Can the Microsoft July Showcase give them an edge?

By now, you should have gotten the chance to see the PlayStation 5 in all its glory. From the rather unique design of the console to the wide variety of games revealed, Sony‘s silence seems to have finally paid off. With everything short of further games coming to the console later this year and the actual release date and price, all eyes will be turning back to Microsoft and what exactly they have to showcase on their July showcase.

Horizon Zero Dawn PS5 game
It may be a ways off, but Forbidden West will be why some will get themselves a PS5.

While two games have been confirmed already, (Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga, and likely a new Forza title too), but what else will we see? Before we speculate too much, it should be fair to point out just what Microsoft’s plan is for the coming months. While Sony did bide their time in sharing information for their next console, Microsoft didn’t even wait for 2020 to start before revealing the Series X. Since then, Microsoft also has not hesitated to share details on the system on a seemingly monthly basis with the last one showcasing the third party title that will be coming later this year.

But suppose Microsoft chose in advance how they want to portray the new console and how having multiple presentations could likely “mislead” onlookers about the July presentation. The May “Gameplay Presentation” didn’t really do many wonders for players, but who’s to say Microsoft won’t use that time to have a presentation that could blow away all expectations. Could it happen?  Who’s to say, but Microsoft‘s next move could be rather decisive if done right.

Sony’s Single Presentation vs Microsoft’s Multiple Presentations

For the comments written online through various social media, it seems funny to consider how some quickly seem to jump to comparing Microsoft’s presentation in May to Sony‘s conference for this month. When you compare the two, there’s no denying that Sony did have the far better showing, but that is because of two specific reasons: One is that they did showcase gameplay footage from their upcoming games, but the other was how Sony is likely not planning on another showing like this between now and when the system launches later this year.

This is a fair assumption to make, isn’t it? Why would Sony need to have another presentation if we know exactly what we’re going to get? Of course, they can certainly have one more State of Play that can show off more games that will be launch titles for PlayStation 5, but chances are that they wouldn’t be as big or significant as other games that were showcased, such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Chris will be breaking into your house regardless if you play with Sony or Microsoft (or PC)
Source; Resident Evil 8

The other thing to consider is that because Sony is likely giving themselves one-shot is because of the various multiplatform titles we saw too, such as Resident Evil 8- Village, and Hitman 3. Nothing wrong with showing off games that will be on other platforms, but when we get to the Microsoft presentation in July, Microsoft likely won’t be showcasing multiplatform games.

Getting to the good parts

This is the one thing many seem to be purposely overlooking. While we were so distracted by Microsoft‘s idea of what Gameplay reveals would be (and again, rightfully got called out for it by everyone for not showing actual gameplay), some might have forgotten how at the beginning, they did state the “First Party Presentation” would be held in July.

For Microsoft, this is going to be critical as they will be doing something that Sony was unable to do and focus solely on games purely for the Xbox Series X (and to a lesser extent, Xbox One). Of course, it was great for Sony to showcase those multiplatform games on their presentation first, but in the end, those will still be games you can play on other platforms (same as those that were shown during Microsoft‘s May presentation)

The other critical thing about this presentation will be how this will likely have Microsoft showcasing all the games under the “Xbox Game Studios” banner. From the various companies which are apart of, they will be on the front lines to showcase the next games that will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms and how we will likely see brand new titles and IPs emerge. If there was ever a time for Microsoft to sell us on the Xbox Series X, this would literally be it. No more second chances after this showcase.

Microsoft’s Uphill Battle

The more important thing Microsoft needs to do when they showcase their  July presentation will be to show off brand new ideas.  It is fantastic that they will be doing their smart delivery program and will allow you to can enjoy your game without having to feel like you have to buy it twice. But as cruel as this is about to sound, was there really those “exclusives” out of Microsoft that drove you to the system in the first place? There might be a few, but when you compare it to what was done during the run of the PlayStation 4, those were really few and very far between.

But here’s the other thing to consider: While Microsoft will give you the chance to have enjoyed an “enhanced version” of a game if you play it on the Series X, there is no guarantee that you will see that for the PS5. Yes, your copy of Spider-Man will have little to no load times, but we have yet to get that confirmation that you will get to see those titles getting enhancements between PS4 and PS5 with the “latest of PlayStation 5 technology” as what Microsoft is pitching with the Series X.

Best to avoid the sequels

As much as we can put that against Sony, that also works against Microsoft too (as least for the short-term). If a game comes out on the Series X, it will also be on the Xbox One for the next year or so, that means they absolutely must have those games that will draw people to them. Announcing Gears of War 6, Crackdown 4, or any other sequel to a long-running series is not going to cut it here (with small exceptions like a new Killer Instinct or a new Ori).

Contrary to popular belief, this will not inspire confidence for the next gen.
Source: Gears of War 5

Here’s the main takeaway: If you can take a wild guess as to what “exclusive” Microsoft series that you could see coming to the Series X, its actual announcement might leave you underwhelmed. We can see the return of a game series or two, but now more than ever: We need new. New stories to get invested in, new worlds to explore, and new experiences to witness. Overall, New IPs.

Will we see those new titles that will draw our attention? It is a possibility, but the lack of a confident answer is why many feel like Microsoft will drop the ball when the time comes. They will need to catch us off guard with unexpected announcements and force Sony‘s hand. And hopefully, it will be for some big game announcements and not just saying what their next console will cost.

But of course, if the Series X’s cost is within a “lower” price range, that could easily be more than enough to turn some away from a more “costly” gaming experience. Let’s just hope there’s more to the presentation than that though.

Thank you for Reading

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Michael Solseth

How’s it going everyone, I’m Mike Sol and I am one of many contributing writers to Culture of Gaming. You can usually find me playing some of the latest games to come out, although I tend to avoid anything related to sports or strategy. I enjoy the big three and all the games on them but my main console is the Xbox One. I don’t have a specific preference in gaming, but any game that has fun action and beating up waves of enemies is usually my cup tea. If you ever want me to game with me or want me to write about something of interest, feel free to hit me up. I hope to have a personal blog set up soon, but my loyalties shall remain with CoG.

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