Xbox 2019 In Review - A Phoenix Rises From The Ashes

Xbox's 2019 had it's fair share of ups and downs. From the launch of Crackdown 3, all the way to the announcement of Hellblade 2.

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Godmars290437d ago

More like a Phoenix in its ashes that may have never flown. Just sat in one place repeatedly bursting into flame.

Unspoken436d ago

Lol The author of this article just poked a hornets nest, here they come! Rabbid fanboys incoming!

RpgSama437d ago

Before you needed to actually deliver on content year after year, now for you to rise from the ashes it seems the only thing you need is show a really really good looking trailer at the end of the year, not even a game, a trailer.

Rude-ro437d ago

And to quote the ol Phil...
“We do not like to show off games until they are close to release..“
While we have a year of forza info with another year to go, two years of halo infinite with a year to go, next gen with a year to go, and hell blade 2 with no release date. 🤔

A gen full of lies and or misdirection pr... and “they have risen from the ashes” in a year that Microsoft’s lies about crackdown 3 and cloud gaming came to fruition, a gears game filled with horrible micro transactions and has fallen out of the top 20 of games being played on Xbox and pc, and now the unknown information of the Xbox series x and “exclusives”... as in, Will halo infinite, forza, and hellblade 2 all be available on the Xbox one and Xbox one x.
If so, how will that effect game engines and are players just getting more paint on a Xbox 360 game engine?

I understand paying for media partners to have relevance... but at this point, Microsoft, after 20 years with a gaming division, should not and does not deserve articles like these.

I mean, if someone from Sony just sneezes, they get 30 negative articles dissecting the issues.

Obscure_Observer437d ago


That "trailer" was enough to make a GOTY awarded Playstation director pretty excited about both SX and Hellblade II. Maybe because he knows a thing or two about actual game development and what to realisticly expect from a very talended and awarded game development studio.

Thundercat77437d ago

This is how desperate this certain group is. No facts, no evidence is needed. Just a trailer and you are king of the universe!!!!

ImNotYourGod437d ago

Compare Xbox today from where it was 3 years ago. They now have the most powerful console, refined services and have committed to next-gen from both a hardware and software perspective. 3 years ago the talk was focused on MS selling off Xbox, do you think that's still the case?

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Brazz437d ago

I would call it, "a phoenix egg among ashes..." as it can just stay there and never comes to fly or... it can become something fantastic.

rlow1437d ago

Read the article and they have made a lot of positive moves as of late....... definitely putting themselves in a much better position than they did at the beginning of this generation.....that's for sure......I really think this coming gen will be a strong one for them......they have all the pieces it's just about execution.

Godmars290437d ago

The issue still remains that for all of the talk of them doing something, they've yet to have actually done anything. Just talk about.

rlow1437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

So buying Studios, Games like Gears, Gamepass, Xcloud, and coming out with a Next Generation console is doing nothing??? Rebuilding out of the ashes takes time......I understand your sentiments because you want more immediate results, but to say they are doing nothing is very misguided.

Obscure_Observer437d ago


You can continue and pretend that Xbox still the same. It´s not. The hype for the next generation Xbox is real.

MS aquired 9 new studios. Phil Spencer is looking for even more studios to acquire while ivesting in big talent names from big studios to empower those studios they own.

Hellblade and The Outer Worlds are already successful new IPs and people are already looking foward for upcoming sequels.

Xbox is far from the joke from early Xbox One days. Even the haters are taking the brand approach more seriously due the recent moves Phil Spencer has been making.

Xbox will have plenty of studios. Lots of high quality games. Competition knows that. Gamers knows that. First impressions for Xbox Series X and Hellblade II are great!

Yesterday critics:

Xbox is underpowered.
Xbox is all about Kinect, TV and sports gimmicks.
Xbox has no games.
Xbox has no studios
Xbox has no new IPs
Xbox only games are Forza, Gears and Halo.

Today critics:

... ... ...

Gunstar75437d ago

Do you bash xbox professionally, or is it just a tragic hobby?

The Wood437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

I've been hearing this. . 'Everything is fixed, changed, better' defence all gen. You guys found every reason to berate those who clearly saw issues with xbox. Now you're expecting people not to be cynical or act like ms hate already backed their perpetual talk.

Yes they are moving in the right direction from what I can see but they've produced nothing yet. Why not wait and see. They're trying to fix almost a decade of crap output and empty promises. They've been lazy and arrogant if it's only a severe ass whooping that's woke them up. Phil's talk of what is 'less impactful' has truly exposed how inept and out of touch with core gamers ms were. He won't utter such nonsense now ms are putting better effort into sp/story driven games. Anyone wanna bet me? It was clear deflection in regards to his company's weak sp output. . . .

I'll end on a positive though. . I think Microsoft have woken up and understood they're not the leaders. That should give them hunger instead of arrogance. I can't see them doing worse than this gen. Next gen should be closer especially if ms manage their studios and projects better than they did this gen

rdgneoz3437d ago

@rlow1. You have to buy studios when you close some of the ones you own down (lionhead for example). Also when they kill off games before they release like Scalebound which was heavily promoted, you need backups beyond Forza and Halo. Sony has a bunch of exclusives for its final year (and has for every year) before next gen, while MS is doing what?

They wouldn't have to build from ashes if they didn't put themselves in that position to begin with.

b163o1437d ago

I have to agree with rlow1, and I'm a Sony guy. M$ have taken steps in the right direction, with acquiring some studios. Now it's up to M$ to let them create, not force them, and I'm speaking on new ip's.

If M$ is smart, they'd watch Sony, a try a mimic there strategy, cause for 3 of the last 4 generations, Sony's was always on top.

IamTylerDurden1437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

That's all it ever is

Im not sure how gamers aren't fed up with it by now?

This entire generation has been PR bulls*** from MS and a section of the media.

From "play the game not the resolution" to "true 4K" and Aaron Greenberg wearing shirts with XB1X specs on it and the word "MONSTER".

From MS touting sales to going radio silent on numbers.

Then nonsense about "the best games lineup ever!" and subsequent articles about Xbox's big comback.

Then Phil claims XB1X will be the premier VR console to now refusing to talk about VR on Xbox.

Lying about the impact of DX12 and prematurely boasting about the impact of the Cloud in terms of boosting game capabilities. MS exaggerated what the Cloud would do for Titanfall and Crackdown.

MS and the media perpetuating the myth that XB1 had secret sauce that would potentially make it more powerful than the PS4. Exaggerating what devs would do with Esram.

Talking about Hololense like it would have legitimate consumer gaming applications. Many ppl thought MS won E3 with a bs Minecraft demo of Hololense.

Saying Kinect was an integral part of the XB1 ecosystem to dropping it over night in order to close the power gap......even though they claimed power didn't matter..

Of course the 180 they pulled on DRM and all the frowned upon policies they intended on incorporating before the public outcry against it.

Denouncing sp games to revealing their new console with a sp game.

And Phil going around claiming that MS has 15 first party studios which I believe is one more than Sony? However, he's including 3rd party studios that are working on console exclusives as a first party studio. It's truly disgusting.

Attempting to alter the definition of exclusive and first party in order to fit their agenda. They literally called Lucky's Tale a first party, AAA, exclusive.

Every year articles come out stating how MS is making a comeback and praising Xbox for the phenomenal job and how Phil and Co did it! But truth is, Xbox is getting trounced by its two biggest competitors and the mistakes they are fixing are self inflicted anyway and shouldn't really Garner such immense praise. Every year it's "just wait until next year Xbox is going to do great things!". Every year that's been the rhetoric.

IamTylerDurden1437d ago (Edited 437d ago )


You think there is no room for criticism on today's Xbox?

They still had a low output of quality exclusives in 2019.

They lied about VR support and refuse to legitimately address it other than to scoff at the platform and insult the software on it. Other than Half Life..

They bought many new studios, but there is a fear that these studios will be used largely to support Gamepass with low level filler like Bleeding Edge. They inherited Hellblade and Outer Worlds. Those were gifts. They'd be stupid not to continue those IPs. However, games like Bleeding Edge and that Honey I Shrunk the Kids mp game via Rare are what I expect MS to push. Also, these studios weren't huge AAA teams, they were mostly smaller teams that will be pushing smaller games. Obsidian is the largest of the bunch and even they aren't a big studio.

I'm also concerned about the lies and the false messages. Phil claims MS has 15 first party studios. He includes 3rd party studios working on console exclusives in that number. It concerns that they continue to lie and spin and tells me they haven't completely changed.

The quality of GwG has clearly declined since the inception of Gamepass.

While the $1 price for Gamepass is great, it's seemingly just a ruse to tie ppl into a monthly auto renew at full price. I'm sure a large percentage of ppl forget to cancel and it continues charging every month.

Gamepass has day 1 games, but also a relatively small selection. Especially compared to the 800 plus games on PSNow. Last I heard GP has around 100 or so games.

Xbox still lacks variety, especially in terms of JRPGs and deals with publishers like Devolver and Atlus.

Even devs like SuperGiant Games, Housemarque, Quantic Dream, and others still don't grace Xbox with many of their games. Getting a few Yakuza games in 2020 on Gamepass is a start, but still a long way to go.

Lack of global appeal and a small market share have led to Xbox receiving less games and less exclusivity deals. Hence why Sony was able to get the highly anticipated FFVII Remake for an entire year. It's the reason that Sony gets many high quality games first. Games like Nier and even Hellblade once upon a time. Games like Nioh and Dragon Quest. Judgement, Ni No Kuni II. These are high quality games that Xbox gets late or not at all.

It concerns me that MS is very GaaS and MT oriented. Gamepass will only serve to perpuate this method of business.

I still have numerous concerns and criticisms regarding Xbox right now. In no way are they in the clear, nor have they made it. They have made certain improvements, but there is still a long way to go. Don't get so confident just yet. There is an enormous amount of work to be done and the division still harbors a substantial number of deficiencies and character flaws.

Godmars290437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

How doesn't Observer's immediate reply, his "Yesterday's critics" list not apply?

"You can continue and pretend that Xbox still the same. It´s not."

They are exactly the same until they have/show long term measurable results.

And FFS: we have literally had this exact same argument since the f**king Xbox 360. People defending MS going with DVD eventually needing to introduce disk swapping, making people having to buy a HDD in order to play their games as fully intended, only to dismiss the fact that having to buy HDD was the very f**king issue!

Even here, I have to repeat myself in pointing that for all you want to praise them for now, they've done it all before. Bought studios, announced games, and none of it has really lived up to hype. That right now there is only hype.

"Xbox is far from the joke from early Xbox One days."

"Xex-Box" anyone? And it not even out yet ;P

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nucky64437d ago

trouble is, this same positive theme has come before the release of the 360 and xbox1 - i need to actually see MS produce a winner. and if they (finally) come up with some exclusive games i really want to play - i'll buy one of their new towers at some point.

Thundercat77437d ago

So they have went from -10 to -1... Well that's a better position but still last place and lacking compared to the competition.

Let's not pretend now that there is no competition.

Unspoken437d ago

Read the article? Come on now.. you are expecting a lot from Sony fanboys. Just look how bitter they are when Microsoft ends up doing everything they asked for. Just move those goal posts to "they aren't doing anything." lol

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CrimsonWing69437d ago

MS tried to course correct, but they did not rise out of the ashes. They have some great services like Game Pass, but with no really noteworthy exclusives, most of those games can be played on another console. Hell, everything the Xbone does you can do on PC, so there’s no point to owning an Xbone.

They have another shot with Xsex, but this is where they need to rise out of the dumpster fire and start giving people a reason to own their system and with some real killer apps like Hellblade 2.

Jagosix437d ago

The PC is still MS domain, Hell 90% of all games are developed using Windows and or some form of Microsoft products. They make money either way. It’s about choices. You don’t like the freedom of choice? Do you like to be told you have to play this game on these devices without options? I don’t think so. I’m glad I can choose to play on my PC, Console or Phone (Tablet) without any worry of restrictions. Total freedom to choose what I want to play on whatever device I can play it on. Now that’s awesome. Now, explain why would that be such a bad thing?

CrimsonWing69437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

I’ve been fine with having to play games on a specific device since Nintendo. The only options back then is what console did you want to own and you based that on exclusives. I don’t need a billion options. I’m fine with games being on PC and console, my point is for them to give a reason to own an Xbox.


PC might be ms domain but pc games are not. When people talk about pc gaming it is usually steam or more recently epic games, not microsoft. PC gamers actually petitioned a publisher not to release their game through microsoft.(Dark Souls, it got about half as many votes as the actual petiton to bring dark souls to pc)

BigTrain437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

There are 2 main reasons to own an Xbox. #1 People who like their exclusives. Yes, MS does not have anywhere near the amount of exclusives as Sony but they still have some. Gears, Forza, and Halo are good games not to mention Ori, Cuphead and any others I might be forgetting. Just imagine if Sony only had The Last of Us, Uncharted, and God of War and they kept releasing annual follow ups throughout the existence of the consoles generation. Would a gamer be considered a fool for having a Playstation? In some peoples eyes yes, but most of those people would most likely be fanboys of the competing system. Those IPs alone hold value to their fanbase and wherever those titles are available is where their fans will be to play them. Yes, all of those exclusives are available on PC, a superior platform but as anyone should know by now console gamers are NOT PC gamers even if you can connect your favorite console controller to a PC the investment of time, money, and slight learning curve is not one that majority of console gamers are willing to take, hence the easy option, just get an Xbox.

#2 Some people just prefer the Xbox. Believe it or not some people like the look, feel, design and overall appeal of the Xbox better. I personally prefer its controller over a dual shock. I have large hands and have never been a fan of the dual shock since PS1, but guess what, I never let that stop me from having a Playstation because I like all games that are quality no matter what system they are on. I am fortunate to be an owner of all platforms except the Switch which I do not desire. The Xbox has great online services that have been the best form of online console play since online play hit consoles. Their headsets, achievements, friend invites etc were all major staples that established online play on console as legit since the very first Xbox and then was solidified with the release of the 360. The 1st 2 consoles established a fan base that is not going to just dissipate due to one screwed up console launch the Xbox ONE. I agree with you they havent risen out of the ashes but with the steps theyve taken they are in prime position to take off this next gen. Will they? They will if they're smart but no one really knows until an actual product is released. In the meantime, there are plenty of games on the Xbox that justify owning the console if it just so happens to be the system that floats your boat, to each his own.

AnubisG437d ago

Well that is a strech. We have seen what the console looks like and we have seen a CGI trailer of a single game that is coming to it. We don't know how much it will cost and haven't seen games runing on it or for that matter other than Hellblade 2, we don't know what games will be released on it. If it's the usual Halo, Gears of War, Forza, than there will be no soaring.

I wish MS all the best but based on their track record, I would be hesitant to write an article like this.

Dissidia437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

First you say all we saw is a CGI trailer. Then you say the only game we’ve seen running on it is Hellblade II. Which is it? At least try not to contradict yourself in your comment.

Their track record also includes the Xbox 360, where they created noteworthy and memorable exclusives. They built upon Xbox Live, a model Sony directly copied with PS Plus. Xbox ushered in a lot of the modern console experience that we know today. But barely anyone on this site would ever admit that. A new generation is a reset and should not directly be compared to the previous one by default. Look how that worked out initially for Sony with the PS3 and then MS themselves with the blunder of a launch of the Xbox One.

A game/gamer focused Microsoft is a force to be reckoned with, and while what was shown was brief, “in-engine” footage,(as we’ve seen from games like Uncharted 4’s reveal trailer) it at the very least says they’re serious and focused again.

AnubisG437d ago (Edited 437d ago )

I admit I worded it poorly but if anyone reads my comment, they will know what I'm talking about. I didn't say that we have seen actual gameplay footage on XBSX. I meant that so far we have seen one game announced for it which is Hellblade 2. So based on that, who would write an article about that the XBSX is a phoneix rising from the ashes? Come on now!

Xbox has lost it during the 360 era when kinect was introduced. They had some good games in the beginning of that gen but that was over what, a decade ago? So I'm mot so confidend in their track record.

Gunstar75437d ago

We have seen 3 games for it.

But only seeing one on PS5 is okay right?

AnubisG437d ago

Why did you bring in the PS5? This isnt about that. What 3 games? I've only seen Hellblade 2.

Minute Man 721437d ago

The new Halo was probably running on seX specs

Dovergamer437d ago

How much money Microsoft invests in these puff pieces? In a span of two weeks happened like 20 of these.

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