Xbox and Halo – name a more iconic duo. Since both the original Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved launched together on November 15, 2001, it’s hard to think of one without the other. The next generation Xbox seemed to be recapturing that magical launch with the Series X launching this year with Halo Infinite as its big exclusive launch title. That is, until Halo Infinite was officially delayed to 2021. Now we’re left wondering, if not Halo, what Xbox Series X exclusive games are there, if any?
Along with the news of Halo Infinite’s delay came the launch date of the Series X, officially coming out in… November-ish. Well, it’s something at least. The launch news also came with some reassuring words that you will definitely still have games to play when the Series X is out. Over 50 third party games would be coming to Series X in 2020, including Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Cyberpunk, as well as over 40 optimized Xbox One games like Destiny 2 and Gears 5. Also listed were three exclusive games for Series X available on Game Pass – The Medium, Scorn, and Tetris Effect: Connected. But are these actually exclusive launch games like Halo Infinite was supposed to be?
First up, The Medium, the Silent Hill-inspired game from Bloober Team, who definitely have a pedigree for horror. As with all upcoming Xbox first party games, The Medium will also be launching on the Windows Store, calling into question the entire idea of Series X exclusives. But that’s a whole other topic.
More interesting is that The Medium does not have a release date. Does that mean we can assume it’ll release in November? Or that it isn’t a launch title at all? We’ll surely find out soon as November gets closer, but for now we can’t count it as a Series X launch game until it’s actually confirmed.
Scorn is another horror console exclusive for Series X, with visuals inspired heavily from H.R. Giger. A bit strange to have two of the three games be horror, but as a fan of the genre I can’t complain. And also like The Medium, Scorn still has no official release date – bummer. But unlike the last game however, Scorn is also coming to Steam and GOG, so it’s not a true Microsoft exclusive. Could both these games be coming at a later date? Unfortunately, we also can’t count Scorn as a launch title yet.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Finally, there’s Tetris Effect: Connected, the trippy and atmospheric Tetris game originally released in 2018. This is Tetris Effect’s debut on Xbox, formerly only available on PlayStation 4 and PC. And like the other two previously mentioned games, its status as an exclusive launch game is dubious at best. Though confirmed to be released the same day as the Xbox Series X, there’s no denying it’s mostly a port of an older game with newly added multiplayer features.
Connected is also releasing for the Xbox One, and although although you can update your copy with Smart Delivery, you won’t actually need a Series X to play it in November. Connected is also coming as a free update to PlayStation and PC next summer. Overall, can you count Tetris Effect: Connected as a Series X exclusive launch game? I’d argue no.
Exclusive Launch Games Conclusion
So after rigorous research, we can conclude that as of right now, no, the Xbox Series X will not have exclusive launch games. But with the variety of third party games and updated Xbox One games, fans will still have a reason to play their Series X on day one. And with big games on the horizon like Fable, Forza Motorsport, Hellblade 2, and of course Halo Infinite, the Series X looks like it’ll have a stacked exclusive lineup in no time.
Let us know your thoughts!