Microsoft confirm the next Xbox Series X event will be in July, has not been delayed

Microsoft’s GM of Xbox Games Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, has responded to reports that Microsoft had delayed a June stream until August by stating that the company’s plans have not changed at all. The next digital stream will be held in July, where Microsoft will reveal first party titles they have in the works, answering the games that Sony are set to reveal in Thursday’s PlayStation 5 reveal.

It turns out that Microsoft had never intended for all the Xbox 20/20 branded reveals to be digital streams, something which was lost in the anticipation leading up to the first stream in May.

Microsoft have been criticised for vague, if not misleading messaging surrounding their reveal events. The first Xbox 20/20 stream was branded as ‘First-Look Xbox Series X Gameplay on Inside Xbox’, leading many to assume that it would feature large swathes of gameplay instead of the brief snippets of gameplay that came alongside cutscenes and cinematics. It doesn’t help that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s gameplay trailer was representative of in-game visuals, but not meaningfully of gameplay. Microsoft duly admitted that the expectations set had been wrong.

This fact about there being no June stream was similarly lost behind some vague messaging. Here’s the series’ announcement from Microsoft:

Starting with the May 7 episode of Inside Xbox, we will be showcasing what happens next in the world of Xbox, every month, which is why we’re calling it “Xbox 20/20.” These monthly moments will take place throughout the rest of the year and will be a way for us to engage, connect and celebrate with you about what’s in store for the next generation of gaming, including what’s next for Xbox Series X, Xbox Game Studios, Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud. Every month will bring something different. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more details.

Notice that they call them “monthly moments” and state that every month will bring “something different”, however with the next “moment” mentioned being the July first party stream, it was easy to misconstrue. We missed it at the time – apologies for not catching it – but Greenberg almost immediately had to clarify that June’s reveal would not take the form of a stream.

Unfortunately, this was not widely pushed by Microsoft, and there’s been no update to the original announcement post, allowing the narrative that Microsoft would hold monthly streams to propagate, just as the notion of extensive gameplay reveals did.

Microsoft are not the only ones guilty of making somewhat vague statements about their plans and next-gen. The PlayStation 5’s technical reveal by Mark Cerny was met with confusion over statements surrounding the console’s backward compatibility support and the extent of the games that would be tested in time for launch. In that instance, Sony quickly issued a clarifying statement and updated the PlayStation Blog post.

The two companies are currently engaged in a cold war of words and ideologies about the next generation, setting out their plans for what the next generation can offer. Microsoft have some clear wins here, with more outright power within their console, impressive Backward Compatibility features, and making a consumer focussed decision to not have next-gen exclusive games for the first year and make game ownership bridge the divide with Smart Delivery. Unfortunately, a lot of that good work can be undercut when the game reveals don’t match up to expectations, one way or another.

Source: Aaron Greenberg [1, 2]

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  1. So someone at MS thought it was a good idea to say they’re absolutely, definitely doing a thing next month? Given what’s happened this year so far? A brave decision, given that we’ve still got time for things to explode, large rocks to smash into the planet, Godzilla attacks and the sun to have a funny turn and burn us all.

    And how does not having any next-gen exclusives count as a “clear win” for MS? That mostly seems to have received a reaction of “what’s the point then?”, or, at best, “no rush then, I’ll get one in a year or 2”.

    Not even sure the power of the Series X is a clear win either. Overall, in pure numbers, maybe. But Sony have some advantages in some areas, and how it all works out in the end is still unclear.

  2. It’s indeed interesting how much perspectives can differ.
    ‘… consumer focussed decision to not have next-gen exclusive games for the first year’? Of course, every bug can be communicated as a feature, but to me this is the consequence of them not being ready, games-wise, as they badly neglected their first-party line-up over the last years.
    ‘Microsoft have some clear wins here’ with regard to power and backward compatibility…? Well, according to what I read, developers are currently discussing how to deal with the next XBox not being as fast SSD-wise as the PS5. And, given the current market numbers, most gamers have a massive backlog of PS4 titles, which will most likely all run on PS5, but definitely won’t on an XBox.

    Don’t get me wrong (again): I’d love MS to do better and have a chance to win back the market and reverse some of their failures beginning of this gen. E.g. I love what they do with respect to accessibility, a topic Sony too often still neglects.
    But at this point, unfortunately, I’m not too optimistic for Microsoft to win back the gamers they lost back then.

    • I think the way developers will deal with the PS5’s SSD being significantly faster will end up being “we’ll treat it the same, and hope the other bits that are faster make up for it”.

      Sony definitely have 2 big advantages with the PS5. The SSD speed, seemingly due to the clever controller, and the Tempest audio engine. Another separate bit of hardware.

      The danger is another PS3 situation, where cross-platform titles don’t take advantage of that hardware. But if you watched Mark Cerny do his very technical thing, he made a big point of how quick it is to get up to speed on the new hardware. So hopefully they’ll be able to take advantage of it. And if the PS5 CPU is a little bit slower, but you can offload some of the audio work to a separate processor, that could narrow the gap.

      And while the XBox GPU is technically more powerful, it does that by having more, but slower, cores. There may well be things that the PS5 can do a lot better with those faster cores. With exclusives (whenever the XBox gets them), I suspect both machines will be making the most of their 36 or 52 cores. But for cross-platform games? Yes, the XBox will presumably try and make the most of the extra cores, but I doubt that’s always going to be successful.

      I suspect it’ll depend on whatever engine they’re using. We might end up with the Unreal engine running better on the PS5, but a different engine ends up with a reputation for being better on the XBox.

      It’s not as simple as “We’ve got 12 TFLOPS. We’re best!”, even if that seems to be what MS are going to be pushing. The actual difference between the 2 isn’t huge when you look at all the hardware. I definitely think some things will run better on each machine. And if you’ve not got a 4K TV, you won’t notice any difference at all.

    • I think you might be overestimating the change that next-gen is likely to offer on day one. There’s always a lag in terms of game design taking advantage of consoles once their final specs are made clear, outside of a few gimmicks – see Knack in general, Ryse originally being a 360 game, and Killzone’s reveal demo only being designed for 4GB RAM. And the majority of third parties will develop with current gen in mind, and basic HDDs will have to be factored in for as long as typical gaming PCs need to catch up. After all, Unreal Engine 5 will still have the old lighting and LOD techniques and it’ll still support current gen machines.

      • Which would be a good point if the PS5/Series X were entirely new hardware that needed developers to learn how to take advantage of it.

        But they’re more like an upgraded PS4/XBone. Chuck a whole load of extra power at it, and things can take advantage of that from day one. With Sony making a point of it being easy to migrate to PS5 development.

        Typically, yes, early games on new hardware don’t take full advantage of the extra power. There’s always been something that makes use of it though. Always something that just wouldn’t work on the last-gen hardware.

        And yes, a few years later there’ll be things taking full advantage of all that power. And then something will manage to take full advantage of it, but even more so. At which point you start to swear at the fans making your 7 year old hardware sound like some sort of air show is taking place with expensive military hardware showing off. (I live near one of those, so I know what that sounds like. Thankfully not this year though. Yay! Viruses! ;)

        I think you’re underestimating what might happen on day one. And if you are, MS are going to be in trouble. It’s certainly not a clear win for them not having any exclusives. And “No exclusives, so no rush to buy one yet” may well turn into “No one’s buying one, so why should we make an exclusive game for it?”

      • Not entirely new architectures, but the SSDs will require studios to adjust their workflows and design processes in order to make best use of them.

        Beside that, it’s just more power, which makes next-gen exclusivity more of a business decision. We’ve seen more than enough “impossible” Switch ports to know that where there’s a will, there’s very often a way.

      • @MrYd “I think you’re underestimating what might happen on day one. And if you are, MS are going to be in trouble. It’s certainly not a clear win for them not having any exclusives. And “No exclusives, so no rush to buy one yet” may well turn into “No one’s buying one, so why should we make an exclusive game for it?””

        I think Microsoft’s approach is just “Buy Xbox” (and Game Pass). Rumours are that the One S and One X are already out of production so buying an Xbox will only be possible by buying Next Gen – so while Sony continue to sell the PS4 as the ‘cheaper’ price point, everything Microsoft is selling would be Next Gen (and the low price point market sells quite well), so probably not going to be a position where there aren’t enough Next Gen machines to make an exclusive worth while.

        Likewise, going by previous generations, there is rarely anything in the first year or so that isn’t just the same type of game as last gen but with nicer graphics or a few gimmicks. Given that we are all currently using HDDs for game loading, I’m not expecting the difference in SSDs between the two platforms present that much of a difference – loading times are going to be fantastic for everyone and given that the Series X SSD is orders of magnitude better than the currrent HDDs I don’t think the faster PS5 SSD is going to see anything that the end users are going to see as significantly different.

      • It’d be even worse if they killed off the current gen early and only sold the Series X.

        Want to buy an XBone and use Game Pass and get a console and a whole load of games cheap? Maybe you had a PS4 and are tempted by that because it’s so cheap. Maybe you’d then got on to buy a Series X later? Tough luck. You’ve now got a choice of paying more for the Series X with no exclusives any time soon, maybe get a PS5 at that same point.

        And if you hadn’t got a PS4 or XBone (young people exist too), you’re faced with either paying lots for the new gen hardware, or maybe pickup a cheap PS4. They’ll be around for a few years yet.

        But if we ignore the availability or otherwise of the current gen at a bargain price, then you’ve got a choice of a PS5 with some nice exclusives, or a Series X with, what? Cross-platform games and last gen games?

        And yes, I know MS were only really referring to first party games all being cross-gen, but that does kind of gently nudge 3rd parties in to doing the same thing.

        There’s no way that can work out well for MS. A mix of people getting a PS5 instead, or waiting on the Series X for a year or 2, along with some people maybe picking up a cheap PS4 while they wait? And what is probably going to be an expensive price tag on the Series X as well?

      • Although it looks like I hadn’t actually mentioned it (guess I should proof read first…), I had meant that if Microsoft do launch the rumoured Series S (Lockhart), then that would be a next gen machine at a lower price point (which is apparently cheaper than and as powerful as a One X). That would allow targeting the lower price bracket for people looking for the entry level.

        Still, until both companies fully reveal their plans, then this is all just fun speculation.

  3. More next gen details are exciting. Here’s hoping they handle it better than their gameplay reveal thing. The biggest question will be why should I be upgrading from an Xbox One X, when it looks like will continue to run pretty much everything that’s coming out Xbox-wise. Still seems like another case of two steps forward, one step back, which seems to be the Microsoft mantra these days.

    • MS clearly have lots of clever people working for them, but their business people are confused.

      Something made lots of money? Make massive changes and hope that does as well.

      Didn’t make quite as much? Make huge changes, and keep everything the same. And make a point of it being both new and better and being the same. And so a bit pointless.

      Sony went for big changes with the PS3, and that sort of worked, eventually. But listened to developer complaints, even making a big point about it for the PS5. But they’re concentrating on what’s new with the PS5. Possibly because they don’t really need to make any more money of the PS4. Even if they will for a few years yet.

      Not going to be quite as bad for MS this time though. Not like the XBone launch. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory there.

      Not even as bad as the PS3 launch where Sony badly misjudged the price. And still came out on top anyway, eventually.

      But they’re making some bad decisions. Most consoles are really just much more powerful versions of the previous generation, but MS are pushing that point far too much. And Sony haven’t even really started yet. Tomorrow should be very interesting. Plus we’ve still got months for MS to really go wrong. Suddenly announce the cheaper Series S? That Lockhart thing everyone assumes isn’t happening now? Confuse things further and guarantee nothing will take advantage of all that Series X power?

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