Last month we had the PlayStation Showcase, featuring the next wave of games coming to the console, and ever quick to respond, Microsoft has its own Xbox Showcase this Sunday. We’ve already been given hints at what to expect, with a teaser suggesting a brand-new Fable game is all but certain to be announced. But here are three more things I’m desperate to see at the Xbox Showcase.
1. No more Redfalls
Arkane Studios’ vampire shooter Redfall was meant to be the killer exclusive for Xbox and Game Pass players but in reality, the game launched toothless. Millions were disappointed with a title launching full of game-breaking bugs and issues, while the game itself wasn’t much to write home about even when it did work.
This is a massive disappointment from the studio that created the likes of Dishonored and Deathloop, and it has since emerged that Arkane was desperate for more time before the release, having had multiple delays already. We need Xbox’s big exclusives to be the strongest offerings on the platform, not just another title in the library. While the PlayStation Showcase featured a surprising amount of games that are also coming to Xbox (as Microsoft were quick to point out), it did at least have Spider-Man 2 to bring the house down.
As for Redfall itself, hopefully, we will see some major updates announced on Sunday that will bring the game out of its coffin. All of this puts more pressure on Starfield, the much-hyped Bethesda title that will have its own Starfield Direct event straight after the showcase.
2. A handheld done right
This might be a case of wishful thinking but after Sony announced its Project Q handheld at its own showcase, we couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. It seems more of an accessory than its own bonafide system, as it can only stream games from a nearby PS5 console. Those hoping for a spiritual successor to the PS Vita will need to keep dreaming.
Xbox doesn’t have any handheld pedigree but the Nintendo Switch has gone unchallenged for an age, if Microsoft announced a handheld machine with more power than the ageing Switch, it would be both a dig at Sony and a popular reveal. Imagine getting access to the whole library of Game Pass on the move.
3. A massive boost to Game Pass
This is something I expect Microsoft to go hard on at the showcase. Game Pass is one of the best deals in gaming but it has gone slightly stagnant recently. Aside from Redfall, there have been a few major titles added to the service recently.
Some of the indies have been excellent (check out Cassette Beasts) but Game Pass is much better than Sony’s PlayStation Plus tiers and Microsoft needs to flaunt that. It was known as a platform where big titles would launch simultaneously with their individual release, and a return to that model would definitely liven up the service.
A recent GeForce Now update lets those without high-end gaming machines or consoles stream a handful of the best Xbox games and it would be great to see the whole Game Pass library become available on the service as part of Game Pass Ultimate. Perhaps they could be bundled together under one subscription like EA Play is already. The equation is simple, a strong Game Pass means a strong Xbox.