Xbox Developer Direct showcase: all the biggest announcements you need to know
Microsoft's showcase was full of reveals, surprises and even a brand-new game release
Microsoft’s direct from the devs live stream, Xbox Developer Direct, gave us a greater insight into five titles coming to Xbox Series X|S.
If you missed the show, I’ve rounded up all the announcements you need to know about. If you were worried about there being a lack of Xbox games in 2023, don’t be. In fact, there’s even a brand-new game you can play right now.
Minecraft Legends marches on 🏹
The show kicked off with Minecraft Legends, a new action-strategy game that includes a story-driven campaign with online co-op. A PvP mode is also included where you can team up to take on other players online. Cross-play is also supported, so it doesn’t matter what platform you play on: Xbox, PS5, PC, it’s all good.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Xbox games galore
👀 Five titles were shown during the Xbox Developer Direct showcase
🧱 Minecraft Legends launches April 18, 2023
🏎️ Forza Motorsport is still coming this year
🎶 New game Hi-Fi Rush from Tango Gameworks is out right now
⚔️ The Elder Scrolls Online Necrom launches June 20 on Xbox
🧛 Redfall finally has a release date: May 2
Minecraft Legends will have you building bases, placing traps, and laying siege to your enemies by building mighty armies. The game has the potential to be a smash hit for Microsoft, and will no doubt appeal to Minecraft’s massive audience. It’s out on April 18, 2023.
Forza Motorsport looks stunning 🚗
Next on the docket was Forza Motorsport, which has been built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The game will feature over 500 cars to race, collect and even upgrade. It’s the most modern-race cars a Forza Motorsport game has ever had.
Developer Turn10 reeled off several impressive features, such as paint-chipping on cars, dirt accumulation, and the new damage system. Turn10 also claims it’s the best-sounding Forza Motorsport ever and has been mixed for Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic spatial audio. Every tire squeal and grunt of the engine should sound phenomenal on the best Xbox Series X headsets.
Forza Motorsport launches with 20 environments and five new locations for the series. The power of the Xbox consoles allows for 10 times more detail than before, with cutting-edge visuals and realistic crowds. Dynamic time and day and a dynamic weather system should make every lap feel unique, as well as affect the game’s physics engine so every corner handles differently.
The game runs at 4K at 60fps with real-time ray tracing on track. That’s a step up from Gran Turismo 7 on PS5, which only includes ray tracing in replays and menu scenes. Unfortunately for racing fans, the game is still without a release date but is on track for a 2023 release.
Play Hi-Fi Rush… today! 🎶
The next announcement during Microsoft’s Developer Direct was completely unexpected. Japanese developer Tango Gameworks, the makers of Evil Within, showed off a cel-shaded, open-world game called Hi-Fi Rush. You play as Chai, a wannabe rock star who ends up feeling the entire rhythm of the world after an experiment goes wrong.
Hi-Fi Rush seems to combine elements of Sunset Overdrive, Metal: Hellsinger, and Devil May Cry into one colorful package. It’s essentially a rhythm-action game and the more you flow with the beat, the more you connect your attacks and abilities. It’s the type of left-field game that seems ideal for Xbox Game Pass.
Licensed music is also included from Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, and The Prodigy. Hi-Fi Rush hits Xbox Series X|S consoles… right now, January 25! The game goes straight onto Xbox Game Pass, so you can start jamming to the beat.
The Elder Scrolls Online Necrom announcement 📜
Fans of The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) can look forward to playing a new class in the game’s next chapter, Necrom, which will launch on June 20 on Xbox consoles and June 5 on PC. Necrom’s playable class, the arcanist, wields magic and has never-seen-before abilities. A new story campaign will include a familiar foe from The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Dragonborn expansion, plus much more.
There are thousands of stories unfolding across ESO, such as taking on frost trolls, visiting Morrowind, or fighting against an old boss from Oblivion. The game has around three million monthly active players and continues to grow. A next-gen update for Xbox Series X|S recently dropped, and over 20 expansions will be available to play for free.
Redfall gets a release date 🧛♀️
We also got a deeper look at Arkane Austin’s vampire story-driven shooter, Redfall. The game’s open world is packed with environmental details and we now know there are hubs you can visit where you can take on missions from the town’s residents.
We saw some of the more powerful vampire enemies in the game, too, and how their unique abilities will pose a stern challenge for players to overcome. You’ll have a bevy of tricks up your sleeves, though, such as turning invisible, to give you the edge.
Like past Arkane games, you’ll be able to approach missions in your own way. Even though this is a co-op shooter, it isn’t in the same vein as Back 4 Blood or something like Rainbow Six Extraction. That much is clear.
After a lengthy wait, we finally got a Redfall release date. It comes to Xbox Series X|S consoles on May 2 and just like very other game in this article, it’s hitting Xbox Game Pass on day one.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.