E3 2018 pre-season is upon us, as such, it is time for every video game website to perform its yearly duties and conduct the sacred ritual. We have all been called upon to attempt the impossible, to briefly look into the future by gazing into the void in hopes of discerning even the smallest fragment of enlightenment; Critical Coins is no different. And just as many have done so before, we too will perform this ancient rite, and attempt to predict what will be announced at this year’s E3.
See our other E3 2018 predictions:
- Bethesda E3 2018 Predictions
- Nintendo E3 2018 Predictions
- Sony E3 2018 Predictions
- Ubisoft E3 2018 Predictions
Microsoft this year is in a precarious position. With a lack of exclusives becoming only a greater issue as time goes by, Microsoft has been forced to rely on other means to stay competitive. Releasing the Xbox One X, Gamer Pass, and expanding their backward compatibility catalog have all aided Microsoft in the past few years, but for Microsoft to get out of its rut, it will have to bring more to the table at this year’s E3 than just features, they are going to need games.
1Gears of War 5
Thanks to Walmart Canada and the recent Rage 2 announcement, the likelihood of Gears of War 5 being announced seems all the more believable and is the sole reason it is on this list. Considering how recently Gears of War 4 released (October 2016), we would have thought this would be a 2019 holiday release, but we suppose it doesn’t stop Microsoft from announcing it this year. Gears of War 4 made some notable changes and improvements to the franchise but suffered due to the somewhat bland story and microtransactions running rampant in multiplayer. However, if Gears of War 2 is anything to go by, Gears of War 5 will hopefully be the entry that starts to take this new trilogy in strides.
2Halo 6 Teaser
Xbox needs a Halo 6 (if we are even sticking with numbers going forward), being in desperate need of exclusives, Microsoft could easily spearhead a new push for exclusive titles with Halo at the helm. Unfortunately, Halo 5‘s sales were lackluster, and while some of us (Mitch) enjoyed the multiplayer in Halo 5 more than any other of the series, the single player was extremely disappointing and sales suffered accordingly. Microsoft can’t afford to rush this title out the gate, but it doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from the allure of a new Halo title on the way to drum up interest in the Xbox brand and any other exclusives Microsoft hopefully has on the way.
3More Backwards Compatibility Titles
If there is any feature that the Xbox has taken full advantage of in terms of marketability, it’s backward compatibility. It is an area for Microsoft where its only negative is that every game isn’t available as part of the program. News sites love it, fans love it, we even love it, breathing new life into many of those old classics that fans have come to love over the years. It seems only appropriate that Microsoft will continue this trend by releasing even more titles to the program.
A price cut is bound to be coming to both the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S. Microsoft’s strategy for these past few years has been trying to compete with PlayStation in two areas, price and power. The Xbox One S certainly doesn’t compete on power, but in comparison to the PlayStation 4 Slim, the Xbox One S can compete on price. With the 500GB model currently $50 cheaper than the PlayStation 4 Slim, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this drop further or outright discontinued in favor of the 1TB model becoming $250.
In regards to the Xbox One X, it is currently the most expensive console on the market and also the newest. It is also in direct competition with the PlayStation 4 pro which has been out on the market for one additional year. We expect Sony to drop the price of the PlayStation 4 Pro, and for Microsoft to continue the fight, will at least need to drop the price slightly to make the gap between these two consoles not as wide as we suspect it might become.
5New Additions to Game Pass
This should come as no surprise as Microsoft has been wanting to turn games into a service for a long, long time and is in only going to pursue it further. It is one of the biggest boons that Microsoft has for Xbox, so why stop? It wouldn’t be surprising to us if Microsoft attempts to build further interest into Game Pass by creating better and more longer lasting timed exclusives for the platform if only to force players to try the system.
After all, once that auto-renew is on, the money will just keep rolling in.
6Crackdown 3 Actually Releasing
The title says it all. This game has gotten delay after delay and it needs to finally come to fruition, and release. If we don’t hear anything at this E3, this title may never come out.
7Sea of Thieves Update
We may not be too interested in Sea of Thieves, but regardless of the rocky start the title received, Microsoft won’t let this game simply drift off into the ether. Instead, we fully expect Microsoft will want to pour resources into it until it becomes something worthy. This will just be the first step of many in hopes of achieving that.
Fable keeps getting destroyed, morphed, change, altered, and spun around for the Xbox One. Originally it was to be Fable Legends, a co-op online focused take on the Fable series. Sadly, Lionshead studio would eventually be closed by Microsoft and Fable Legends would find itself in the undesirable position of canceled. A short time after the cancellation, reports started pouring in, revealing that Playground Games would be taking the series forward and ultimately become the creators of the supposed Fable 4.
Having a developer who is best known for racing titles and a franchise that can’t seem to catch a break makes this an iffy prediction at best.
Microsoft has never been too keen on having indie titles on Xbox, but Microsoft has shown an affection for promoting and making exclusives of titles larger than your typical indie game. Games such as Ori and the Blind Forest, State of Decay, Ashen, and others have been given a unique status of well-promoted AA games. With Microsoft’s lack of exclusives being a continuous source of issues, announcing and promoting more AA titles that can be more easily turned around is almost a guarantee at the upcoming presentation.
Overall, we don’t expect much from the Microsoft E3 conference. Microsoft is in a position that it needs to make big announcements focused on turning its exclusive problem around, but it’s sadly not been enough time for that to come to fruition. Instead, we expect a lot of foreshadowing of potential future titles and building off of Microsoft’s past laurels for the Xbox but not much being revealed that will show the turn around it needs. That will most likely be reserved for 2019.
But, we would love to be wrong 😀