Microsoft held its Xbox Series X game showcase online on Thursday, offering previews of some of the company’s most anticipated games like Halo Infinite and Fable 4.
Those wanting details on how much the new Xbox Series X console will cost or when exactly it will be released were likely disappointed. This was purely a video game–centric event. For what it’s worth, the new Xbox is still slated to be released at an unspecified date during the upcoming holiday season, and some analysts are projecting it will cost $499.
Although Microsoft is heavily pushing its upcoming Xbox console, the company also heavily emphasized its Game Pass online subscription service, which the company said in April has about 10 million subscribers. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that all of the video games the company showed off will be available via Game Pass on the day they are released.
The Xbox event opened with an extended scene from Halo Infinite, the latest addition to Microsoft’s Halo first-person shooter franchise. Halo and its starring character of Master Chief is to the Xbox as Super Mario Bros. and its leading Italian plumber is to Nintendo.
The Halo franchise is developed by Microsoft’s 343 Industries studio, and it represents the type of exclusive video games (meaning they are only available via Xbox) that Microsoft needs to distinguish itself from rivals like Sony and Nintendo.
Like previous Halo games, Halo Infinite doesn’t deviate from other first-person shooters that emphasize fast-paced action and lots and lots of shooting. Indeed, after a brief interaction involving an upset colleague with some sort of Eastern European accent, the game’s armor-clad hero immediately gets down to business—blasting screaming aliens to smithereens, as multicolored lasers fly around the screen like fireworks bursting during the Fourth of July.
The visuals were impressive as the hero walked around an alien planet that kind of resembles a peaceful valley in Yosemite while targeting small, agitated aliens.
The game should be released during the holiday season.
The latest edition of the Fable franchise, Fable 4, is developed by another Microsoft-owned studio, Playground Games. It’s arguably one of the most anticipated titles for the new Xbox console, with fans admiring the franchise’s playful fairy-tale-like aesthetic.
The game is part of the action/role-playing genre, in which players take control of a character who embarks on an epic quest during which he or she gradually grows more powerful, gaining new skills as the game progresses.
Microsoft did not say when the game will be released.
Forza Motorsport is the next installment of Xbox’s racing game franchise, which is known for its detailed renderings of real-life race cars and racetracks.
Unfortunately, not much was revealed about the new Forza game, developed by Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios. It’s going to involve fancy cars that go really fast around a track, that much is for certain.
If you’ve been wondering what funnyman Jack Black has been up to, he was shown to be singing a song that’s part of the upcoming Psychonauts 2 video game, developed by Microsoft’s Double Fine gaming studio.
“Lost alone, neither skin nor bone,” sang Black in a recording studio, juxtaposed with scenes from the action game that appears to center around a little boy running around a colorful world resembling something from a Saturday morning cartoon.
The game is part of the genre of games known as platformers, in which players need to jump, climb, and run like they are on an obstacle course. Unlike other platform games, Psychonauts 2 has a retro aesthetic, capturing a bit of psychedelia from the 1960s, best exemplified by a brief scene involving what looked like a hippie bus.
This game will be released sometime in 2021.
The Medium, developed by Polish studio Bloober Team, looks like a horror game, featuring a very serious woman who ventures throughout a decrepit mansion. The game enables players to toggle between two worlds—the real world in the haunted mansion and the spirit realm.
The game will be released during the holiday season.