Xbox‘s packed August versus Xbox Series X launch games

We have some great first party or XGS Publishing games coming exclusively to Xbox this month:

MS Flight Simulator (PC, August 18)

Battletoads (August 20)

Tell Me Why (August 27)

Wasteland 3 (August 28)

What a list, we previously had years with four games, now we got them in the span of eight days! And yet I‘ve been wondering… Other companies or Microsoft 2013 would probably have delayed those four games for the launch window of Xbox Series X? Halo is the flagship title no question, but it seems like the next XGS first-party game after that will be Psychonauts 2, some time in 2021.

Wasteland 3 being a hardcore RPG, Flight Simulator being a graphical showcase, Battletoads a beloved fan IP - these would also have made a nice impression for Xbox Series X launch. All of these games could have also released on Xbox One as well, sure. But with them kind of being out for several months before Series X comes out, even a BC version will probably not have the same impact (minus Flight Sim which is only on PC for now, but we don‘t even know when the console versions are coming here).

But I was really curious what other folks about just getting stuff out when it‘s ready versus crowding the launch window to bolster the lineup. It seems like such a different approach, right? One where Game Pass content really is towering over the device. I personally feel four games in eight days is probably a bit too much. But all those four titles could actually be pretty great, so they could even become an advert for the brand. We‘ll see.


I think what MS has learned, is to release games when they are ready. They also know not to crowd games, which will limit consumer spend during a tight window. And finally, with Xbox Series X working with all Xbox One games, you don’t really miss out on anything. MS also wants to keep Game Pass a solid rotation of AAA games to keep the subscriptions active and increasing.

I don’t have a PC, so I won’t get Flight Simulator 2020 until it comes out for Xbox Series X. But I will get those other three games this month. It’s a busy and great month for fans of Xbox Game Studios games.

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I think they want to get the Xbox One slate clean and send it off with a bang.


It seems that the xbox strategy is like Netflix, where they have xgs content. Netflix can be played on practically anything and thats a similar goal of for xbox, where the hardware is not a limiting factor for the games, the only limiting factor is the devs vision because unlike Netflix more technically sophisticated games can be made on more powerful hardware.

This next gen will be a bit different, yes , the vastly more powerful cpu,gpu,ram,ssd + io will enable more beautiful worlds and new gameplay scenarios, but not in a lot of games, for example theres not going to be a vastly more sophisticated battle royale then warzone and fortnite, while horizon:FW will have better water and weather simulations, higher polycount and better effects, I doubt that it will have the overall level of detail compared to RDR2, horizon 2 will have a handful of areas which look vastly better then RDR2 but when u start looking at the far reaches of the game I think RDR2 will have more work done in off the beaten track areas, hardware power cannot make up for manhours.


Phil Spencer and I think even Reggie FIls-Aime touched on this when he was still NoA president, but “packed” launches especially when you already have a major headliner (and in Xbox’s case notable third party releases) just makes for diminishing returns and games that will be overshadowed. There’s almost no way these games would stand out launching alongside Halo, Call of Duty, Cyberpunk, Assassin’s Creed, Watchdogs Legion, etc etc. Not that I think the better plan is dumping them all before launch and in a single month.

That said I’d also add that these games won’t cease to exist come whenever the next xbox systems launch and many of them will likely have updates and expansions to come.There will likely be many new users picking up a new xbox packed-in with a gamepass trial at launch for which these games will bolster the catalog for.

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I wonder if some publishers will change their release dates once they find out the Halo Infinite release date. Pretty much guaranteed to set your game up to fail trying to compete with Halo Infinite.

I’m not going to be playing all of those games at Series X launch. Release them when they are ready and don’t arbitrarily hold it for Series X launch just to make your launch lineup look good. I’d rather play these games now then way later after I get my Halo fill in.

As stated earlier, this is more like Netflix rather than the way consoles are usually launched.

Yeah, it seems a great August is in store. And with a diverse slate of games as well. Great swan song for the Xbox One.

For me, what I understand with the Xbox brand communication right now is all about insidious promotion. Not something like big E3 shock reveal. More like changing the narrative little by little, giving time to people to assimilate the informations. No forced march toward the next-gen. Something more consumer friendly: you play on the platform you want, where and when you want.

Basicly with june and july showcase they changed the narrative : “Xbox has no game” to “xbox has a lot of game, and they’re coming to gamepass”

The spotlight is on Gamepass, but some of this games don’t have a release date (pandemic didn’t help) and you need content on a regular basis to show Gamepass value.

So it seems logical to act this way and continue to release games whenever they are ready. It build up the narrative at the approach of the new gen of a service with constant new content, and it continue the narrative of xbox has lot of games.

In the other hand launch window will be packed with a lot of AAA release, games released in august need space to breath and exist. Something impossible when AAA productions takes all the spotlight.

I fully agree with this take on giving games breathing space to shine and not competing with Halo, it was also pointed out by other people. I just find this new release strategy so different from years past. Even if these four titles I mentioned were not to release with Xbox Series X, previously they‘d have been held back to release some time between January and April 2021. Times are changing and you‘re spot on with that moving the needle little by little observation.

Four games in eight days is still a lot though, but they will have their reasons for it.

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Agreed. Holding games back just means that you end up with too many games releasing in a small window (though it could be argued that that’s exactly what’s happening here, too) instead of giving people time to actually play the games they want before the next shiny thing releases.

I’ll be waiting for the Xbox launch (and Series X if it launches before that) for Flight Sim, but the others I’ll be there day one, though I’m still holding out hope that they add online co-op to Battletoads after launch ::grumble grumble::

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