What we might see: New studio acquisition(s)
There is no question that one of Microsoft’s biggest holes this generation has been exclusive games. There are a number of great games that you can only find on the Xbox One (as long as you are primarily a console gamer), but it kind of pales in comparison to what you have on Sony and Nintendo platforms.
To their credit, Microsoft is extremely aware of this issue and has taken major steps to correct it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in enough time to start pumping out a number of quality exclusives for the Xbox One. But, it sets the stage that whether you bought a box or a service (or maybe both, who knows) that you will have plenty of good reasons to play exclusive Microsoft games.
Microsoft announced the creation of a new internal studio, The Initiative, but also did what many companies the size of a company like Microsoft does; go out and buy smaller companies. Specifically, Microsoft bought several interesting studios that were mostly indie companies such as Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), the previously mentioned Playground Games and Obsidian Entertainment (Pillars of Eternity), among others.
Who says that’s where the buying spree stops though? Microsoft seems just as invested in software as hardware for this upcoming generation, so if they see a cool studio they have interest in, why not buy it? Maybe several more acquisitions will be announced. Studios to create smaller projects like Cuphead or Ori and the Blind Forest will help fill gaps in-between big releases. Maybe Microsoft has bought a Japanese studio or two (or more)?
That is always a market Microsoft has had tremendous trouble even getting some solid footing in, let alone being a serious competitor. Acquiring some talented Japanese developers probably wouldn’t make enough of a difference for them to be a leader in that market, but it may at least make them something people in that market might actually buy. Either way, I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see Microsoft announce some new studio acquisitions at this year’s E3 2019 presentation.