Microsoft feels like it’s back to the Xbox One era with its release landscape

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Yesterday Bethesda announced that it was delaying its two biggest games of 2022, Redfall and Starfield, to 2023. Delays are certainly the norm for big games these days, but Starfield had promised a hyper-specific date in which Bethesda has expressed supreme confidence (11.11.22) but more importantly, it’s a Microsoft studio. And those are Xbox exclusives that aren’t coming anymore this year.

With both of these games delayed until 2023, the current landscape of Xbox exclusive games certainly reminds me a lot of what we saw in the days of the Xbox One. No, not in terms of hardware like the Kinect, and certainly the Series X/S launched with better tech and Xbox Game Pass is doing well.

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But in terms of first-party releases? The thing that Xbox has struggled with over PlayStation for the whole generation? Yes, that part sounds a bit familiar.

Let’s go in reverse order here, shall we?

In 2022 now, the delay of Redfall and Starfield means that Xbox will effectively have no major exclusive releases this year. That’s not to say there aren’t great games like Tunic, and we might see something like Scorn come out before the end of the year, but it’s not on the same scale. And even if Sony ends up pushing God of War Ragnarok back to 2023 (which seems inevitable at this point), PlayStation still released the excellent Horizon Forbidden West this year, at the very least.

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In 2021, this is the period when yes, Xbox has managed to release some of its most prominent games. As always, Forza Horizon 5 was excellent, although you’ll recall the series was also the culmination of the Xbox One era. Halo Infinite launched after a year’s delay to relatively solid reviews, but since then things have fallen apart with the game’s transition to a live multiplayer title, which has brought six-month seasons and a progression system. eternally heavy. Players are constantly upset and 343 frequently apologizes for something they got wrong. Sony, meanwhile, had plenty of hits, Ratchet and Clank, Returnal, and Deathloop, to name a few.

And all the way back in 2020, Xbox essentially ceded the entire launch window to PlayStation because it delayed Halo Infinite, which no longer released with Series X/S. Sony, meanwhile, had Demon’s Souls and Miles Morales for the PS5.

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Today we entered a really bizarre situation where PlayStation released more Bethesda games than Xbox in the first two years (along with Deathloop). Even the ever-positive Phil Spencer sounded a little irritated when he commented on the double-delay news:

In short, although the hardware and services are better, Xbox is pretty much in the same position when it comes to first-party versions as it was at the start of the Xbox One era, and Microsoft isn’t holding his promise to strike first. board games released every three months. While yes, we have many, many potentially big hits on the way, between delays and nebulous schedules and dodgy production reports, anyone can guess when most of them will arrive and in what condition they’ll be. . Hopefully the second half of this generation comes with some fantastic Xbox megahits, but two years later we’ve barely seen that potential realized, despite Microsoft saying they want to make it the focus of this generation.

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