E3 2020 isn’t for several more months, but you might not know that with the number of reveals and announcements Microsoft and the Xbox team had for its X019 celebration in London today. During a special episode of its Inside Xbox show, Microsoft pulled back the curtain on multiple new games for some of its biggest studios — including Rare and Obsidian — as well as an ambitious exclusive from one of the biggest names in narrative gaming. Here are all the biggest announcements, including news on big Black Friday sales you don’t want to miss this holiday season.
Obsidian is best known for traditional role-playing games, either in first-person with The Outer Worlds or classic isometric style like in Pillars of Eternity. The studio will be trying something different, however, with Grounded, a cooperative survival game with a focus on environmental and narrative storytelling. You play as a character the size of an ant who must survive in a backyard, using everyday resources and protecting yourself against the wildlife. The game can be played either solo or cooperatively, and was in development before Obsidian was purchased by Microsoft. It will launch through Xbox Game Preview and Game Pass in spring 2020, and will also release for Steam.
Rare also revealed a brand-new IP during the Inside Xbox show: Everwild. It’s keeping details scarce at the moment, but the game will allow you to “play in a natural and magical world,” according to studio head Craig Duncan. It will give players the ability to share experiences in some fashion, and more details will be provided in the future. The studio also continues its work on Sea of Thieves with the free “The Seabound Soul” update, which gives you a new Tall Tale mission and firebombs for combat. It’s billed as campaign content, which was noticeably absent from the game when it launched in 2018.
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is about to get even bigger, with several new games coming to the program today, this holiday season, and into 2020. Right now, you can play games like Rage 2, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Later this year, The Witcher III, My Friend Pedro, and Halo: Reach will be among the games added, and Tekken 7 and Darksiders III are some of the games coming in 2020. Right now, you can also get three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1, which includes the Game Pass membership for Xbox and PC as well as Xbox Live Gold.
Tell Me Why
Ain’t nothin’ but a heartache! The next game from Life is Strange and Vampyr developer Dontnod Entertainment is an Xbox console exclusive called Tell Me Why, and its subject matter seems to fall in line with the studio’s previous work. Starring twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan, the game is set in Alaska and focuses on their “loving but troubled childhood.” The game will be released in three chapters episodically, and the full game will launch in summer 2020. It’s the first game from a major publisher to feature a transgender protagonist, as well, and the team worked with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD during its development.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud is available in a pretty limited state right now to beta testers, with support for only Android phones. This will change in 2020, when PC support will be added and the service will open up to Canada, India, Japan, and Western Europe. You’ll also be able to use DualShock 4 controllers. More than 50 games are being added to the preview period, as well, including Devil May Cry 5, Halo Wars 2, and Killer Instinct.
Black Friday savings
If you’ve been waiting until Black Friday to purchase an Xbox One system or a selection of games, you’ll have plenty of deals to choose from. Beginning November 24 and lasting through December 2, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will be available for $150 and includes Minecraft and Sea of Thieves along with a Rogue Spider Knight Skin for Fortnite. You can also save big on games like Gears 5, State of Decay 2, and Forza Horizon 4 during this period, and the Xbox All Access program lets you pay a monthly fee starting at $20 for access to a console. You will also get an upgrade option when Project Scarlett launches in 2020.