We know that Microsoft planned some kind of game blowout before the upcoming next generation Xbox Series X console was released. Now you have set an exact date and time. Microsoft’s announcement says, “See the future of Xbox on July 23 at the Xbox Games Showcase.” We expect updates for the projects that all first-party studios are working on.
What to expect
Microsoft has announced that this will be a one-hour stream that focuses exclusively on games. There will be no hardware news, just an hour to present the upcoming lineup. The stream will be in 1080p / 60hz, but after the first broadcast a high quality 4k / 60hz version will be available.
I know everyone is excited about Xbox Games Showcase next Thursday. I’ve seen some wild expectations. If this show is helpful, it has a focus: games. No stores, devices, or similar news, just games. An entire show, which lasted about an hour, focused on games. I hope you like it! https://t.co/eIPBsJtLbJ
– Aaron Greenberg @ ♂️❎ (@aarongreenberg) July 16, 2020
Even those of us who are not interested in buying an Xbox should watch this stream. Microsoft is currently a major publisher of PC games, and we can expect most, if not all, of the products to hit PC / Steam in the future. You may just be focusing on selling your upcoming console with this stream, but we will probably be able to play all of these games on PC as well.
It will be interesting to see exactly how they are massaging the messages associated with their decision to continue supporting Xbox One with their upcoming lineup. In a post on the Xbox blog, Phil Spencer repeated that all of these games will also be on Xbox One:
“We want every Xbox player to play all of the new games from Xbox Game Studios. For this reason, Xbox Game Studios titles that we will be releasing in the coming years, such as Halo Infinite, will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox Exclusive. “
We’ll see if this strategy to reduce friction between this generation change will work. It’s great for owners of existing systems, but could it cause their games to be impacted by being held back by outdated hardware? We have to wait and see.
The games we could see
We know for sure that there will be the first real presentation of Halo Infinite, the highly anticipated next title in the long-standing shooter series. It is perhaps significant that it is not called Halo 6, which might indicate that the series is going in a new direction. Microsoft will no doubt want this to be a game that has a long life ahead of it. So maybe we see a departure from the traditional finite linear campaign plus deathmatch multiplayer. If I were a betting man, I might say that elements like a more open design and a kind of multiplayer style in Battle Royale style could be at stake, although hopefully every direction they go would play a strong role idea behind it, instead of just following trends.
Forza is in a somewhat strange place where the on / off rhythm of a Forza Motorsport was broken in one year and a Forza Horizon the next year for the first time since 2011. We had the excellent Forza Horizon 4 in 2018, but there have been no releases since then (apart from a disposable mobile game). Both Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Motorsport 7 from 2017 had significant support after the release. Perhaps this and the preparation for the new console caused the postponement of the release schedule. Since the beginning of the series on the original Xbox, Microsoft has always had a Forza game available to launch a new console. So we are sure that this will also be the case here. Turn 10 is the studio that maintains the Forza game engine and develops Forza Motorsport, while playground games use the Turn 10 Forza engine to create the Forza Horizon games. I could either see a big new addition to the motorsport series that made the most sense to start with as it would be a good opportunity for Turn 10 to upgrade the engine to take advantage of the new hardware and track-based racing games at 60 fps are usually excellent showcases of this new hardware.
In addition to the Forza Horizon games, Playground Games has put together a second team that is working on a completely different project. It is generally speculated that this is a Forza restart. At least we know that it is an open world role-playing game. The studio would make a lot of sense to start a prestigious series like Fable again. Your work on the Forza Horizon series was probably the most consistent on schedule and is the standard work of all Microsoft first-time suppliers over the past decade. and hopefully, as a British studio, they would better match the tone of British humor than a studio from other parts of the world.
This is the Gears of War Studio. When they’re working on something, it’s related to Gears of War. Probably a bit early to learn about a new main entry in the series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we learned more about their plans to update Gears 5 with some of the graphical features that were previously only available in the PC version were available. They may also update some of the earlier games in the series.
You can never say exactly what you expect from Rare. We recently revitalized Sea of Thieves thanks to the Steam release. Maybe they have some kind of update that they can present. It would not surprise me if a classic rare IP would return, even if it was developed by another studio like Killer Instinct or the upcoming Battletoads.
Minecraft 2? Probably not, but maybe we’ll see an update for Minecraft that uses the new hardware. Minecraft sold very well on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s not hard to imagine doing the same for another generation of consoles.
Hopefully, footage from Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga, one of the first announced Xbox Series X games, will be shown. They are unlikely to work on two projects targeting the Xbox Series X launch, but may not be impossible.
Big question mark here as this is a new studio that hasn’t released anything yet. Maybe you could lead a project based on an existing IP, maybe Perfect Dark? Or maybe they’re working on something completely new.
Microsoft has also made a number of different studio acquisitions, all interesting studios behind games with a strong identity. It may be time to hear from Obsidian, Inexile, Double Fine, and other studios that Microsoft has acquired. Some of these studios have already announced projects in development, but maybe we can expect some teasing from them.
We will keep an eye out for all the important game news from this storefront. Let us know if you want to see something special.