Rand Al Thor 19 and Jez Corden have been pouring out rumours, speculation and predictions on the Xbox Two Podcast. From the transcript The following information emerges, which you should take with a certain skepticism:
Rand – Xbox Direct will be in late January and Jez agrees, but it would need to be announced within the next week.
Jez – this is the year we’ll start hearing about new Xbox hardware, but not necessarily Microsoft – mid-gen upgrade, but not necessarily – slim version maybe, but he thinks things are likely will take a little longer. Possibly something that’s cheaper to manufacture, but maybe not hugely different architecturally.
Jez – is intrigued by the idea of an external drive being pursued by PS and could imagine Xbox possibly exploring that in conjunction with something like the S.
Jez – they SHOULD do something that has a new dashboard with new features as the current dashboard is much more limited and could really benefit from more resources being dedicated to it.
Edge – Xbox will have more individual game showcases – Redfall, Forza, Starfield would possibly have their own Nintendo-style showcases.
Jez – Explained gameplay on one of the events, maybe Wandering Tower/Project Belfry will come out this year.
Rand – Starfield – when it comes out it will have a 90’s meta and will be out in April.
Jez – agrees with Starfield’s meta score that Rand is proposing – Jez thinks that Starfield will have something similar to Roblox Creation Club and will be controversial, but there will be quite a focus on user-generated ones
Put content, especially on new planets that could supposedly be empty to create new content and thus own planets.
Rand – Hellblade 2 will be out in September this year (Jez disagrees: “You’re on your own bro”).
Jez – Starfield is cinematic and has 30 frames and will not have a performance mode.
Diablo 4 wins Game of the Year award [The Keighley’s].
Rand – believes the new Zelda will win.
ABK deal will close between July and December – 2nd half of the year and Microsoft will bring the expansion to Gamepass before the end of the year – Jez says before the end of June though.
Jez – Microsoft/ABK will do some sort of joint direct after the deal closes, giving them a taste of what’s to come – Candy Crush will appear on Xbox at AK with ray tracing *evil giggles*.
Verge – Sometime this year the Xbox Game Pass price will increase across the board, around the time the Family Plan launches – $5 for each tier ($20 for Ultimate, $15 for Console and PC Game Pass).
Jez also agrees that a price increase is inevitable.
Jez – we won’t be seeing a new Elite controller this year – Rand agrees and says we won’t see the 3 Series until next year at the earliest.
Edge – Xbox returns with a personal E3 showcase and will ditch the 12-month format
Jez agrees to the abandonment of the 12-month format (although he likes the current 12-month format).
Edge – Compulsion, id Software, Coalition, Tango, Zenimax Online all will be introducing new games this year.
Jez – Microsoft will somehow solve the problems with Square Enix. Whether or not a Sony buy from Square Enix solves this problem for Microsoft, but a solution will come. He also believes there will be another big game surprise this year, something on the order of the Killer Instinct announcement, a kind of nostalgic surprise.