Starfield has been delayed until September 6, 2023, having previously been slated to release during the first half of the year.
Bethesda shared the news alongside a new trailer, and said it plans to provide a more in-depth look at the sci-fi title during a Starfield Direct showcase that'll take place on June 11, 2023.
Starfield was originally supposed to arrive on November 11, 2022, but was pushed back in May 2022 so Bethesda could deliver the "best, most polished" version of the title.
Now, after being knocked back again, the long-gestating title should finally debut in September exclusively on Xbox Series X | S, and (as with all first-party titles) will be made available through Xbox Game Pass on day one.
While the delay is significant for consumers keen to get their hands on Bethesda's next blockbuster, it also serves as another example of how Xbox is struggling to deliver on its ambitious first-party plans.
Are Microsoft's first-party plans becoming science fiction?
The company has spent huge sums of cash to expand its first-party lineup by bringing more companies into the Xbox Games Studios fold, but last year Phil Spencer indicated that strategy has yet to deliver a notable win.
"One thing we've definitely heard loud and clear is that it's been too long since we've shipped what people would say is a big first party game," Spencer said on the Same Brain podcast (via IGN) in October last year. "We could have our excuses on Covid and other things, but in the end I know people invest in our platform and they want to have great games."
Xbox did eventually manage to release Halo Infinite (albeit without key features such as campaign co-op) after a series of delays, while other first-party titles such as Forza Horizon 5, Grounded, Pentiment, and Sea of Thieves have done their bit to help make Xbox Game Pass an appealing proposition.
That said, Spencer's comments suggest there are concerns that Xbox as a platform isn't doing enough to consistently meet the needs of players who crave those seismic, internet-breaking first-party experiences when compared to rivals like Nintendo and Sony.
Starfield has the potential to be exactly that if Bethesda can stick the landing, but Microsoft needs to start getting its biggest projects–which this year also includes Redfall and Forza Motorsport 8–into the hands of players if it wants to convince them it's capable of making good on its promises.