- Xbox has been long criticized for not putting up with their fans in terms of showcasing promising AAA titles or anything of the like. The recent showcase event from the gaming industry tycoon, however, has said otherwise.
- The occasion has given rise to a number of titles to come out in the spotlight, including Starfield, which has been examined with much depth this time around. The other half of the Xbox Games Showcase was all about Starfield Direct, offering a much deeper look into Bethesda’s new space exploration IP.
- Alongside the revelations of games such as Avowed, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, a new Xbox Series S console with increased storage has also been announced, coming in a dashing black color.
The PlayStation Showcase had its fair share of time in the spotlight late last month, followed by the Summer Games Fest earlier in June. Both events seemingly tried to shoot for the skies, but it has been the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature that can be declared as out of this world. The major Xbox-oriented occasion hasn’t disappointed the masses, that’s for sure.
Talk about a number of new games, including Fable, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Clockwork Revolution, and a much deeper look into Bethesda’s upcoming space exploration RPG Starfield. This particular showcase was packed with novel announcements, and not any forgiving on the hardware side either. A new black-colored Xbox Series S was revealed at the showcase, boasting 1TB of added storage—a fair upgrade over the predecessor.
All that along with all the most prominent announcements of the Xbox Games Showcase have been gathered ahead, so you can catch up with anything that you missed out on previously. Do read until the end and comment down below if you think Xbox stole the show this time around. With that said, let’s get right into the announcements straight away.
1. Star Wars Outlaws
Starting things off is Star Wars Outlaws, an IP that has long been rumored to be under the works, even way before Ubisoft put out the official confirmation that its Massive Entertainment studio has something pertinent in development. The Xbox Games Showcase revealed the premiere trailer of the project, showing off the protagonist’s witty character along with her adorable little companion Nix.
Outlaws, according to the developer, finds itself enmeshed between the movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, with both being classics of their time. Kay Vess, a scoundrel, is who you’ll be controlling in the upcoming exploration-based Star Wars title. She’s an outlaw with quite a reputation to her name, and what you’ll be doing is looking forward to adding more heat to her name, to put it simply.
One interesting piece of tidbit that we were able to pick up on is that the game will feature seamless ground-to-space transitions, unlike Starfield. That said, there’s no concrete release date for Star Wars Outlaws, apart from the fundamental hint of the 2024 release window. Ubisoft has confirmed that the title will be arriving for not just Xbox Series X|S and PC but for the PlayStation 5 as well.
Apparently, Obsidian Entertainment has been cooking up quite the dish for the Xbox Series X|S consoles alongside PC. The world-renowned Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds developer is looking forward to releasing Avowed now—an action RPG that shares the same world as the Pillars of Eternity video game series. It’s all myth, magic, and monsters with this one, not to mention the story-driven adventure theme.
The developing studio’s specialty is first-person combat, and gauging the gameplay trailer of Avowed, we can see the polished sequences here and there along with the intricately designed game world. Speaking of which, the world of Avowed is set in a place called the Living Lands (kind of like The Lands Between in Elden Ring), and the whole area is teeming with monsters, animals, and humans alike.
From a diversity of weaponry to various types of enemies and environmental fauna, Avowed appears to be offering a highly promising adventure on the Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam and Xbox Game Pass come 2024.
3. Payday 3
This was one of those games that a lot of people expected way earlier than the arrival of the Xbox Games Showcase, but hey, better late than never. Payday 3’s gameplay reveal was one of the major reveals of said event, with the trailer starting right off where the first-person shooter’s teaser kicked off about a month ago. The new footage puts on a guns-blazing show of chaotic firefights with a touch of novelty in between.
For starters, we’re not sure if you noticed, but there are apparently going to be highly skilled, acrobatic police officers employing a unique arsenal of weapons to take the robbers down. Wonder how that’s going to play out. The robbers return from the original Payday and the story sees itself expanding in this third iteration of the cops vs robbers franchise.
Along with the action-packed gameplay of Payday 3, a release date has also been made official—September, 21. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise since the title’s landing day was leaked ahead of time, not a lot of days before the Xbox Games Showcase. The anticipation for it, however, is another story. Payday 3’s Steam page had gathered more than 1 million wishlists before its pre-orders went live on Steam.
4. Starfield Direct
The other half of the Xbox Games Showcase was all about Starfield, with Bethesda Game Studios’ director Todd Howard and the rest of the developing team opening the sequence strongly. 25 years in the making, that’s what the studio has told us about Starfield right off the bat. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the title has been in development for more than two decades. Instead, that’s just a nod toward the company’s radiant expertise.
During the Starfield Direct, fans have finally dived into the bustling world of Starfield on a scale hitherto unseen before. From the exceptionally detailed ship customization mechanics to the number of planets you can explore—not to mention the space in-between as well—Starfield is gearing us all up for one hell of a cosmic adventure. What makes it so unique is that Starfield does not follow a linear gameplay setting.
In fact, think of it as a life-like galaxy simulator where you step foot onto a planet and there are infinite possibilities to dive into from there. There’s this one point in the Starfield Direct, particularly around the 2:20 mark, where Todd Howard highlights a moon in the background, and goes on to clarify that you can actually go to that place and explore it, and it’s not just a backdrop. Truly surreal on an unfathomable scale.
The Xbox Series X|S and PC-via-Game Pass exclusive is slated to launch on 6 September, merely months away from now. There’s too much hype around this one, even to the point where someone has already left a review for Starfield on Metacritic. God knows how.
5. Forza Motorsport Official Trailer
The new Forza Motorsport has been making waves all across the wide interweb for quite some time now, considering how it was first announced at the last Xbox Showcase in 2020. eXputer was the first to report that Turn 10 Studio’s front-running venture is racing to shelves on October 10, and that’s what came to be at the Xbox Games Showcase when the racing simulator’s official trailer aired.
More than 500 cars ought to be a part of the freshest installment in the Forza Motorsport franchise, not to mention the true-to-life detail with the sound of the engine roaring and letting loose down the aisle. Pre-orders for the game are now live and there are multiple editions worth taking into account. If you’d like to access it 5 days earlier than launch, you will have to get either the Premium Bundle or the Premium Add-Ons Bundle along with the base game.
So, this one has been in the rumor mill for a substantial amount of time, especially considering how Fable has remained one of Xbox’s most loved IPs back in its glory days. I’m glad to see that the people up high finally saw potential enough in what is otherwise a magical series of games to reboot the franchise and paint it in the colors of modern-day hardware. The Xbox Series X console is a machine worthy of running a decked-out Fable game.
Living up to the promise of all first-party Xbox games featuring in-game footage during the showcase event, the new Fable trailer was exempt from cinematic cutscenes and only included what is supposed to be part of the forthcoming RPG. We’re all certainly up for one fanatical adventure with this one, as the titles of the franchise are known for sporting action-oriented quests, flamboyant experiences, and a lot more.
It’s interesting to note the developing studio that will be helming this project. Prominent Forza Horizon creator Playground Games is using a revamped variant of its in-house game-developing engine ForzaTech to construct Fable from the ground up. If the visual quality of the Forza Horizon series, especially the latest entries in the series, is anything to go by, one can easily anticipate breathtaking visuals from this Fable reboot.
7. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024
Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of Xbox’s most celebrated flagship franchises, being built on insanely lifelike fundamentals. The next phase of this iconic series is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, featuring yet another trip across the globe using the “latest technologies in simulation, cloud, machine learning, graphics, and gaming to create the most sophisticated, immersive and awe-inspiring flight simulator of all time.”
Ever since the title was announced, a load of new screenshots have surfaced on the game’s official website. Better check them out if you’re a big fan of the franchise. It’s been said that the 2024 edition of Flight Simulator is proudly built on Asobo Studio’s very own engine that has been tweaked to newfound advancement. As expected from the developer, Flight Simulator will come right at home on Xbox Game Pass the very moment it releases.
Speaking of which, there’s no concrete release date for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 as of yet, but it’s obviously coming sometime next year as the title suggests, so there’s that. Xbox will be releasing the game on Steam as well for its PC player base, alongside the expected platforms of Xbox Series X|S. Wouldn’t want to upset that big of a chunk by going the other route.
8. Cities: Skylines II
Paradox Interactive’s world-renowned city builder has just been set up for a brand-new sequel in Cities: Skylines 2, although the mere announcement of the title has already been dealt with back in March. The game’s time in the spotlight during the Xbox Games Showcase is nothing short of a marvelous reveal, and a hint at the project’s potential in terms of freely letting players build entire cities and put themselves on the map.
Cities: Skylines 2 is one of the fewer games showcased at the event that will release this year, particularly on October 24. Its Steam page is now up as well, allowing players to go forth with pre-ordering the game, and you can find more of what to expect from the IP’s official website. Those on the PlayStation 5 can also expect Skylines 2 to come to their platform.
9. Persona 3 Reload
The Persona franchise, given its eminence in the RPG genre, is in no dire need of an introduction. During the Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct Double Feature, Atlus came out with Persona 3 Reload, a modern reimagining of the 2006-released (Japanese release date) Persona 3. The title brings to life a newer way to relish Persona, namely with the novel character interactions, modernized quality of life features, and other changes.
Moreover, Persona 3 Reload will still feature the signature user interface from the original title, only with a touch of freshness to appeal to the younger audience. The developer tells us that the battle system for the game has been reinvigorated, along with enhanced audio that is going to feature English voice-over and an all-new soundtrack.
Reload wasn’t the only Persona title that Atlus showed off in the midst of the occasion. A thrilling new spin-off called Persona 5 Tactica has been announced as well, a tactical RPG that has stemmed from the critically acclaimed Persona 5. The release dates of both titles are unknown as of yet, but one can hope for them to arrive sometime in 2024.
10. New Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Trailer
Alongside the announcement and reveals of major games, the Xbox Games Showcase expressed itself for updates related to games that have been already released too. One of the most prominent highlights of that section is the official trailer for Cyberpunk 2077’s upcoming Phantom Liberty DLC expansion, which is a first for the shooter RPG.
The DLC is good to go for featuring Idris Elba exclusively as a sleeper agent called Solomon Reed, along with a bunch of other new characters who will ultimately play a significant role in this story-based expansion for the first-person shooter. From the looks of the trailer, Phantom Liberty will put a heavy emphasis on stealth and espionage, though we all know how that turns out most of the time when we’re given the option to go in guns blazing.
The release for the expansion is slated to fall on September 26, the same month as Starfield’s launch, so here’s hoping for a decent outing of the DLC, unlike the base Cyberpunk 2077 game that suffered quite heavily in its time.
11. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
Another major announcement at the Xbox Games Showcase that took fans aback with its visual splendor was Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2—the extremely anticipated sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The psychologically thrilling masterclass on display with Senua here is a sight to behold, and simply an interactive video game experience like no other. The title’s predecessor was released in 2017, and its next-gen patch arrived in 2021.
However, the level of detail that the sequel is apparently sporting as of yet is on a much greater scale than Senua’s Sacrifice. With the way the latter ended things off, a sequel was already set up, and now that the Xbox Series X is here to embrace the full potential of Senua’s story, Hellblade 2 is going to bring an adventure of a lifetime with its binaural audio.
The developer—Ninja Theory—seldom disappoints with its handcrafted work on an array of prized IPs, with Ninja Gaiden being one of them. Like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Hellblade 2’s release date is not currently known but will make landfall next year.
12. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
Okay, that trailer for the newest Like a Dragon game isn’t giving any hints as to what to expect from the title, given its eccentricity, but hear us out first. Although the developing studio Ryu Ga Gotoku has been fairly silent on what is otherwise called Yakuza 8 by the fans, it has been revealed that an “unexpected chain of events sets two legendary ex-yakuza, Kasuga Ichiban and Kazuma Kiryu on a larger-than-life RPG adventure.”
The trailer aired during the Xbox Games Showcase sees Ichiban waltzing around a beach in the United States, which is rumored to be in Hawaii, specifically. Apparently, the ex-Yakuza wakes up from being unconscious and merely moments later fails to realize that he’s butt naked, and people nearby aren’t exactly adoring the sight of him.
In other news, you might be wondering why RGG has decided to slap a different name onto the next iteration of the Yakuza franchise, especially after it was already decided that the game would be called Yakuza 8. Well, the developer acknowledged the confusion of fans, but pretty much left us more confused with the explanation of the new naming scheme. RGG said that the “Infinite Wealth” name was adopted to appeal to its western audience.
13. Xbox Series S 1TB
The Xbox Series S is a pretty reliable console, we have to admit. It’s that perfect blend of rock-solid 1080p gaming along with affordability at the forefront of it all. It was released alongside its stronger sibling, the Xbox Series X, and has only been available with 512 GB of storage up until now, a part of which falls under system-utilized space. The Xbox Games Showcase event, however, has brought an update on that front, a thrilling one.
Behold the Xbox Series S with 1 TB storage and an all-black color scheme. It evidently comes with considerably more punching power as well as a tint that better aligns with the Xbox Series X. This iteration of the fan-favorite console sports fast loading times—the same as the 512 GB variant—but does boast an increased price tag, obviously. Still, Xbox hasn’t kept things too loaded with that, raising the cost of the unit to $350 as opposed to the modest $299 pricing of the regular Series S.
The preorders for the unit are already underway, and the console will start shipping out in September. By that time, Starfield will also have come out, thereby setting one up for the perfect buying scenario of the black Xbox Series S along with Bethesda’s upcoming space exploration RPG. Speaking of which, Starfield also has something else coming for it apart from just the game. Let’s take a look at it ahead.
14. Starfield Limited Edition Wireless Controller And Headset
The unwavering anticipation for a game as big as Starfield is clearly in front of us, as Xbox, holding exclusive rights to the IP, is all in on marketing with a limited edition Starfield Xbox Wireless Controller and a Wireless Headset as well. Both of these look absolutely stunning and are certainly must-haves for any collector who’d like to look the part while enjoying the forthcoming space-centric RPG.
The linked YouTube video above shows off the catchy controller and the headset in a remarkable fashion, highlighting the specially themed detail associated with each component. The controller is priced at $79.99 and can be bought from the official storefront while the stock lasts. And the same goes for the headset, which will set you back $124 and is also limited in supply. Better get these quickly if you plan on enjoying the full Starfield experience.
Word on these particular accessories had spread fairly quickly in the past, even when there was no official hint of the Starfield controller and headset coming out. It was only a matter of time after the rumors of the controller started to diffuse before the real deal was spotted at Target, laid out in all its glory. Are you looking forward to purchasing these aesthetic pieces of collector-worthy units for your Xbox? I surely know I am.
The Xbox Games Showcase and Starfield Direct has painted the future of the Xbox platform in a brilliant fashion, igniting hope for fans and followers while finally promising true competition to PlayStation’s first-party exclusives. After all, it’s been too long since Xbox put out something of its own and was able to take home the trophy from fans and critics as well by the end of the day.
Thankfully, Starfield is shaping up to be that savior for Xbox, taking full advantage of the current-gen consoles to deliver nothing short of a celestial gameplay experience. Bethesda’s latest venture lands on Earth on September 6 this year, making the month packed with AAA titles, including Lies of P, Mortal Kombat 1, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, and even The Crew: Motorfest.
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