Microsoft opened this Monday with their big E3 press conference and they had quite a few big announcements and gameplay demos to show off. I’ll once again be trimming out the brief lowlights of the conference in favor of just giving you the meat and potatoes of what we gamers love. So without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Forza Horizon 3 is heading to the Outback!
Playground Games’ third entry into the Forza Horizon series was showcased heavily at the conference, as they revealed that the game will take the Horizon festival to Australia. Naturally, this new aesthetic has added many new types of vehicles, including off-road buggies, to the game to compensate for the new landscape. Horizon 3 will feature four player co-op across Xbox One and PC, and it will launch simultaneously on both platforms on September 27th.
2. Playdead Studio’s new game Inside is still kicking, and coming to Xbox later this month.
Inside was showcased at last year’s E3, and has been radio silent ever since. Today, Playdead reintroduced the game and revealed that it is very much alive and practically done. The game will be coming first to Xbox One on June 29, and PC on July 7th.
3. Two new Zombie games announced: State of Decay 2 and Dead Rising 4
Microsoft had two brand new zombie games to show off this year, with the announcements of both State of Decay 2 and Dead Rising 4. State of Decay 2 was revealed with a partially cinematic and partially gameplay trailer that revealed it will come out in 2017. Dead Rising 4 was revealed with a primarily gameplay trailer showcasing Frank West’s return to the lead role. The game will take place at Christmas time, and probably not coincidentally, Dead Rising 4 is coming Holiday 2016.
4. Scalebound shows off 4 player co-op battles reminiscent of Monster Hunter
Platinum Games returned to E3 to show off Scalebound and it’s foru player co-op mode. The gameplay featured the biggest boss battle that Platinum has ever created, with the players swapping between ground and dragon combat to fight the massive crab creature. The gameplay wasn’t the quick action that Platinum is known for in games like Bayonetta, but appears more methodical like games like Monster Hunter. Scalebound is due out on Xbox One and PC in 2017.
5. Halo Wars 2 gets delayed, but cools the sting with an Open Beta available right now
343 Industries’ Dan Ayoub took the stage to announce that Halo Wars 2 is being developed by both 343 and Creative Assembly (devs of Total War series), and will launch on February 21st of 2017, a delay from there initial Fall 2016 release window. To cool the sting of the delay, 343 announced an open beta which is available right now on Xbox One. The whole game will launch on both Xbox One and PC and it, along with all Microsoft Studios games revealed at the conference include cross-buy when bought digitally for play on both Xbox One and PC.
6. Gears of War 4 reveals a new co-op demo, special edition controller, and General RAAM in Killer Instinct
Rod Fergusson of the Coalition brought out the big guns with an extended gameplay demo of the upcoming Gears of War 4. The demo showed off the new swarm enemies and dazzling weather effects, including crazy lightning strikes, and a new weapon called the Buzzkill which shoot saw blades at enemies that can ricochet off walls. The Coalition also showed off a limited edition Gears of War elite controller for Xbox One, and Iron Galaxy revealed that General RAAM, the antagonist of the first Gears, is available now for Killer Instinct. Gears of War 4 launches on October 11th.
7. Sea of Thieves wows with insanely fun looking co-op.
Rare revealed the first gameplay for Sea of Thieves and it looks immensely fun. The team at Rare invited community members in and split them into three teams to play the game. They were given no tutorial, no instructions, and simply told to play. What follows is an amazingly fun looking gameplay demonstration. No release date or window was announced, but Rare did reveal they want to get fan feedback on the game as early as possible, so expect some sort of early access or alpha for the game.
8. Project Scorpio is real, and it is “the most powerful console ever made”, and Microsoft reveals a slimmer Xbox One, called Xbox One S
There have been rumors for months that Microsoft is building an Xbox 1.5 of sorts, that is more powerful than the Xbox One while not a new generation of consoles. It is code-named Project Scorpio, and was confirmed to be real by Microsoft today. It features of six teraflops of computing power, and the most powerful graphics processor in a console to date. Microsoft also revealed the Xbox One S, a slim version of the current Xbox One console, that will feature 4K resolution and full HDR output (as will Scorpio). Everything that works on Xbox One will work on Scorpio and One S, and likewise for anything that works on Scorpio will work on Xbox One. “No one gets left behind,” Phil Spencer declared. The Scorpio will launch in Fall 2017, and the Xbox One S this August.
And those are the big highlights from the Xbox One press conference, and I even left out a trailer for the upcoming game ReCore, which looks phenomenal. The press conference was, in my opinion, the best Microsoft has put on in years. What were your highlights? Let me know in the comments!
by, Bobby Marquardt