Although E3 has started their press conference shenanigans on Sunday the last two years, everyone knows that E3 doesn’t truly start until Monday morning when Microsoft has their briefing. Microsoft had many excellent hardware and software announcements and we have the breakdown for you right here.
XBOX ONE S
Microsoft announced a skinnier skew of their Xbox One line of products.
- Launches in August for $299
- Console is 40% smaller
- Integrated power supply
- Is capable of HDR gaming
- 4K output and Blu-Ray
- Controller has a textured grip and Bluetooth compatibility
All games on XBox will soon be fully compatible with Windows 10.
- All achievements and progress will be saved across platforms
HALO WARS 2
- Launches February 21, 2017
- Week long beta is now active
GEARS OF WAR 4
Voice actress Laura Bailey came onto the stage to play a co-op demo of a story mission from the upcoming Gears of War 4 game.
- Launches October 11, 2016
- General Raam from the Gears of War series will be playable in an upcoming update to Microsoft’s fighting game Killer Instinct
FORZA HORIZON 3
We got the first look at the new entry in Microsoft’s flagship racing simulator.
- Launches September 27, 2016
- Set in Australia
- Features other types of vehicles than sports cars include dune buggies and trophy trucks
ReCore is a third-person action game where the main character Joule is accompanied by a group of robotic animals whose unique abilities help her take on enemies and traverse through the world. They didn’t say anything about the game, they just showed the following trailer and moved on, which seemed a bit odd considering it is one of their exclusives.
- Launches September 13, 2016
FINAL FANTASY XV
FFXV has been heavily marketed for the last couple months but we got to see an exclusive E3 demo for it where the main character takes on a lumbering giant with tribal face tattoos and crystal formations jutting out from it’s shoulder.
- Launches September 30, 2016
We saw a lot of Battlefield 1 yesterday during EA’s press conference. Yesterday’s preview included a handful of celebrities trying the game including Snoop Dogg who started smoking a blunt as he shot some enemy soldiers.
- Launches October 21, 2016
- Players who have EA Access and Xbox One can play the game starting on October 13, 2016
XBOX LIVE UPDATES
Xbox Live is getting a ton of new updates that promise to improve the overall online gaming experience by bringing people together like never before.
- Background music capabilities allow you to play music through your console instead of having to play it through your laptop or phone like a normal college student
- Language region independence
- Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to iPhone’s Siri. It will even search on Bing for you…
- Clubs are Microsoft’s answer to Nintendo Miiverse where players can create online forums right on their Xbox for the games they like to play
- Looking for Group allows players to find people to play with through the Xbox interface
- Xbox Arena is a new tournament feature that allows people and even developers to set up online tournaments for their games
A new portable cross-platform version of Minecraft because you aren’t sick of this game yet.
- iOS players can play with Android players in the same “realm” simultaneously
- Similarly you can earn Xbox achievements through your tablet device
ID @ XBOX
Just watch the sizzle reel.
XBOX DESIGN LAB
I love buying controllers in fun colors. Now you can custom order controllers in a variety of crazy color combinations and have them shipped directly to you.
GWENT: THE WITCHER CARD GAME
CD Projekt Red, creator of 2015’s Game of the Year The Witcher 3, adapted a minigame from their latest masterpiece into a full-fledged game.
A new Tekken game was announced. It looks like a Tekken game.
- Launches early 2017
DEAD RISING 4
Dead Rising 3 was a launch title for the Xbox One. Let’s see what new crazy ways they’ve thought of to kill zombies after 3 years.
- Launches Holiday 2018
We got to see a co-op boss fight in Platinum’s highly-anticipated game Scalebound. Four friends battle a giant crab while riding their dragons. What really impressed me was that the fight didn’t last for 30 minutes like most other Platinum games.
SEA OF THIEVES
Rare’s making an open seas pirate game. We saw a trailer last year but today we got a look of gameplay captured from a preview event they did. It looks like Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag with only the pirate sections which is not a bad thing.
Another skew in the Xbox One family was announced that is essentially just a real stinkin’ powerful game machine optimized for virtual reality. They did not announce a dedicated VR software. My guess is that they will adopt the Oculus Rift VR headset because of its current compatibility with PC.
- Holiday 2017
- Full 4k gaming
- 8 CPU cores
- 6 Teraflops of GPU
- All games and accessories will work across Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Project Scorpio
The Microsoft press conference us two new Xboxes and a whole lot of exclusives. I was impressed by a lot of their announcements but not blown away by any of them. Ultimately they came out strong this year.
You can find all of our E3 coverage in one place right here. Stay tuned for more!