OPINION

The Next-Gen Ramp up has finally begun

At last!

Microsoft have been on a bit of a roll lately. From the bold decision of revealing Xbox Series X last year at the Game Awards, to the frequent, clear and concise messaging and tidbits we’ve had since, it’s fair to say that this is not the Microsoft of 2013.

And now the floodgates have well and truly opened, with Microsoft detailing their new, digital replacement for E3 following the global impact of COVID-19 – and giving Xbox fans worldwide a clear image of what’s coming, and even more importantly, when.

#Xbox 20/20

In a blog posted on Xbox Wire, Microsoft have laid out exactly when you can expect to hear from them – in May, we have their 3rd party partners event, where we expect to hear details on a number of 3rd party titles; from the AAA behemoths like Assassins Creed: Valhalla, to smaller indie titles and releases that take advantage of the new platform.

From that point, Microsoft will hold monthly live-streams, where we can expect further details on the forthcoming consoles, 1st party games from Xbox Game Studios and the future updates for Game Pass and xCloud. And for July, they have already confirmed this live-stream will be ‘the big one’, where we can expect the big blowout on Halo Infinite, as well as updates on Playground’s not-so-secret RPG project, The Initiatives reveal and hopefully more on Everwild.

They even dropped what can be safely assumed is the new Xbox Start up screen in this short YouTube video.

What about June?

Here’s where things get interesting – the video, if it indeed is the console start screen, merely says “Xbox” – no detailing here to specify Series X. And while the Xbox team specifically detailed May and July, June remains somewhat unknown to us – can we expect now a tease for whatever June event this Thursday, and will Microsoft finally lift the curtain and let us see Project Lockhart and provide some details on this intriguing approach to inclusive console design? And will this console boot screen apply to both?

With regards to the May 7th show, Phil Spencer took to Twitter today to set some expectations, presumably to quell the fervent hype that surrounds these kind of events.

We’ve heard that the show is really going to focus on titles expected in 2020, so set your expectations accordingly.

Even further, Aaron Greenburg took to Twitter to answer some questions:

Of note here is that the June show will “differ” to the Inside Xbox we’ve seen normally.

(Image credit: u/jiveduder)

Indeed, it seems Xbox might be joining forces with IGN for their June reveal, as part of their ‘Summer of Gaming’ series.

The June drop for Xbox 20/20 is still unannounced, but we’re happy to confirm that Xbox will be a part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming showcase next month, joining the likes of CD Projekt Red, EA, 2K and more to make brand new announcements with us.

Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/xbox-2020-series-x-new-games

Additionally, Bloomberg have reported quite specifically that Microsoft will be diving into hardware and platform features in June, meaning we might be due a look at the retail version of xCloud as well future improvements to Game Pass too.

Rumours about Lockhart have been swirling for sometime, from the initial reveal of two devices under the Project Scarlett banner – Anaconda and Lockhart. We’ve seen plenty of hints since Project Scarlett took the stage at E3 2018 – indeed, in the recent reveal via Digital Foundry, the ‘Anaconda’ was pictured on the motherboard of Series X, all but confirming the leaked project names. Considering the reach that IGN has globally, it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to partner with them, in order to serve up any long-form articles to present the ‘why’ as to Lockharts existence.

“Hiss”

Do you think we’ll see Lockhart and by extension, Microsoft’s pitch for cheaper, 1080p next-gen gaming in June?

Let us know, in the comments below.

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