Due to some updated information from an inside source, our Microsoft predictions had a slight delay. Nonetheless, we still have a few predictions for Microsoft’s press conference this Sunday. Microsoft themselves have probably had the least significant changes among the big three hardware companies. They released the Xbox One S console last year, the first console to play 4K blu-rays, and they officially announced development of Project Scorpio, which this presentation will focus on for the most part. Since this presentation has a bigger focus on hardware, and the Microsoft booth is significantly smaller this year, we have a feeling there won’t be much announced on the software front. Hopefully Microsoft will still have a cool surprise for us regardless. Here are some of GotGame’s predictions for Microsoft at E3 2017.
1. Project Scorpio Officially Named and Priced
This is the obvious one, as the Project Scorpio still doesn’t have an official name, nor does it have a price tag yet. It will be an Xbox console, so most likely the name will fall in line with that branding. Perhaps Xbox Zodiac or something along those lines. The name is a bit difficult to predict, but the price tag may be a bit easier. While the Scorpio is a 4K console, and quite a bit more powerful than the $400 PlayStation 4 Pro, it will likely be more expensive. Microsoft won’t want to make it too expensive, as that could lead to low sales.
The safe bet for the Scorpio would be that it will be priced at $499.99. It’s not too expensive, as this was the launch price for the Xbox One (back when it included the Kinect). It also isn’t so cheap that Microsoft won’t make a slight profit on it at this point. Going any higher and that would lead to launch PlayStation 3 price issues. Either way, we’ll definitely see both the name and price of the 4K console this Sunday.
2. Cuphead Release Date
Cuphead has been a fun little independent project that has been developed for the Xbox One as a console exclusive. First shown to the public at E3 2014, Cuphead intrigued audiences with the fantastic animation style reminiscent of 1930s cartoons. Our preview of the game was done back when the game was still a boss-rush game, but it has evolved to much more since then. Adding run-and-gun sidescrolling levels to the mix, it maintains a tough challenge and has fairly addicting gameplay.
Microsoft may focus on the Project Scorpio this E3, but StudioMDHR will likely take the stage, albeit briefly, just to finally give this game the long awaited release date. It would be a shame for this indie gem to be demoted to just being presented in an [email protected] sizzle reel again. Cuphead got a big audience reaction just for a short clip, so it would be good to see a new trailer along with a release date. It might even be a big surprise reveal as available immediately after the press conference.
3. New Third Party Partnership
Microsoft tends to be very accepting of deals with various companies when it comes to special content on their platform. They have EA Access with EA, a subscription service that allows players to play from a collection of games like Need for Speed and Dragon Age: Inquisition. This partnership allows select EA games to be accessed early on Xbox One consoles and shows a clear relationship between the companies. Even Star Wars: Battlefront II will include local co-op play exclusive to the Xbox One platform, despite the PlayStation 4 being the partnered console for the previous Star Wars: Battlefront.
Microsoft may want to partner with another company to try and bring in more players. Perhaps with Square-Enix, a company that they’ve already worked with to publish Rise of the Tomb Raider for the initial release in 2015. Bethesda may even be a good choice given that the Xbox One tends to get an extra advantage with some of their releases using the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility. Since the Project Scorpio is going to be fully unveiled, it’s likely that at least one third party company will try to take advantage of the hardware and do something special with Microsoft.
4. Halo Spin Off
While there were the recent rumors of Halo Gravemind that have been debunked, 343 Industries will still be in attendance at E3. They already said Halo 6 will not be at E3 2017 (though it will probably still be teased), and there won’t be a Halo 3 Anniversary. Given that information, it is likely that there may be another spin off, similar to Halo 3: ODST, or perhaps even a new mini-series like we predicted back in 2015. It’s a little bit of a stretch, but it’s more likely than a new IP from the studio, not that a new IP wouldn’t be welcome.
While Halo Gravemind may not exist, there will likely be something announced in the Halo universe regardless. Hopefully it will be something fans can get behind after Halo 5: Guardians, which while critically acclaimed, left fans a bit disappointed. They may even do something as simple as announce split-screen co-op for Halo 5: Guardians. Whatever it is, we’ll see on Sunday.
5. Franchise Revival
Microsoft is in a little bit of a pickle when it comes to exclusive franchises. With the recent cancellation of Scalebound, that lost a lot of interest from gamers everywhere. Microsoft isn’t like Sony or Nintendo when it comes to owning several IPs. Even though that’s the case, they do still have a lot of games they can try to revive. They’ve already started with Phantom Dust, releasing an updated free-to-play version on the original, not to mention the new game in the works. Why stop there though?
We mentioned it in our Microsoft predictions two years ago, but a MechAssault revival would still be incredibly welcome. Sure, it would slightly compete with Titanfall, but both franchises can coexist. Bringing back the Battletoads, another one of our previous predictions, would also be a good choice, as we’ve seen them make appearances in both Shovel Knight and Killer Instinct now. Maybe something in the Fable universe after the upsetting Fable Legends cancellation. It might be worth taking a moment to spotlight one of their dormant franchises to spark interest, especially if they want to give fans software to look forward to this holiday season.
6. Forza Motorsport 7
This is practically guaranteed since the Forza series has been an annual franchise since 2011. Turn 10 Studios has been one of the most prominent developers for Microsoft, giving them a big edge within the racing genre. After Forza Horizon 3 last year, it seems like 2017 would be a return to the track-based settings of Forza Motorsport. Forza Motorsport 7 is likely getting a formal announcement at the E3 press conference. Apparently, it was prematurely leaked by a steering wheel peripheral manufacturer back in December, but we haven’t had any actual announcements since then.
Forza Motorsport is well known for sporting hundreds of cars and beautifully detailed racing tracks from all over the world. 2015’s Forza Motorsport 6 added elements like night racing and rain, as well as a brand new story mode, similar to the Forza Horizon series. What could be in store for Forza Motorsport 7 perhaps? Maybe adding in icy roads and snow, similar to the Blizzard Mountain content for Forza Horizon 3. One of the guaranteed features will probably be native 4K support for the Project Scorpio, which will definitely make this one of the big games of the holiday season for the new console.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have quite as many predictions for Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to count them out. Microsoft made a bit of a change this year by choosing Sunday for their E3 2017 Media Briefing, so we’ll see in just a couple days. Microsoft will start their presentation on Sunday, June 11 at 2:00PM PST. We have a good feeling that at least half of these predictions will come true, but does anyone else have any predictions for Microsoft? Shout them out in the comments and let us know!