Come watch Xbox's 2019 E3 press conference with us!

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Let’s start with a bang

Does the next generation of console gaming start now? That’s the question on everyone’s mind. Sony pulled out of E3 2019, instead opting to reveal the next PlayStation sometime later this year at a currently-unannounced date. The expectation is that Microsoft will take the first swing, giving us the debut look at the new Xbox at this afternoon’s E3 press conference.

It’s a tremendous opportunity for Xbox. With PlayStation — its biggest rival — out of the picture, Xbox has the spotlight all to itself. The Xbox E3 press conference has gotten stronger and stronger over the past couple years; this has to be the strongest yet.

As far as software goes, Microsoft has a few things in the pipeline that we can expect. Halo Infiniteand Gears 5are the heavy hitters. There will probably be a new Forzagame. But, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has boasted that this E3 spectacle will showcase 14 first-party titles. That’s more than ever before. (Also, Cyberpunk 2077blew minds at Xbox’s 2018 E3 presser. It stands to reason that this is where we’ll get another look at it.)

The next Xbox, 14 first-party games, some major third-party titles, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and maybe even Microsoft’s Project xCloud Stadia-like game streaming service — we can reasonably expect a lot to happen this afternoon. More than anything in the last half-decade or so, this feels like it might be the most formative and impactful E3 for Xbox. Microsoft can set the tone not only for E3 2019, but also for the next generation of console games. That’s exciting.

It all kicks off at 1pm Pacific, half an hour from when this post goes live. Light up the comments with all your enthusiasm/excitability/critical analysis/snark/irreverence. I’m sure you were waiting for permission.

(Also, here’s a link to this week’s press conference schedule so you always know which publisher is up next.)