It’s the biggest stand-off of the year; Sony and Microsoft are waiting for the other company to cave and announce both the release date and price of its next generation console. Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X were confirmed to release at the end of 2020 yet beyond that vague ballpark of a window, specifics have remained scarce. Thus, Microsoft’s recently confirmed slightly more specific release window (still without a price) has no doubt served as a warning show across Sony’s bow that the company is gearing up to make their final wave of Series X preparations…even if the upcoming announcements aren’t all that great.
Okay, so the good news first. Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series X is launching…in November! When in November? Come on, did you really expect them to give away that much information, the rascals. Folks have been speculating that the first week of November seems like a pretty solid bet for the actual release of the console but given the state of the world right now, they may have intentionally left a numbered date out of the announcement to help contend with possible pandemic related delays.
Now for the not so great news. The big pull for the launch of the Xbox Series X was that it was dropping with Halo Infinite has a launch title…or at least, that was the intention. Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has opted to delay the release of the game to 2021 due to a number of reasons, only one of which being the “ongoing COVID-related” situation that has seen employees transition to a work-from-home environment.
One has to wonder if the somewhat negative response of the internet to the less than stellar visuals of Halo Infinite has contributed to the delay. When Microsoft showed off the game a few weeks ago, people were more than a little disappointed with the visuals of Halo Infinite, possibly prompting 343 Industries to dedicate more time to sprucing up the game’s graphics.
Halo Infinite no longer launching alongside the Xbox Series X…well, it’s quite a hit for Microsoft. When the console launches in November, at what is expected to be a hefty price, there’s very little in the way of dedicated, exclusive software to win people over. Game Pass and the optimisation of new and older games for the Series X is what Microsoft has been leaning on up to this point and given the delay of their only true-blue anticipated Xbox exclusive, it seems that Game Pass is going to be doing even more heavy lifting in the future.
(Source: The Verge)