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Xbox game studios boss Matt Booty just dropped the bombshell – surprising no one, really – that two-to-three-year video game development cycles are a thing of the past. For modern triple-A games on current-generation consoles, the new normal is five-to-six years. That is long.

It’s something Xbox initially didn’t plan for very well, with many Xbox exclusives missing the console launch window and some relatively dry years following that in terms of blockbuster launches. But it looks like the company’s investments and plans are finally ready to pay off over the next few years.

I’ve just returned from the Xbox Showcase watch party in LA, where the mood in the room was electric, if electric happened to whoop so loud that it popped your right eardrum. The crowd – made up of press and fans – was whipped into a frenzy, and even for a dead-eyed British man who thinks screaming in public is ignoble, it was easy to see why.

The main character stands in the woods as a man walks past with a wheelbarrow in Fable. A fairytale castle is in the distance and the sun peeks through the canopy.

Fable looks absolutely gorgeous. 

The showcase was the best Xbox has done in recent memory. The focus was the games. The footage was all in-engine: cutscenes or gameplay. They all looked fantastic.

Fable kicked the show off and got me as close to whooping as I’ve ever been, causing me to nod at the screen as if greeting an old friend from across the room. Created by Forza developer Playground Games, it managed to retain and even enhance the British humor that the series, formerly created by the now-defunct Lionhead, became known for. It had Richard Ayoade in a key role, plenty of gorgeous, sweeping, lush landscapes, and even a cheeky chicken kick. There’s no release date yet, but I want it right now.

Next came South of Midnight, which finally lifted the lid on what Compulsion Games is cooking up – a third-person action game with a striking art style, a skeleton strumming a guitar by the bayou, and a magical monster hunter. Then came 33 Immortals, the next game from the Spiritfarer developer, which takes the thrill of an MMO raid and translates it into an action game with an extremely specific player count.

Avowed from a first-person perspective -- the player aims a sword into the gaping mouth of a bear infected with some kind of alien fungus.

It's undergone a change in art style, but Avowed still looks lovely and it takes place in the Pillars of Eternity universe. 

We got another look at Avowed, which is Obsidian’s take on an Elder Scrolls-style RPG, we saw a glimpse of the new Forza Motorsport, Xbox revealed the BioShock Infinite-like Clockwork Revolution, and we got a deep dive into Starfield, which is coming in a few months and looks like it will take over your entire life.

The only stumbles the show had was an Overwatch 2 trailer that managed to make the guy whooping behind me shut up for a full 30 seconds and a Hellblade 2 trailer where the main character whispered into a puddle for what felt like an entire week. No doubt that game will be incredible, but it was certainly a strange choice for a hype reel.

Even the games that aren’t first-party Xbox titles – Cities Skylines 2, Persona 5 Tactica, Payday 3, and more – are mostly arriving on Xbox Game Pass on day one as part of your subscription. If there is such a thing as too many games, Xbox is getting dangerously close.

While a lot of these games don’t have release dates yet, it looks like next year will be a good one to be an Xbox player, with Microsoft sharing that it hopes to launch a game per quarter. On top of that, you can look at the games that weren’t there – Everwild, Perfect Dark, Indiana Jones, The Outer Worlds 2, and more – and you get a sense that the best years for Xbox are just ahead of us. It’s almost enough to make a man whoop. Almost.