E3 is back for the first time since 2019 and Xbox is bringing its heavy hitters to the show.
After a successful launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S in November, this will be the first E3 with the ninth generation of consoles out in the wild. While the Series X/S have shown that they’re powerful consoles, the lack of new games over the last six months hasn’t allowed the machines to fully show what they’re capable of. But Microsoft plans to change that.
Here are our predictions for what could be revealed when team Xbox takes the stage on June 13 at 12pm CT.
Halo? Halo. After a lackluster campaign showing in July 2020, Xbox and developer 343 Industries need to put their best foot forward after delaying the shooter to this fall. Halo Infinite will be a huge part of Xbox’s presentation and we expect to learn much more about its free-to-play multiplayer. We could also see the confirmation of a battle royale mode that seems to have been teased earlier this year.
The bottom line: Halo is the biggest Xbox IP and Halo 4, the Master Chief Collection’s release, and Halo 5 have left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. This is the moment for 343 and Xbox to regain the trust of their fans.
The highly anticipated Forza Motorsport, which has been billed as being built from the ground up for the new generation of Xbox consoles, should finally make its gameplay debut. After getting a teaser trailer last July, we haven’t heard much about the eighth installment in the Forza Motorsport series. This game seems perfect for a 2022 release window.
E3 2021 should give us our first glimpse at Forza Horizon 5, the follow-up to 2018’s Forza Horizon 4 which recent rumors suggest will be set in Mexico. Forza Horizon has been one of Xbox’s highest-rated exclusives since the series debuted in 2012. This game seems destined for a September or October 2021 release date. Expect to see gameplay footage and an official release date.
Zenimax, Bethesda and co.
After Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax Media last year, Xbox has bolstered its first-party studios to include some of gaming’s biggest IPs, such as Fallout, The Elder Scrolls series, and Doom. Elder Scrolls VI was announced in June 2018 during E3 but we haven’t seen much news on the successor to Skyrim. We may get a brief glimpse of the game but chances are this title won’t be ready for a full-on preview until 2022.
In the months following the acquisition, many fans’ attention turned to Bethesda’s latest IP, Starfield. The RPG, which is set in space, will be Bethesda’s first new RPG release in more than two decades. Following the reveal of a 68-second teaser trailer at E3 2018, the game has drawn significant hype over the last three years despite the lack of details. Expect to hear “Windows Exclusive” when this game takes the stage along with some gameplay footage and an announcement of a 2022 release window.
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass has become one of the biggest selling points to buy into the Xbox and Windows ecosystem. From gaining access to all Xbox Game Studios games on day one to getting huge third-party games such as MLB 21 The Show and Outriders to join the service, it’s been a great value for Xbox owners.
We expect to hear about new games set to drop on Game Pass during the presentation and also at least one huge third-party game coming to Game Pass on its release date.
Tweets from Game Pass and Battlefield’s official Twitter accounts seem to hint at a potential addition of Battlefield 6 to the catalog when it releases later this year. Adding Battlefield to Game Pass would be yet another big-time addition to the ever-expanding library. While nothing is official, the Game Pass account typically only hints at something when it has a reason to.
Overall, we expect this to be a successful E3 for Xbox. Sony has stolen the show with its single-player experiences over the last few years—and for good reason. This year, it seems like Xbox should finally be able to compete with its roster of Xbox Game Studios. Expect Xbox to swing for the fences with both its first-party games and the addition of third-party games to Xbox Game Pass.