Shortly after the official announcement of the Xbox One S, Microsoft managed to finish off the rest of 2016 strong thanks to their Xbox Play Anywhere and backward compatibility initiatives. Major exclusives like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 were nothing short of fantastic but the question that remains now is how can they build on this momentum in 2017 and beyond?
New software and intriguing hardware are both the answer to this very question and are two areas that the company will focus heavily on over the next 365 days. With this in mind, I wanted to put together a quick list of several Xbox One / Windows 10 exclusives that we can expect to play later this year. Please note that this list only includes titles that we know for sure are Microsoft exclusives.
Halo Wars 2
Release Date: February 21st
Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game set within the science fiction universe of the Halo series and being developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly. This long-awaited sequel focuses primarily on an ongoing war between the United Nations Space Command and a new alien faction known as the Banished.
The original Halo Wars launched on Xbox 360 back in 2009 and on Xbox One and Windows 10 last month. Halo Wars 2 is expected to be more accessible for those who haven’t played RTS games before, opening up the possibilities of expanding audience level and interest to new heights.
Release Date: Holiday 2017
Crackdown 3 is an open world action-adventure game that allows players to destroy literally everything in their path. This David Jones directed title pushes cloud computing features to the max and offers several dynamic destructible environments to explore.
During an Xbox Extra Life Twitch Stream late last year, Microsoft reps stated that Crackdown 3 is expected to launch during Holiday 2017. With The Xbox Scorpio also scheduled to release around the same time, it’s a given that this will be one of many titles used to promote both the power and versatility of the 4K compatible console. Stay tuned for more information on this title in the days and months ahead.
Release Date: TBA 2017
Cuphead is a run and gun platform indie game created by Canadian brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer of Studio MDHR. This 1930s cartoon stylized title started out as a single-player and multiplayer boss battles game before morphing into a full-fledged platformer. Cuphead has been in development for a long time and is finally expected to launch worldwide sometime later this year.
Release Date: TBA 2017
Scalebound is an action role-playing game currently in development by PlatinumGames. This third-person perspective title has been described as Hideki Kamiya’s dream project and will allow players to control a dragon while exploring vast new worlds.
This time last year, PlatinumGames delayed Scalebound to 2017 and new news on the title has been scarce ever since. I personally was looking forward to this game last year and I’ll be interested to see if it lives up to my own personal expectations once it finally launches later this year.
Sea of Thieves
Release Date: Q1 2017
Sea of Thieves is a single-player and multiplayer action-adventure game developed by the talented team over at Rare. This pirate-themed title features first-person gameplay elements and a strong emphasis on user-generated content.
Sea of Thieves was in early Alpha phase last month for a select number of participants. There currently isn’t a confirmed release date more specific than Q1 2017, but I’m more inclined to believe that the game has a better chance of launching early – late Spring 2017 instead.
State of Decay 2
Release Date: TBA 2017
State of Decay 2 is a single-player and multiplayer zombie survival game being developed by Undead Labs. After the success of State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition, the developers went back to the drawing board to create a sequel with better multiplayer components and a much more expansive open world.
We haven’t heard any new details on this game ever since it was revealed during E3 2016. For this reason, I believe it’s most likely that this title won’t hit stores until the second half of the year.
Forza Motorsport 7
Release Date: Sept 2017
Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios haven’t confirmed the existence of Forza Motorsport 7 yet but it’s certainly a given now based on their alternating release schedules between this and the Forza Horizon series. I’ve gone on record stating multiple times that Forza Horizon 3 is already the best racing game so far this generation and I’m very eager to see how the next Forza game raises that bar.
Forza Motorsport 7 will more than likely be another Xbox Scorpio showcase title that we will hear about during Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference. If it launches before the console, then there certainly will be a day one update for 4K and additional performance enhancements.
One of the most interesting things about Microsoft’s 2017 software lineup is that there are still plenty of other exclusives that can be announced at any given time. Microsoft executives are already touting 2017 and the year of the Xbox Scorpio and one would think that there will be more titles that will launch day and date with the new console. E3 2017 will definitely shed more light on this subject and it will be intriguing to see what else Microsoft has in store for us all.
This concludes my list on the most anticipated Xbox One / Windows 10 exclusives of 2017. Do any of you plan on buying one of all of the titles listed above? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.