Xbox graced us along with 343 Studios and the rest of Microsoft with some surprise announcements at Xbox’s 20th anniversary special. The special itself was a simple enough stream that was quick to the point with its nostalgia bombs of the history of the console with a few surprises of what Microsoft’s immediate future plans are.
The biggest known surprise was 343’s Studios’ announcement of the Halo Infinite Multiplayer being available to play today. Rumors and cryptic twitter posts had started to propagate last week on this surprise with Forbes doing a great write up on the evidence for the multiplayer’s release to coincide on Xbox’s and more importantly Halo: Combat Evolve’s birthday. Though its being considered more of a Beta, all of the multiplayer’s levels are available, you can purchase the battlepass, and all of your data will be transferred to the game on its official release as well. So be on the look out for our review of the multiplayer and the campaign when Halo Infinite releases on December 8, 2021.
The Halo news didn’t stop there as we were given a teaser to the upcoming Paramount + tv series, Halo, coming out in 2022. Though the reveal didn’t get to show too much we were given a glimpse of Master Chief’s suit.
In other streaming news, Microsoft will be releasing a six-part documentary titled Power On, about the making of the Xbox. Starting from its beginning moments of inception and creation of the first xbox to the 360’s ring of death and on, the series aims to give a more candid human look to the people who made it happen and continue to do so. There was no word on what streaming sites it will be available on but my hopes on the game pass itself.
The last major surprise was one many gamers have been asking for and thats 70+ classic Xbox games that have been added to the Xbox backwards compatibility library. Titles like the Max Payne franchise, F.E.A.R franchise, Skate 2, and Star Wars Jedi Knight II are now able to be played on the Xbox One, Xbox series X and S.
Peggy Lo, compatibility program lead at Xbox, announced the surprise expansion along with support of Auto HDR, resolution boost, and FPS boost support. While it is a welcome surprise towards game preservation on Xbox’s part, I wouldn’t get my hopes up on anymore possible additions to the service as this surprise comes after Xbox stated they would no longer add any more games to the backwards compatibility.
Xbox’s 20th anniversary special was a reminder how far they’ve come as a pillar in the industry. Microsoft has showed time and time again how much they are willing to support the preservation of games along with their mantra of caring for gamers and customers as a whole. While they could always do more it is still refreshing to see how much this company has changed and it’s exciting to see what its future will be.