close up shot of a white game controller on a wooden surface

"Starfield", one of the most-anticipated video games in years, launches worldwide on Wednesday with the hype and production standards of a Hollywood blockbuster.

And Microsoft has billions riding on its success.

The ever-evolving game is the tech giant's bid to lock players into its Xbox subscription service after some eye-poppingly enormous investments in the gaming sector, which is worth $200 billion globally.

A universe-spanning role-playing sci-fi game, "Starfield" is made by US studio Bethesda, which Microsoft bought as part of a $7.5 billion deal in 2020 to boost Xbox's appeal over Sony's PlayStation.

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