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Microsoft to Replace In-Person Reveal of Next-Gen Xbox Console With Monthly Virtual Event Series

By Donna Fuscaldo – May 5, 2020 at 3:37PM

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This year is a big one for Microsoft's gaming unit but with live events canceled throughout the world, it has no choice but to host virtual showcases.

With live events canceled around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft (MSFT -0.01%) is turning to the Internet to get the word out about its Xbox developments. 

The timing couldn't be worse for the software giant. Prior to the pandemic, 2020 was supposed to be a big year for its gaming efforts. 

Women holding a game console sitting down against a yellow background.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

In a blog post, Microsoft confirmed that it's still aiming to launch its Xbox X game console and Halo Infinite first-person shooter game during the holiday season. Further, the tech giant believes game developers will have titles ready for the launch of Xbox X. Microsoft also still plans to meld Project XCloud, its streaming gaming service, and Xbox Game Pass, its subscription service, into one. 

Instead of holding live events to unveil all these developments, however, Microsoft will host Internet-based showcases each month. The monthly events will replace E3, the now-canceled video gaming industry conference where Microsoft typically unveils its gaming advancements. Dubbed Xbox 20/20, the first event is slated for May 7. That event will focus on next-generation gameplay, including sneak peeks and trailers of games. June will focus on the Xbox platform, while the July event will highlight games being developed by Xbox Game Studios. 

"These monthly moments will take place throughout the rest of the year and will be a way for us to engage, connect and celebrate with you about what's in store for the next generation of gaming, including what's next for Xbox Series X, Xbox Game Studios, Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud," Jerret West, CVP of gaming marketing at Microsoft wrote in the blog. 

Last week Microsoft put rumors to rest when Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, said Xbox X development is moving ahead as planned despite concerns that game production may be behind because of COVID-19. Game development requires hundreds of people working collaboratively, which is being impacted by social distancing. 

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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