Date: Sunday, June 9th
Time: 2100 BST/1300 PT
With no Sony at this year's E3, Microsoft more or less has free rein to dominate the headlines at the show. Last year saw the Big M showing off a huge 52 titles, including that blockbuster Cyberpunk 2077 reveal at the conference's close, as well as announcing the purchase of four studios, as well as the establishment of its new The Initiative development house in Santa Monica.
For 2019, it's likely that the Xbox firm will be giving us further indications about what the future of the platform holds. We wouldn't be surprised to see some new developers joining the 13-strong Xbox Game Studios roster. There were rumours floating around that Microsoft was looking to buy Danish Hitman maker IO Interactive, which fits the profile of what the company appears to be after - mid-sized studios with a strong heritage, creativity and clout. Whether 47 and co join the Xbox firm is another matter altogether.
The xCloud streaming service will no doubt make an appearance, too. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has indicated that the tech is now take-home ready - and has said he's been using it for some time - and the beta at the end of this year is fast approaching. Given that Google has tried to dominate the streaming conversation with its Stadia announcement at GDC - and more details promised next month - Spencer and co need to start telling us more about their own tech. Oh, and we'll probably get some stats about how well Game Pass is doing, too. PCGamesInsider.biz has heard rumblings of titles from third-party publishers joining Microsoft's first-party projects and [email protected] games in coming to the subscription service as soon as they launch, but we haven't been able to corroborate that information.
In terms of what titles will be shown off on Xbox's stage, there's definitely a focus on first-party. Spencer has already said that there are going to be 14 first-party studio games on-stage - interesting given that the firm only has 13 developers in its Xbox Game Studios it's likely we'll see more of Halo Infinite. This opened last year's conference with a tech demo showcasing what's possible with 343's proprietary Slipstream Engine, with more details about what the Master Chief's next chapter holds. There will be more about the trio of Gears of War titles, too - including the Funko Pop mobile game that we had to fact check wasn't the subject of a fever dream we'd had.
Other first-party goodness could include the Fable title that Playground is rumoured to be working on. Microsoft has confirmed that the Forza Horizon maker - one of the developers that joined its first-party line-up at last year's E3 - is working on an open-world RPG, which gives credence to the Fable rumours. Regardless, whatever the Leamington Spa-based studio is working on is likely to be at the show. The same is also likely true for whatever Microsoft's brand new Santa Monica-based outfit is working on. Given that the studio was only set up early last year and has been steadily staffing up since, it's likely we'll see some sort making-of type video with Darrel Gallagher and his astonishingly talented team talking in broad terms about the project alongside some concept art. It's still early days, but Microsoft will almost definitely want to show off its new toy.
Turn10 will reveal Forza Motorsport 7, complete with an insanely expensive sports car being lowered from the ceiling in dramatic fashion in an astonishing feat of product placement that - while likely part of a licensing deal - vastly misses the mark in terms of what its the audience watching at home has to spend.
The Big M will also probably have new content to show off for on-going games like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Forza Horizon 4. Speaking of Forza, Turn10 will reveal Forza Motorsport 7, complete with an insanely expensive sports car being lowered from the ceiling in dramatic fashion in an astonishing feat of product placement that - while likely part of a licensing deal - vastly misses the mark in terms of what its addressable audience has to spend. A tease of what Rare has planned next isn't out of the question, too.
As always, third-party will be a focus for Xbox's showcase. With the megaton reveal of Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018, CD Projekt RED's eagerly-anticipated sci-fi RPG appearing at the Microsoft conference feels like a safe bet, as is