E3 2019: Our Xbox Predictions: How close were we?

Phil Spencer has taken the Xbox stage again this year to show off an all-new lineup of fresh games, new hardware, and a bunch of cool surprises. We tried to predict what we’d see at the show, but that’s not worth anything unless we look back to see just how we did. Refresh yourself here, then let’s get on with it!

The First-Party Games

We actually did pretty well here. All of the things we wanted to see came true, with the exception of Fable and, well, the wild prediction that perhaps Blinx would return. The Bleeding Edge rumours were true, and not only did Xbox show off more of The Outer Worlds, they started their briefing with it.

It can’t be overstated how upsetting the lack of Fable was. If only we’d picked Flight Simulator as the franchise to return, maybe the sting would lessen a bit.

The Hardware

Here’s another area in which we didn’t do too badly. We expected the announcement to be similar to that of the Xbox One S and Xbox One X reveal in 2016, but it didn’t go down quite exactly as we predicted.

Instead of the two-phase approach that we predicted, in which two consoles would be announced for release roughly a year apart from one another, Phil Spencer showed off a reel of people talking about the next generation of consoles while a virtual camera whirled through digital text up close until it was finally revealed to be called Project Scarlett.

The prediction we made that we actually thought was a bit outlandish was getting an updated Elite Controller, but Microsoft did just that with the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. The updated hardware has tighter control of hair triggers, three user profiles, a rechargeable battery (via USB-C), and updated Bluetooth tech, among other things. This was a pleasant surprise.

The Studios

While we weren’t able to accurately predict a studio that Microsoft may acquire (seriously, how have they not bought Ori and the Blind Forest developer Moon Studios yet?), Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios, announced on stage that they had acquired Double Fine. Tim Schafer appeared on stage and offered to “help out” on projects like Halo and Forza and, ahem, Excel, because of course he did.

The Services

We expected Project xCloud to be discussed at this year’s show, but didn’t expect that the new service would receive as much time as it did, let alone that it would be playable at this year’s show. But alas, that’s what we got, with an updated look at the new service and the two ways in which it will be offered: via Microsoft’s servers, or using your own console at home.

Xbox Live Gold itself didn’t get an update, but we found out that Xbox GamePass for PC is now included in the Xbox GamePass Ultimate subscription for no extra cost, or for $9.99 per month on its own. This makes the Ultimate bundle a pretty good deal with about a $10 monthly saving, if you’re going to have both services anyway.

Third Party Games and The Big Finale

Our biggest stumbling block with our predictions was actually the third-party games section. With Xbox showing off 60 new games and 14 Xbox Game Studios titles, it’s very interesting that we saw games that already have a lot of screen time (like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order) and no footage whatsoever of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, for example.

We weren’t treated to anything from Remedy’s Control, despite them being at the show, nor from Square Enix or Rocksteady, though the latter did say recently that they would not be showing anything new this year.

What we expected to be the big finale of the show was actually Halo, but we didn’t get this wrong, with Elden Ring, the game from George R. R. Martin and FromSoftware being shown off just before the company showed off Project xCloud and Scarlett at the end of their presentation.

All in all, we did pretty well, with an estimated 14 predictions correct out of the 20 or so that we made.

How about you? What predictions did you make for Xbox, and how did they turn out? Let us know in the comments!