Microsoft went unchallenged this year at Gamescom 2015, with Sony Computer Entertainment choosing to skip the convention and focus on Paris Games Week in late October.
Yesterday, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer presented Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 Media Briefing, where many first party games were showcased, from Hideki Kamiya's Scalebound to Crackdown 3; even Remedy's Quantum Break got a release date, at long last (April 5, 2016).
Spencer: All the first party teams at Xbox are doing an incredible job
Of course, there were also the usual suspects - Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Motorsport 6 received new footage, for instance, and Season 3 of Killer Instinct was confirmed to go live in March 2016 on both Windows 10 and Xbox One. Microsoft saved a big surprise for last when it announced Halo Wars 2, in development at Creative Assembly and scheduled to hit Windows 10 and Xbox One in late 2016, with the prospect of cross-platform play.
Afterwards, Spencer spoke with Gamespot and expressed his pride for what the first party teams were able to accomplish.
So we're making a conscious decision to focus on our first-party games. It doesn't make it harder or easier, it's just a decision. I do think that building up first-party exclusives is creatively more difficult than signing a deal, just by the nature of what it is.
For us, right now Xbox is in a stretch where all its first-party teams are doing an incredible job. I'm proud of that as the head of Xbox, and as the head of first-party. To be able to open a show with Quantum Break, to be able to close it with Halo Wars, and to have Dave Jones and Hideki Kamiya on stage in between, makes me incredibly proud. Oh I should mention Forza too...
As always, though, the current Head of Xbox provided a balanced statement and also mentioned his appreciation for the first party teams of Microsoft's main competitor, Sony.
But I'll point out too that Sony has some great first-party franchises. I'm a big fan of Uncharted, I thought that looked great at E3. I really admire the team at Naughty Dog, the team at Polyphony.
What do you think of Microsoft's showcase at Gamescom 2015 so far? Let us know by leaving a comment.