After a partially COVID-necessitated hiatus last year, it’s E3 time again, making this the most wonderful time of the year for video game fans… or at least video game fans who like to know what’s coming out in the future more than they like actually playing video games, because E3 is more about trailers and release dates than it is about playing anything now that it’s all virtual and nobody puts out game demos anymore. Anyway, Microsoft held its big presentation today, teaming up with recently acquired game studio Bethesda for a pretty solid showing of new things coming to Xboxes and personal computers in the near future.
The two big highlights were the oft-delayed Halo Infinite and Bethesda’s Starfield, with Microsoft confirming that the former will be out later this year and that its multiplayer component—arguably the best part of the average Halo game—will be free to play (while the story mode, about our good friend Mr. Master Chief, will cost money). Starfield, meanwhile, is the first wholly new game that is not a sequel to an existing thing from Bethesda Game Studios (the folks behind Skyrim and the recent Fallout games) in decades. It’s some kind of space game, with robots and beefy-looking, realistic-ish space ships, and it’ll be available exclusively on PC and Xbox on November 11, 2022.
But enough about the video game screen, how about the silver screen? The cinema? The movie house? The picture show? The projectorplex? The film flam? Microsoft had some delicious scoops of popcorn for movie fans as well, revealing that Pirates Of The Caribbean and an unfortunately convincing Johnny Depp impersonator will be coming to online pirate game Sea Of Thieves in an upcoming expansion. Players will be able to team up with Jack Sparrow and take on ol’ squid-faced Davy Jones, and there will be some locations and audio cues pulled directly from the Disney ride that inspired the movies. Variety has some more details, with the only reference to Depp being that one of his stunt doubles provided guidance on how Jack Sparrow would “carry himself,” so it sounds like he’s (thankfully) not really involved.
Stay in your seats, movie fans, because there’s more movie stuff on top of that! Microsoft also announced that its latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator—available already on PC and coming to Xbox Series X on July 27—will be getting a “one-of-a-kind expansion” based on Top Gun. It won’t be available until November, but the preview clips showed a pilot with the Maverick helmet and some, you know, Top Gun-y fighter jets. Fighter jet people can yell at us for not knowing what they are in the comments.
You can see Microsoft’s whole presentation below this.