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Report: Microsoft planning Xbox showcase event for late January

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Developer_Direct will premiere on Wednesday, January 25.

According to Windows Central's Jez Corden, Microsoft is planning to have a showcase for Xbox games on January 25 via Twitch and YouTube. Reportedly known as Xbox Developer_Direct, the aim of the event is to highlight the first-party 2023 titles from Xbox Game Studios and subsidiary Bethesda. 

If true, it would mark the first Xbox-specific reveal event from the publisher since 2019's X0 showcase. In more recent years, Microsoft has relied on venues such as E3 or the Game Awards to reveal its Xbox exclusive titles. 

Nintendo and Sony have had their own respective Direct and State of Play events for years wherein (primarily) first-party studios unveil their upcoming games. Microsoft doesn't reveal its games at the consistent pace as those two publishers, something that's been noted by audiences in recent years. Follow through on releasing those exclusives has also been spotty. 

Granted, Microsoft has recently been busy acquiring studios, and bringing Xbox Game Pass to audiences every conceivable way possible. Now that it's added as many players into the Xbox ecosystem as it can, a showcase such as this is a good way to retain that userbase and help it further grow. 

The Developer_Direct, per Windows Central, will feature information on exclusive games such as Minecraft Legends and Arkane's Redfall. One supposed omission, though, may be Bethesda's Starfield; that game is reportedly skipping this event for a larger reveal sometime later. 

In December after the Game Awards, Xbox Games' marketing VP Aaron Greenberg said that 2023 would "be exciting" for the Xbox brand. Shortly before Windows Central's report was published, Greenberg tweeted that the week would be "fun," potentially indicating a reveal of the Developer_Direct was planned in the days to come. 

Game Developer contacted Microsoft for comment, and will update this story accordingly when the publisher responds. 

Update, 1/11/23: Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Developer_Direct will take place on Wednesday, January 25. The event will "focus on big features, extended gameplay showcases, and the latest info for Xbox games launching in the next few months."

Games confirmed to be at the Direct are Redfall, The Elder Scrolls Online, Minecraft Legends, and Forza Motorsport

The publisher also confirmed that Starfield would be a no-show, but later have its own standalone event so as to "dedicate the proper amount of time for a deep dive."

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