It’s June, and video game fans across the globe know what that means – it’s not E3. Again. The old, in-person gaming show has been canceled for the third year in a row, but this summer will still be filled with news and virtual events, thanks in large part to , an into the first half of 2023, pushing it back from an initial release date of November 11th, 2022. Aside from a few teaser videos and dev diaries, we haven’t seen much of Starfield, and the Xbox show is the ideal time to break out some actual gameplay and maybe even convince fans that the delay will be worthwhile.
It’s very possible we’ll get a good look at another delayed Bethesda property – Redfall, the open-world, co-op vampire shooter developed by Dishonored studio Arkane. Redfall was originally supposed to come out this summer, but Bethesda pushed it into the first half of 2023 alongside Starfield. It’d be great to see some gameplay from this title, since so far the marketing has consisted of stylized, cinematic videos. And to round out the Bethesda properties, there’s always a chance that Elder Scrolls 6 will make an appearance, considering we haven’t seen anything about it since 2018 – you know, back when E3 was still a thing.
But that’s enough about Bethesda – Xbox owns 23 game studios and it has Game Pass, the company’s subscription game-streaming service that’s sure to be mentioned every other minute during the show. Other potential hits for the Xbox stream include Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, the next Forza Motorsport, and maybe even something about the new Fable that was announced in 2020. And of course there’s always room for Halo: Infinite updates.
With Sony and Microsoft chugging along in the latest console generation, the focus right now is on software, and both studios have plenty to prove in this space. Sony barely participated in the summer’s events and the company doesn’t seem interested in talking about major in-house projects like God of War: Ragnarok or Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2. Meanwhile, two significant delays from Xbox this year were a big blow to the company’s reputation, especially considering how important first-party exclusives are in a subscription-based ecosystem. Xbox promises to include its blockbuster games in Game Pass subscriptions on day one, at no extra charge, while that isn’t the case with Sony’s new subscription service, PlayStation Plus Premium. This poses a significant consumer-facing advantage for Xbox and I expect to hear a lot about first-party exclusives in Game Pass during the company’s big show.
And with that, it looks like Summer Game Fest is done – but there’s still plenty more gaming news to come this year. Nintendo loves to host digital showcases whenever it damn well pleases and we’re just about due for another one; EA usually has a show of its own at some point; Sony still has plenty of PSVR2 and PS Plus Premium details to share, and Microsoft will never stop talking about Game Pass. In fact, Xbox is hosting a second showcase on June 14th. And when all else fails, there are so many indie games, you guys. Let’s all have some fun.