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X019’s Announcement Round-Up

On November 14th, video game fans from around the globe gathered to watch Inside Xbox Live from their X019 event and find out what’s next for Xbox as we approach E3 2020. 

The full presentation ran for over an hour and a half and could probably be considered ‘feature length’. It contained a range of new IP and new-to-Xbox IP that probably has something for everyone. 

Here are what we considered the highlights: 

Everwild

Rare’s new fantasy forest adventure IP is definitely visually stunning, but they were pretty vague on the gameplay details. Will this be Xbox’s Breath of the Wild? —and will it be co-op?! Either way, it’ll probably be on Xbox Game Pass. 

Grounded

Xbox Game Studios purchase of Obsidian continues to pay off after The Outer Worlds with a new multiplayer survival game IP coming out of left-field from a studio traditionally all about deeply immersive roleplaying games. From what we hear, the game will in fact have quite a lot of narrative focus than usual entries in the genre and should be good fun in online co-op. 

If you can’t wait for it’s Xbox Game Pass release you’ll be able to try it early if you get into the Xbox Insider Program before Spring 2020.

Bleeding Edge

Ninja Theory’s multiplayer hack-and-slash action game that somehow reminds hack-and-slash action game fans everywhere of both Anarchy Reigns and Overwatch releases in March 2020. Bleeding Edge will be a day-and-date Xbox Game Pass release and if you currently have the service you should be able to try the game out before it releases in some exclusive closed beta tests.  

xCloud To Become A Part Of XBOX Game Pass

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xCloud remains a priority for Xbox Game Studios and they have now confirmed that the service will also be available on Windows 10 computers. This means that for the first time many OG Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles will be available without any extra work required from developers to port older releases over.  

Microsoft also revealed 50 more games that will soon be able to be played by users in the cloud-gaming service’s test program before going to explain that the service will become a part of Game Pass. The idea behind this is to further lower the barrier between players and new games. Soon you won’t even have to download the game if you don’t want to!

Halo ODST & Reach Remasters Come To Game Pass

Microsoft was happy to announce that the remasters of Halo ODST and Halo Reach will now be given to Xbox Game Pass users as part of The Master Chief Collection, allowing people with a sub to play the entire franchise whenever they’d like. 

Halo Reach will also release on the PC December 3rd and will follow Gears 5’s success with a simultaneous release on both Game Pass Ultimate and various digital storefronts like Steam or the Microsoft Store.  It will also have cross-play with its console counterpart, but it has yet to be confirmed whether there will be stipulations on what input devices players can use.

Age Of Empires Has A New Studio, With Two Upcoming Releases

Having had some success with a remastered “Definitive Edition” of the original Age of Empires game back in February 2018, it seemed like only a matter of time before the historic strategy and empire-builder series got the revival it deserved. 

We weren’t surprised when Xbox Game Studios told everyone in the world that they had created the new World’s Edge studio specifically to deal with the brand, but we were pretty shocked when they showed off a first gameplay trailer for a brand-new Age of Empires 4 game that showed off the first two factions —the Mongols and the English.

If that weren’t enough, they also announced that people with Xbox Game Pass on PC could play Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition as soon as the stream ended. 

Minecraft Dungeons Release Date

Xbox Game Studios and Mojang showed off another new trailer for their Diablo-like game Minecraft Dungeons that makes the whole thing look to be quite fun. Dungeons has also now gone from the vague non-release date of “TBA” to the less vague but still sort-of vague “April 2020”. 

Minecraft: Dungeons will be cross-play between Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox if all goes to plan. It will also be on Xbox Game Pass on day one, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding someone to party up with on your adventure regardless of where you want to play. 

Yakuza And Final Fantasy (And Lots Of Other Stuff!) Come To XBOX Game Pass

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In a series first for Yakuza, the X019 event announced that the brand would not only be coming to Xbox but the first 3 of Kazuma Kiryu’s adventures (Yakuza Zero, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2 chronologically) will be on Game Pass as soon as they release on the system. This should be good news for the brand outside of Japan and bring in even more fans in time for the sort-of reboot Yakuza: Like A Dragon (Ryu Ga Gatoku 7 in Japan) —although that title has yet to be announced for the console.

Alongside other big hits like Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 and cool indie games like Skate Bird and Phogs, Xbox also revealed that Final Fantasy 7 through Final Fantasy 15 will all be releasing on Xbox Game Pass in the near future. That’s … that’s a lot of hours of grinding for XP included with subscriptions. 

This event showed a good line-up for Microsoft as they head forward both in terms of games and new strategies for things like cloud-gaming. Overall this was pretty good news and I’m excited to see what the rest of 2019 and early-2020 holds for the Xbox brand on the road to their Project Scarlett reveal in time for the holiday season next year. 

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