The biggest announcements from the Xbox Games Showcase

Microsoft’s July Xbox show has come and gone, leaving us without many of the things we were hoping for. We still have no idea when the Xbox Series X will launch or how much it costs. We have no clue when xCloud will officially go live for the world. And as far as Project Lockhart goes, the rumored second console remains just that — a rumor.

That doesn’t mean Microsoft’s show was without news, however.

New Xbox Game Studios projects

In addition to showing off Halo Infinite, Microsoft announced several new Xbox Game Studios titles, including:

  • As Dusk Falls
  • Avowed
  • Fable
  • Forza Motorsport
  • State of Decay 3

Forza Motorsport was probably expected from most, though the reboot aspect of its name change might not have been. Fable might fall into the same camp of being expected, thanks to rumors making the rounds about Playground potentially making it. Avowed is a new RPG from Obsidian, which should demand attention despite the fact it looks a lot like Skyrim right now. State of Decay 3 will likely be more State of Decay. And As Dusk Falls is an interesting looking narrative title from Interior Night, which was founded by former Quantic Dreams designer Caroline Marchal.

Add those to a first-party lineup that already includes Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and you have a pretty nice list of Xbox Series X titles. And those will be joined, by the way, by five more games confirmed for Series X upgrades: Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Sea of Thieves.

Everything on Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft’s show may have lacked heavy hitters from big third parties, but there may have been a reason for that. Throughout the presentation, Microsoft repeated that everything viewers saw would be available on Xbox Game Pass. Everything, including some lesser-known third-party projects like The Medium and The Gunk.

In a neat twist for Destiny 2 fans, Microsoft also announced that Destiny 2 would be coming to Xbox Game Pass, as well. Now, you may have one single eyebrow raised at this point, and rightfully so; Destiny 2 is a free-to-play game. What Microsoft meant, however, was that all of Destiny 2 would be joining Game Pass, including the upcoming Beyond Light expansion. Not bad.

Some confusion still exists

To put it bluntly, Microsoft really needs to get its messaging together. Trying to figure out which games are coming to Xbox One and which are solely for Xbox Series X is a cluster right now. Trying to parse terminology like “console launch exclusive” is equally frustrating.

What Microsoft needs to do is shoot straight. Be honest with gamers about what they can play a game on, when they can play it, and whether or not it’ll be available on something else in the future. Microsoft needs to channel its inner Ghandi — “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you don’t like dodgy language, timed exclusivity, or anything else that leaves gamers feeling more confused than empowered, for God’s sake, stop doing it.

We’ll have more for you about the Series X as additional announcements come.

Could the Xbox Series X be launching in November?

The launch date of the Xbox Series X remains a mystery (though we do think it might be announced today). Regardless, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood may have dropped a hint about when gamers can expect to get their hands on the console.

According to Bloomberg reporter Dana Bass, Hood confirmed the Xbox Series X is “still on track for the November holidays launch.” When Bass was pressed by The Verge‘s Tom Warren for clarification, Bass responded, “It was in response to a question from me and I said ‘new console’ and ‘November holidays.’ Her answer was the single word ‘yes.'”

Is this the smoking gun we’ve all been looking for? Is the Xbox Series X indeed coming out this November? While a lot of outlets are certainly reading into the exchange between Hood and Bass in that way, we viewed Hood’s response from a different angle. Maybe it’s not that the Xbox Series X is “on track for the November holidays launch,” but that the Series X is on track to come out sometime between now and the November holidays. Basically, Hood could be saying Microsoft is still on schedule with the Series X.

It all comes down to how you interpret Hood’s answer. It wouldn’t be outrageous for an Xbox console to come out in November, mind you. In fact, it would be keeping with tradition for Microsoft. But it seems like there’s just enough wiggle room for the machine to launch ahead of the “November holidays” if Microsoft indeed wants that to happen.

We’ll have eyes on the Xbox Games Showcase, which goes live today at 12 p.m. ET. Maybe we’ll get a solid release date for the Xbox Series X then.