E3 - Everything that happened at Microsoft's conference0 Comments
Xbox One S
Microsoft started things off with a not-so surprising reveal — the Xbox One S. This was leaked just a couple of days ago, but now we've got official confirmation. As you might have guessed from the name, this is essentially the slim version of the Xbox One that's already out. It's significantly smaller, has a retooled controller with a longer wireless range, and can play 4k video.
The Xbox One S will be releasing August 31, 2016. The pricing starts at $299, but if you want some extra space then you can shell out $399 for a 2TB version instead. Basically, there doesn't seem to be much reason to buy the currently released Xbox One anymore.
Gears of War 4
I've no doubt that a lot of people were very eager to finally see more of the upcoming Gears of War title, and Microsoft delivered. Joined onstage by Laura Bailey, Gears co-creator Rod Fergusson showed off a co-op gameplay demo that took place during a raging sandstorm. All in all, it looked decidely Gears, for better or worse.
They also announced that Gears of War 4 is the start of Microsoft's new Play Anywhere initiative, which will not only see Xbox One exclusive games launch simulatneously on Windows 10, but also grant you a free copy of the game on one platform when you buy it for the other. These games will also feature cross-play multiplayer, cross-platform achievements, and your progress will carry over.
Forza Horizon 3
Microsoft also delivered a fairly meaty look at the new Forza Horizons entry, which features some pretty exotic locations to race through. I'm not familiar with this series, but I was quite impressed with some of the gorgeous locales that the vehicles made their way through. It even has four player co-op that can be set up on the fly while you're already racing around the world.
Forza Horizon 3 will launch on both Xbox One and Windows 10 with cross-play and cross-buy support on September 27. If you buy the Ultimate Edition you'll actually get early access to the game and be able to start racing on September 23.
The Keiji Inafune produced robot game that we learned about last year got a gameplay reveal this time around. We learn about Joule, the fearless protagonist, and her three robot buddies — Mack, Seth, and Duncan. Each has a different function and, while you can only have one out at a time, they can apparently be swapped between pretty painlessly.
This is another of Microsoft's Play Anywhere games, meaning it'll be on both Xbox One and Windows 10 on September 13.
Final Fantasy XV
FFXV director Hajime Tabata showed up at the Microsoft conference to give fans a new look at the long-awaited JRPG. While not the most action-packed demo, it does feature some impressive scale as it pits Nox and his crew against the gargantuan Titan. It doesn't last long, and we mostly just see dodging, but the game continues to look gorgeous.
Nothing new was shown off that we didn't already see during the EA conference, but one bit of news worth mentioning is that EA Access subscribers will get early access to the upcoming World War 1 shooter on October 13. Everyone else will be getting it on October 21. They didn't mention the PC version of this service, Origin Access, but I'd assume that they'll get the same early access.
Xbox One custom controllers and new Live features
If you're looking to give your Xbox One controllers a bit more flair, then you might want to look into these new custom controllers from the Xbox Design Lab. This allows you to customize the color of every piece of your controller, from the faceplate to the analogue sticks, and you can even get a custom engraving on it. They'll run $79.99, with an extra $9.99 if you want the engraving.
The Xbox One will also be getting some new features, first and foremost being the ability to listen to music in the background while you play your games. Xbox Live will also be getting a Looking for Group feature, Clubs for chatting with like-minded fans, and Arena for setting up all sorts of custom tournaments.
This was little more than a quick tease, but the team behind Limbo confirmed that their next title, the incredibly depressing looking Inside, will be releasing on June 29.
We Happy Few
The fascinating and strange title We Happy Few got a rad story trailer showing off the best look we've gotten at the game so far. This is a world where it's illegal to be unhappy, and everyone is given a drug called Joy to make them stay nice and perky. Our protagonist quickly learns that things are even more disturbing than they seem, as he refuses to take his Joy and sees some pretty unsettling stuff. It looks awesome, and it's hitting the Xbox Game Preview on July 26.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Standalone Gwent is actually happening! Gwent was an impressive minigame in The Witcher 3, and now you'll be able to play it on the go. CD Projekt announced that the standalone version features reworked art and visuals and rebalanced mechanics. It'll feature the three factions from the core game and the fourth Skellige deck that was added in the Blood and Wine DLC. Gwent will be entering beta this September, and you can sign up for it at playgwent.com.
Fighting game fans will be excited to finally see the next Tekken game in action. The footage we saw at the conference pit Heihachi against Street Fighter's Akuma, who we learned earlier this year would be appearing in the title. The demo shows just how intense the story mode for Tekken 7 gets, and its rather impressive in action. It goes seamlessly between fighting and cutscene, and it has me curious about just how faithful that will be in the full game.
Those who've got Xbox Live Gold can grab Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for free through backwards compatibility right now, so be sure to go nab that.
Dead Rising 4
Frank West is back, baby! He's covered wars, you know. Now's he's stuck in a winter wonderland of zombies. You know what, maybe scratch the "wonder" part. Set during the holidays, Dead Rising 4 brings back the series' token wackiness with some of the most ridiculous weapons ever. There's a candy cane crossbow. There's a zombie launcher. You can kill zombies with other zombies!
You can take your own selfies with zombies when Dead Rising 4 launches for Xbox One and Windows 10 later this year.
The fascinating title on the way from Platinum Games got a new gameplay demo at Microsoft's conference, this time focusing on co-op. The action-RPG has a nice look to it, and I can see it being pretty fun, but much like the Final Fantasy XV demo earlier, it focuses more on showing you a boss on an impressive scale rather than interesting combat. I'm eager to see more of this game's minute-to-minute gameplay, so hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer for that.
Scalebound is headed for Xbox One and Windows 10 next year.
Sea of Thieves
As you'd expect, Rare made an appearance at the conference to show more of their upcoming pirate game Sea of Thieves. This seems to be a co-op focused title that will have you and your friends manning pirate ships and setting sail, probably getting blown up by others who have better friends than you. There's booze, there's water, and the demo presented shows us a whole lot of people shouting at each other, very excited to be playing a game from Rare that doesn't involve the Kinect.
Halo Wars 2
The (apparently) long-awaited return of the Halo RTS spinoff Halo Wars showed up for a fancy new cinematic trailer that pits your forces against a brute warlord. The story trailer can be seen just above, while the multiplayer beta trailer can be found here.
Halo Wars 2 won't be out until February 21, but a week-long beta starts today.
State of Decay 2
Here's an unexpected bit of news! State of Decay was a surprising hit for a zombie game on Xbox 360 and, later, PC. Now you can get hyped for an all new post-apocalyptic survival adventure with State of Decay 2. We don't get to see any gameplay for it, but there's a cinematic trailer that you can check out above.
Microsoft closed the conference out with a bang, officially revealing "Project Scorpio," the fabled Xbox 1.5 people have been talking about for a while. Microsoft promises it will be "the most powerful console ever." Project Scorpio will have 8 cores, 6 teraflops of GPU power, 60hz rendering, and 4k video. It will also support VR in some form. One thing that was hammered home during the reveal was that this will move Xbox "beyond generations," and that it's for both the fans and the developers.
It'll play the same games as the Xbox One and Xbox One S, but better. No price, name, or even design were shown off, but we did learn that it's planning to release in the Holiday season of 2017.