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The Xbox Direct Delivered the Optimism Xbox Fans Have Waited For

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I went at Microsoft pretty hard for the company’s baffling no-show at December’s massive Game Awards event. As such, it’s only fair I give them credit where credit is due: its first-ever Developer_Direct – aka Xbox Direct for those of us who don’t have the patience to type that damn underscore every single time – was a success.

The 40-minute broadcast wisely mimicked the hostless format that Nintendo pioneered and Sony smartly stole, and as a result we saw five games, got four release dates, and perhaps most of all, took away some optimism for the months to come.Microsoft managed to pleasantly surprise everyone by dropping a new Tango Gameworks rhythm-action game on us called Hi-Fi Rush.

It immediately looked like a delightful mashup of Sunset Overdrive, Ninja Gaiden, and Guitar Hero. Even better, Tango released it right after the Direct ended, making this one of the first same-day announcement+release combos in quite some time.

It’s not a stretch to say that such a surprise would not have been possible without Xbox Game Pass, where word-of-mouth can build up over time, and a game’s success is not as heavily dependent on a pre-order campaign and months of marketing hype.Meanwhile, Redfall was the headliner, closing things out with a deeper look at Arkane’s vampire-themed FPS.

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