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Microsoft's biggest Xbox One X launch title is delayed until 2018

Microsoft's biggest Xbox One X launch title is delayed until 2018

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Crackdown 3, the long-awaited open-world action game that was set to be released alongside the Xbox One X on November 7th, has been delayed until spring of next year. The decision leaves Microsoft without a major Xbox-exclusive title launching day-and-date with its turbo-charged 4K-capable console. Crackdown 3 was first announced more than three years ago at E3 2014.

“We’re very excited about Crackdown 3, and so are many fans, and so it’s a difficult call to move the release date,” Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis tells Polygon. “However, we want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time.” Part of the extra time will be spent to improve the game's “visual polish,” Loftis says.

The original Crackdown is one of my very favorite games of all time — it's an expansive shooter with a unique sense of freedom fueled by an addictive mechanic where finding one of hundreds of orbs around the city gives you a very slight mobility boost, letting you access harder to reach orbs, and so on. Crackdown 2 was pretty much the same thing but was ruined by the inexplicable addition of zombies. Crackdown 3 does not have zombies, as far as I know, which makes it by far my most anticipated Xbox game right now.

Describing the Xbox One X launch slate as “one of the greatest lineups of games ever available with a major new console release,” Loftis points to “several new Xbox exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 7CupheadSuper Lucky’s Tale, and the console launch exclusive PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.” But Forza 7 is out in October, Cuphead is out in September, and PUBG doesn't have a console release date. Super Lucky's Tale is actually coming out on November 7th, but it's a VR-less port of an unspectacular platformer previously bundled with the Oculus Rift.

This means that if you pick up an Xbox One X on launch day, you're likely going to be playing spot-the-4K-difference with a bunch of games that have already been released and hopefully updated to work with the more powerful system. Which is probably fine for the hardcore enthusiasts likely to pick the console up on day one, but it's going to make for a considerably less exciting initial experience for everyone else.

Still, if you do want to pick one up at launch, Xbox chief Phil Spencer indicated on Twitter that information on preorders is coming tomorrow. And at next week's big Gamescom trade show in Cologne, Germany, Spencer says the Xbox showing will be “different from what fans expect but I'm excited.”