After months of small reveals and teases, Microsoft is finally lifting the lid on Xbox Series X later this week with a comprehensive digital event set to showcase a number of upcoming titles. This specific stream will focus on third-party efforts, with an Xbox Games Studio outing planned for later in the Summer.
Despite the absence of Halo Infinite, Hellblade 2 and Fable 4, there’s still plenty of blockbusters we’re hoping will surface this Thursday. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has already been confirmed, acting as a major blockbuster for Ubisoft that will no doubt look positively gorgeous on next-gen platforms.
The remaining announcements are a mystery, which makes the act of predicting them so much more exciting. Trusted Reviews has compiled five things we’d love to see from this week’s Xbox Series X Showcase ranging from big reveals, console features and more.
Related: How to watch Xbox Series X Showcase
1. CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077
The latest RPG from CD Projekt Red was unveiled on a Microsoft stage, as was the surprise announcement of Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhands. Combine these instances with the recent emergence of a limited-edition Xbox One X inspired by the game, and it seems reasonable to assume that Cyberpunk 2077 will make an appearance this week.
Set to launch this September, Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be absolutely massive, and it’s about time we received an update in terms of some new gameplay footage or a similarly massive reveal. Given their relationship with Xbox, we wouldn’t be surprised if a new trailer appears later this week designed to showcase how it will look on the next-gen console.
Xbox One players will receive a free upgrade thanks to Microsoft’s “Smart Delivery” system, a new scheme they’ll also be keen to promote ahead of the Xbox Series X release. Our money is on a new trailer, and perhaps even some exclusive content.
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2. Bandai Namco and Elden Ring
Elden Ring is another project which hasn’t surfaced for roughly a year, receiving a bombastic reveal at Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference. Developed by FromSoftware, otherwise known as the creators of Bloodborne and Dark Souls, it’s a new IP that will undoubtedly make a huge splash in the years to come.
Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and designed in collaboration with George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring is set to be a sprawling RPG that takes the Soulsborne formula and transforms it into something far more ambitious. You’ll navigate its world on horseback and do battle in a variety of different regions each with their own distinct enemies and environments. If executed right, Elden Ring could be something very special indeed.
Much like Cyberpunk 2077 before it, Bandai Namco has habitually occupied Microsoft stages for big announcements, so it’s reasonable to assume that Elden Ring will once again do the same. We’ve seen nothing but a CG trailer, so a debut peek at gameplay would go down a treat alongside some potential launch details.
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3. A deeper look at the console and its controller
Microsoft has been surprisingly open with the Xbox Series X thus far, unveiling how the console and controller will look long before their planned launch. It’s a radical departure from its hardware siblings, so perhaps the trend will continue, and a greater look will be provided during this week’s digital showcase. We’d certainly love to see it happen.
We’d love to see the console for ourselves outside of fancified renders and online leaks. All Microsoft needs to do is pop it on a table alongside its neighbouring consoles to provide us with some essential perspective. How does it compare, what are the key differences and will it fit in our existing cabinets?
These are all important questions, and a continued sense of transparency will go a long way in winning consumers over. We honestly don’t see it happening this week, but we can dream.
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4. Smart Delivery System in Action
Backwards compatibility will be a huge part of the next-generation, with both Sony and Microsoft eager to harness their legacy to keep existing players invested while also attracting new ones. Xbox Series X is poised to go one step further with Smart Delivery.
This system means that you’ll be entitled to free next-gen upgrades for selected games, with the two confirmed games being Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. We imagine all of Microsoft’s library will be included thanks to Xbox Game Pass, while everything else is down to individual publishers.
Seeing the feature in action during this week’s stream could be a groundbreaking move for Microsoft since it still has a lot of ground to cover when it comes to converting Sony’s most faithful followers.
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5. A demonstration of next-gen features
The whole idea of showcasing “next-gen gameplay” is to prove it’s capable of something we don’t have already, and we aren’t just talking about prettier graphics. This week’s stream should make a point to demonstrate how Xbox Series X will transform our gaming experience with beautiful visuals, improved loading times, smoother transitions between menu screens and jumping straight into the action.
Other features such as a ray tracing and faster, more dynamic user interface being shown wouldn’t go amiss, with the latter being an infamously choppy element of the Xbox ecosystem. The majority of releases being displayed will likely be cross-generational for the time being, so perhaps the big show-stopping moment is still a year or two away.