Xbox & Bethesda Showcase LIVE: Starfield, Forza, and all the latest Xbox announcements

Refresh

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase brought a day packed with gaming announcements, but it’s only half the picture. Microsoft still plans to host an “Extended” Xbox & Bethesda Showcase on June 14, touching more on today’s biggest titles, with some surprises expected. The event begins at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST on Tuesday, and we’ll update this feed all the latest news.

Our live blog continues through the night with deep dives, features, commentary, and more from the Windows Central team. — Matt Brown

(Image credit: Riot Games, Inc.)

Xbox Game Pass gets closer to mobile with new Riot deal

Microsoft and Riot Games have entered a new partnership tied to Xbox Game Pass, granting various bonuses across the publisher’s complete games catalog. The deal, reflected in Microsoft’s gaming subscription this winter, joins a growing list of benefits available to members. Perks include all character unlocks in League of Legends, Valorant, and Wild Rift, with comparable bonuses in Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra.

I won’t lie — I didn’t foresee Riot Games joining Xbox Game Pass in any capacity, let alone Microsoft’s decision to announce it at the blowout Xbox event of the year. However, the partnership helps illustrate where Microsoft sees its next opportunities to expand Game Pass, extending far beyond Xbox consoles.

Microsoft has historically toyed with bringing its Xbox platform to Windows PCs, though recent years have seen the firm revitalize those efforts. Game Pass PC now exists as a standalone subscription, curated around PC audiences, even if still behind its console counterpart. But for mobile, Microsoft has only scratched the surface of opportunities ahead in gaming.

Xbox Cloud Gaming allows Microsoft to reach a new audience, bringing existing, full-fledged console games to iOS and Android devices. While Xbox Game Pass perks on mobile have historically amounted to ad-free Microsoft Solitaire (yes, really), new partnerships tap into an increasingly lucrative market of mobile gaming enthusiasts.  

With the latest Riot Games deal, it’s no coincidence that three of five titles are on PC and mobile. Microsoft wants to reach more players than ever, and phones are the natural next step forward, after consoles and PCs. It could be the first of many deals looking to make Xbox Game Pass just a little more compelling when on the go. — Matt Brown

Starfield and Redfall key art together

(Image credit: Windows Central / Xbox Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)

Highlighting the biggest announcements from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase

With the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 now quickly disappearing in the rearview mirror, I wanted to take a moment to highlight what I consider to be the most exciting, and most significant, announcements from the event. Microsoft showed off over 30 titles in just over an hour and a half, and many of them looked like must-plays for Xbox and PC gamers. Still, a handful of announcements stood out.

Obviously, the biggest headline-grabbing announcements of the events would be the debut of Redfall gameplay, the upcoming co-op vampire-slaying shooter from Arkane, and the deep dive into Starfield, the highly-anticipated sci-fi RPG from Bethesda Softworks.

From the gameplay footage available, both games appear to be delivering on exactly what they’re promising, although we’ll have to wait longer to know for certain. Starfield, at least, almost looks too good, with a wide variety of ambitious gameplay systems and mechanics shown off during the presentation. Both Redfall and Starfield are heading to Xbox Series X|S, PC, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox and PC Game Pass in 2023.

Elsewhere, Mojang Studios announced a brand-new Minecraft game, an action-strategy title dubbed Minecraft Legends, that lets players explore the expanding universe in an all-new way. As the resident, self-proclaimed “Minecraft Expert,” I’m indubitably excited to see what Mojang Studios and Blackbird Interactive deliver with Minecraft Legends. The Forza Motorsport reboot also enjoyed a plethora of gorgeous new footage, with plenty of details on its gameplay and the enhancements Turn10 Studios is making to the simulation experience.

There were plenty of unbelievable Xbox Game Pass announcements (31, to be exact), but a handful certainly sticks out. The Persona JRPG series coming to Xbox and Game Pass is bound to excite countless players, while Riot Games partnering with Xbox on new Game Pass additions for PC and mobile was certainly a surprise. I also adored the continued love for indie games on Game Pass, with COCOON and The Last Case of Benedict Fox being my personal favorites.

Finally, I’ll end with the one teaser Xbox allowed itself during the show. Legendary creator Hideo Kojima is officially working with Xbox Game Studios on an ambitious, cloud-powered video game for the Xbox ecosystem. We don’t know a lot about this project, yet, but it may (or may not) be a horror game going under the name “Overdose.” — Zachary Boddy

Xbox Game Pass at Gamescom 2018

(Image credit: Future)

31 games from the showcase are heading to Xbox and PC Game Pass

We counted them up, and a staggering 31 games that appeared during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase are heading to Xbox and PC Game Pass the moment they launch. Every game from the showcase is already featured in our live blog, but you can view the full list of Xbox Game Pass additions, as well as the platforms they’re heading to and release dates, in the article linked above.

It was assumed that a large focus of the major Xbox event would be Xbox Game Pass, and those assumptions were proven correct, and beyond, by the list of games. Over two dozen titles, including all-new reveals like Minecraft Legends and Pentiment, and Xbox console exclusives like The Last Case of Benedict Fox and COCOON, are launching into the Game Pass suite of services before the end of 2023.

Microsoft also proved its commitment to the cloud during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, with the majority of Xbox and PC Game Pass additions also heading to Xbox Cloud Gaming at the same time. Players will be able to access those games from a wide variety of devices, including playing Xbox Series X|S exclusive titles on Xbox One. — Zachary Boddy

Starfield

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks LLC)

For Xbox and Bethesda, a dry 2022 walked so 2023 could run

Microsoft’s latest Xbox & Bethesda Showcase drove home one message — games launching in the next 12 months were the focus of the event. The approach saw Microsoft shift from CGI concepts to tangible gameplay demos, seemingly in direct response to criticisms of past shows and providing more airtime for its most imminent releases.

Starfield occupied a 15-minute slice of the show, split between the title’s first extended gameplay reel and a deep dive into new mechanics. Redfall and Forza Motorsport were treated with similar airtime, while Diablo 4 received one of its most extensive on-stage demos yet. There’s also one common thread between Microsoft’s biggest showings this week — the wait for 2023.

While Microsoft’s Bethesda Softworks initially planned to launch Starfield and Redfall later this year, both projects have seen delays in 2023. The new Forza Motorsport entry is also gunning for next spring, with other newly announced projects from Xbox Game Studios at least six months out. It’s left Microsoft with a dry offering for the remainder of this year, and today’s showcase hasn’t exactly quelled concerns.

The future is undoubtedly bright for Xbox, with the first half of 2023 stacked with several heavyweights direct from Xbox HQ. But with Microsoft’s 2022 line-up now headlined by smaller projects like Pentiment, Grounded’s 1.0 update, and a Forza Horizon 5 expansion, third-party releases are left doing all the heavy lifting for the immediate future. — Matt Brown

Valheim

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

Survival hit Valheim coming to PC Game Pass in 2022

A secretive announcement that arrived adjacent to everything in the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is the announcement that Valheim is heading to PC Game Pass sometime this year. One of the biggest games of 2021, Valheim is a survival crafting game filled with Viking action, and those hesitating before pulling the trigger will be able to experience it through PC Game Pass in 2022. — Zachary Boddy

That’s a wrap — Microsoft has now concluded its Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, delivering a packed (and varied) 95-minute show. While the show might be over, our coverage continues throughout the night with further deep-dives into all the games, with analysis on today’s latest Xbox news. Stay tuned! — Matt Brown

Ravenlok brings unsettling fairy tale action to Xbox Game Pass in 2023

Ravenlok is an intriguing, dark fairy tale-inspired action game from the creators of Echo Generation, revealed during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. Arriving in 2023, Ravenlok will be a day one addition to Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, and will be available through Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

Sea of Thieves “Season 7” is coming on July 21, 2022

One of the smaller announcements from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will nonetheless excite plenty of players, with a musical Sea of Thieves trailer announcing that the Season 7 update is arriving for free on July 21, 2022, with new features, contents, and rewards. — Zachary Boddy

Ereban: Shadow Legacy revealed as Xbox console exclusive, coming to Game Pass

Ereban: Shadow Legacy is a fast-paced stealth platformer revealed during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase alongside a chaotic trailer, and it’s confirmed to be heading to Xbox consoles, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in the future. A release window for Ereban: Shadow Legacy isn’t available, yet. When it arrives, it’ll also be available through Xbox and PC Game Pass. — Zachary Boddy

NARAKA: BLADEPOINT comes to Xbox and PC Game Pass on June 23, 2022

Popular melee-centric battle royale title NARAKA: BLADEPOINT is about to become even easier to play, thanks to its imminent inclusion on Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. The title is debuting on Xbox Series X|S as a console launch exclusive. Players will be able to leap into the title starting on June 23, 2022. — Zachary Boddy

Gunfire Reborn coming to Xbox consoles and Game Pass in Oct. 2022

PC shooting sensation Gunfire Reborn was announced for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. This mix of roguelite and hero shooter is coming to new platforms in Oct. 2022, and showcased plenty of colorful, action-filled gameplay in its announcement trailer. — Zachary Boddy

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn reveals fresh gameplay trailer

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn combines modern technology with magic in a dark fantasy world, and it unveiled new gameplay footage during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. The gameplay trailer was packed with plenty of action and mesmerizing vistas. Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn is coming to Xbox consoles, PC, Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in early 2023. — Zachary Boddy

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle expansion coming to Xbox consoles on June 21

Ongoing MMO The Elder Scrolls Online just released one of its most ambitious expansions yet with High Isle, which is now available on PC. During the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Zenimax Online announced that the massive expansion is officially arriving on Xbox consoles on June 21, 2022. Interested players can now preorder the expansion for Xbox. — Zachary Boddy

Action-packed Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty revealed for Xbox and PC Game Pass

Another day one addition to Xbox and PC Game Pass, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an action game telling the story of a nameless soldier fighting for survival. Team Ninja is headed by some of the creators of Nioh and Bloodborne, giving Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty a prestigious pedigree. It’s coming to Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in early 2023, joining the growing lineup of titles hitting the platform next year. — Zachary Boddy

The Last Case of Benedict Fox comes to Xbox Series X|S and PC in Spring 2023

One of the more intriguing indie announcements during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase was The Last Case of Benedict Fox, a Metroidvania-style platform with eye-watering visual design coming exclusively to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in Spring 2023. Like many other games shown off during the event, The Last Case of Benedict Fox is also an Xbox and PC Game Pass day one addition. — Zachary Boddy

Xbox Game Studios Kojima Productions

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft and Kojima Productions announce new cloud-powered Xbox game

In a (somewhat) unexpected twist, revered video game developer Hideo Kojima has taken to the stage during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. Kojima Productions and Microsoft have announced a new partnership between the firms, set to deliver a new Xbox game in the future. 

The project will be developed by Kojima Productions and published under Xbox Game Studios, though remains unnamed at this time. The initial announcement instead focused on the deal itself, simply promising a “never before seen concept” from the duo. It marks the second project from Kojima Productions as an independent studio following the 2019 release of Death Stranding. — Matt Brown

Starfield unveils gameplay footage showcasing stunning world, combat, and more

One of the most anticipated games of the next few years is Starfield, the first brand-new IP from Bethesda Softworks in decades. Starfield may have been delayed into 2023, but that didn’t stop the upcoming open-world, sci-fi RPG from revealing gameplay footage during the Xbox & Bethesda Softworks.

The footage shown was extensive, showcasing various world environments, combat, in-game UI, and more. Bethesda also dropped numerous hints and teasers for the game’s narrative, with the first look at several characters that will appear during your playthrough of Starfield.

Starfield also revealed its character creator, which will let you dive deep into the appearance, background, and traits of your character before you begin Starfield. The RPG’s progression and crafting systems were also previewed, showing how players can unlock a wide variety of skills and then level-up those individual skills, or craft new equipment, build bases and settlements, design your own spaceship, and more.

Does Starfield deliver on the hype and your anticipation? Bethesda Softworks didn’t hold back on showing off Starfield, which is expected to arrive in the first half of 2023 on Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox and PC Game Pass. Starfield will also hit other devices through Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

The Persona series is officially coming to Xbox consoles and Game Pass

Atlus made an appearance during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase to make an announcement for which many Xbox fans have been eagerly awaiting: the Persona series is finally coming to Xbox. Persona 3 Portable, 4 Golden, and 5 Royal are all heading to Xbox consoles and PC, and are launching into Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Persona 5 Royal will arrive first on Oct. 21, 2022, with the other two launching later in 2022. — Zachary Boddy

Cocoon is a stunning puzzle platformer, and an Xbox console launch exclusive

Annapurna Interactive and the creator of indie classics like Inside and Limbo have announced Cocoon, a colorful and gently-unsettling puzzle platformer with gorgeous visuals. You play as a bug-adjacent humanoid using mysterious orbs to navigate a variety of environments, and it’s coming to Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in 2023. Cocoon is also an Xbox console launch exclusive, and is coming to the entire suite of Xbox Game Pass services on day one. — Zachary Boddy

Diablo IV reveals final “Necromancer” class and Xbox Series X gameplay

Diablo IV was a major part of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, with two separate segments to get players excited for the upcoming fantasy action-RPG. First, Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the final class for Diablo IV with the Necromancer, bringing the final number of classes up to five.

Next, Blizzard Entertainment revealed first-ever gameplay of the game running on Xbox Series S, with commentary breaking down gameplay features and mechanics, including cross-play and couch co-op. — Zachary Boddy

As Dusk Falls officially launches on July 19, 2022 on Xbox and PC Game Pass

As Dusk Falls, another game being published in partnership with Xbox Game Studios, secured its imminent release date during today’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. The Xbox console exclusive, character-driven interactive drama officially arrives on July 19, 2022, and it’s launching into Xbox and PC Game Pass, as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

Grounded 1.0 officially releases in Sept. 2022

Grounded, Obsidian Entertainment’s hit shrunken survival crafting game, is rapidly approaching its full release. The 1.0 update, which will render the title feature complete, is arriving in Sept. 2022 across Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Of course, Grounded is already included across the entire Xbox Game Pass suite of services, and it’s not going anywhere after its full release.

The 1.0 update will add a ton of new content to the game, including an all-new area — the Upper Yard — with new creatures, crafting recipes, and more. Players will also be able to explore the complete Grounded narrative, and battle the deadly Mantis. — Zachary Boddy

Obsidian Entertainment announces Pentiment, a unique murder mystery

Pentiment, which has been heavily leaked throughout this year, is finally official. It’s a unique murder mystery with a tapestry-inspired art style, featuring branching narratives and dialogue choices to create your individual adventure. Created by Josh Sawyer, best known for work on Fallout and Pillars of Eternity, it’s a promising darling in the newest Xbox lineup.

Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios plan to launch Pentiment on Xbox consoles, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in Nov. 2022. As a first-party title, it’s also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one, making it easy to play the latest title from legendary game director Josh Sawyer. — Zachary Boddy

Scorn shows off unsettling gameplay, release date revealed

Xbox exclusive horror game Scorn showed off gruesome, unsettling gameplay during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, alongside a specific release date of Oct. 21, 2021. Scorn is coming exclusively to Xbox Series X|S and PC, and is an Xbox and PC Game Pass day one launch title. You’ll also be able to play Scorn on the cloud through Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

Lightyear Frontier launching on Xbox and PC Game Pass in Spring 2023

Lightyear Frontier is a peaceful, exploration-centric farming adventure with up to four-player co-op, and it made its debut as an Xbox and PC Game Pass launch title during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Show. The debut title from FRAME BREAK, published by Amplifier Game Invest, is arriving on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC in Spring 2023. Lightyear Frontier is also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, on day one. More information is to come later this year at Gamescom 2022. — Zachary Boddy

Minecraft Legends announced, an action strategy game coming in 2023

Mojang Studios appeared during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase to reveal the latest expansion to the Minecraft universe. Minecraft Legends is an action strategy game filled with action, building, and exploration, and the quest to defend the Overworld from an unknown threat. Minecraft Legends is coming to Xbox consoles and PC in 2023. It’s also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

Ara: History Untold is a grand strategy game coming from Oxide Games

Xbox Game Studios and Oxide Games are partnering on Ara: History Untold, a historical grand strategy game coming to PC Game Pass on day one. Interested players can also sign-up to become an insider, and possibly test the game before its eventual release. — Zachary Boddy

Ark 2 shows off new dinosaur-filled gameplay, coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass

Ark 2, the upcoming vastly upgraded survival crafting game, grabbed a new gameplay trailer featuring Vin Diesel. Ark 2 is an Xbox console launch exclusive, arriving Xbox Series X|S and PC in 2023. It’s also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, on day one. — Zachary Boddy

Forza Horizon 5 “Hot Wheels” DLC expansion announced

After months of waiting and speculation, Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios have officially unveiled the first Forza Horizon 5 DLC expansion. The epic open-world racing game is gaining an all-new area to explore with four biomes, 10 more cars to collect and drive, and more content with which to play when Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels releases on Xbox and PC on July 19, 2022.

This is the second time Playground Games has partnered with the legendary toy brand, Hot Wheels, after the original Hot Wheels expansion for Forza Horizon 3. With FH5, the expansion will be bigger and better than ever, and benefit from numerous improvements and advancements to the Forza Horizon series since its third entry. The Hot Wheels expansion will also tie into Forza Horizon 5’s EventLab creator, letting players create even more than the expansion includes. — Zachary Boddy

Fallout 76 Expeditions: The Pitt expansion coming to Xbox and PC in Sept. 2022

Fallout 76 provided the first look at its next chapter with The Pitt expansion trailer, which features more apocalyptic gameplay set in a devastated Pittsburg. The latest Fallout 76 Expedition is arriving in Sept. 2022, and it’s coming to Xbox consoles and PC. — Zachary Boddy

Overwatch 2 goes free-to-play, gains release date, and announces new hero

Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming team-based shooter had a lot to say during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play, is officially releasing on Oct. 4, 2022 on Xbox consoles and PC, and revealed a brand-new addition to the expanding roster: The Wastelander. — Zachary Boddy

Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition announced, free Halo Infinite Pelican add-on

Halo fans wanting to take to the skies in a Pelican don’t have to wait any longer, as Microsoft Flight Simulator announced during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase that the iconic space-bound vehicle is now available as a free add-on for all players. As expected for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Pelican looks incredible when flying around the beautifully rendered world.

Xbox Game Studios also announced Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition, a completely free update to all owners and Game Pass subscribers, which celebrates the legacy of the franchise with new aircraft, world updates, and more. — Zachary Boddy

Forza Motorsport shows off stunning 4K gameplay, breaks down game features

The highly-anticipated flagship simulation racer game from Turn10 Studios and Xbox Game Studios, Forza Motorsport, revealed a ton of footage during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, with stunning 4K gameplay. Turn10 Studios also discussed a ton of features and gameplay mechanics, including on-track real-time ray-tracing, enhanced simulation features, and much more.

 If you’ve been excited for Forza Motorsport (2023), this is the presentation to watch. The game’s visuals look undeniably beautiful, with an incredible amount of intricate details in the driving and handling systems, weather effects, vastly improved car and damage models, and beyond. Turn10 Studios described the game as being a “generational leap” forward for the franchise.

Forza Motorsport (2023) is officially coming to Xbox Series X|S, PC, Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in Spring 2023. — Zachary Boddy

A Plague Tale: Requiem shows off new gameplay footage

A Plague Tale: Requiem, coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass, showed nail-biting, rat-filled gameplay during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022. While no release date was revealed, the sequel is still slated for a release later this year on Xbox Series X|S and PC, as well as a day one launch into Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. — Zachary Boddy

Riot Games titles, including League of Legends, coming to PC Game Pass

In a surprise reveal, Riot Games stole the show at Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 to treat PC players, announcing that five titles across PC and mobile are coming to PC Game Pass or gaining exclusive perks through the subscription service, including Leage of Legends.

League of Legends is coming to PC Game Pass with all Legends unlocked, League of Legends: Wild Rift on mobile is getting all Champions unlocked, Valorant is getting all Agents unlocked, Legends of Runeterra will unlock all Foundation Sets, and Teamfight Tactics will unlock select Little Legends.  — Zachary Boddy

Justin Roiland’s new game, High on Life, coming exclusively to Xbox and PC this year

Justin Roiland, the mind behind Rick and Morty, and his studio Squanch Games revealed their latest project during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. High on Life follows the story of a young high school graduate charged with protecting the world from the invasion of an alien cartel, with an arsenal of talking guns to assist them.

High on Life is a comedic first-person shooter spanning multiple planets, and it’s arriving as an Xbox console exclusive on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. It’s also coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, on day one. High on Life is slated to release in late 2022, although an exact release date is currently not available. — Zachary Boddy

Hollow Knight: Silksong is coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one

Matching rumors predating the show, the highly-anticipated platformer Hollow Knight: Silksong is officially coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one. Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming support were also confirmed, making it easy to jump into the upcoming title the moment it releases. The Hollow Knight sequel still doesn’t have a release window. — Zachary Boddy

Redfall gets over five minutes of gameplay in new trailer

The opening salvo for the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is none other than Redfall, the upcoming co-op shooter from Arkane. The vampiric shooter showcased plenty of slick-looking, goretastic, pre-release gameplay in its latest trailer. Redfall still doesn’t have a specific release date, and is coming to Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming in 2023. As a Bethesda published title, it’s also landing on Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one. — Zachary Boddy

And we’re live! Microsoft’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is now underway, bringing us 90 minutes of Xbox gaming news and announcements. While you can find the YouTube broadcast at the top of this feed, we’ll also be updating this feed with new announcements, if you’re unable to tune into the live show.

Redfall from Arkane Austin is up first! — Matt Brown

T-minus 10 minutes until the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase begins. While we have our assumptions as to what the event could include, Microsoft has managed to maintain a relatively leak-free show, with some surprises undoubtedly in store. Any guesses for what the show will open with this year? — Matt Brown

Xbox Phil Spencer

(Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

“Today is really a gameplay show,” says Xbox head Phil Spencer

The upcoming Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will lean heavier into Xbox gameplay, Microsoft Gaming CEO, Phil Spencer has stated.

“Today is really a gameplay show,” Spencer said in an Xbox FanFest stream ahead of the event. It suggests the company plans to deliver fewer CGI trailers during its 2022 live show. The statement follows criticism from viewers over past Xbox press conferences, some of which heavily featured pre-rendered trailers, often detached from the experiences offered by the final product. A promising sign, for sure. — Matt Brown

Scorn

(Image credit: Ebb Software)

Xbox survival horror ‘Scorn’ releases October 21, 2022

Upcoming Xbox console exclusive “Scorn” looks set to release on October 21, 2022, according to information obtained via a new SteamDB listing. First spotted on Reddit ahead of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, the database for the Steam storefront now lists a release date for the Ebb Software project alongside a handful of new screenshots.

Scorn appeared way back at Microsoft’s first Xbox Series X gameplay showcase, launching exclusively on Microsoft’s latest-generation machines and Windows PCs. The survival horror project made its name with its gore-heavy showing, drawing influences of artist H. R. Giger, best known for work on Alien. Scorn also joins the growing list of titles headed to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service from launch day. We expect to learn more about Scorn during today’s showcase. — Matt Brown

Avowed

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Growing doubts over ‘Avowed’ appearance at Xbox & Bethesda Showcase

With the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase only hours away, we’re starting to better understand which Xbox titles could be present at today’s event. Avowed, the latest new IP from Obsidian Entertainment, was among the front runners to make an appearance at the show, with few details since its reveal in 2020. It’s now looking increasingly likely that the sci-fi RPG won’t make this year’s showcase.

Yesterday we discussed rumors that Avowed could be skipping this year’s Xbox & Bethesda Showcase — much to the disappointment of RPG fans. In a now-deleted post on Twitter, Bloomberg reporter, Jason Schreier, states Avowed has undergone “some reboots and changed directors pretty recently,” implying the title won’t be ready anytime soon. With no word on its presence from Microsoft, it might be worth tempering your expectations before the show begins.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the deletion of Schreier’s tweet.

— Matt Brown

How to watch the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase kicks off later today at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST, with a live broadcast available to watch the announcements in real-time. Links for the 90-minute show on Xbox YouTube and Xbox Twitch channels are now available, with streaming also supported via Xbox Events app on Xbox consoles, and other popular social media platforms. You can check our full guide on streaming the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase for all the latest details. If you can’t tune in live, don’t fret, we’ll be reporting all the latest news as the event unfolds. — Matt Brown

Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, at E3 2019

(Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Morning, and welcome to day three of our live coverage on the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. We’re now less than 12 hours away from the big event, where Microsoft and various third-party studios will detail what Xbox fans can expect in 2022 and 2023. We’ll be reporting on what’s to come today, with up-to-the-minute breaking news updates once the live show commences, so you don’t miss a thing.

For those just joining us, Microsoft’s event remains mostly under wraps, likely allowing for some unexpected appearances during the 95-minute show. We understand Bethesda’s upcoming RPG Starfield will play a prominent role with an extensive gameplay demo. Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and other Microsoft properties should also be present, with the firm committing to at least five new games over the next 12 months.

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase could also hold some surprises, from a reported deal with revered developer Hideo Kojima to a planned revival of the Banjo Kazooie platforming series. We also know Microsoft plans to save some news for an “extended” showcase scheduled for the same time on June 14. Join the discussion and let us know what you hope to see via our Windows Central Discord. — Matt Brown

Persona 5 Royal

(Image credit: ATLUS)

More rumors abound: Avowed to skip the show? Persona to fill in?

Following on from fresh rumors of Banjo Kazooie or Hideo Kojima’s Overdose, we now have even more intriguing possibilities as we head ever closer towards the Xbox showcase. 

Reporter Tom Henderson who shares a wealth of inside information on the video game industry took questions on a live stream yesterday

While emphasizing very heavily that he was intentionally being vague and didn’t want to spoil the show, some of his responses could be interpreted (at least loosely) as hints on what to expect, and what not to expect.

He said that he was “avowed” not to mention games that are skipping the showcase, which could be a tease that RPG Avowed won’t show up, although it could also be taken as simply fun trolling, too. Henderson however more definitively suggested Hideo Kojima of Death Stranding and Metal Gear fame will be present at the show, simply to announce that he is working with Xbox. More and more hints seem to be appearing that Hideo’s leaked horror game “Overdose” may be tied to Xbox, following earlier rumors that Kojima is indeed working with Microsoft. 

Tantalizing for JRPG fans, Henderson also responded to questions about Persona by saying “I don’t want to leak the whole show,” while hesitating through a laugh. Could this be a hint that finally Sega’s Atlus team has decided to play nice with Xbox? I want to believe. 

Finally, an account that leaked the recent PlayStation State of Play in its entirety teased that Overwatch 2 is going free to play. Given Microsoft’s relationship with Activision Blizzard, there’s a chance we could see a glimpse of it at the show, but Overwatch 2 is gearing up for its own reveal live stream later next week as well. Only 12 hours left to find out what’s in store. — Jez Corden

Death Stranding starring Margaret Qualley

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.)

Hideo Kojima reportedly to unveil Xbox horror game at Xbox Showcase

While the focus of the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase lies with their respective teams, it also appears Microsoft could reveal an unexpected partnership this week. Multiple reports allude to an unannounced deal between the software giant and Kojima Productions, with development underway on an Xbox-exclusive project from the Japanese studio.

With development led by Hideo Kojima, a revered figure within the industry, the partnership alone would be huge for the Xbox brand. The title would mark the studio’s second project as an independent team, following the 2019 release of Death Stranding and previous work on Konami’s Metal Gear games. Death Stranding was a PlayStation 4-exclusive title at launch, later followed by PS5 and PC versions.

Reports on the deal first surfaced in 2021, stating Microsoft looks to publish the next project from Kojima Productions, incorporating technologies from the firm’s Azure cloud services. The project is named “Overdose” according to a recent TryHardGuides report, tapping into the horror genre, and starring Margaret Qualley. The outlet later stated Kojima Productions asked for the report’s removal, lending credence to the enclosed details.

It’s unclear whether Hideo Kojima or “Overdose” will make an appearance this Sunday, though multiple outlets now report some form of agreement has been reached. But if Microsoft takes to the stage with a Kojima collaboration, and it’s looking increasingly likely, what’s shown will undoubtedly be a highlight of the show. — Matt Brown

Hero image for Future Games Show by GamesRadar.

(Image credit: Future)

Future Games Show 2022 presented more upcoming Xbox indies

It’s not the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, but there was still plenty to excite Xbox players during GamesRadar’s Future Games Show 2022. The event was packed from beginning to end with imminent indie games, and some genuinely looked incredible.

One game, Turbo Golf Racing, is heading to Xbox and PC Game Pass on day one, while other intriguing Xbox-bound games like The Entropy Center, The Last Faith, Serial Cleaners, Arctic Awakening, and Planet of Lana gained new trailers and gameplay footage. Future Games Show 2022 was a good precursor to the major announcements expected from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, especially for fans of unique indie titles. — Zachary Boddy

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Banjo Kazooie to appear at Xbox & Bethesda Showcase, says report

Could we see Banjo Kazooie at the show? That’s on the cards according to game developer and YouTuber ModernVintageGaming (also known as MVG). Speaking on Nate The Hate’s podcast, MVG claimed in no uncertain terms that beloved platforming franchise Banjo Kazooie will be present at the show in some form. 

“Banjo will be at this show, and it will be announced. I have spoken to a lot of people, I’m not an insider, I’m a developer. But sometimes I hear things and I was at GDC earlier this year and there were some people talking about Banjo.” MVG continued, “something is happening with Banjo, what I can’t tell you is what that is.” 

Microsoft is clearly intent on bringing Banjo back in some way, otherwise, I don’t think they would have antagonized fans by including the bird and the bear in Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. Microsoft has not shied away from diving into their back catalog of IP, admitting that they want to do “something” with dormant fighting franchise Killer Instinct, while investing heavily in rebooting Age of Empires on the side too. 

I haven’t heard anything about this particular rumor on my end, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I give this rumor 3 shrimps out of 5. 🍤🍤🍤 — Jez Corden

We’re now less than 24 hours out from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, where Microsoft and its partners will spend an hour and a half discussing the future of Xbox. We’re seeing various developers within Xbox Game Studios alluding to appearances during the event, with speculation rife on social media and online forums.

However, Microsoft’s biggest announcements still remain under wraps, with no significant leaks circulating ahead of the show. While it might not stay that way, all eyes are shifting to the final broadcast. — Matt Brown

Gears Ultimate Edition

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Gearing up for Xboxmas 

T’was the night before Xboxmas, and all through the house… nothing was stirring, not even an RGB mouse. 

It ’tis I, your affable Xbox editor over here at Windows Central, gearing up for a weekend of previews, news blowouts, and honest-to-goodness marketing. That’s right, it’s E3 season once again (don’t call it E3, though), headlined by the big Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. 

For once, I actually know zero about what will be at the show, as I emphasized in Xbox & Bethesda preview predictions earlier this week. I know a few things that definitely won’t be there though. You certainly shouldn’t expect Fable or Perfect Dark to appear, as both titles are still deep in development and this show is expected to generally feature titles launching within the next fiscal year (the next 12 months essentially). There also won’t be a so-called “Gears Collection” remastering the first few games, despite rumors to the contrary. I’ve been told by trusted sources that this project doesn’t actually exist right now — but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t in the future. 

Another interesting tidbit that emerged this week was the possibility of a Minecraft RTS or strategy game. I’ve since linked it to a dormant codename I had here called Badger, which is a companion to Blackbird Interactive’s codename Squirrel otherwise known as the doomed mobile project Minecraft Earth. It seems that Blackbird’s experience with Minecraft Earth may have made them the perfect candidate to build a Minecraft strategy game, that will no doubt have mobile leanings perhaps akin to Clash of Clans or so, if one is to speculate. Could we see it at the showcase, though? It’s possible, but I also think it’s more likely a project like this might debut at a Minecon Live event instead. 

In any case, it’s going to be a fun show, with a diverse range of games from studios both huge and small, with a heavy focus on Xbox Game Pass titles. Keep it locked to Windows Central as we continue to update our coverage across the coming days. — Jez Corden, Windows Central Senior Xbox Editor 

Cover art for Forza Motorsport.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Motorsport set to make a splash at Xbox & Bethesda event

It’s well-known that Turn10 Studios and Xbox Game Studios are working on a Forza Motorsport reboot, which aims to rebuild the legendary racing franchise from the ground up on a brand-new ForzaTech engine. Unfortunately, nearly two years after its initial teaser reveal, we still don’t know much about the enigmatic simulation racing game.

The road to the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase has been rife with conjecture and speculation, and one of the more prevalent rumors was that Forza Motorsport would finally make an appearance, possibly with a release date announcement. Nothing has been confirmed, but not only do I think it’s probable that Turn10 Studios will take the stage during the event, I sincerely hope it does happen.

With Xbox committing to at least five new games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda in the next 12 months, and the Forza Motorsport reboot supposedly being in development since 2017, everything is lining up for the reimagined racer to strengthen the currently-weak Xbox first-party games lineup in the near future. Considering the delay of Starfield and Redfall into 2023, I’d like to think Forza Motorsport could actually release in late 2022, but it could also arrive at some point in 2023 — we just can’t say for certain, right now.

When it arrives, Forza Motorsport is expected to take full advantage of current-gen technologies in Xbox Series X|S, as well as launching into Xbox and PC Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and on PC from day one. We know that Forza Motorsport is being developed with the community in mind, with major improvements coming for simulation and driving elements, as well as online multiplayer. — Zachary Boddy

Halo Infinite Last Spartan Standing

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Is Microsoft ready to show off Halo Infinite’s battle royale mode?

It’s now been over six months since the launch of Halo Infinite, with hopes the title could make an appearance at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase this weekend. Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries continues work on the live service for its free-to-play multiplayer, with Season 2 currently underway and co-op campaign support set to enter testing this July.

343 Industries has also teamed up with Certain Affinity on future Halo Infinite content, which we understand to be a new battle royale-inspired multiplayer experience, with a Halo twist. First detailed in a report from Senior Xbox Editor Jez Corden in January, the mode is in development under the codename Tatanka, taking on behemoths like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone.

It’s currently thought that Tatanka could be targeting Season 4, recently delayed to early 2023, following changes to the Halo Infinite roadmap. While 343 Industries likely won’t announce new games this week, a previous teaser implies it could have something to show at the extended June 14 broadcast. — Matt Brown

Morning! We’re just getting started with our second day of coverage around this weekend’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. I’m logging on earlier than the rest of the team from London, getting caught up on the latest overnight developments, ahead of what could be a busy day leading up to tomorrow’s big show.

We recently learned the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will run for around 95 minutes, suggesting the duo has a packed event in the works. While the June 12 broadcast will host the heavy hitters, don’t forget Microsoft has a second event with 90 extra minutes to follow on June 14.

We’re also seeing some alleged “leaks” for the Xbox event circulating online this morning, mostly entirely fake. However, if you’re wanting to go in blind this weekend, we recommend going offline ASAP. We’ll continue to bring the latest, as it happens. — Matt Brown

Indiana Jones Game Teaser

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks LLC)

Indiana Jones might be returning for the Xbox Showcase

While it’s unclear which Microsoft-owned studios have a spot during Sunday’s showcase, MachineGames, best known for its work on Wolfenstein games, could be among those featured. MachineGames has now commented on the upcoming Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, fuelling speculation of an appearance during the show. “We are so excited for Sundays [sic] showcase,” the developer stated via LinkedIn. “Hope you all are ready for it!”

MachineGames joined Xbox as a part of its Bethesda acquisition, with work underway on a licensed Indiana Jones game with Lucasfilm. The show could provide an update on the project following its 2021 reveal, if set to coincide with the next Indiana Jones movie scheduled for next June. It’s also speculated that a third installment in the modern Wolfenstein series could be in the pipeline, following the 2017 release of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. — Matt Brown

Screenshot of Aaron Greenberg's tweet on Twitter.

(Image credit: @aarongreenberg | Twitter)

The Xbox & Bethesda Showcase will run for 95 minutes, says Microsoft

Those who have been speculating the length of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase need wonder no more. The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will run for approximately 95 minutes, according to a new Twitter post from Xbox’s GM of marketing, Aaron Greenberg. That’s just over an hour and a half of non-stop announcements and trailers for upcoming Xbox games.

While we now have a runtime, we’re still left guessing which games will make an appearance this Sunday. Don’t forget that Microsoft is hosting an extended showcase on June 14, around 90 minutes in length, which is expected to provide a deeper dive into some of the games shown during the main event. — Zachary Boddy

Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC leaks ahead of reveal

A few weeks ago, I discussed what Playground Games may be planning for the first Forza Horizon 5 DLC expansion. Now, just days ahead of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, a premature update to the game’s Steam listing has leaked a Hot Wheels-themed Forza Horizon 5 expansion.

While Microsoft was quick to remove the promotion assets, you can’t erase them from the internet. It appears Playground Games is partnering with the Mattel brand once again on a Hot Wheels crossover, harkening back to the days of Forza Horizon 3.

Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but it seems likely that Forza Horizon 5 will make an appearance during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase to unveil the new DLC. We can also expect more details about what’s included and when the expansion will be available. — Zachary Boddy

Samsung Xbox Cloud Gaming TV app

(Image credit: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.)

Xbox Cloud Gaming TV app launches on Samsung TVs this month

Xbox Cloud Gaming continues to expand at a steady pace, with mobiles, PCs, and Xbox consoles now hooked into Microsoft’s streaming platform. TVs are the latest joining its growing cloud empire, thanks to a new Xbox TV app headed to Samsung’s 2022 TV range from June 30. Microsoft has also confirmed plans to launch a streaming-only Xbox device further down the line, internally dubbed Xbox “Keystone,” posing a more affordable entry point into the Xbox ecosystem.

Microsoft continues to push Xbox Cloud Gaming as its next major innovation, streaming Xbox games over the internet with low latency, in tandem with its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. These now fall under “Xbox Everywhere,” an umbrella term for its up-and-coming ecosystem, breaking away from traditional console hardware.

Xbox Cloud Gaming will likely play a pivotal role during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, helping its future games catalog reach the widest possible audience. Expect Xbox Cloud Gaming to make frequent appearances this weekend, alongside its latest Xbox Series X|S consoles. — Matt Brown

Starfield

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Xbox to ‘meet or exceed’ 5 new games in the next 12 months

Microsoft is heading into the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase this weekend after committing to at least five new games over the next 12 months. In a statement to press ahead of the Sunday broadcast, the company stated it plans to “meet or exceed” the number of new games released in its last fiscal year. That implies Xbox and Bethesda will deliver five or more projects before June 2023.

The announcement suggests we could see more hard release dates during Microsoft’s June 12 conference, including titles planned for later this year. Following delays to Starfield and Redfall, Redmond has found itself with a hole in its content calendar for the remainder of 2022. Forza Motorsport could help fill the gap, and we’re expecting to learn more about other titles to come in the near future. — Matt Brown

Greetings! It’s an incredibly exhilarating time of year for Xbox and PC gamers, with the much-hyped Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase right around the corner. I’ll be updating this space with all the latest announcements and reveals as we get them, and I may share some of my own thoughts, as well.

I lead much of the coverage for Minecraft, Forza Horizon, and Forza Motorsport here at Windows Central, but I’m also a fan of all things “video games,” and especially of Xbox. I’m excited to see what’s in store in the coming weeks. — Zachary Boddy, Windows Central Gaming News Writer

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Red Team 141 image

(Image credit: Activision)

Summer Game Fest brought Xbox Game Pass announcements

In case you missed it, Summer Game Fest, the inaugural gaming event of the not-E3-but-still-sorta-E3 season, recently brought a handful of new gaming announcements ahead of the Xbox & Bethesda showcase. You can catch up on all the Summer Game Fest announcements in our full event round-up.

Highlights of the event for Xbox owners included the first gameplay demos for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and The Callisto Protocol, plus a new trailer for Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Xbox Game Pass also received several new day-one additions, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge on June 16, and Routine, an upcoming sci-fi horror game with a score from DOOM’s Mick Gordon.

Microsoft’s limited showing also suggests it’s holding back those heavy hitters, only raising expectations for the June 12 showcase. — Matt Brown

Welcome everyone — and thanks for joining us! It’s that time of the year again, and we’re just two days from the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase.

We’re expecting big reveals from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks this weekend, including much-anticipated updates on upcoming projects like Starfield, Forza Motorsport, and Redfall, plus a handful of surprises. If you’re an Xbox fan, you don’t want to miss this. 

We’re just getting started on our live coverage for the weekend. This Friday we’ll be discussing the breaking news so far, with exclusive insight into what’s to come from Microsoft over the coming days. You can expect regular updates to follow before things get crazy on the day. — Matt Brown, Windows Central Senior Games Editor