THE SUMMER OF prerecorded E3-type events continues! Sony told us all about the PS5's games some weeks back, and now Microsoft's Xbox Showcase just wrapped up, bringing a handful of new games and a few Xbox Series X exclusives—some of which are coming out this year.
Plus, every game on this list will be available through Xbox Game Pass. It's not a big surprise given Microsoft's current lineup on Game Pass; it's been a place where you can play exclusives for a while now. But it's good to hear the subscription service is a big part of Microsoft's future plans for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X. All right, here they are, all the games announced at today's Xbox Showcase.
Halo Infinite

What would an Xbox console launch be without a new Halo game? The Master Chief returns, and he's exploring another mysterious alien ringworld. This one, Microsoft promises, is going to be bigger than ever before, with an open world for you to explore and shoot your way through. The trailer itself tugged at the heartstrings, evoking memories of the first Halo trailer. (And I mean the real first one, not just the trailer for Halo: Combat Evolved—if you know, you know). It looks delightfully nostalgic, a return to form for Halo. It's coming holiday 2020 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows.

This wasn't a gameplay trailer. It's one of those cinematic teasers, but it's worth mentioning because Fable was a big hit on the original Xbox, and it's been a decade since the last full Fable game, which changed some aspects of its story (and your appearance) based on how kind or cruel you were toward others. This one isn't a numbered sequel, so it could be more of a reboot than anything, and at this point, that's not a bad idea. It's been an eternity since the last release.

In Everwild you take on the role of an Eternal, a forest witch with the gift to feel how magic flows through nature and connects every living thing. In the trailer, we see players gently directing natural phenomena and wild animals to restore balance to a mystical forest.
Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

It's about time we returned to the Outer Worlds. Obsidian unveiled a DLC adventure called Peril on Gorgon at the Xbox event today, showing off a dangerous and lawless asteroid filled with intrigue and corporate machinations. It comes out on September 9, 2020, for Xbox One and Windows.

Another game from Obsidian, Grounded puts you in the shoes of a kid who's been shrunk down to miniature size. You and your friends explore and try to survive in the dangerous wilds of your backyard. Think Honey I Shrunk the Kids meets Rust. You'll be able to play it in Steam early access and Xbox preview on July 28.
Psychonauts 2

Cult classic Psychonauts is finally getting a full-on sequel! Psychonauts 2 takes you to a world painted up like a psychedelic fever dream, accompanied by a mote of light voiced by Jack Black. We don't know much more about the game, but the signature Psychonauts art style looks great on a modern console, and if Double Fine's previous games (and this music-centric trailer) are any indication, the soundtrack is going to be chef kiss emoji.
The Medium

This trailer gave me Soul Reaver vibes in the best way. In The Medium, you take on the role of a psychic exploring a haunted world in both our world and a mysterious underworld, simultaneously. Players will shift from one reality to the other seamlessly because they're both rendered at the same time by the Xbox Series X's powerful hardware. It looks spooky.
Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Speaking of spooky, this Warhammer 40k: Darktide trailer is appropriately foreboding and delightfully dark. Warhammer 40k has a bit of a mixed track record when it comes to videogame adaptations; they're either amazing or terrible. By the looks of this one, it's going to be a cooperative shooter not unlike Warhammer: Vermintide. Instead of fighting swarms of rat people, you'll battle swarms of space … people? Space zombies? Coming 2021!
Stalker 2

The original Stalker was a creepy game that takes place in a supernatural version of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Instead of being just ravaged by radiation, the fictional version features mutants and tears in the fabric of reality. We don't see much in this new trailer, but it's positively dripping with the cold, dreary, and menacing spirit of the original, and I'm here for it.
Did Microsoft convince you that you wouldn’t need to next-gen hardware to play Xbox Series X games? Think again: fully half of the next-gen games that Microsoft showcased at its Xbox Series X showcase today, including Forza, probably aren’t coming to Xbox One.
This suggests either some of those games aren’t actually coming out for a long time — or Microsoft has already broken a big promise it made just last week.
For years now, Microsoft has been working toward a future where you don’t need to buy the latest console to play the newest games — many now run on a spectrum of hardware including Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Windows PCs — and the upcoming Xbox Series X was touted as the culmination of that vision. It will play almost every Xbox One game, as well as Xbox 360 and some original Xbox titles, and Microsoft has repeatedly telegraphed that many next-gen Xbox Series X games will run in 2013’s Xbox One, too.

In fact, the company explicitly promised that its own in-house, first-party games won’t require you to buy the new Series X console for two years. Here’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer just last week:
You won’t be forced into the next generation. We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios. That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years—like Halo Infinite—will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.”
And here’s what Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty told MCV in January (bolding ours):
“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” Booty explains. “We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.”
Heck, here’s a third version of the promise from March, again with additional bolding:
We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on.
But during today’s Xbox Games Showcase, first-party titles Forza Motorsport, Fable, Avowed, As Dusk Falls, Everwild, and State of Decay 3 were all listed as coming to Xbox Series X and Windows PC specifically — with no Xbox One support and no Smart Delivery feature. Again, these are all games published by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, and almost all created by developers that Microsoft owns.
To my mind, that only leaves three possibilities: 1) Microsoft broke a huge promise in record time, 2) Six out of the nine next-gen exclusives Microsoft showcased today won’t arrive until two years after launch, or 3) someone screwed up when making the presentation title cards for each game.
Neither of outcomes number one or number two is particularly promising — but everything we’ve heard from Microsoft today suggests it’s actual door number one.
Initially, Microsoft sent us this dodgy reply:
“Our future Xbox Game Studios titles are being developed natively for Xbox Series X. We will continue to invest in tools for devs to scale across consoles. Which consoles each Studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch,” reads Microsoft’s statement to The Verge.
And when we asked Microsoft point-blank, yes or no, whether it’s still committed to the promise and whether the title cards were inaccurate, the company wouldn’t say. It pointed us to this tweet from Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg, which doesn’t make things any clearer:
For a moment, it did seem like maybe the title cards were incorrect, because shortly after the publication of this story, we saw that Avowed’s new website does include a mention of the Xbox One, as does a project page that mentions As Dusk Falls, and a site for Everwild.
But then, Greenberg replied to a question by Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo to say that the websites would soon be updated — suggesting that it was the websites, not the presentation, that was wrong.
Sure enough, as of 7PM ET, the Avowed and Everwild websites no longer list Xbox One. Clearly, Microsoft no longer wants to promise that its first wave of first-party games will actually make their way to earlier Xbox One consoles.
Here’s the full list of games that Microsoft showcased today, sorted by the consoles that their title cards said they’d support:


  • State of Decay 3 - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • Forza Motorsport - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • Fable - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • Avowed - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • As Dusk Falls - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • Everwild - optimized for Series X, first-party
  • Stalker 2 - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive
  • Warhammer 40,000 Darktide - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive
  • The Medium - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive


  • Halo Infinite - optimized for Series X, will also have optimizations for PC
  • Tell Me Why
  • Grounded - optimized for Series X
  • Psychonauts 2 - optimized for Series X
  • Destiny 2 Beyond Light - optimized for Series X
  • Tetris Effect Connected - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive
  • The Gunk - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive
  • New Genesis Phantasy Star Online 2 - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive


  • CrossfireX - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive