Merry Christmas, Xbox fans!

Merry Christmas, Xbox fans!

If, like me, you’re still trying to wrap your head around the notion that 2020 is just two years away (what? ), perhaps we’ll be able to do so together with this look at what Xbox might be up to in the next year. Of course, there will be some surprising twists and turns (hello, Bethesda), as well as some terrible blunders and, most importantly, a plethora of fantastic games to play while we escape into a wonderful world that is utterly different from our own.

Xbox fans, have a wonderful holiday season! We looked back at the previous year of Xbox events earlier this month, from significant game launches to cloud growth and large, gorgeous Game Pass upgrades. But what does the coming year hold in store for us?

Highlights

  • However, the question of New World’s quality as a game is perhaps only of secondary importance when you factor in Twitch. Paid streams for the MMO gave Amazon a truly massive boost, leveraging its streaming power as a marketing tool for the game. There’s no reason to think it couldn’t also do the same for Amazon Luna, giving it a leg up in influencer power over Microsoft’s barely-marketed Xbox Cloud Gaming.

  • Microsoft is most likely going to step up its big cloud battle next year, as Amazon Luna eyes expansion to other territories. Amazon might have found some success with its much-hyped MMO New World, but player counts have been dropping off steadily since launch.

We saw a prototype Android handheld from Razer recently, with a dedicated chipset made by Qualcomm designed specifically for mobile gaming and cloud streaming. I’ve heard for a while that Microsoft has dabbled in prototypes for a similar kind of device for handheld Cloud Gaming, to solve what remains the ergonomic gap between full tactile controls and touch gameplay.

Xbox Cloud Gaming is still technically in “beta,” as Microsoft mulls its performance quality for a full marketing push. Cloud Gaming (otherwise known as xCloud) has improved radically for latency and picture quality over the past year, and Microsoft is constantly making improvements. I suspect 2022 will be the year Microsoft kicks off the beta tag, and really starts ramping up marketing it.