We may not have E3 this year, but 2023 still has plenty of gaming events for the summer. First there was Sony’s PlayStation Showcase, then Summer Game Fest Live, and now we have a pair of events from Microsoft: Xbox Games Showcase 2023 and Starfield Direct. It’s a packed, albeit somewhat scattered, line up of events, keynotes, and presentations.
The titles of the two events from Microsoft — which took place back-to-back on June 11th — made it pretty clear what to expect. The first was focused on Microsoft games hitting Xbox and PC, including titles like Forza, Fable, and Hellblade, while the second was be entirely dedicated to Bethesda’s next big game Starfield.
The event was a rapid fire barrage of announcements and trailers, and there were a few surprises, like a new open-world Star Wars game. Here our coverage.
Jun 13Microsoft has *every* Xbox QA tester hunting for Starfield bugs.
Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer, on Giant Bomb:
I think Matt [Booty] says we have every QA person in our entire company playing Starfield right now.
Xbox studios head Matt Booty:
I see bug counts and just by the numbers if it shipped today, Starfield would already have the fewest bugs of any Bethesda game ever shipped.Literally every QA employee at Xbox is working on Starfield, says Phil Spencer
[Rock Paper Shotgun]
Jun 12Starfield runs at 30fps on consoles for ‘consistency.’
Starfield, the hotly anticipated sci-fi RPG from Bethesda, will run at 30fps on Xbox.
“It’s often running way above . Sometimes it’s 60,” Starfield game director Todd Howard said in an interview with IGN. “But on the consoles, we do lock it because we prefer the consistency.” Xbox chief Phil Spencer defended the choice as a “creative decision” instead of it being a platform limitation.
Jun 11Dear Esther studio The Chinese Room announced Still Wakes the Deep — a new first-person horror game set on an oil rig.
Set in 1975, Still Wakes the Deep puts you in the shoes of a rig worker trying to survive some unknowable horror.
The trailer shows things like sneaking, a creepy door, and some nice can physics. It’s coming to the Xbox Series X / S (with a day one launch on Game Pass), PS5, and PC in early 2024.
- Don’t miss the trailer for South of Midnight.
The art style is amazing and the animation is phenomenal. South of Midnight a new third-person action-adventure game from Compulsion Games, the developers of We Happy Few. It’s set to release on Xbox Series X / S and PC, though the trailer doesn’t include a release window.
You can read a lot more about it in an Xbox Wire blog post.
We got a solid 15 minutes of Starfield gameplay at Microsoft’s Xbox & Bethesda showcase last year, and today we’re getting a really in-depth look at Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. Described as “Skyrim in space,” by game director Todd Howard, the RPG is really shaping up ahead of its debut on September 6th.Read Article >
Today Bethesda decided to show us a lot more detail about Starfield, including the cities and settlements in the game, the skill trees, upgrades, and space combat. The 45-minute deep dive is a lot, and it really feels like if Bethesda can pull this off then you’ll be able to live out all your dreams of exploring space.
Overwatch 2: Invasion will finally kickstart Overwatch 2’s story. Revealed during the Xbox showcase, Overwatch 2’s story missions are finally here — if “here” actually means August 10th. Last month, game director Aaron Keller revealed that Overwatch 2’s long-hoped-for story mode was being cancelled, citing an ambitious but ultimately unfeasible development process. However, Keller said that the game’s story missions would still be coming, giving players a chance to see what’s going on with Overwatch’s beloved characters.Read Article >
Story missions aren’t new to Overwatch. The game got its first story mission back in 2017, and it was a prequel of sorts, highlighting the events that would eventually led to the disbanding of the Overwatch organization. The subsequent events, Storm Rising and Retribution were also flashbacks, giving important insight into the history of characters like Cassidy, Tracer, and Jack Morrison (now known as Soldier: 76.)
Microsoft just wrapped up its annual summer showcase for Xbox games, and it was a big one. Not only did Microsoft share tons of information about new titles coming to Xbox, but the company also showed a long look at Starfield, Bethesda’s long-awaited sci-fi RPG.Read Article >
Here’s the biggest announcements from the show.
After weeks of leaks Microsoft is making its Starfield Xbox controller and headset official today. The Starfield-branded Xbox controller is the latest in a long line of special edition controllers that Microsoft has created since the launch of its Xbox Series X / S consoles in 2020.Read Article >
Priced at $79.99, the Starfield-branded controller will be available to purchase today and includes a design inspired by elements in Starfield. The controller has accents of grey and gold to match the Starfield branding and textured hand grips.
Ichiban is back and still number one! During the Xbox showcase, the developers at Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio teased the next part in the Yakuza: Like a Dragon saga— Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.Read Article >
In the trailer, Ichiban, the floofy-haired protagonist of Like a Dragon, has washed up on a beach butt-ass-naked. As he comes to consciousness, English-speakers react to his nudity (somewhat enthusiastically if you know what I mean) before Ichiban realizes he’s not in Japan anymore.
At its Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday, Microsoft debuted a trailer for a new steampunk RPG from its inXile Entertainment studio, titled Clockwork Revolution.Read Article >
Here’s a short description of the game, from the reveal trailer’s description:
Xbox and Atlus have one helluva partnership going on. Last year Xbox announced that Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable were coming to Xbox Game Pass. Now, we’re also two more Persona games and a brand new Atlus RPG.Read Article >
Persona 3 Reload is a remake of the original Persona 3. The Verge’s entertainment editor Andrew Webster wrote a great breakdown of Persona 3, a game that was released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2006 and therefore might not be well-known to wealth of people who came to the series with Persona 5. (It’s me, I’m wealth of people.)
Microsoft has just announced a new black version of the Xbox Series S with 1TB of built-in storage at the Xbox Games Showcase. Little has changed here since the original Xbox Series S, apart from a black paint job and more storage inside. Microsoft is launching the 1TB black Xbox Series S on September 1st priced at $349, and pre-orders start today.Read Article >
The carbon black Xbox Series S was announced on stage by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, who also mentioned that the company has also increased its shipments of Xbox Series X to meet demand.
CD Projekt Red (CDPR) shared new details about Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, the forthcoming expansion to CDPR’s sci-fi hit, at Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday.Read Article >
In a new trailer, CDPR showed that the expansion will bring players to Dogtown, a new location in Night City, to rescue the president of the New United States. CDPR revealed a new look at Idris Elba’s new character — and don’t worry, Keanu Reeves is back for the expansion. It’s set to release on September 26th, according to the trailer.
Forza Motorsport was teased back in 2020 and again earlier this year, and now, during the Xbox Games Showcase, the racing sim finally has a release date. Forza Motorsport is heading to Xbox and PC on October 10th.Read Article >
The Forza trailer highlighted the game’s partnership with General Motors. The Cadillac V series R and the Corvette E-Ray — two slick-looking cars — will be a part of the roster of cars that’ll be available when Forza Motorsport releases on October 10th.
Microsoft revealed a new trailer about Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II at its Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday. The trailer, which was captured on an Xbox Series X, looks and sounds amazing — you really should wear headphones while watching the trailer to get the full experience. Microsoft also shared a release window for the game: 2024.Read Article >
We’ve been waiting for Hellblade II for quite awhile. The game was first announced in December 2019 with a unsettling trailer with incredible graphics — an impressive feat given that the trailer was captured entirely in-engine. Microsoft shared a gameplay reveal trailer in December 2021, and it also had outstanding visuals, and I can’t wait to play the game for myself to see how the graphics hold up in practice.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is arriving next year with some massive updates to the aircraft you’ll be able to pick and play with. A new trailer show during the Xbox Games Showcase includes hot air balloon trips, skydive aviation, aerial firefighting, and much more.Read Article >
It looks like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 developer Asobo will give pilots every aircraft they’ve dreamt of. You can fly an air ambulance, be part of a mountain rescue team, or act as search and rescue.
Microsoft released a new trailer for Avowed, its upcoming first-person RPG from Obsidian.Read Article >
“First-person combat has been a huge focus for us,” Obsidian studio head Feargus Urquhart said in an Xbox blog post. “We’ve incorporated a host of ways for players to fight the flora and fauna of the Living Lands. You will have swords, shields, pistols, magical spells, and more at your disposal, including the ability to dual wield, creating a vast number of combinations to choose from.” Avowed takes place in the same universe as the Pillars of Eternity games.
The latest Fable game finally has a real trailer, sorta.Read Article >
The trailer featured a tongue-in-cheek interview with a guy who simply wants to grow his vegetables in a fantastical world before it’s revealed that he’s actually the giant from the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. He talks of a fantasy world filled with heroes and monsters before he’s interrupted by an adventurer he has to smash. The trailer didn’t really show off any gameplay, but it did note that everything we saw was in-game footage so it looks pretty slick.
During the Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday, Microsoft and Ubisoft revealed a cinematic trailer for a new Star Wars game titled Star Wars: Outlaws. It’s an open-world game that’s set to release in 2024.Read Article >
“Experience the first-ever open world Star Wars game, set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi,” according to the YouTube trailer’s description.
- Less than an hour until Xbox time.
Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase kicks off in just under an hour, at 10AM PT / 1PM ET / 6PM UK. The show is expected to run around 2 hours including the Starfield Direct, which follows the main Xbox showcase. We’re expecting to hear more about Forza Motorsport, Fable, Hellblade II, and some surprises too. Here’s how to tune into the Xbox Games Showcase.
Last month Sony showed off a big slate of upcoming games (and even some surprise hardware), which was followed by a packed Summer Game Fest. Now it’s Microsoft’s turn. On June 11th the company will be holding not one but two events: a showcase focused on Xbox games, and another entirely about its biggest title of the year, Bethesda’s sci-fi RPG Starfield, which launches in September.Read Article >
Now, it hasn’t been the best year for first-party Xbox games so far, but you can likely expect to see some of the typical names from the showcase. That includes the next Forza Motorsport, Fable, and probably a hauntingly realistic look at Hellblade II. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a look at the delayed-but-much-anticipated Silksong, or the rumored remake of Persona 3.
Xbox is the latest big gaming brand to officially say that it won’t be on the E3 show floor, confirming the decision to IGN on Friday. Just this week, Microsoft announced the June 11th date for its annual Xbox showcase and a dedicated Starfield show, but we still didn’t know if Xbox would actually be on the floor of this year’s in-person E3 convention.Read Article >
“We can’t wait to host our Xbox Games Showcase on June 11th and will share more details later,” an Xbox spokesperson said in a statement to IGN. “We also look forward to co-streaming our event as part of E3 Digital and will not be on the E3 show floor.”