We're really counting down the days now until Xbox's massive E3 2021 event! It takes place this Sunday, June 13 in collaboration with Bethesda, and is set to provide 90 minutes of game reveals, updates and Game Pass news.
In the meantime, we've gathered a selection of predictions between some of the staff here at Pure Xbox that we think could come true at the event, either based on rumours, educated guesses or simply wishful thinking!
Here are our predictions, and don't forget to give us yours in the comments below.
1. We'll Get At Least One Xbox Game Studios Acquisition
It's been suggested over the past few days that Xbox might have at least one acquisition to announce at E3 2021, and while we're not expecting anything on the level of a Bethesda like last year, there's every chance one or two smaller studios could get snapped up for the Xbox Game Studios portfolio.
Who could that be? Well, take your guess. There are loads of potential options, from the Microsoft Flight Simulator developer Asobo Studio to Ori and the Will of the Wisps team Moon Studios, but it could be anyone. There's not much to go on here in terms of rumours or evidence, so we'll just sit back and wait for (hopefully) an exciting announcement.
2. Starfield Won’t Only Be Shown, But Will Receive An Extended Gameplay Reveal
Starfield is currently spinning through the rumour mill faster than it can handle. Every week we hear more about the game or see a new image of a window or a door. Enough is enough. Bethesda needs to take control of all this spin and give us a weighty look at the game.
Now, we’re not expecting a release date (and if there is, we can probably hazard a guess it will be delayed), but it’s come to the time where speculation needs to end and fans could do with an extended look - something in a similar vein to Fallout 4’s E3 reveal. This is the first new Bethesda IP in 25 years and we still don’t really know what it’s about.
3. Hints From Phil Spencer's Shelf Will Come To Fruition
It's crazy that one of the biggest ongoing stories in the world of Xbox over the past six months has related to a literal shelf of objects in the home of Xbox boss Phil Spencer, but that's exactly what's happened, and it's because he and the Xbox team have teased things this way in the past that have eventually turned out to be major reveals.
Some of the most talked about items on his shelf have been the Kojima Productions statue, multiple Nintendo Switch appearances, a Watch Dogs: Legion mask and more. There's no telling whether anything will actually come of these, but in terms of Nintendo specifically, we feel like something is up.
Hopefully we find out a bit more at the E3 event this Sunday.
4. An Existing IP Will Be Revived
The past few outings from Xbox seem to have come back with an IP revival. Just last year we had Fable and (later) Perfect Dark announced to be returning with new entries. We’re anticipating yet another beloved franchise to make a comeback. Personally, we would love something in the vein of an old platforming hero.
Other consoles are proving that the genre is alive and kicking with Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation, and Mario on Nintendo - why not bring back Banjo & Kazooie? There’s an entire back catalogue of fantastic titles to make a comeback, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what we see the show end on.
5. Forza Horizon 5 To Get A Reveal & 2021 Release Date
It feels like Forza Horizon 5 is becoming the worst kept secret in the world of Xbox right now, and assuming the rumours are correct, it seems very likely it will be revealed at E3 2021 with a release date of later this year. We're definitely excited by that prospect (fingers crossed it's true!) along with the suggestion that it'll be set in Mexico.
The new Forza Motorsport is still in the process of early testing, so there's no indication that it'll be ready for release this year, and it would make sense to tide things over by releasing another entry in the ultra-popular Horizon series. It probably won't be anything too revolutionary, but we'd welcome a fresh new entry for sure.
6. Xbox Game Pass Should Have Its Strongest E3 Yet
Expecting some Xbox Game Pass announcements isn’t a prediction in itself, but we think the sheer volume and range of titles is going to be impressive. Not only are we expecting a big shadow drop, we’re also guessing that some much requested titles will make their way into the service. Persona 5, perhaps, and possibly even Battlefield.
Sure, one or even both of these may seem a bit ‘out there’, but Xbox has proven this year to expect the unexpected. The inclusion of MLB The Show 21 day one, the surprise launch of Undertale, and even the fantastic addition of Dragon Quest Builders 2. It’s time to finally accept that nothing is out of the realms of possibility, and get hyped for some notable inclusions.
7. New FPS Boost & Maybe New Backwards Compatibility Titles
Remember when Microsoft dropped a massive 74 FPS Boost upgrades for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S last month? That was a humongous batch, but considering it's been a few weeks now since that occurred, we'd be surprised if at least a few more weren't revealed as part of Xbox's E3 2021 event this Sunday.
And yes, there's a possibility - just the hint of a possibility - that Microsoft might announce that more games are coming to the Xbox backwards compatibility program. The team has confirmed it would love to add more older titles, but the logistics make it very difficult, so we'll hold out hope that they've found a way to make it work.
8. The Rest Of 2021 Is Going To Look Huge For Xbox Fans
If there’s something that’s nigh on a guarantee, it's that after this showcase, Xbox fans are going to have a bright future ahead for the rest of the year at the very least.
While we’ve seen very little in terms of first-party releases over the past few months, we’re going to see a big shift. Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2 and Microsoft Flight Simulator are most likely going to come out of that show with some definitive release dates. That's not even counting the rumoured additions like the aforementioned Forza Horizon 5.
Bundled with the fact that these are all going to be in Xbox Game Pass day one, AND we’ll hear of many other titles coming to the service, it’s going to show that despite the slow start, 2021 will be a year to remember for Xbox fans.
Do you agree with these? What Xbox predictions do you have for E3 2021? Tell us in the comments.