X019 preview: Microsoft's big Xbox event will springboard what should be an epic 2020

Matt Booty at E3 2019
Matt Booty at E3 2019 (Image credit: Windows Central)

On November 14, 2019, Microsoft will have a big live show for X019, its annual traveling fan event this year, taking place in London, UK.

Last year, Microsoft used X018 to announce a range of titles and news, primarily revolving around Xbox Game Pass, which is starting to mature as we head into 2020. The landscape for Xbox looks pretty different in 2019, with eyes looking forward to the next Xbox — Project Scarlett — and Microsoft's big bet on streaming Project xCloud.

X019 doesn't have the same reach as a significant event as E3 does, but we're still expecting a lot of cool announcements from Microsoft across the board. This should be a fun show for fans and give you an idea of what to expect in 2020, which is going to be a pivotal year for the Xbox brand.

All about the games

Xbox Game Studios

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Xbox is out in London in force this year, with several leads from some of Microsoft's biggest game studios. We know that the Age of Empires team is on-site, including Rare, Ninja Theory, Obsidian, and inXile Entertainment. Microsoft has already confirmed that X019 will not only feature new game reveals but updates on existing games as well. We also know from our sources that large third-party publishers will be on hand to make announcements as well.

Microsoft has been heavily fronting Wasteland 3, so it's fair to expect a new trailer there from inXile. With Age of Empires II: DE almost out of the gate, it stands to reason that we could get an update on some of the Age of Empires team's other projects, possibly including the mysterious Age of Empires IV collab with Relic. Hopefully, we'll also hear more about Gears Tactics as well. We've even heard Obsidian and Ninja Theory both could be on-hand to announce new things as well. Microsoft has already confirmed that the show will feature 12 titles from Xbox Game Studios, including new titles for both console and PC.

Wasteland 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (Image credit: Windows Central)

Halo Infinite (Image credit: Microsoft)

Source: Windows Central and 343 Industries

What about major titles like Halo Infinite, or rumors like Killer Instinct 2 or Playground Games' long-expected Fable RPG? It seems likely that Microsoft would save anything on that scale for E3, but there's undoubtedly room for at least a teaser to keep fans sated in the coming months. We'll also hear about how Xbox Game Pass is expanding to new major titles.

For games both large and small, X019 should be a fun show, but Microsoft may hold back some of the biggest guns for E3 2020. Microsoft certainly has the capacity to surprise us, though.

Project Scarlett and Project xCloud

Microsoft hasn't said if Project Scarlett will be detailed at X019, but it seems unlikely given that they've been openly teasing Project xCloud announcements instead. Project Scarlett might get a small update, but we expect it to get the full blow-out next year.

Project xCloud, however, has been confirmed to be at the show, although the exact nature of the information remains under wraps. Either Microsoft could be gearing up to announce the launch lineup, similarly to how Google's Stadia platform recently did. They could be getting ready to reveal additional accessories and hardware, like the Razer Junglecat. Most likely, however, we should hear more about plans to expand the beta tests or even get a launch window announcement.

Studio acquisition(s)?

One significant feature of Microsoft's announcement shows in recent years have revolved studio acquisitions, as Xbox Game Studios beefs up its content spread for the future. A central criticism of Xbox from its fans and commentators alike has been Microsoft's game output during this generation, and with both Scarlett and Project xCloud looking to make up for lost ground in 2020 and beyond, it's never been more crucial for Microsoft to right this ship.

Unlike game announcements, which can be kept under wraps, acquisitions are a little more complicated, especially in countries like the UK where financial records and similar things are subject to public record. If Microsoft is planning to acquire a studio, it stands to reason that it would be announced at X019. We haven't heard anything specific at our end on acquisitions. Still, there have been plenty of rumors flying around about many smaller independent studios, including Hello Games, Asobo, and various others. I think there's every possibility we could get news of more studio acquisitions at X019.

A springboard for 2020

X019 should prove to be the first step in a long road of momentum-building for 2020, where Project xCloud and Scarlett will launch proper. 2020, in general, is going to be a big year for Microsoft consumer hardware and services, spearheaded by Xbox and Surface, with its upcoming folding devices like the Surface Duo.

What are you hoping to see the most? Hit the comments, let us know.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!