What will the Xbox Scarlett launch titles be when Microsoft's next-gen console releases in 2020? While Sony has yet to announce release details for the PlayStation 5, the next Xbox is scheduled for "Holiday 2020." Tech-minded consumers are getting excited over details about DDR6 RAM, unprecedented frame rates, 8K resolution, and solid state drives. Meanwhile, the only question that truly matters is still there: What about the games?
Both Sony and Microsoft have been coy as to what games will be coming to their upcoming consoles. For Sony's part, the PlayStation 4 is continuing to sell like hotcakes, so building hype for their PlayStation 5 would potentially eat into current profits. Why buy the current machine when the upgrade is right around the corner? Now that Microsoft has officially unveiled the Xbox Scarlett at E3 2019, it's only a matter of time before Sony follows suit, and then the next-gen war will truly begin, especially with persistent rumors of an upgraded version of the Nintendo Switch on the way.
The launch lineup of a console can potentially make or break a system. The Xbox family of consoles has a pretty strong history in this arena, with games like Halo: Combat Evolved, Dead or Alive 3, and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee launching alongside the original Xbox. The Xbox 360 released with Call of Duty 2, Condemned, and Quake 4, while the Xbox One had heavy hitters like Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, and Ryse: Son of Rome, among others. With all that in mind, what should gamers expect for Xbox Scarlett's launch titles?
Xbox Scarlett Launch Games We May See
So far, the only officially announced game for Xbox Scarlett is Halo Infinite. Initially rumored to be a cross-gen title, Microsoft's E3 2019 presentation confirmed the sequel will, indeed, release on both Xbox One and Xbox Scarlett. The fact Halo Infinite is seeing release on both PC and the older Xbox One somewhat dilutes its status as a heavy hitter for the upcoming Scarlett console, but if it manages to hold its own against high-end PCs, it will serve as a testament to the power of the new console.
Beyond Halo, everything is up to rumors and speculation, but there are certain first party franchises that are sure to be represented on Scarlett. Every year between 2011 and 2018 saw the release of a new entry in the Forza franchise, Microsoft's answer to Sony's Gran Turismo series. With 2019, no new game was announced, though the free-to-play mobile spin-off, Forza Street, entertained few with its predatory monetization and basic gameplay. Perhaps they're waiting for the launch of Scarlett to release the next mainline entry, Forza Motorsport 8?
Many were expecting the long-dormant Fable series to make its triumphant return at E3 2019, especially with rumors that Playground Games (developers of the Forza Horizon sub-series) had been enlisted to create a sequel to 2010's Fable 3. Alas, nothing was revealed at the expo, and Playground has yet to be revealed as the official developers of the unannounced sequel, which, as is the case with all rumors and speculations, may not even exist. But Fable 4 could be revealed in 2020 and ultimately release on Xbox Scarlett.
Finally, there is the prospect of cross-gen titles. Both Microsoft and Sony have confirmed backwards compatibility to be a part of their next-gen strategy, though they've both stopped short of explaining how this prospect will be implemented. Will it be as simple as inserting a disk and playing, like how original PlayStation disks work on PlayStation 3? Or will games have to be ported over individually, like the current status quo on Xbox One regarding Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles?
The early months of 2020 are going to be filled with big-budget games just begging for a next-gen port. It's not unreasonable to expect titles like Cyberpunk 2020 and Marvel's Avengers to find an audience on Xbox One before encouraging a double-dip when the Xbox Scarlett comes out at the end of the year. The Xbox Scarlett launch lineup is currently a mystery, but it's not hard to make educated guesses as to what games we'll be playing on the new machine when it launches in late 2020.