Well, folks, the day we've all been waiting for finally came and went. Microsoft took to their digital livestream to formally announce a whole lineup of first-party games coming to both Xbox One and the next-gen Xbox Series X. To be clear, this conference focused on first-party titles. This means a spotlight surrounding the many studios Microsoft has snatched up over the course of the past few years. While we've already known about the existence of many of these titles, this offered up the first-look at gameplay for quite a few of them, as well as 'world premieres' for others. It was a pretty long conference overall, and a lot got covered, so let's sit down and take a look at what to expect for the next of Xbox.

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Microsoft started things off with exactly the thing everyone was expecting! Halo: Infinite, the next installment in the popular Xbox-exclusive FPS franchise, finally made its gameplay debut. Up till this point, we've only seen the game through cinematic trailers. The gameplay trailer shows off a truly gigantic open-world; so gigantic that developer 343 Industries touts it as being bigger than the last two games combined. State of Decay 3 and Forza Motorsport both got cinematic trailers without anything in-game (there was quite a bit of that here, actually). Rare's developing a new game about nature called Everwild. Life is Strange developer Dontnod plans to release the first episode of their new adventure Tell Me Why this August, with the game remaining exclusive to Xbox and PC. Then there's Outer Worlds developer Obsidian Entertainment, who have quite a few projects in the works, such as Outer Worlds DLC, a survival game in a shrunken world known as Grounded, and a big new RPG named Avowed.

The second half of the conference rapid-fired through a lot of first-party surprises, such as comic-book-esque As Dusk Falls, the confirmation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, and a musical gameplay trailer for Psychonauts 2 featuring Jack Black. Sadly, many of these games didn't receive any official release date confirmations, with a lot of them still remaining a ways out. Remedy Entertainment is teaming up with Smilegate on a war-inspired first-person shooter known as CrossfireX. For the RPG fans, Phantasy Star Online 2 got confirmed for a 2021 release via a flashy trailer. We got to see Bloober Team's next big horror outing, The Medium, which sends players through a chilling, eerie dual world. Last but not least was what I would like to call 'the bombshell'. You know the one; the big companies always save the hypest rumors and announcements for the tail-end of their conferences. In Microsoft's case, the rumors and leaks turned out to be true: Fable is coming back. While the new Fable didn't receive any actual footage outside of a cinematic trailer, it looks to be a reboot and is being developed by Playground Games.

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Phew, take a breath. That's a lot of information to digest, huh? As with Sony's PS5 event, this conference was filled back-to-back moment-to-moment with game reveals and trailers. Sony and Microsoft certainly aren't wasting any time! Speaking of time, however, that's one of the last things still unknown about the next-gen consoles: When are they coming out? And even more importantly, how much will they cost? Both camps are remaining quiet about it still, but maybe August will have something for us. In the meantime, you can catch the entirety of Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase below for around 55 minutes of games and excitement. Microsoft's archived stream kept in the countdown, so skip to the 29 minute mark to start from the actual beginning. With the first-party reveals out of the way, the next big thing for the industry to focus on is the console details themselves. Dun dun dunnn!

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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