Xbox Game Pass at E3 2019Source: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's E3 2021 showcase has been officially dated.
  • The Xbox event will hit YouTube and Twitch on June 13, 2021.
  • Expect a lot of games. And we mean, a lot.

We live in strange times. The pandemic might be abating in some parts of the world, but it rages on in others, impeding events of all shapes and sizes. The biggest date in the video game calendar has historically been the E3 trade show, traditionally taking place in June in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This year's E3 will be another entirely digital affair, with various developers and publishers showcasing games directly to fans in online events. Last year's scattered marketing season made me somewhat miss E3, which is why I'm glad to see Microsoft is back with a more traditional showcase during this year's E3 window.

In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft announced that its big E3 showcase will take place on Sunday, June 13, 2021, at 10AM PT.

The showcase will stream across Twitch.com/Xbox and YouTube.com/Xbox, and feature the best of what Xbox Game Studios and the Bethesda teams have to offer Xbox and Windows PC fans in the years to come.

Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty at E3 2019Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central

We have a bigger E3 2021 expectations and predictions article slated for next week, but we've talked previously about some of Microsoft's rumored projects. We've heard Microsoft is working with IO Interactive on a medieval-styled fantasy RPG, and we've heard the company is working with another AAA studio on another open-world action game, dubbed Project Typhoon. Beyond that, Microsoft and Bethesda will likely finally lift the veil on Starfield after years of speculation, and we expect it to be an Xbox and PC exclusive, heading straight into Xbox Game Pass. Speaking of which, given the success of Outriders and MLB The Show launching day and date into Xbox Game Pass, I think it's fair to expect some pretty big announcements for the future of Xbox Game Pass as well.

I expect Microsoft will double down on gameplay footage for this event.

We know Microsoft has tons of upcoming games in development for Xbox from its studios. Compulsion Games' project remains a bit of an unknown, while Undead Labs continues work on State of Decay 3. Ninja Theory is building Hellblade II, and Playground Games is working on a comprehensive reboot of Fable. Halo Infinite will most likely also get some form of showcase during the event, alongside the next installment in the popular Forza Horizon franchise, which we expect is set in Mexico.

Microsoft was criticized for the lack of gameplay footage it showed throughout 2020, and the gameplay it showed off for Halo Infinite was hit with... mixed reception. We expect Microsoft will double down on gameplay footage for this event in response, although some of the games like Fable and Everwild, for example, may still be further out.

Either way, Microsoft is investing more than ever in Xbox, and gamers in the Xbox and PC ecosystem stand to reap the rewards. Microsoft is pushing all of its games into Xbox Game Pass at launch, including Bethesda's, and also supporting Steam with full PC versions of all of its console titles. The pandemic has undoubtedly left a big dent in game industry timelines, but E3 2021 should give us a glimpse of what our backlogs will look like once all of this is behind us.

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