire studios, at the right price. Here’s a few that might make sense:

Bloober Team, Ebb Software, & Asobo Studios. These three studios make the most sense to purchase. Makers of the Medium, Scorn, and Flight Simulator, they would be smart to invest in studios on the verge of breaking out. With the right investment of time and money, they would provide the right kind of diversity and originality the Xbox portfolio needs.

Larin Studios. No one talks about this, but to me, it seems like a perfect fit. It would give the Xbox Series X a day one exclusive RPG: Baulder’s Gate 3. The studio has a proven track record, many labeling them a modern day BioWare, and would further strengthen RPGs in the Xbox portfolio.

People Can Fly: no longer owned by Epic, the makers of BulletStorm would be a great fit for creating original, fun FPS for the Xbox portfolio.

Remedy: they are already working on the single player portion for CrossFireX, and they made the cult classic Alan Wake for the Xbox 360, not to mention game of the year in 2019: Control. They are original, out of the box creators who specialize in 3rd person thrillers. The fit couldn’t make more sense.

WB Games: I love everything about this. The talent across the studios is legends. Imagine Netherrealms working on Mortal Kombat, Injustice, and Killer Instinct. Rocksteady getting the green light for Superman and Justice League. Xbox signing exclusive rights to DC, LOTR, Harry Potter and TMNT. It would be the biggest purchase in gaming history. Just the kind of groundbreaking move Xbox needs to drive their brand to the top.

Bungie: does Bungie come home? One of the key factors in their original departure was Bungie wanted to create a game as a platform. GamePass is perfect for that. Unlike with Activision, they left Xbox on good terms. A return would be well received. They could also assist 343 when/if needed.

CD Projekt Red: Ok, this would be the hard-nosed business maneuver. Sure, it makes sense. They’re my favorite studio. They make incredible games. If you want to be ruthless, you make CyberPunk 2077 a first party exclusive and call it a day. But I wouldn’t be for that. I would, however; be for the acquisition. The next Witcher a 1st party exclusive? Sign me up.

3rd Party Exclusives: ok, so who knows if any of the above will happen. If Xbox is smart, they are also looking into the possibility of third party exclusives. Maybe A Total War: Halo game by Sega? Not to mention bringing over Persona 5 and it’s expansion. They could revive Scalebound…and maybe snag the Bayonette trilogy and Nier as a bonus. What if Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 become exclusives? Makes sense given the history they have with Xbox. Maybe the Mass Effect Trilogy remaster could be an exclusive upgrade? I think making Elder Ring an exclusive would be a good move, especially if it could make the launch window.

I’m not a fan of timed exclusives. I’m also not a fan of any one company having a monopoly. I am supportive of all the major systems mainly because I am a fan of great games. I don’t want Xbox to fail. Competition breeds quality and innovation. Here’s hoping we are on the verge of the best generation of gaming ever. Only time will tell.

Halo Infinite: Death or Revival?

After taking a couple of weeks to allow the gameplay reveal of Halo Infinite to simmer in my thoughts, I confidentially can say I’m excited about what I have observed. However, not without a certain degree of reservations. Expectations are sky high, and the internet is ablaze with memes of Craig the Brute, but the real question is where does the flagship title for the next generation of Xbox go from here?

In truth, the next generation of Xbox is more GamePass than it is Series X. And Halo becoming a live service, or a platform that will be continually updated over a ten year period, fits in with a GamePass oriented future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. The lore of Halo is rich and expansive, and the fact that Infinite begins on Zeta Halo delights my inner child to no end.

My main concern here is the rating: please let it be Mature as opposed to Teen. Considering this is the home of the palace of pain, Mendicant Bias, and the Primordial, not to mention a simultaneous war against the Banished and Cortana-led Prometheans (honestly, I think she’s been corrupted by the Flood). Will the precursors return? Will the flood invade from the far reaches of space? What of Atriox? So yeah, this is some rich soil for story to be grown over a prolonged period of time.

I adored the gameplay they showed off on July 23. I really did. It felt far more like Halo than Halo 4 or 5. I dig the grappling hook and the drop shield. I also thought the interaction between the pilot and Master Chief was well crafted. The AI appeared solid, and this Escharum figure got my blood pumping. Halo Infinite is hitting the right notes so far in regards to story and gameplay, two of my key ingredients in developing a good game. It’s a solid foundation to build on.

Also, the multiplayer going free-to-play doesn’t bother me. I’m hearing rumors of a Battle Royale mode being added, and as long as they include classic modes the series is famous for, this should fit in just fine. Going free should, in theory, create the largest player base in the history of Halo. Will there be Mircotransactions? Possibly. I saw a rumor of a Battle Pass and I’m not overly worried about it. I’ve also heard if you buy the physical copy of the game you won’t have to buy a battle pass. While this is unclear, a 120FPS multiplayer Halo packed with all the goodies the series is known for, plus a battle royale mode and the largest player base in history, leaves me satisfied for now.

Last bit of the good feels: knowing story expansions will be free also makes me happy. Not to mention this is a OPEN WORLD Halo game with RPG elements. Yes, please. New weapons? Check. Will there be new vehicles? Dual wielding? Assassinations? Space combat? Different worlds to explore? An entire ring to transverse? The musical score is already shaping up nicely. Honestly, I feel the negativity online towards this game thus far has been misplaced to a large degree. Plus, give me more Craig! And on a side note, I’ve heard rumblings that Forge is going to be epic.

Ok, now on to the negative. The graphics, while colorful and definitely a call back to CE, were still flat. There was no ray tracing (and apparently this will be an add-on? Needs to be day one). I did see some improvement between the gameplay reveal and the trailer they released right after. Still, a lot of work needs to be done. And the sound from the weapons also left me underwhelmed. My gut feeling is a lot of this will be fixed over time after the game is released. I think this is a mistake. This title should be a graphical powerhouse. It doesn’t have to wow in the “realism” factor, but it needs to be the best looking Halo ever, while keeping in line with the series art style. I feel like I’d be beating a dead horse if I continue on this line of thought, but seriously, 343, you have a $500 million budget. Improve the visuals.

Losing two legacy weapons, the magnum and shotgun, is unacceptable. I like the idea of customizing weapons and introducing new variants, but don’t remove legacy weapons. They are staples of the franchise. Include them.

The gameplay area they decided to present, underwhelmed. It felt lackluster when taken in the context of: here’s the next evolution of the biggest franchise on Xbox. The pop-ins were concerning. The fact that this was the most “stable” demo the game has thus far is concerning. Will it be released with bugs? Memories of the MCC launch come to the forefront of my mind. Will this launch be drenched with glitches and broken elements? Will the game be delayed?

Overall, I tend to lean more on the positive side of things. I am optimistic regarding Halo Infinite. I have faith that 343 is doing all in its power to do the series justice. Microsoft has essentially granted them a blank check, giving them all the financial backing they need to be a success. I would love to see destructible environments, the ability to create missions in Forge, and a more in-depth melee system. I’m also still waiting for the day I can take out an enemy base, jump into a starship, fly into orbit, engage in space combat, land on an enemy ship, blow up the enemy ship, and head back down to the enemy base where I get shot down and parachute onto an enemy tank in the middle of a massive ground conflict. Am I dreaming? Maybe. But isn’t that what next-gen console launches are supposed to do? To cause you to dream about the possibilities? To imagine the limits that will be pushed? Here’s hoping that Halo Infinite is everything it needs to be and should be.

Xbox July 2020 Showcase

The oddness of this next gen transition cannot be overstated. Some of it has to do with the wild circumstances we find ourselves living in: pandemic, protests, unhinged politicians, and rising global tensions. Few of us go untouched by it. Additionally, Sony and Microsoft have completely different marketing strategies. It’s mind blowing how different they are. Meanwhile, Nintendo must have taken a vow of silence, choosing to stay mum on just about everything. It’s frustrating sometimes.

The Ubisoft event a couple weeks ago proved to be a letdown. The Nintendo Direct earlier this week delivered plenty of meh. That Sony Conference last month? Ok. Not bad. Nothing heart stopping. The Xbox May Conference showed some low budget titles, but nothing spectacular. The July 2020 Xbox Showcase? Solid. 8 out of 10 even. Still, nothing jaw-dropping. Nothing screaming next gen. Where is the game justifying the purchase of these next gen systems?

The half a dozen trailers presented in the pre-show accomplished a glimmer of hope. After all, they had some solid surprises with standouts like Hello Neighbor 2 and Balan Wonderworld. And the main event itself offered a refreshing splash of diversity with a multitude of genres being touched upon. But if it failed in one arena, it would be the obvious lack of gameplay.

Halo Infinite opened the show and the gameplay blew me away. I actually loved what I saw. Upon closer examination, I was a bit disappointed in the texture pop-ins, and the graphical detail (not to mention the lack of Ray Tracing). Everything else though felt like classic Halo, only smoother and bigger. The trailer they threw up after the event did a better job of getting me pumped up for the release. Overall, I’m satisfied with what I saw and am not overly worried about 343 touching up the game before release. But exactly how has this game taken advantage of being on the Xbox Series X as opposed to the Xbox One? I don’t know.

After that opening, the rest of the games didn’t bother with extensive gameplay demos. Hellblade 2 is getting inspiration from Iceland. That’s it. No other update. Forza looks like a 2022 title. And while Avowed and Fable were two of my favorite reveals, I’m going to assume 2022-2023 release windows for both. No gameplay teaser.

State of Decay 3 looked terrifying, but again, another short trailer. The Medium looks good. I liked most of the games they showed, to be fair. However, not once did my jaw hit the floor. Not once did I stop and exclaim this to be a next gen revelation. And I left what should have been an eye opening showcase, perhaps the most important showcase in Xbox history, feeling the show was just solid. Not great. Not excellent. Not revolutionary. Solid.

From my understanding, Xbox held a lot back. Time will tell if this strategy pays off. Banjo? Perfect Dark? Elder Ring? Apparently Xbox wants to counter the Sony event taking place on August 6. At this point, will either of these companies rise up and show us what next gen gaming is truly capable of? Will they stop trying to outwit and out maneuver one another long enough to impress the masses? Right now, neither system has convinced me a purchase is warranted. Maybe that’s something they need to keep in mind.

Let me end on a brighter note. Listen, the pro-consumer things that Microsoft is doing are incredible. Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in gaming. All gamers should support it. Xbox Live appears to be going free. Smart Delivery is awesome. The backwards compatibility (that includes an uptick in graphics and frame rate) is exciting. Seriously, I wish Nintendo and Sony would take note. Xbox is doing a ton of things right. They’re listening to fan feedback. They interact with their fans! They also have games now. All they need to do is show off that killer app, that God of War level tease. That’s all I’m asking for.

Insightful Gaming: PS5 Reveal!

No e3? No problem. The Sony Reveal Event delivered one of the best “directs” to date, and led me to wonder if e3 will even be necessary in 2021.

First, the design. I hate it. I love the fact there are two skus, a disc and disc-less option, but the thing looks like Alienware made a router – futuristic and wacky. No price. No release date. And I’m still curious about how loud the thing is going to be. At least the controller is slick.

So, disappointing design aside, the games are where it’s at. And Sony delivered. Spiderman: Miles Morales. Horizon Zero Dawn 2. Resident Evil 8. Ratchet and Clank. Kena. Pragmatic. Twenty-five in all. Anything mind-blowing? No. But enough great games to elicit a genuine sense of glee in me. I enjoyed what I saw. The games looked fun. Partially because they actually showed gameplay. Partially because they showed a bunch of games exclusive to the PS5. And the rest because I’m finally excited about next generation gaming in the fall.

After being on the receiving end of a one-sided fist fight for the better part of a year, Sony has captured the momentum for the next generation. They got the games, while hinting we haven’t seen everything yet. Xbox has the bigger beast, the better online service, and a Game Pass with no equal. Their backwards compatibility is ahead of the curve, and they have an ace in their sleeve by the name of Phil Spencer. But can they answer with a gaming showpiece in July? Only time will tell. For now, consider this as Sony’s way of saying, “Rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated.”

Insightful Gaming – How Xbox Wins NextGen

I’m pretty stoked about next gen. 60fps? True 4K? SSD? Unreal 5? Ray Tracing? Sign me up. I have a feeling RPGs, stealth games and platforming are going to be huge. We also might see some incredible PC style strategy games finally hit consoles. And maybe, just maybe, a good Superman game. We have three systems: Xbox Series X, PS5, and Switch Pro (come on, it’s a given). In this quickie post, how can Xbox win next gen?

This is nothing more than a wishlist. I am not using any “insider info.” Nope. Just thirty years of gaming, my skills as an analyst, and my thoughts on where the industry is and where it can go. With that mumbo, jumbo out of the way, let’s get down to business.

June Event:

All about the hardware. Xbox Series X. Maybe the cheaper version, Xbox Series S. Elite Controller 2.0. Talk about Game Pass and X-Cloud. Demonstrate how Xbox Live is bigger and better. Then do a full power presentation.

If I were in charge of marketing, I’d press the following: Most Powerful System. Best Online Experience. Best Controller. Full Backwards Compatible. No censorship. Then emphasize Smart Delivery. I’d also ensure the event was only a day or two after Sony’s June event.

Lastly, I’d show-off some 3rd party titles. New Batman from Montreal? Superman from Rocksteady? Cyberpunk 2077? Harry Potter RPG? New Splinter Cell? Talk about how Xbox is the premiere choice for all third party titles. Then announce a bunch of timed exclusives. Hardcore gamers hate them, but it makes a significant impact on the market in general. Also, make the Flight Simulator the showpiece. End the presentation blasting the theme song from the 1990s X-Men animated series – yeah, Sony has Spiderman. We have the X-Men.

July Event

This first one is a long shot, but it makes sense. EA makes most of their money from live services. Live services work well with sport titles and Dice war games. They do not like single player experiences. Xbox wanted BioWare before. Plus, Respawn and Visceral Games would be perfect fits. Lastly, EA has never been a big fan of the Star Wars license. So they can unload it.

So the conference opens up with the announcement BioWare is now an Xbox studio. The Original Mass Effect trilogy, the Dragon Age trilogy, KOTOR I & II and Jade Empire are all being remastered alongside Saber Interactive. 4K resolution. 60fps. New content. Better gameplay mechanics. They show teasers for a new Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Anthem 2.0, and Jade Empire 2. But no rush. They then announce they are making KOTOR III alongside Obsidian.

Obsidian shows off dlc for The Outer Worlds, Grounded, and Pillars of Eternity 3. They also tease The Outer Worlds 2 and Alpha Protocol 2. Sega makes a statement that all of their new games are coming to Xbox: Persona, Yakuza, Sonic, Virtual Fighter, Phantasy Star, Atlas, and Total War. Then Total War announces they are working on a Halo RTS. This is followed by a string of 3rd party exclusives: Alan Wake 2 (Remedy), Marvel vs DC (Capcom), Dying Light 2 (Techland), Scalebound (Platinum), and Elden Ring (FromSoftware). This leads then to showing off a host of JRPGs that are finally coming to Xbox.

The Coalition show dlc for Gears Tactics, and then tease Mech Assault, Gears 6, and Jedi Academy. Ninja Theory show updates for Bleeding Edge, and then show Hellblade 2. They finish with teases for Project Mara and Odyssey 2. Trailers for Age of Empire 4 (Relic), Forza Motorsport 8 (with teaser for a new Forza New Horizons), Killer Instinct (no longer made by Rare), and then a bombshell: Bungie is once again an Xbox Studio. They drop trailers for Destiny 3 and a new IP and they tease they will be tackling Battlefront.

Rare shows off Sea of Thieves 2.0 with NPC crews and a host of improvements and additions. They show trailers for Everwild and Banjo and hint that they are not finished with Conker or the Battletoads.

The Initiative blasts onto the stage with a futuristic spy thriller reboot of Perfect Dark. They also tease they are working on X-Men and Deadspace. Then the trailer for Fable 4 is dropped by Playground Games. This segment is finished off by ReSpawn showing off Titan Fall 3, Apex Legends 2.0, and Jedi Fallen Order 2.

People Can Fly announces they are now an Xbox Studio. They show off a new IP and then tease they are tackling a reboot of TimeSplitters. Cause why not? Xbox then drops teasers for what multiple in-house studios are working on. A nice ten minute showcase of multiple games spread across multiple genres.

We then get teasers for Starfield, a new Witcher game, and that all dlc for LA Noire 2 is time exclusive for Xbox. Larian Studios comes out to say they are now an Xbox studio and Baulders Gate 3 and Divinity 3 are coming to Xbox. And then a partnership is announced: Xbox will be working with Bandai to create a Full Metal Alchemist game. They show off improvements to MineCraft and Fortnite before ending on a full reveal of Halo Infinite.

New weapons, new vehicles, improved melee, dual wielding, more assassinations, bigger environments, better stealth mechanics, and your armor takes on battle damage. You can also smash throw walls and drop a building on enemies – options are almost limitless to how you want to tackle missions. Hundreds of npcs make for huge set pieces. More WOW moments. The banished, the flood, new alien species, massive boss battles, space combat, and awesome Halo music. They reveal the biggest campaign ever with improved multiplayer and even a battle royal mode. 343 Studios then ends with a teaser for ODST 2.

August Event:

Obviously, this is where they should announce the price – $400 for Xbox Series X and $300 for Xbox Series S. They then announce a September release for Series X and a November release for Series S. They wrap it up with a showcase of the return of Summer Indies. A host of indie games will release every summer, starting with a ton of exclusives in August. Lastly, they mention that Game Pass, at least a limited version, will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in addition to Xbox Live for Switch. It’s a rad partnership and gives Xbox some serious momentum.

Summary:

Ok, so 90% of this is fantasy for sure. There could be curveballs, like ZeniMax or CD Projeket Red becoming an Xbox studio. Or maybe nothing happens and we get all hyped for nothing. But this is my wishlist, and I’m sticking to it until my dreams are dashed to pieces.