Following the official confirmation of E3 2020’s cancellation over coronavirus concerns, the Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed that the company will host a digital showcase designed to replace its previously planned E3 conference.
“E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox,” Phil Spencer wrote on Twitter. “Given this decision, this year we’ll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event. Details on timing and more in the coming weeks.”
It’s likely that Microsoft’s decision to host a digital event was finalized over the last few days as the ESA debated whether to cancel E3 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak grew worse in California and across the country.
Needless to say, this change of plans a big deal for Microsoft and the Xbox team. Microsoft was set to showcase the Xbox Series X (and its other next-gen plans) at E3 2020. The company was poised to have the most anticipated press conference at that show due to its next-gen reveal plans and Sony’s absence from the show.
Now, that dynamic shifts ever so slightly. There’s little doubt that this digital event will still heavily feature the Xbox Series X and whatever else may be in the pipeline for Microsoft as it heads into the next generation. Specifically, you can expect to hear more about the Xbox Series X price, features, and launch games. Given Microsoft’s recently confirmed policies, which suggest that the company is not going to abandon the current generation anytime soon, we also anticipate hearing quite a few Xbox One announcements during that digital showcase.
The information may end up being the same, but this change in format means that Microsoft has some catching up to do. Nintendo has their digital presentations down to an art form at this point, and Sony is slowly getting there by largely replicating the Nintendo Direct formula.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has tried to produce longer “live-action” presentations with mixed results. While having hosts and interviews may make Microsoft’s eventual E3 replacement feel a little more like a live show, the company now in a position where its biggest event of the year relies on a format that it still has to refine. It will also now have to compete with other companies that are likely going to take the same digital route in June.
We’ll bring your more details on Microsoft’s digital presentation as we get them.