The world finally got a taste of Xbox Series X footage this morning. So far, the response has been a bit underwhelming.
Xbox showed off a string of games early Friday morning, starting proceedings with the Chinese indie title Bright Memory: Infinite. It was a short introduction that featured in-engine graphics, but not much in the way of actual gameplay. It didn't help that Microsoft started proceedings by noting that gameplay from Microsoft's first party games like Halo: Infinite and their studios including Obsidian, Rare, Mojang, Ninja Theory and Double Fine, wouldn't be revealed until July, two months from now.
That set the tone a little for a lot of what was to follow. Scorn was introduced to the world in a similar fashion, with a "gameplay" trailer that looked nothing more like an extended cutscene. Assassin's Creed Valhalla was probably the biggest offender, not helped by tweets from Ubisoft developers 24 hours prior trying to lower expectations.
Out of the games that showed what looked like regular gameplay (with HUDs removed), there wasn't anything that especially stood out as a next-gen title. No first party titles were shown off, even though Halo: Infinite is still targeting a 2020 holiday release. A bright spot was that the majority of the line-up supported Xbox's Smart Delivery system, meaning that anyone who buys them for Xbox One will get the Xbox Series X version for free.
Still, the initial reaction this morning has been one of confusion. Some users wondered why Xbox wasn't making a bigger deal around the console exclusivity around the titles, particularly since some of them are exclusive to Xbox or Xbox Game Pass when you dig into the fine print:
Stuff that went a bit under the radar.
- "The Medium" by Bloober Team is an Xbox console exclusive. Raytracing on XSX. Launching on Game Pass
- "Scorn" is an Xbox console exclusive. Launching on Game Pass
- "Call of the Sea" is an Xbox console exclusive. Launching on Game Pass pic.twitter.com/uOZa6nD1z3
— Klobrille (@klobrille) May 7, 2020
I have absolutely no idea why all this information wasn't shared to begin with. It turns out the majority of the games shown today are actually launch exclusives to Xbox. This could've make a better impression if known. I shouldn't be the one telling you all that ...
— Klobrille (@klobrille) May 7, 2020
For many, the biggest complaint around the showcase was a lack of actual gameplay:
Where the actual gameplay? You know, starting the Series X, loading a game, how the console will work, THIS is what we wanted Team Xbox, you’re doing a great job, but this time, marketing wasn’t good.
— Ozias Liontar. (@pedroHPSjaumsin) May 7, 2020
The games on the Xbox Series X presentation looked super interesting, especially that first-person shooter game in the beginning. Only thing was calling it a 'gameplay' showcase. If it was "First Look at Third Party Games on Xbox Series X" I don't think people would be upset.
— TheRazoredEdge (@TheRazoredEdge) May 7, 2020
I remember drooling over Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 graphics before they were launched. After watching the Xbox Series X “gameplay” videos sad that “next gens” are now just budget PC’s.
— Sarp Solakoglu (@sarpsolakoglu) May 7, 2020
The Xbox Series X gameplay reveal event was alright, not amazing, not bad tbh.
Some of the games they showed off got me really interested but all the 'gameplay' (lol) was extremely scripted and fake, I really wish they'd shown some actual *human* gameplay but w/e
— Luc // HiddenXperia (@HiddenXperia) May 7, 2020
"Inside Xbox presents First Look Xbox Series X Gameplay"
- None of the videos are gameplay
- The stream was 30fps
- Most games were from small studios w/ little preparation
This was as inaccurate & unimpressive as possible. What a way to begin showing off your console's power.
— The Mushroom Calzone Gamer (@GigaBoots) May 7, 2020
An okay showing. Didn't blow me away. That said, I set my expectations super low for console launches (look at PS4, a terrific console, launching with just Killzone and Resogun as its big exclusives) and so if I can play all this stuff in the first six months or so, great https://t.co/Y22PDi4Htd
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) May 7, 2020
Even one of Microsoft's most friendly media outlets, Windows Central, didn't hold back in their criticism. "Little was done to actually explain how any of the showcased games benefit specifically from the features and components present in the next-gen console," Jez Corden wrote.
"There was no mention of how NVME SSD drives will allow games to load-in more animations out of storage rather than having to keep them in memory, for example," Windows Central's Corden continued. "There weren't any examples of ray-tracing enhancing visuals. There was nothing in the visual detail of any of the games that said to me "this wouldn't be possible on an Xbox One X."
The response on the official Xbox subreddit was telling, with multiple threads bemoaning the lack of a wow factor.
What did you think of the Xbox Series X gameplay trailers revealed this morning?