We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!
The Microsoft press conference concluded just a few minute ago, bringing it confirmation of the slim Xbox One and Project Scorpio, as well as extended looks at Scalebound, Gears of War 4, and Sea of Thieves. You can find all the news below, as well an archived version of the press conference.
An archived copy of the stream is below.Watch live video from Xbox on www.twitch.tv
Gears of War 4
Microsoft's game lineup opens with Gears of War 4, which they hope will be their big ticket exclusive this fall. We get a new team of soldiers fighting across a stormy and windswept plane, culminating in a monster bursting out of a bunker. Then a lady stomps on our hero's face. Final shot: A creepy door opens to... old Marcus Fenix? Gears of War 4 will be out October 11th. And there will be a Gears of War themed Xbox One Elite controller.
Seguing into Killer Instinct now. We're reminded that Rash from Battletoads and the Arbiter from Halo have appeared, and now we're getting General Raam from Gears of War. This is like full-on Super Smash Bros. or something. Why no James or Marcus Fenix? I suppose a Lancer would be kind of unfair.
Forza Horizon 3
We get a glimpse of kangaroos hopping through the bush, and now we see Forza Horizon 3 is set in Australia. We get a four-player cross-platform race with multiple control setups, which is pretty neat, though once has to wonder how rampant cheating will be. Horizon is characteristically beautiful, full of gorgeous scenery and terrain. In case you forgot, Forza Horizon differs from stock Forza in that it's more open-world and diverse, following in the footsteps of legends like Burnout Paradise. I'm sure Jaz will have a lot more to say about this. It'll be out September 27.
this is the part of any E3 where we all give a standing ovation to a car #USgE3— Disreputable Bog Man (@bobservo) June 13, 2016
Microsoft is blitzing us with all of the Xbox One and Windows 10 (upgrade now whether you like it or not) exclusive. A colorful trailer for Recore and... we're done! Okay, that was quick.
I was already looking forward to ReCore based on the talent involved, but that trailer definitely sold me on it. #USgE3— Jeremy Parish (@gamespite) June 13, 2016
Final Fantasy XV
Microsoft is trying to steal Sony's thunder by featuring Final Fantasy XV on the Xbox One. Take that, Sony, Microsoft has Final Fantasy XV, too. We've got a new demo called "The Trial of Titan," which features our hero fighting Shadow of Colossus like summon. We see a lot of dodging as Titan clumsily sweeps his hands around trying to swat our heroes, the AI party members getting knocked down as the playable character dodges. Final Fantasy XV will be out September 30.
A quick plug for EA Access, which allows you to play Battlefield One starting October 13. Now we have a new trailer. Tanks! Dogfights! Explosions! Artillery! Horses and trains! A lot of this is what we saw at EA. It'll be out October 21.
New features for Xbox Live: Language region independence, the ability to listen to background music of your choice, and the "intelligence" of Cortana. Microsoft is also announcing Clubs on Xbox Live, which will allow players to form around particular games. You'll also be able to look for group on Xbox Live: "A want ad for multiplayer." Finally, we have "Arena on Xbox Live," which is a new tournament platform. FIFA will be among the games supported on the Arena in "the coming years." The new features will be out this summer.
"The Friendly Update" is on the way. You'll be able to play with your friends on one of the million devices supported by Minecraft. There will also be dedicated servers in which you can build your own worlds. Oh look, there's John Carmack in a Gear VR! We get to ride around in a mine cart into a basement and start construction on a mad scientist's lair. One more thing for Minecraft: Texture packs for Xbox One. You can change how any block looks. There will also be add-ons, which will let you change creatures and give them new abilities, or tweak their AI. Looks like Minecraft is bringing the mod culture of the games to Xbox One.
Inside (And Other Indies)
A new games from the creators of Limbo out on June 29. Looks creepy! Limbo is also for free on Xbox One to celebrate. This is our segueway into talking about Microsoft supports indie developers. Sizzle reel: Cuphead! Outlast! Deliver Us the Moon! Stardew Valley! Hand of Fate! Below! Man, some of these have been teased for years. Maybe Cuphead will come out someday? A quick nod to Xbox Game Preview, which is Microsoft's version of Early Access. Do we really need more Early Access? I guess it's inevitable.
We Happy Few
Now we get a very strange and creep breakout preview for a game called We Happy Few. We see someone freaking out over a headline "Hastings Brothers Win Scrap Award," a woman with mime like makeup admonishing the character to go to a birthday party, then exhortations to whack a pinata that sprays blood. It looks like a legitimate drug trip. Words don't do justice how weird this is. It's the weirdest thing I've seen since Cake Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
CD Projekt Red turned the Witcher 3 card game into a full-blown multiplayer game. They're also including a "monumental single-player campaign." They've redesigned the visuals, added a lot of content, but kept the basic outline of the game. As in the original, it's essentially a clash between two armies in card form. CD Projekt Red is clearly going for some of that sweet, sweet Hearthstone pie. Can't blame them, honestly. A Closed Beta starts on Xbox One in September.
What is Akuma doing in Tekken 7? Oh hell, they're actually making Tekken x Street Fighter. You remember Street Fighter x Tekken, right? It was the flop that almost killed the fighting game resurgence! The flipside game, Tekken x Street Fighter, has been MIA for years now, but here it is, and it looks like... Tekken! Oh, nevermind, it's just Tekken 7. I wonder how much of this was pulled from Tekken x Street Fighter? Anyway, Tekken 7 is coming to Xbox One, and it will include a story mode and other new features. Xbox Live Gold Members will also be getting a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 free. Tekken 7 will be out in 2017.
Dead Rising 4
Dead Rising returns, as we all knew from rumors and leaks prior to the show. It's as zany as you expect: Frank swinging a giant hammer, Frank in a mech suit, Frank on a smartphone. Crazy, right? In any case, something to look forward to this holiday season.
"I've always wanted to be in a world with dragons and giant beasts," says Hideki Kamiya. Apparently this will be the biggest boss fight that Platinum has ever done. Generic white guy with a sword and red headphones calls in his dragons and looks up at a massive crab/spider monster. Our hero jumps on his dragon and attack with bursts of fire, and we've got some Panzer Dragoon like action. The rest of the dragons are going all Iron Man 3 and attacking too. The action is full of all the wisecracking you'd expect from a Platinum game. The art isn't quite as striking as in Bayonetta, but it has that Platinum brand of kinetic action. And when our hero means business, he puts on his headphones. Scalebound will be out in 2017, and it's looking very nice. Look forward to it.
wow... hit points and numbers—could this be the Dark Souls of Platinum Games? *writes think piece* #USgE3— Disreputable Bog Man (@bobservo) June 13, 2016
Sea of Thieves
Rare is on stage, and they're here to promote their "biggest game to date." It's an emergent experience where you will have limitless adventures, apparently. Now let's see some gameplay! The community was split into three crews and set loose into the world with no tutorials. We get shots of people working together to sail around on a ship. And drinking grog! This is hilarious, actually. Combat ensues, and one of the ships is sinking, and we see crew members underwater and frantically swimming away. As a proof of concept, this looks utterly fantastic. Best game of Microsoft's presser so far.
Halo Wars 2
I still can't believe that Halo Wars 2 is a thing. Still, more real-time strategy is always a good thing. Our heroes from the Spirit of Fire are facing a new faction with a massive army. We've got a release date: February 21, 2017. A week long beta is kicking off right now, and will last until June 20.
Xbox One S and Project Scorpio
A new, slim Xbox One has been confirmed, and it will be called the Xbox One S. It will be $299 and available in August. We're also getting Project Scorpio, which will have six terraflops of GPU power. It will be a true 4K gaming machine. Lots of tech talk: 60 hz rendering, no framerate compromises, etc. The games will work on both, and so will the accessories: "No one will be left behind," Microsoft promises. We officially live in a future where consoles are being treated like phones. Project Scorpio will be out Holiday 2017.
And that's a wrap for Microsoft. Notable omissions include Crackdown, which was MIA at this year's press conference. I'm sure Jeremy will be very disappointed. What did you think? Talk about it in the comments, and be sure to tune in tomorrow at 8:30am PT on Twitch for our complete analysis of the Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Sony conferences.