June 13 will be the night that two become one when Xbox and Bethesda fuse their traditionally separate press conferences into one. That shouldn’t be a surprise given the former’s successful acquisition of the latter for 7.5 billion dollars. But together with the many studios that make up Xbox Game Studios, the first ever Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase could be the biggest event of E3.
That being said, between Xbox and Bethesda are so many studios and so many games in development, that they can afford to pick and choose what they show and keep the rest of their cards close to the chest. Simply put, they don’t need to show everything and they probably won’t. Here’s our list of what to expect from the first ever Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase.
When is the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase?
The showcase begins at 10 am PT on June 13. That’s 2pm if you’re in Brazil, 6pm if you’re in Portugal, and June 14, 2am if you’re in South Korea and 1am if you’re me and in Manila. (You can head over here if you’d like to convert the event time to your own time zone.)
Where can I watch the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase?
You’ll be able to stream the showcase via the official Twitch and YouTube channels for Xbox, though it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Microsoft to try to stream the event on Twitter and Facebook.
What can we expect to see at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase?
A lot. To the point where we’re going to have to break this down into sections. Here are our best guesstimates.
Bethesda Game Studios
The surest bet of the showcase is Bethesda Game Studios’ long awaited Starfield. We’ve hit a point in the game’s hype cycle where leaked screenshots and the the question of whether the game will be exclusive to Xbox dominates headlines. We don’t know a lot about it, other than the fact that it’s set in space. That element of mystery makes Starfield the perfect big reveal at a key point during the show.
Two surprises are possible: Arkane’s next project, which is said to be a vampire-themed immersive sim going by the name (or codename) Omen or MachineGames announcing that development has commenced on their third Wolfenstein game in the form of a tiny teaser. As a big fan of both studios, I welcome any announcement from them.
That being said, both studios are currently occupied with ongoing projects. Arkane still has to get Deathloop out the door for PlayStation 5 and PC while MachineGames probably has its hands full collaborating with Disney in the development of their Indiana Jones game. If Omen or Wolfenstein are announced, expect a long wait for any kind of release dates. And Elder Scrolls? Next time, baby.
It’s Halo Infinite that faces the most pressure this year. There’s a huge possibility that it could close out the showcase in the hopes of being Microsoft’s mic drop, but the question remains whether or not the game can correct people’s feelings towards the game after the less than visually impressive showing in 2020. Changes in studio and project leadership have not been reassuring.
Skepticism notwithstanding, I’m still hoping for the best. We can expect a few minutes devoted to gains made in the visual department. This will either be played as an unspoken response to fan reaction or be punctuated by a creative lead emphasizing how “we listened” to “feedback from the community,” before showing off some graphics tech like AMD FidelityFX.
Ultimately, Halo has a lot to prove as Xbox’s flagship IP. We should expect a deeper look at Halo Infinite‘s gameplay, more details on the multiplayer and ideally, proof that Halo can be the proving ground for the power of the Xbox platform. I don’t know if the gaming public will accept another release delay, but if 343 Industries aims for a 2021 release as is ideal, Halo Infinite better be ready.
The rest of Xbox Game Studios
There’s plenty more to show from the fourteen other companies under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella.
I expect a Psychonauts 2 announcement from Double Fine. There’s just too much gameplay reel being distributed to outlets like Game Informer and IGN to not feel that the game’s release is close. It looks as finished as it’ll ever be at this point and Xbox boss Phil Spencer changed his avatar to that of Raz, the protagonist of Psychonauts. I’m thinking a possible “now on Game Pass,” from Phil himself.
You can also expect a short trailer for a new Sea of Thieves update, some clarity on when Age of Empires 4 will arrive, confirmation of when we can expect a console launch for Microsoft Flight Simulator and if we’re good little children, a reveal for Forza Horizon 5. Me? I’d like to know more about Obsidian’s next few years. When is Avowed coming out? How far long is an Outer Worlds sequel in development? What is Josh Sawyer’s secret project?
What we probably won’t be seeing are Fable, Hellblade: Senua’s Saga, Perfect Dark or State of Decay 3. While they’ve been showcased at previous Xbox events, many of these games appear to either too early in development to have anything worth showing or have little in the way of updates to report.
Third party studios
And all of the above doesn’t even touch on possible appearances of games from other publishers, which Xbox typically makes room for. EA, Activision, Take Two might have something they’d like to present on Xbox’s virtual stage. Strong candidates the next Battlefield getting additional coverage after a reveal on June 9, Wednesday or some presentation from Bioware regarding the next Mass Effect.
Maybe we’ll finally get some information on Elden Ring. Or maybe WB Games will choose to present Hogwarts Legacy, Gotham Knights and/or Suicide Squad with Xbox. All that being said, Microsoft explicitly named new Game Pass games as a feature of the showcase, so we can expect an airdrop of new Game Pass announcements.
Microsoft has hit the ground running as far as this new generation of gaming is concerned. It remains an underdog, but the Series consoles and launched services are spectacular. Game Pass, backwards compatibility and cloud gaming make up an unparalleled offering. Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase has the potential to unlock an astonishing lineup of games that will help Xbox truly power our dreams.