Microsoft will finally make an announcement this week, with Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment rumored for the first wave of multi-format releases.
Say what you want about the state of Xbox at the moment, but whatever mistakes you think Microsoft may or may not have made this generation, it's nothing compared to how they botched their handling of rumors that some, or perhaps most, of their exclusive games are becoming multi-format.
The rumors began at the beginning of January and gained strength last Monday, but it will only be until Thursday, February 15th, at 8pm GMT, until Microsoft makes any official comment on the situation.
That alone says there's something to the rumors, but how many of them are true we won't know for sure until Thursday, even when more details arrive from normally reliable sources.
Microsoft is certainly keeping things under control, as nowhere in the tweet announcing the Official Xbox Podcast makes it clear what it is about.
It's certainly the 'business update event' promised last week, with the tweet describing it as a 'special edition' where you can get 'Xbox business updates' from Xbox boss Phil Spencer, the president of Xbox, Sarah Bond, and the President of Gaming. Matt Booty content and studios.
The reasons for Microsoft taking so long to clarify the situation are said to be twofold, the first being that the event was initially planned for the summer and had to be quickly accelerated and repurposed to be ready this week.
More importantly, there's thought to be something of a civil war going on behind the scenes at Xbox, between those who don't want exclusives to go multi-format and those who advocate for as many as possible, as quickly as possible.
It's certainly unlikely that we'll receive any official comment on this, but the latest rumor, from On the edgeis that the first multi-format games to be announced will be the low-key but critically acclaimed Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment.
They are expected to arrive relatively soon (there are also rumors of a Nintendo Direct at some point this week – perhaps even on the same day as the Xbox event), while live service game Sea Of Thieves is also believed to arrive later this year.
The Verge doesn't make any predictions regarding Starfield and other higher-profile games coming to PlayStation 5, saying only that “other first-party titles are also being considered.”
Other more recent rumors have suggested that Starfield isn't necessarily going multi-format, but it's unclear whether this means exclusive advocates have gained ground over the past week or whether the initial rumors were simply wrong.
Given that games as iconic as Halo and Gears Of War are rumored to be candidates for multi-format at least at some point in the future, it seems fair to say that no one knows exactly what's going on, including Microsoft.
The only thing everyone seems to agree on right now is that Microsoft isn't giving up on making new consoles.
In fact, rumors suggest that, in an acknowledgment that the Xbox Series
The implicit reason for games to go multi-format is to increase Xbox's revenue, but clearly Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment aren't the kind of games that break sales records no matter what formats they're released on.
This means that unless one side of the board battle has pulled off a deceptive victory, there must be more to the story than just a few indie-style games and an old live service game.
It remains to be seen to what extent Microsoft recognizes this this week, especially as it has angry fans to placate, who already see the rumors as a betrayal of their loyalty.
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