The latest edition of Inside Xbox aired today, and if you missed it, fear not. We’ve got you covered with a roundup of everything that was shown.
After a greeting from Phil Spencer wishing everyone well in the time of COVID-19, the announcements came rapid-fire. With several new Xbox Game Pass titles announced, DLC for some of the year’s latest games, as well as deep looks at what’s new and upcoming in the suddenly busy Xbox Game Studios space, there’s a lot to go over.
Here’s everything announced at Inside Xbox for April 7, 2020.
Inside Xbox Roundup April 7: Everything Announced and Revealed
Obsidian’s Grounded Gets a Game Preview Launch Date
While we need to keep waiting a few months before we get our hands on the Honey-I-Shrunk-The-Kids-like (that’s a genre, right?), Obsidian did drop by the stream to show off the game’s story mode, which included several hints of a looming threat besides the ants and spiders that suddenly outsize you in the survival game.
Obsidian also revealed when players can start digging into the dirt — literally — of Grounded. It hits Xbox Game Preview on July 28. Previously, the Xbox team has hinted that Xbox Insiders will get an even earlier preview too, though if that remains the plan, they didn’t touch on it today.
Major Nelson Chats Xbox Series X with Developer Jason Ronald
The tech and spec nerds had their fill once more as Larry Hryb was joined by the Xbox Series X Director of Program Management, Jason Ronald, whose wisdom was said to be as vast as his beard is long, for an in-depth discussion about what all those fancy Xbox Series X specs will mean for games.
Ronald praised features like ray tracing and the solid-state drive while gameplay b-roll showed us the differences in games like Gears 5 and even Minecraft, where you may be surprised how much ray tracing seemed to make a difference.
Major Nelson himself also emphasized that players can bring their existing external hard drives right over to Series X, even as Microsoft would still love if we all bought their proprietary “storage expansion cards” they’ve made in partnership with Seagate.
Xbox Game Studios Recap
The foursome of hosts then shifted to briefly reflect on the year so far for Xbox Game Studios, reminding players that Ori and the Will of the Wisps, State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition, and Bleeding Edge are all available now and are a part of Xbox Game Pass.
The hosts then showed off some glimpses of what’s to come for XGS, including Minecraft Dungeons on May 26 and Forza Street migrating to mobile platforms on May 5. If you missed the earlier reveal, the team also emphasized the free educational content available in Minecraft, which may help in our new age of homeschooling. For the adults in the room, Gears 5 is free to play through April 12.
New to Xbox Game Pass
As always, if Xbox is presenting, you can expect new Game Pass titles to be announced. Inside Xbox introduced several more to both Xbox Game Pass for console and the PC beta. For those playing with mouse and keyboard, you can expect Football Manager 2020, Stranger Things 3: The Game, and Mistover to land “soon.” Console subscribers meanwhile will get to play January’s Journey to the Savage Planet very soon. It hits the library on April 9. Next week, the comedic metroidvania also gets its first major DLC, titled Hot Garbage.
As for games coming to both platforms, there are a few more. Physics playground Human Fall Flat, retro-RPG Alvastia Chronicles, and the next installment of Kiryu’s adventure, Yakuza Kiwami all hit Game Pass “soon.”
Lastly, for players in South Korea and Japan, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions will soon be available for the first time. Those players can look to sign up beginning one week from today, April 14.
Gears Tactics Deep Dive
Though console players will need to wait until later this year to try Gears Tactics, we’re just a few weeks from its April 28 launch on PC. That means it was time to see a lot more of the game, and so we did.
In today’s reveal, we got a heavy dose of gameplay, including some Gears touches that keep this from being an XCOM clone (like lancer chainsaw executions, of course).
We also learned more about the story, like that it stars Kait Diaz’s father, Gabe, in a story that exists as a “pre-sequel” to borrow a term from Borderlands, taking place between Marcus’ original trilogy and The Coalition’s revival.
In case you were hoping to learn “five badass things” about Gears Tactics, Xbox has gone and made that video for you.
New Project xCloud Titles
It’s not just Game Pass that grew larger today. The library of free Project xCloud games increased by three courtesy of EA. Players who are streaming via Android or the limited testflight on iOS can now find Unravel 2, The Sims 4, and Dragon Age: Inquisition all available to play right away.
More games made their debut during today’s stream, including several indies making their world debut or sometimes just their Xbox debut. That includes the Hotline Miami series coming to Xbox for the first time ever as the Hotline Miami Collection. Even better, it’s available now.
Other indies that got the spotlight include Atomicrops, which is similar to if Stardew Valley was hit by a nuke and irradiated the farmland, as well as The Last Campfire, the next project from Hello Games. While the former got a gameplay reveal trailer, the latter received a much deeper dive of its own, complete with developer commentary.
Xbox Game Bar for PC Updates
While not the most exciting news of the afternoon, PC players will enjoy updates to Xbox Game Bar, including full integration from Razer and Split, making playing and especially streaming games to an audience even easier. Major Nelson stressed that while these apps are now built into the Xbox Game Bar, players can run their original apps if they still prefer to do so. While the update is scheduled for later this year, those who want to preview the features can sign up at insider.windows.com.
Sea of Thieves’ Next Major Update
We’re never more than a few weeks away from the next huge Sea of Thieves update, so Inside Xbox closed with an expansive look at what’s all to come in the second-anniversary update named “Ships of Fortune.”
Players have the ability to join trading companies of their choosing as emissaries for brand-new questlines with new cosmetics to unlock. A fifth trading company, the combat-centric Reaper’s Bones, now sails the seas too, and across the board, all companies have received new level caps which should entice even the most seasoned Pirate Legends to find their sea legs once again.
Arena mode has been given a major overhaul, making it so combatant ships now fight for a single chest at a time. Players can also revive their allies within a short window of time too. For those who don’t mind spending real money on the game’s pets, cats finally make their way to the game with the update, joining the already present birds and monkeys. Sorry dog lovers. Keep waiting.
Executive Producer Joe “Three Sheets” Neate tried teasing one more big secret, but he was cut off in a fun scripted moment. Like all updates for the game, Ships of Fortune will be free. It launches on April 22.
From top to bottom, that’s everything Major Nelson and company brought to the unconventional work-from-home Inside Xbox stream for April 7. What are you most looking forward to playing?
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Xbox, its lineup of games, and everything Xbox Series X as it breaks.