In a normal, not-weird year, this is the time of year when we start to get excited about video games. E3 would be coming, giving us a specific week we can put down on our calendars for when we can prep for the dump of video game news from Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and the world of PC gaming. The ESA cancelled E3, though, and Sony had already dropped out anyway. So we’re left with questions about when we’ll know more about what to expect this fall. Microsoft has some good news, but Nintendo is holding off.
You want to see games for the Xbox Series X? We want to show you games for the Xbox Series X.
— Xbox (@Xbox) April 30, 2020
Microsoft announced yesterday that we’ll get our first look at gameplay on its next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, on May 7. The event, set to air as part of Microsoft’s Inside Xbox series on YouTube, goes off at 11 a.m. Eastern, 8 a.m. Pacific.
Microsoft is calling the event a Global Partner Event, meaning that we can expect to see lots of third-party games. Publishers Ubisoft and Devolver Digital both chimed in in the comments to the Xbox twitter post. The recently-announced Assassin’s Creed Valhalla debuted with an Xbox Series X logo at the end despite the fact that the game is appearing on both next-gen systems, both current-gen systems, and on PC. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Avengers are in the running as headliners, too, though neither developer has announced anything at the time of this writing.
Xbox games marketing GM Aaron Greenberg says that “Xbox Game Studios teams are hard at work on some big summer plans,” suggesting that games like Halo Infinite, Forza, and Sea of Thieves are unlikely to appear during this presentation.
Nintendo Direct delayed indefinitely
Nintendo, meanwhile, is telling its partners that it won’t hold a Nintendo Direct event in June. VentureBeat notes that the shift is a result of COVID-19 and the Japanese culture-clash with working from home. AP reporter Yuri Kageyama wrote earlier this week that Japanese businesses are struggling with staying productive while trying to mitigate the effects of the virus. Workers often do not have computers or even wireless internet at home. Businesses in Japan still make heavy use of fax machines. The workers themselves, finally, place a heavy emphasis on face-to-face meetings.
We don’t know when Nintendo might finally move forward with a presentation; we could be waiting until late summer or fall before we see one.