Mark it in your calendars: Microsoft has officially announced that the Xbox Games Showcase is scheduled for July 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM (PT) / 5:00 PM (BST).
– Xbox (@Xbox) July 6, 2020
The actual event is preceded by a one-hour pre-show of the Summer Game Festival, moderated by the creator of the Game Awards and the host hired by Geoff Keighley. The pre-show begins at 8 a.m.PT / 4 p.m. BST.
Microsoft has ceased to provide concrete details of what to expect, but according to the Xbox warehouse’s previous announcement, a focus should be expected on first-party games from the list of 15 developer-strong Xbox Game Studios. As Microsoft said in May:
“In July, we will take the time to focus on the incredible games from Xbox Game Studios. Some of our studio teams look forward to sharing initial insights into the new gameplay, insights from development teams optimized for the Xbox Series X, and brand new game announcements. We can’t wait to take a first look at what some of these teams are working on. “
After Inside Xbox’s poorly-recorded “gameplay” in May, which didn’t offer much action in the game, Xbox is sure to pull out all the stops to show games that will run on the upcoming Xbox Series X.
At the top of the list is the X3 launch, Halo Infinite, developed by 343 Industries. Expect Halo Infinite to be one of the exclusive Xbox flagships to beat the bill. The same applies to Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II by Ninja Theory, which started the one-year slog for the next generation with a spectacular trailer at The Game Awards in December. We haven’t heard much since then and some news is overdue.
Looking at other developers at Xbox Game Studios, a new entry in the Forza racing franchise, possibly Forza Motorsport 8, seems likely, as developer Turn 10 announced back in December that the next Forza motorsport experience was in a playable state.
Despite contradicting claims from Microsoft and some suspicious Twitter handle creation and trademark filing, Fable 4 may appear. There is no lack of fan appetite for a new game in the series. The same applies to a new Perfect Dark game. Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox Marketing, wiped both newly created Twitter handles as “standard practice” to secure social handles for IPs, whether dormant or not. But as the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire.
After last year’s outstanding The Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment may come out and show what they have been doing since then, along with another look at the Honey I Shrunk The Kid, Grounded survival game.
Then there’s the newly created The Initiative Studio, which we’ve heard very little about since Microsoft put it together last summer from Santa Monica Studio, Insomniac Games, BioWare, Naughty Dog, and Rockstar alumni. Given the pedigree of talent there, we might expect an ambitious project refueled by Microsoft’s desire to launch “strong single player games”.
We may also expect Microsoft to include Sea of Thieves and Minecraft in some way, as the gaming giant tends to advertise updates and the like for two of its most profitable IPs. With this in mind, expect Microsoft to hammer home that all titles will be released on Xbox and PC at the same time, and some mentions of the “Xbox Game Pass” and the “Series X Enhanced” for a good measure.
Otherwise, we would bet that Xbox has some surprises in the Xbox Game Studios list.