The Xbox Games Showcase was Microsoft's much-needed opportunity for redemption. Did the gaming platform squander it?
After Microsoft admitted to setting “wrong expectations” for its May Inside Xbox event, fans crossed their fingers for a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping Xbox Games Showcase to topple PlayStation's Future of Gaming event.
- Xbox Series S: Rumors, release date, price, specs, and what we want
- Xbox Series X: specs, price and how it compares to gaming laptops
- Xbox Series X games: All confirmed games so far
We got to sink our teeth into some badass Halo Infinite gameplay and feast our eyes on snippets of Psychonauts 2 and Fable. However, after perusing through commentary on Resetera and Twitter, many reviewers were disappointed with Xbox's dearth of avant-garde, next-gen presentations.
Viewers hoped for more next-gen eye candy from the Xbox Games Showcase
"I was super disappointed," Klauskpm said on Resetera. "Halo did not impress graphically, but at least it is an open world."
The Twittersphere echoed Resetera's critics, adding that the Xbox Games Showcase did not compel them to consider an Xbox Series X investment.
So disappointed with @Xbox today. I was pumped to see some #Fable4 and all I got was CGI, #HaloInfinite looked like pure trash!! Nothing looks next gen. There's no way in hell I'm spending $500+ on an Xbox to play games that look worse than PS4 exclusives. #XboxGamesShowcaseJuly 23, 2020
#xboxisoverparty Nothing in this showcase spoke out to me like “this is next gen” no reason to spend 500$ plus on a new console#XboxGamesShowcaseJuly 23, 2020
Fans wanted to see more gameplay at the Xbox Games Showcase
The consensus is that the walkthrough-style gameplay for Halo Infinite looked pretty badass, but fans wanted to see more gameplay reveals to showcase the Xbox Series X's capabilities.
"I thought it was much like the PS5 event. Really liked the variety of games shown, but wished there was a little more gameplay," Resetera member Funky_monkey said.
"With a new-gen [console] coming, what people really want to see is gameplay. We're 4 months away from the launch and [...] we have only seen Halo," Acido posted.
Viewers also flocked to Twitter to express their disappointment with Microsoft's gameplay deficiency.
Sorry @Microsoft this game showcase has not impressed one bit. #XboxGamesShowcase Hardly any gameplay... Again. And no really exciting titles announced either. Looks like #PS5 is the way to go for truly nex gen experiences.July 23, 2020
Viewers who loved the Xbox Games Showcase had a different perspective
"Everyone is missing the point," Anddo said. "Game Pass was the show."
Anddo has a point. All the games featured on the Xbox Games Showcase will be available to play on Xbox Game Pass, which is pretty damn awesome.
So the goal was to sell Game Pass subscriptions #XboxGamesShowcase pic.twitter.com/QgxtbqpM0VJuly 23, 2020
"It is pretty cool knowing I can play every one of those games on Game Pass," CloseTalker said. "That's insane."
Viewers who loved the Xbox Games Showcase figured that Microsoft's aim was not to reveal a slew of graphically impressive, next-gen heavy hitters. Instead, they realized that Microsoft simply wanted to announce the incredible value of having an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Jeremy summed it up perfectly: "This is a great show if you have Game Pass. This is a mediocre show if you care about the new console."
To stay abreast on all the Xbox Series X news, check out our oft-updated Xbox Series X rumor hub.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!