Xbox at Gamescom 2017: How to watch, what to expect
NEW YORK, Aug 18 — Xbox goes to annual video game expo Gamescom barely two months from the launch of a super-powered Xbox One X, but it’s just bumped showcase title “Crackdown 3” into 2017. So what can we expect from Xbox at the enormous games event?
“We are doing something we haven’t done in awhile at Gamescom, it will be different from what fans expect but I’m excited,” Phil Spencer tweeted in the lead-up to Gamescom 2017.
Rather than Spencer leading the show, as he did at June’s glitzy Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3,) Xbox Europe’s Graeme Boyd and Maxi Gräff host an “Xbox @ Gamescom” live show, a pared-down event with news, gameplay, and developer chats.
The August 20 show starts 9pm Central European Summer Time. That’s 12 noon PDT, 3pm EDT, 7pm UTC, 8pm UK, 9pm South Africa, and then half past midnight in Delhi, India, 3am in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Beijing, China, 4am in Japan and South Korea, and 5am in Sydney, Australia.
August 21 has an “Age of Empires” special set for the same time, while August 22, the first official day of Gamescom, is oriented towards an Xbox FanFest and show floor demos for attendees.
Xbox laid out some of its Gamescom plans in a mid-July announcement, telegraphing 27 playable games on Xbox One and Windows 10 systems, but limiting namechecks to October’s “Forza Motorsport 7,” a 20th anniversary edition for “Age of Empires,” and early 2018’s naval multiplayer “Sea of Thieves.”
Just as well, as high profile super-sized action showpiece “Crackdown 3,” originally set for a November release, has been moved into 2018.
That reduces 2017’s known exclusives to the glossy, growling racing powerhouse “Forza,” late September’s vintage cartoon-style action adventure “Cuphead,” and jump’n’run sequel “Super Lucky’s Tale.”
All are branded Xbox exclusives for both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10, with December’s sneak ‘em up “Hello Neighbor” then releasing on Mac and through Steam.
“ReCore” is expected to be repackaged in a deluxe edition while Microsoft-published post-apocalyptic jaunt “State of Decay 2”, like “Sea of Thieves,” has been earmarked for an early 2018 debut and could drop in.
That still leaves plenty of space for multi-platform games releasing in tandem on PlayStation 4 and, in some instances, the Nintendo Switch, over the next few months: Electronic Arts’ “FIFA” franchise is particularly crucial in Europe, while Ubisoft previously showed E3 support through late October’s Egyptian-themed “Assassin’s Creed: Origins.”
That “Origins” preview underlined the visual advantages of November 7’s Xbox One X, and with the US$499 (RM2,143.45) console’s launch (and pre-orders) not far off, Gamescom is a chance to reinforce its appeal.
PC gaming’s enormous hit “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is also due on Xbox One before the year’s end, while other titles with promised Xbox One X enhancements include “Destiny 2,” “Middle Earth: Shadow of War,” “Gears of War 4,” “Minecraft,” and “Halo 5.” — AFP-Relaxnews