We're expecting quite a lot from today's showcase, whether that's updates on the existing upcoming Xbox Series X games and upcoming PC Games we already know about, through to new reveals for the Microsoft platform.
Although Microsoft hasn't actually confirmed the Xbox Games Showcase length, we're expecting to run for something between an hour and an hour and a half, with the Starfield Direct filling out another 30 minutes to an hour on top of that.
How to watch the Xbox Games Showcase
What time is the Xbox Games Showcase?
10AM PDT time
1PM ET time
6PM BST time
7PM CET time
It's Sam here now, ready to take the reins ahead of the Xbox Games Showcase in an hour. *wave*
60 Minutes To Go!
Here we go! We're into the final stretch now, folks. The Xbox Games Showcase start time is: 10AM PDT time / 1PM ET time / 6PM BST time /7PM CET time.
It's time for another prediction
While we know what a lot of the Xbox Games Studios teams are working, few have been as under the radar as Compulsion Games. They were acquired in 2018 alongside InXile Entertainment, Ninja Theory, and Obsidian.
We know that Ninja Theory is working on Hellblade 2 and Project Mara. We know that Obsidian is working on Avowed and The Outer Worlds 2, having already released Pentiment and Grounded. But what is Compulsion doing? That, my friends, is a mystery.
It's been five years since the release of We Happy Few, so I think it's time for another bold prediction: Compulsion will reveal a new IP that's full of immersive-sim sensibilities and equipped with a distinctive artstyle – oh, and it'll release this year too.
As much as I'd love to see something new from Double Fine and InXile Entertainment, both teams have only just pushed massive games out the door – Psychonauts 2 (2021) and Wasteland 3 (2020), respectively – so I wonder whether it'll be too soon for them to share details. Especially if Microsoft sticks to its guns on not showing cinematic trailers.
Expect to see more Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
I think it's fairly reasonable to expect to see Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty at the Xbox Games Showcase. The price and pre-order details of the expansion leaked recently and, given that CDPR skipped Summer Game Fest, it seems reasonable to predict that we'll get a new look at the game in action and launch details today.
Whether Idris Elba and Keanu Reeves will appear alongside Phil Spencer remains to be seen though. (We can dream though... yes, we can dream)
An update on Stalker 2
A reminder just in case you're only just joining us, developer GSC Game World has confirmed that Stalker 2 won't be at the Xbox Games Showcase. While Stalker 2 is undoubtedly one of the biggest upcoming Xbox Series X games, the studio says it wants to focus on development and deliver updates at its own pace.
Will we finally see Fable?
There's a lot of rumors out there suggesting that we will get a big Fable reveal at the Xbox Games Showcase. I think part of that is certainly wishful thinking – it's been 13 years since the release of Fable 3, and a new installment to Xbox's iconic RPG series is long overdue.
But there is groundswell thanks to a glitter-filled tease from the Xbox social accounts in recent weeks.
It's been three years since the reveal of this Fable reboot, in development at the Forza Horizon studio Playground Games. So, do I think a Fable gameplay reveal is possible at today's Showcase?
Not only do I think it's possible, I think it's highly likely that Fable will finally be revealed to the world. My third big prediction is that the Xbox Games Showcase will close with Fable gameplay, a title reveal, and a release window.
Will Perfect Dark emerge from the shadows?
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this Perfect Dark. Microsoft founded a brand-new studio to deliver this reboot, with The Initiative comprised of industry veterans in the action and adventure spaces. Announced in 2020, the new Perfect Dark will reportedly see Joanna Dark entering into a new AAA spy adventure to help thwart an attack on the planet's ecosystems.
Three years of radio silence has been challenging to navigate though, especially with reports that development had stalled and the further news that Perfect Dark is being co-developed by Crystal Dynamics – the studio behind the excellent rebooted Tomb Raider games. I expect we may see a new trailer which mixes in-engine cinematics and direct-feed gameplay, although a release date may still be a little ways away.
I think we'll see a lot more of Avowed
We first caught a glimpse at Avowed at the Xbox E3 2020 conference and have been desperate for more information ever since. It's one of the key new upcoming Obsidian games, and is reportedly taking up the majority of the studio's time now that Grounded and Pentiment are out the door.
Set in the realm of Eora, Avowed is a spin-off out of the Pillars of Eternity franchise. Rather than isometric antics though, Avowed will be a full on swords and sorcery RPG, cast from a first-person perspective.
This is my second bold prediction since I started this liveblog: I think Obsidian will show Avowed gameplay, I think it'll look like a spiritual successor to Oblivion, and I think it'll get a 2024 release window.
A bonus sub-prediction, Obsidian won't acknowledge the existence of The Outer Worlds 2.
All gameplay, all the time
Here's an interesting detail worth noting going into the Xbox Games Showcase. Microsoft Gaming exec Aaron Greenberg has said that ""None of our first-party games in the show are full CG trailers... everything is either in-game footage, in-engine footage, or in-game footage with some cinematics. Each of our trailers will be labeled so it is hopefully clear for our fans."
If Microsoft can be accused of anything, it's that it has a tendency to pull the trigger a little early when it comes to announcements. I recently identified five Xbox Series X exclusives which are long overdue an update – all of which were revealed in either 2019 or 2020 with cinematic trailers and then never seen again.
It's promising to hear that Xbox is prioritizing in-game footage for the 2023 showcase, which should give us a better idea of what to expect and a better sense of how far each of these first-party games are through development.
Back to Gears 6 for a second
What were we talking about before I got distracted by the giant Xbox consoles? Ah, that's right – Gears of War 6. Listen, I wasn't done speculating wildly.
Like I was saying before, The Coalition is one of the industry-leading studios when it comes to Unreal Engine 5 development. You can check that video out above to see a a cinematic test demo Xbox released in 2022, a showcase of what The Coalition is already achieving with UE5.
I don't know about you, but there are elements of the character models, atmospheric lighting, and environmental design which scream Gears of War. While there is every chance that The Coalition is working on a new IP for Xbox, it's far more likely that it will continue the adventures of Marcus, Kait, and the rest of the surviving Delta Squad.
Here's my first bold prediction for the day: Gears 6 is announced with a 2024 release date, revealed with a stunning UE5 in-engine cinematic.
How big is Microsoft going for the Xbox Games Showcase? BIG. And I mean that in a literal sense. Xbox enthusiast Woggerman is attending one of the Xbox Fan Fest events in Los Angeles and posted a photo of the set-up – monstrous-sized Xbox consoles line the city streets, and they light up! The Xbox takeover of LA is underway.
They light up!!!! #XboxShowcase #XboxFanFest https://t.co/J8xS6XU5dX pic.twitter.com/N0wMco6ok4June 11, 2023
Will Gears 6 be announced at the Xbox Games Showcase?
My biggest question coming into the Xbox Games Showcase surrounding Gears 6. It's been over three years since the release of Gears 5 and another Locust-infused adventure is long overdue.
The Coalition has been busy in that time. The studio reoptimized the game in time for the launch of the Xbox Series X, and helped get Gears Tactics out the door... but we know it's been working behind the scenes on getting to grips with Unreal Engine 5.
In fact, The Coalition has quickly become one of the developers leading development of Unreal Engine 5 games – both internally at Microsoft and externally, having collaborated with Epic Games on the stunning The Matrix Awakens tech demo. The Coalition is also working with Ninja Theory on Hellblade 2 and Undead Labs on State of Decay 3, so I'd think it's time to see the team's expertise in action on Gears of War 6.
Xbox Games Showcase predictions
Given that we're now just five hours out from the main event, maybe it's a good time to start discussing our Xbox Games Showcase predictions in a little more depth.
Of all the studios set to make an appearance, we have our sights set on the following teams to make a real splash:
You can check out the full Xbox Games Studios list here, which gets into more details on which developers are operating under the Microsoft Gaming banner and what each of them are working on.
One reason that it's so difficult to predict what will actually show up at the Xbox Games Showcase is that Microsoft has a surprising amount in development. Seriously, for a platform which can't seem to shake the reputation that it has no games, there's a hell of a lot going on behind the scenes.
Xbox Game Studios is comprised over other 20 video game studios now, and by my count we only know what 10 of them are working on right now.
Here's the full list of Xbox Game Studios' teams, any one of which could show up today with news or announcements.
First-party studios who could show up at the Xbox Games Showcase
- 343 Industries
- Arkane Studios
- Bethesda Game Studios
- Compulsion Games
- Double Fine Productions
- id Software
- Inxile Entertainment
- Mojang Studios
- Ninja Theory
- Obsidian Entertainment
- Playground Games
- Roundhouse Studios
- Tango Gameworks
- The Coalition
- The Initiative
- Turn 10 Studios
- Undead Labs
- World's Edge
- ZeniMax Online
A GSC Game World rep said the following, when asked whether Stalker 2 will appear at the Xbox conference today.
"We usually do not announce or deny our participation in shows, but this one time we'll make an exception. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will miss the June online conferences preferring to make important announcements in the upcoming months. Our plan is to give progressive updates on what we’re planning."
That's certainly a shame but, given the difficult conditions that the game are being developed under, I'm glad that the developers at GSC are working to their own schedule to deliver something they can all be proud of.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl won't be at the Xbox Games Showcase
If you had asked me on Friday what Xbox Series X console exclusive I was most excited about seeing more of at the Xbox Games Showcase, I'd have probably told you Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl. Developer GSC Game World appears to be doing a phenomenal job reviving this legendary immersive-FPS series, and I'm desperate for more gameplay.
Good morning, to the early bird Xbox crew! Josh West here, GamesRadar's UK Managing Editor. The Xbox Games Showcase may be a few hours away yet, but there's quite a bit that we're going to cover here this morning. There's some leaks, some early news, and plenty of speculation. Let's get into it!
But, until that time, we're here in the run up to chat about what we could see at today's showcase.
Microsoft is calling it "a huge double feature" with updates on "upcoming games from Xbox Game Studios and our incredible partners around the world". That should mean Xbox Game Studios titles, indies, and more like Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
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