I like to make Xbox predictions heading into E3. Obviously, that didn’t happen last year because E3 didn’t happen. It also didn’t happen the year before that I wrote at a place that didn’t allow for predictions or fun. This year is different. This year the predictions are full steam ahead. E3 is just days away. No one is around to say, “You, games writer, are not allowed to have your own opinions on gaming. You have to use someone else’s.” No one can pull the plug on what I think we’ll see at the Xbox E3 2021 event.
I’m leaving the fairly obvious stuff out of here. We’re going to get looks at Xbox games that are coming, without question. You’ll likely see bits of Hellblade 2 and Everwild and other Xbox Game Studios titles that are in the works. That is what these shows are typically all about.
What I’m trying to hit on below (at least until the very end!) are the items I think aren’t quite as surefire, but still have a pretty good chance of happening. With that said, here are my predictions for the Xbox show at E3 2021.
We’ll get a metric ton of Xbox Game Pass news
June has been extraordinarily light for Xbox Game Pass, and there’s a very good reason for that: Microsoft is probably saving its ammo for E3. We already know there are a bunch of games coming to the service in the longer term, but the rest of this current month is a bit of an unknown.
I’m expecting to see roughly a dozen titles announced across Console, PC, and Cloud for the remainder of the month, including at least one huge get. The Xbox E3 2021 event could also see Microsoft announcing another huge deal with a publisher for Game Pass the way it did with Square Enix (Final Fantasy) and Sega (Yakuza) in the past. Maybe this is when we get word that Ubisoft Plus is joining Game Pass?
We’ll get a new slate of FPS Boost titles
The Xbox Backward Compatibility team has made lots of news at E3 in past years, and I don’t expect this one to be any different. I think we’ll get another round of FPS Boost games for Xbox Series X and Series S during the E3 show, and personally, I’m really hoping to see two games in particular: Mass Effect Andromeda and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
That prediction alone is probably too much on the safe side, though, so allow me to spice things up a bit by taking things one step further: I think the Xbox E3 2021 show could see us getting our first Xbox 360 or O.G. Xbox FPS Boost titles, too. You just know Microsoft has wanted to get this working. I think it has, and E3 will serve as the place where the announcement happens.
Halo Infinite will get a release date
Folks, it’s time. Halo Infinite was already pushed out a year past its original launch window, giving Microsoft way too much time, frankly, to keep talking about it. I love Halo, but after the fifth mainline entry, I’m also not going to be sold by talk alone. What’ll get me pumped about this game is watching some awesome gameplay, and then getting a release date so I know when I can play it. That’s it.
I think it would be malpractice for Microsoft to not have a release date announcement ready. I’m also fairly confident that Microsoft is not going to commit that malpractice. So keep your eyes peeled for that date, and perhaps for some news on when you’ll be able to play the multiplayer beta before launch.
There’ll be another studio acquisition
Despite Microsoft throwing truckloads of money at studios for the past few years, I don’t think the company is quite done loading up just yet. It may not go all out and add multiple studios at once like it did before, but I do think the company will still strike when it feels there’s an opportunity. I think the Xbox E3 2021 show will see at least one more announcement on this front. But who?
Personally, I wouldn’t count Asobo out of this, despite it getting some outside investment recently. That money was for a minority stake. Meanwhile, Rich Uncle Pennybags Microsoft could almost certainly afford to buy the studio outright. And Asobo would be a great fit for Xbox Game Studios, as it has proven itself to be very versatile, working on everything from Microsoft Flight Simulator to A Plague Tale: Innocence.
And now… the crazier stuff
Everything you see above is what I feel is somewhat plausible. But what fun is “somewhat plausible” when you can just lob predictions the way Brett Favre used to lob footballs: carelessly?
Here’s a rapid-fire list of things I don’t think are remotely as solid, but could happen if the planets align.
- Starfield release date
- The Xbox/Kojima connection is legit
- Microsoft somehow got out of the GhostWire: Tokyo and Deathloop exclusivity deals
- Forza Horizon 5 announced for Fall 2021
- Final Fantasy 14 on Xbox
- Hellblade 2 release date
- Xbox Game Pass on Nintendo Switch
- Microsoft unveils an Xbox gaming laptop