If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be a little over a month before E3 2020. Even though the organisers promised to push through with the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year despite the coronavirus pandemic, it was ultimately scrapped. With Sony officially out and Nintendo with no new hardware, Microsoft was expected to dominate the stage. Given the circumstances, it seems the company had to rework its plans. This week's Inside Xbox will reportedly showcase the Xbox Series X and several gameplay footages, but unfortunately, no Master Chief.

The next-generation system is already slated to launch later this year. As with any console release, gamers are curious to know what game will accompany the debut. Among the ones already hinted at by developers, "Halo: Infinite" is apparently the most highly anticipated. The last installment from the long-running franchise – "Halo 5: Guardians" -- was for the Xbox One in 2015. However, it looks like the upcoming livestream has something else in store for consumers.

According to an announcement from Microsoft, the Inside Xbox broadcast will be on Thursday. Moreover, aside from another in-depth look at the Xbox Series X, the show includes previews of actual gameplay videos of multiple titles that will likely launch alongside the machine. GameSpot points out that it will focus on third-party publishers only. Therefore, those hoping to catch a glimpse of Master Chief in action should be waiting a little longer.

Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg confirmed in a Twitter post that the online event is dedicated to the company's "global developers partners." Furthermore, to set expectations properly, Microsoft apparently hints at "some big summer plans" for its first-party titles such as "Halo: Infinite" and more. There was no schedule provided, but many speculate that it might likely replace the original E3 2020 presentation.

Halo 5 Master Chief
Master Chief in Halo 5: Guardians. Microsoft

While the gaming industry already has a good grasp of the Xbox Series X and its capabilities, Sony remains tight-lipped when it comes to the PS5. Aside from the lengthy talk with lead system architect Mark Cerny last month, the Japanese group has only debuted the new DualSense controller that will ship alongside the PlayStation 5. Microsoft, on the other hand, continues to share more about its next-generation console.