The time has finally come for Xbox to take the (digital) stage at E3 2021. We're going to get a look at everything their huge family of first-party studios has been cooking up. Expect announcements, trailers, gameplay and most of all, surprises!
Here's the latest on what Xbox has planned for E3 2021 today...
UPDATED - Xbox Set To Reveal All Today
We're counting down the hours until the Xbox (and Bethesda) Showcase. It all goes down this evening at 6 pm BST. Xbox have done a tremendous job of keeping things under wraps so far, with no leaks available to talk of.
The sheer amount of marketing that they have put into this show should be a great sign of things to come. Between the first-party studio reveals and updates to the Indie darlings on display, Xbox will bring the heat as 'next-gen' really starts to get going.
Battlefield 2042 First Look Gameplay
After the reveal of Battlefield 2042, we now know we will be getting a first look at gameplay during this event. The below tweet confirms 2042's presence but not exactly what we'll be seeing.
We know there's no campaign to show off so expect some of the multiplayer modes or more clarity on Hazard Mode, which we know little about.
Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase Confirmed
At long last, Xbox has offered some clarity as to what's going on with E3 2021 and their plans for a new showcase.
Firstly, as we expected a little while ago, Xbox and Bethesda are going to host a joint Games Showcase event for E3 2021. Bethesda was bought out by Xbox, so this isn't too much of a surprise, but it does raise some questions regarding Bethesda titles being made available on PlayStation consoles.
We know we'll see the big ones, like the next Elder Scrolls game (whenever that comes out) on PlayStation consoles... But Bethesda makes a lot more than just that. Rumours suggest that Starfield is going to be an Xbox-exclusive title as and when it is properly announced. We could see this happen at E3 2021.
Secondly, we now know when the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is due to take place. It's going to be broadcast on Sunday, June 13th at 10:00 PST / 13:00 EST / 18:00 BST. This might not be the first presentation of the day, as E3 coverage usually kicks off early at 09:00 PST... But, it will certainly be one of the biggest.
There's going to be Xbox Game Pass updates, World Premieres, and a whole lot more.
We all know that Bethesda is owned by Microsoft now, but we didn't quite expect this. Forbes has recently published a report that suggests their upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield is going to be an Xbox exclusive.
In their report, they reference industry insider Jeff Grubb as the source of this information. He states that it will be an "Xbox exclusive", but this stretches to PC.
We still don't know a lot about Starfield, but this is hardly surprising given the value of Microsoft's deal with ZeniMax and Bethesda. We're not alone in thinking that Starfield is going to be one of the "big games" that Xbox shows off at E3 2021. It's a matter of when not if.
New Halo Infinite Content Coming?
If there's one game that Xbox fans want to see more of, it's 343 Industries' Halo Infinite.
Halo fans are very protective of their franchise, that much is a given. When Microsoft announced Halo Infinite and showcased the new title, there were mixed responses.
Halo Infinite looks to have open-ended levels, new traversal mechanics, and an exciting continuation of Master Chief's story. However, it was also criticised heavily for its lacklustre visuals.
With this in mind, 343 Industries has been hard at work improving the title and they've been pretty transparent about development and the features that are coming. The latest Inside Infinite showcases the new features for the PC version of Halo Infinite and there's a lot more to come.
It's been a little while since we saw a new trailer and/or gameplay. Surely E3 2021 is when we'll see something, right?
More Gears Content?
We can't quite believe it either, but Gears Tactics has been out a whole year. We know, we know. It feels like only yesterday that Gabe Diaz suited up to take on the grubs from a different angle. But, Xbox has confirmed it's been a year since it came out and that's raised a lot of discussions about the future of the franchise.
Could we be seeing more Gears of War content coming soon? Gears POP!, the free-to-play mobile game has recently retired, which might not be the best sign, but that surely means something else is in the works... Right?
Gears Tactics might not need a sequel, but Gears 6 has to be around the corner from The Coalition, surely...
Xbox Is Coming to E3 2021
As in previous years, we can expect Microsoft to host a press conference on the days leading up to E3, usually 2 days before the event begins. So we can expect to hear from Microsoft around June 10, 2021.
Last E3's (2019) presentation of Cyberpunk 2077, with surprise guest Keanu Reeves, was the most talked about event at E3 that year, so we can expect Microsoft to want to keep their audiences captivated again this year with more big announcements.
Next Generation of Gaming
Xbox has had an overwhelming positive start to next-gen, following the release of the Xbox Series X and Series S.
We have witnessed the growth of the Xbox Game Pass library and expanding abundance of next-gen games over the past few months.
On April 19, Xbox announced the launch of the beta for their new Xbox Cloud Gaming. We could then see the official release of this during E3 2021, which would further optimise next-gen gaming for the consumer market.
Xbox & Bethesda
While Bethesda's long awaited title of Elder Scrolls VI is likely still a few years away, we may get a sneak peak at how the development of the game is going so far with more footage and maybe even some early gameplay!
At E3 2018, Bethesda announced Starfield, and since that announcement we haven't heard much else, so there is huge potential for some gameplay to be shown and a release date to be announced during the show.
Exclusive Game Announcements
Halo is Xbox's exclusive chief commodity and Halo Infinite, the latest instalment of the key franchise, is due to drop later this year.
While a release date may be many months away, E3 will be the perfect opportunity for Xbox to show off their newest title in the Master Chief series.
The highly-anticipated sequel to 2017 Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice produced by Ninja Theory, Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga was announced back in 2019. All we've seen so far is a graphic trailer, a mere glimpse at the dark-fantasy action/adventure game.
It's been two years since the game was first announced, so E3 2021 may finally showcase some gameplay and provide us with the release date for the Xbox and PC exclusive game.
This will be the third instalment in the Perfect Dark franchise but the first new title in over 15 years!
E3 2021 will be an excellent opportunity for Microsoft to shed more light on the newest title in the series.
Other Game Announcements
Xbox has a plethora of other game companies and studios, it is not unlike Xbox to make surprise announcements and E3 tends to be a time where game publishes take advantage of this and release their biggest news and most exciting upcoming titles.
This year may be even more greatly anticipated following the cancelation of last year's E3 and Microsoft and Xbox may want to shock their audiences!
How Can You Watch?
E3 is doing things differently this year, after last years cancellation and continuing pressure from the global pandemic, E3 is still going ahead as a virtual event.
E3 is introducing what it calls 'Evolutionary Access' - a large scale online event available for everyone, everywhere.