- Xbox Showcase 2023 is scheduled for June 11 and will give players a look at what’s to come for Microsoft’s gaming platform. The presentation will be followed up by a Starfield Direct.
- After the disappointing State of Play last month, Xbox has an opportunity to put on a better show. Microsoft has stated that the event will not be a CGI festival and will include actual gameplay as well.
- With the Persona announcement at last year’s Xbox Showcase and the present rumors surrounding Atlus games, there’s a chance that something huge might be announced adding to the event’s value.
As the next major Xbox Games showcase is just around the corner, one can’t help but think about how the presentation is going to go. This year has been packed with a whole bunch of games but it wasn’t all rainbows. Recent disappointing events include the launch of Redfall and the overhyped PlayStation showcase last month that failed to deliver anything with substance.
The reason why the PlayStation showcase was poorly received is because it lacked the PlayStation flavor. It goes without saying that in a presentation centered around the next cycle of the PlayStation 5, people would expect to see games being developed solely for that platform. Exclusives are Sony‘s strongest point after all. However, most of what was shown is coming to Xbox as well and was very fitting of a PS showcase.
This aspect is what killed the impact of that presentation but it’s also how Xbox can make a comeback in light of recent developments such as the pushback from CMA over the Activision Blizzard deal and Redfall’s failure. Another thing to note are the rumors flying around about a second PlayStation Showcase this year. The way I see it, there are some things that Xbox can do to ace this presentation regardless of all these obstacles.
Whether this presentation proves to be an absolute win or a disappointment like the PS showcase remains to be seen. Considering past events, however, it seems as if Xbox will probably not let this opportunity go, especially with how the rumor mill continues to add more fuel to the fire.
Solid Focus On First-Party Xbox Games
The focal point of any presentation claiming to offer a glimpse into the next phase of a particular platform needs to show things exclusive to it that shock and amaze the viewers. Games, features, and services, the majority of those reveals need to have that factor that pulls people in. While the PlayStation showcase lacked that, Xbox can do a lot to ensure that the same mistake doesn’t plague this event.
Redfall may have been a flop but so was Square Enix‘s Forspoken. People indulge in pointless brand wars and make unnecessary comments but that doesn’t stop the companies from doing what they have to do. Xbox has several high-profile exclusives in the pipeline which have the potential to be huge hits if treated fairly. That’s the first thing Xbox needs to show at its presentation, that it’s learned something from Redfall.
Microsoft has already stated that the upcoming Xbox showcase is not going to be a CGI festival and actual gameplay will be present along with some cinematics. This is a great move right off the start as the best way to showcase something is by presenting it in its most natural state. For a video game, that’s the gameplay and by putting that element on display, Xbox is already doing the right thing for its players.
Xbox has a pretty solid catalog of exclusives that may be presented to us at the upcoming showcase. Hellblade 2, Avowed, Fable, Forza Motorsport, and Starfield are some of the anticipated titles heading to the platform in the coming years. It’s safe to assume that some details will be revealed for them at the showcase, excluding Starfield since the presentation will be followed up with a Direct for Bethesda’s new universe.
While it doesn’t have to be only first-party titles, they need to have a strong presence since it’s an “Xbox Showcase.” By putting these upcoming projects on display with proper gameplay and showing that the power of Xbox Series X is properly being harnessed, Microsoft can prove that it’s in the game despite the negative comments out there.
More Atlus Games On Xbox
Rumors about Atlus games have been flying around for the longest time. Back in 2021, the release of Shin Megami Tensei V was surrounded by the GeForce Now leak that listed several titles eventually landing on PC. This list included SMTV & Demon’s Souls Remake. Some titles in the list like God of War & Uncharted did arrive on PC so there was some form of credibility. Later on, Nvidia stated that such names are normally placeholders.
Microsoft has been actively trying to get more Japanese games on the Xbox platform and it’s making great strides in that department. During Persona’s 25th anniversary, Atlus revealed that Persona 5 Royal, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 3 Portable were arriving on Xbox along with other modern platforms. The biggest win here was the availability of Persona games, including P5R on Xbox Game Pass.
Not only did this increase the number of players that were able to experience Persona for the first time, but having it on the Xbox platform raised its allure. Japanese games are a pillar of the gaming industry and many hold them in high regard. The glaring lack of such titles on Xbox is an objective downside from a business angle. This announcement was the first step in addressing the problem.
Earlier this year, rumors started to circulate once more due to two events. Those events were the 30th anniversary of Shin Megami Tensei and a leaked clip suggesting that a Persona 3 Remake was in development. SMT’s anniversary led to its own leak emerging on 4chan as well. While it could have been fabricated, the image showed SMT III, SMT IV, SMT IV: Final, and SMT V with platforms listed on the side.
This image suggested that the titles will be arriving on other platforms as part of the 30th anniversary. While no announcements were made during the events in May, there’s a chance that Atlus may use Xbox’s upcoming showcase as a stage to announce the Persona 3 Remake and ports of SMT games. It would be similar to last year’s announcement as well and would cement this showcase as an absolute win.
The reason for that is simply the shock factor, hype, and Xbox Game Pass. Some people don’t understand how great that service is even if I have my own reservations about it. That doesn’t take away from its merits and while Atlus games aren’t going to be exclusive to Xbox, having them on Gamepass is going to be huge, both for the showcase and the platform.
Xbox Has To Capitalize On Starfield
Redfall’s failure has put a fair amount of pressure on Starfield as an Xbox exclusive. Granted that this whole thing was blown out of proportion as people claimed the upcoming space RPG to be Xbox’s last chance, it’s a fact that continuously having disappointing exclusives only makes the competitor look good. Microsoft may have it going with Game Pass but that doesn’t negate the fact that it needs great exclusive games on the system.
Here’s where the Xbox showcase comes in. The presentation will be followed-up with a Starfield Direct which I believe is going to be the definitive session for new details, more gameplay, and an in-depth look at how the game is going to work and how it handles the space it takes place in. A comprehensive and transparent presentation putting Starfield on full display would alleviate many of the doubts players have about it right now.
Moreover, it would boost the overall quality of the presentation and raise the positive sentiment around the Xbox brand. It goes without saying that Bethesda will not be able to make Starfield 100% bug-free at launch and that’s definitely an unreasonable expectation considering the scale of the RPG itself. However, given sufficient time in the oven, it sure can release a title that lives up to expectations, meets the standard, and functions well.
There’s a lot of opportunity here and considering the rumors, games that are in the pipeline for Xbox, and the brand’s devotion to gaming as a whole, I’m quite optimistic about the upcoming showcase. A presentation that’s supposed to offer a glimpse into the next phase of a console needs to check certain boxes. Last month, Sony failed to do that even though some like to claim otherwise.
Xbox may have the potential to give us a much better show but we must keep in mind that Summer Games Fest and the Capcom showcases are fast approaching. Who knows what announcements and world premiers we’ll get to see but here’s to hoping that Microsoft delivers the goods with this presentation. Fingers crossed for that Persona 3 Remake and SMT ports announcement.
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