Microsoft has released its entry in the 2023 summer games season, as the Xbox Games Showcase + Starfield Direct is now available online. While there were no big surprise shadow drops on Game Pass, the show did feature a lot of announcements for upcoming 2023 and 2024 games, even if the latter did outweigh the former by a surprising amount.
How To Watch The Xbox Games Showcase & Starfield Direct
The Xbox Games Showcase + Starfield Direct is available on the official Xbox YouTube account. The show can be watched via the link below, with the second half focusing entirely on Starfield content. It’s a lengthy watch, so be prepared if you intend to see the whole thing.
Fable – No Release Date
The Xbox Showcase kicked off with Fable, which will feature British “comedian” Richard Ayoade as a giant. The trailer showed a brief snippet of gameplay footage, where the protagonist escapes from the giant’s home, but it mainly was CG videos showing the comedic fantasy world of Fable. Unfortunately, it didn’t receive a release date, so fans might be waiting a while for more information.
South Of Midnight – No Release Date
The Xbox Showcase featured a trailer for a game called South of Midnight, which involves supernatural happenings on the Bayou. Unfortunately, this also lacked a release date and showed no gameplay footage though it will receive a day-one launch on Game Pass.
Star Wars: Outlaws – 2024
A new Star Wars game is on the horizon, as Star Wars: Outlaws was shown during the Xbox Showcase. It is an open-world game starting a rogue named Kay Vess, with the CG trailer showing some of the locations she will visit and the enemies she will face. No gameplay footage was shown, but that’s because it’s being saved for the Ubisoft Forward event on June 12. Star Wars: Outlaws is coming in 2024, but no Game Pass launch has been confirmed.
33 Immortals – 2024
Ever wanted to get 32 people involved in the same game? Well, 33 Immortals has you covered. This new co-op action RPG by the developers of Spiritfarer allows you to team up with the oddly-specific number of 33 people as you carve your way through hordes of enemies and face the wrath of the god. 33 Immortals is coming in 2024 and will be available on Game Pass.
Payday 3 – September 21
The third entry in the multiplayer bank robbing simulator series finally has a release date, as Payday 3 is coming on September 21, just shy of Starfield’s release. Rejoice, people who are reading this article before 2024, as an actual game is coming to the Xbox Series X/S this year! Payday 3 is also coming to Game Pass on launch day.
Persona 3 Reload – Early 2024
What would be the biggest announcement of the show for JRPG fans was leaked before the event, as Persona 3 Reload is in development. It is a remake of Persona 3, the game that cemented the school + dungeon formula that made the franchise so famous, but with a graphical overhaul. Persona Reload is coming in Early 2024 (where it may compete with FF7: Rebirth for people’s time) and is coming to Game Pass.
Avowed – 2024
The game that is totally not multiplayer Skyrim received its first gameplay trailer during the Xbox Showcase, as Obsidian Entertainment’s Avowed appeared during the event. It’s hard to deny that the game looks just like Skyrim in terms of gameplay, with a slightly more colorful world, but if the formula works, then why not try and make a better one? Avowed is coming to Game Pass on day one.
Sea Of Thieves X The Legend Of Monkey Island Crossover – July 20
The most obvious video game crossover of all time has finally happened, as Sea of Thieves will feature a crossover event with The Legend of Monkey Island, including visiting Melee Island and encountering familiar characters, like Guybrush Threepwood. The event will include a whole new original adventure, which people can play for no extra cost.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 Update & Dune Crossover – 2024 & November 3
However, the video game crossover event that no one predicted happened straight after, as Microsoft Flight Simulator, will have a crossover with Dune, allowing the player to fly across the sands in an Ornithopter. This crossover is happening because it will coincide with the launch of Dune: Part Two, which will also happen on November 3.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is a significant update to the game. Players can take on numerous flying career roles in this update, mainly in the rescue and private sectors. Unfortunately, this update has no release date other than a loose 2024.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 – 2024
Senua’s Sage: Hellblade 2 appeared during the show, but it was one of the most disappointing appearances, as the game still lacks a solid release date, and the new trailer wasn’t interesting, as it only showed Senua hanging out in a cave. This is a significant step back from its last showing, which featured exciting action scenes and helped hype the game up, and a lighter trailer would have been fine if it had been stapled onto a release date.
Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth – 2024
Ichiban Kasuga can’t catch a break. After going through hell during the events of Yakuza: Like A Dragon, he finds himself naked on a beach in the United States of America, with no knowledge of English and no idea how he got there. Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth is the next mainline entry in the game, but there’s no indication of its gameplay style, but it is launching on Game Pass in 2024.
Fallout 76 – Atlantic City DLC – Coming Soon
The Fallout 76 portion of the show was brief and mostly focused on the base game’s content and expansions. The big announcement was the next DLC is set in Atlantic City and that it’s coming soon, with no precise release date given. If you have Game Pass, you can play this new DLC (and Fallout 76) for free!
Path Of The Goddess – No Release Date
The Onimusha fans of the world were left heartbroken once again when they saw the Capcon logo amongst images of a ninja warrior fighting monsters in ancient times. This game is a new property called Path of the Goddess, and it’s an action RPG where you hack and slash through many monsters. Path of the Goddess will launch on day one on Game Pass.
Forza Motorsport – October 10
The stunning Forza Motorsport is the other big Xbox console exclusive of the year, as it’s launching on October 10. You can’t understate just how amazing the visuals in this game are, with some of the most realistic models and lighting seen in a racing title to date. You’ll also be able to play Forza Motorsport day one on Game Pass.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Journey to Necrom – June 20
The next chapter of the Necrom expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Online is nearly here, as Journey to Necrom is launching on June 20. It bears mentioning that this won’t be coming to Game Pass as a freebie, as some might suspect. Instead, those who purchased The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom can play it as part of the Shadow Over Morrowind adventure.
Overwatch 2: Invasion – August 10
Overwatch 2 is about to receive its biggest update yet, as Overwatch 2: Invasion launches on August 10. This update adds new Story Missions involving Null Sector, a new season, a new PVP core game mode, new ways to build skills, and a brand-new Support hero. Also, if you have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you’ll receive the Overwatch 2 New Heroes Starter Pack, allowing you to unlock all of the heroes in the game.
Persona 5 Tactica – November 17
The other Persona game that leaked ahead of the event was Persona 5 Tactica, an upcoming tactics RPG spin-off of Persona 5. The Phantom Thieves of Heart are trapped in a fantasy world where they must work alongside the Rebel Corps to save the land from its tyrants. Persona 5 Tactica launches on November 10, a day-one launch on Game Pass.
Starfield – September 6
The big game of the show was clearly Starfield, especially as the entire second half was dedicated to it. The most surprising announcement was that Starfield wouldn’t be delayed and is set to hit its September 6 release date. The Mass Effect meets No Man’s Sky meets Skyrim title looks as incredible as ever, and it needs to be to help prop up the entirety of the Xbox brand’s 2023.
Jusant – Fall 2023
Do you like the climbing bits in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and the Uncharted series? Well, here’s a game that’s full of them, as Jusant involves a lot of climbing in a fantasy world. Those who want to do lots of climbing can do so on day one if they have a Game Pass subscription.
Still Wakes The Deep – Early 2024
Still Wakes the Deep is a first-person horror game set in an abandoned oil rig, where the player must survive as the entire facility crumbles around them. We didn’t get much information about Still Wakes the Deep’s story or characters, but we did learn that it’s coming to Game Pass on day one when it launches in 2024.
Dungeons Of Hinterberg – 2024
Do you want a game combining cozy visuals and locales with fast-paced action RPG combat? It’s a strange request, but Dungeons of Hinterberg has you covered. The game looks adorable but lacks a release window, so it’s another title for the future pile. Still, it’s another day-one Game Pass launch, so many people will have a chance to try out its unusual mixture of styles.
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC – September 26
Keanu Reeves was trotted out once more to hype up Cyberpunk 2077, as the Phantom Liberty DLC is coming on September 26. The DLC appears to be going the Fallout 3 route, as it hints at a way of separating Johnny from V, offering the happy ending that the original game lacked. To earn this ending, the player has to save the NUS President in the brand-new Dogtown region of Night City, where they’ll face terrifying foes like Idris Elba.
Cities: Skylines 2 – October 24
Originally announced during the Paradox Announcement Show 2023 with a CG trailer, Cities: Skylines 2 had some actual gameplay footage during the Xbox Showcase, and it certainly involved planning and building cities. Those who love building cities will be able to do so this year, as Cities: Skylines 2 is launching on October 24, with a day-one release on Game Pass.
Metaphor: ReFantazio – Early 2024
While Persona 3 Reload and Persona 5 Tactica leaked early, Atlus had one more announcement in them during the show. The terribly named Metaphor: ReFantazio mixes elements of the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series and puts it into a fantasy realm, where a human from our world must save a prince who has been cursed.
Towerborne – 2024
No, it has nothing to do with Bloodborne. This new title by the developers of the Banner Saga is a co-op adventure game where humanity has nearly been wiped out, and the survivors have fled to a single tower. The players must go on adventures to slay monsters, loot gear, and learn the source of the evil that has claimed the land. Towerborne is yet another 2024 game with a day-one launch on Game Pass.
Clockwork Revolution – No Release Date
One of the most interesting-looking shows of the Xbox Showcase was Clockwork Revolution, which is a game involving time travel in a city filled with clockwork machines. It strongly resembles Bioshock Infinite, but we didn’t learn much about its gameplay, characters, or story. This was another instance of a game having no release date information, but it will launch on Game Pass.
Xbox Series S Carbon Black With 1TB SSD – September 1
The big closer of the show before the Starfield Direct would have been laughed at if it had been the actual closer, as the Xbox Games Showcase ended with the announcement of the Xbox Series S Carbon Black, which has a 1TB SSD and will retail for $349. This resolves the biggest complaint about the Xbox Series S, as it’s a digital-only console, yet the base model severely lacks hard drive space.
It seems that 2024 will be a great year for the Xbox Series X/S and Game Pass, but 2023 looks rather slim. The company really is banking its hopes on Starfield, especially following the disastrous launch of Redfall. Can Starfield live up to the hype and save 2023 for the Xbox brand, especially in the face of other incredible first-party exclusives from its competitors? Only time will tell.