2017 is winding down to a close, and Microsoft is recapping the biggest gaming moments of this year. From the launch of the Xbox One X, Games Games Pass, or Forza Motorsport 7, it's been a busy year for gamers and Xbox Fans. Here is a look at the Microsoft's biggest Xbox stories of 2017.
Microsoft Launches Xbox One X:
Coming with features such as 6 teraflops of graphical processing power, 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and Dolby Atmos, the Xbox One X is the most powerful gaming console ever. Previously known as Project Scorpio, it was formally announced by Microsoft at E3 2017 and went on sale in November ahead of the holiday season. Our own Michael Cottuli went hands-on with the beast itself, finding that it is a console for the PC gamer.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds comes to Xbox:
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (known as PUBG) is a hit PC game, and it finally became available on Xbox One. Microsoft made the game available through the Xbox Game Preview program, meaning fans can be a part of the development, and help shape the final version of the game. Players of PUBG are dropped into a competitive survival battle where they'll engage in a heart-racing fight to be the last player left alive.
Microsoft Launches Xbox Game Pass:
This past Summer, Microsoft launched Xbox Game Pass, a new gaming subscription service that gives gamers unlimited access to over 100 games for $9.99 a month. Games from industry leading publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios are all included in the service. Even better, titles are downloaded directly, without the need to stream. Microsoft also refreshes the titles every month, meaning there's always a new library of games to play.
Forza Motorsport 7 launches:
Following Forza 6 and Forza Horizon 3 in the years past, Turn 10 and Microsoft Studios launched Forza 7 this year. The game is the most comprehensive Forza yet and lets gamers race in native 4K and at 60 frames per second on Xbox One X. The game includes more than 700 cars, including the largest collection of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches ever. There's also a dynamic race weather system, and over 32 tracks in the game. We reviewed the game, finding that it is a rewarding game for the ultimate racing fan.
OG Xbox Games come to Xbox One:
An announcement that took many by surprise at E3 2017, Microsoft announced that original Xbox Games would be coming to Xbox One via the Xbox One Backward Compatibility Program. 13 OG Xbox games including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Ninja Gaiden Black, joined the 136 Xbox 360 games added to the program in 2017. Microsoft holds that there are over 400 titles available today and 740 million hours of Backward Compatible games played to-date.
Minecraft unifies players across platforms... except on PS4:
Perhaps one of the biggest stories of 2017, Mojang launched the Minecraft Better Together update, breaking down the console barriers. This update brought millions of Minecraft players together across platforms and revamped Minecraft except on PS4, which Sony put up issues with Microsoft over.
Microsoft rebrands Beam as Mixer:
Aimed at competing with streaming service Twitch, Microsoft rebranded Beam to Mixer in 2017. The rebrand represented the "power of the platform" and how streaming can "bring people together," according to Matt Salsamedni, the Co-founder, and Mixer Engineering Lead. Mixer also picked up many new features in 2017, including four-person co-streaming, a new mobile app, a new Channel One to see what is happening across Mixer, and a new Mixer page on the Xbox One Dashboard. See our Mixer news hub for more on how the platform evolved over this year.
SteamVR comes to Windows Mixed Reality:
We've talked about Windows Mixed Reality in 2017, and even reviewed the experience and the Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality headset. The most significant story of them all, though, is the SteamVR library coming to Windows Mixed Reality. Though still in beta, this brought a catalog of over 2000 of the most popular VR games to Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which don’t require any external cameras or sensors to work.
These are just some of the biggest Microsoft gaming stories of 2017. There are many other stories, including the announcement of Age of Empires IV, and the launch of the Xbox Live Creators Program. Microsoft is also saying that Xbox gamers played 1,870 third-party games for over 12 billion hours, and spent more than 3.7 billion hours in multiplayer across games on Xbox Live. Do you have a favorite Xbox or gaming moment from 2017? Let us know your thoughts below.