As I predicted last month, prior to all of the summer gaming events, the Xbox Games Showcase blew away the PlayStation Showcase. Both events were full of big, exciting announcements, but Microsoft’s first-party titles outnumbered Sony’s two to one. After a frustratingly slow start, the list of Xbox console exclusives will finally start to grow at a faster clip. My only concern is that six of the eight games are either coming out in 2024 or don’t even have a release window.
How many Xbox games will actually make 2024?
Microsoft shared new information about eight upcoming first-party games during its Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday. Here’s the full list of those Xbox Game Studios games, along with release dates (provided Microsoft offered one during the event):
- Starfield | September 6, 2023
- Forza Motorsport | October 10, 2023
- Avowed | 2024
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 | 2024
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II | 2024
- Clockwork Revolution | TBD
- Fable | TBD
- South of Midnight | TBD
In the moment, seeing all of these games back-to-back was a thrill, especially given the pedigree of many of these studios. But then you take a step back and realize there is no telling how many of them will actually be playable by the end of next year.
Microsoft announced the Fable reboot in 2020. Three years later, all the team at Playground Games has to show you is a two-minute trailer and not even a hint of when the game might be ready. Obsidian’s RPG Avowed was revealed at the same event as Fable, and although it does appear to be further along in development, Microsoft couldn’t be any more specific than “2024” in regards to its release date. Then there’s the intriguing Perfect Dark reboot (also unveiled in 2020) which didn’t even make an appearance at the showcase.
None of this is meant to disparage the developers or any of their games, all of which I’m excited to play, but it is difficult to get your hopes up when the future is so foggy. If all three games dated for 2024 do indeed launch next year, it will be a banner year for the Xbox Series X and Series S. If two or even all three are delayed, we’ve got a problem.
Simply put, despite acquiring two dozen incredible development teams, the pace of first-party game launches for the Xbox and PC has been woefully sluggish. Starfield and Forza Motorsport should make for a killer tandem this fall, but how long are we going to have to wait for the first console exclusive of 2024? If Microsoft can pump out 3 or 4 major first-party releases next year along with a few pleasant surprises in the same vein as Hi-Fi Rush, I might be hard-pressed not to recommend an Xbox Series X over a PS5. But that’s a big if.