The Inside Xbox livestream (opens in new tab) that starts today at 11 am Eastern (8 am Pacific) will be our first look at Assassin's Creed Valhalla (opens in new tab) gameplay—though it may just be a teaser. You can watch in the embedded player above.
Microsoft will also kick off what it's calling "Xbox 20/20 (opens in new tab)," a series of monthly livestreams that will showcase the company's plans for the year. Very broadly, Microsoft says its goal for the year is to launch the Xbox Series X console, Halo Infinite, and other games in time for the holiday season, and on the PC-specific side of things, to have all its major releases, including Halo Infinite, Wasteland 3, Minecraft Dungeons, and Microsoft Flight Simulator, available with Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch.
Project xCloud, Microsoft's streaming service, will also continue to expand, "and later this year Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass will come together, enabling you and your friends to play together in more ways," Microsoft said.
"For the Xbox 20/20 May update, we will focus on giving you a first look at next-gen gameplay, trailers and sneak peeks from a wide variety of partners across the globe and industry, including Ubisoft’s recently announced Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and hear from game creators about what they’re doing with their games on Xbox Series X."
The July update will be focused on first-party game reveals, and that'll be one to keep an eye on too. While the update says that "the best development teams around the world are working hard to have their games ready to play on Xbox Series X this holiday," Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggested to CNBC (opens in new tab) (via Gamasutra (opens in new tab)) that some of its planned releases could be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Microsoft is "in line with where we thought we would be" regarding the Xbox Series X console, he said, but "the bigger unknown is probably the game production."
"Game production is a large scale entertainment activity now, you have hundreds of people coming together, building assets, working through creative," Spencer said, adding that Microsoft won't "push when things just aren't ready."
Rebranding livestreams that were going to happen anyway as some kind of new summertime reveal event might seem a bit of a reach (or maybe I'm just being cynical) but with E3, Gamescom, and other major events canceled (opens in new tab) as a result of the pandemic, publishers will be leaning heavily into online presentations to showcase their wares. EA announced EA Play Live yesterday, Ubisoft and Devolver Digital have said that they're planning livestreamed events, a digital Gamescom show is "definitely" in the works, and our own PC Gaming Show is also a go for June 6.
The May edition of Inside Xbox will begin at 8 am PT/11 am ET on May 7, on Mixer (opens in new tab), Twitch (opens in new tab), Facebook (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab), and YouTube (opens in new tab). A full schedule of all E3-replacement events announced so far is available here (opens in new tab).