Microsoft’s E3 Conference Recap

For the past few years, Microsoft had very strong showings during E3. No more are the forced Kinect and the weird TV fixations. Now, it’s all about games, games, games. This year is no different. Unless said otherwise, all games that was shown during the conference is Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive.

Even before Phil Spencer went on stage, Microsoft showed off a video showcasing the new design of the Xbox One, known as The Xbox One Slim. The new system is 40% smaller, up to 2TB internal hard drive, IR blaster, intergrated power supply, HDR Gaming, and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray. For the controller they added: texture grip, Xbox wireless and bluetooth, and an increased range. The Xbox One S will arrive this August with a 500GB unit costing $299.

Microsoft hit the ground running by showing off a new campaign footage for Gears of War 4. The live demo they revealed looked impressive and as a fan myself, I want to play it. Not only did they showed off a new campaign stage, but The Coalition has announced that you can play the full game on co-op as well as the return of Hoard. It will also be cross play between Xbox One and Windows 10. Gears of War 4 will have destructible environments and it seems that Marcus Fenix is back. Gears of War 4 arrive on October 11, 2016.

During the Gears of War 4 portion, Microsoft announced a new program; the Xbox Play Anywhere. Any Xbox One exclusive that has a certain logo will let you know that when you buy an Xbox One exclusive, you can get the Windows 10 PC version at no additional cost. There will also be a Gears of War 4 Elite controller coming soon. To keep the Gears of War train going, Iron Galaxy has announced that General Raam for the original Gears of War will be the new fighter and he’ll be free for this week.

Forza Horizon 3 was next and they showed a gameplay demo of the game running on the Xbox One, Windows 10 and the Xbox One S. All 4 players raced together as they revealed that there will be cross play between PC and consoles. The setting will be in Australia in their biggest map yet.  Forza Horizon 3 will be released on Xbox One and Windows 10 in September 13, 2016.

After the demo, Microsoft revealed the new trailer to Recore. The gameplay trailer shows the different mechs that will help you out on your journey. Each mech has something help the player move around the world. They each have their own personality to keep unique. Recore is an Xbox One/ Windows 10 exclusive and will arrive on September 13, 2016.

While they didn’t show much of Recore, but Square Enix did come to the stage to reveal the first ever Xbox One gameplay of Final Fantasy XV. The special E3 demo shows the characters fighting off a massive titan. It is nice to see a JRPG in a Microsoft stage for once.

Ubisoft then came out and announced that the first expansion for The Division will be arriving first on Xbox One on June 28th. The Division: Underground will have randomly generated missions with new areas to explore deep in New York.

EA came up with a Battlefield 1 trailer that they showed off during their conference. They did include that if you are part of EA Access, Xbox One owners can play the game on October 13th instead October 21st along with everyone else.

There will soon be a major update to Xbox Live as Microsoft will bring new features to the service this summer. This includes background music, you can choose any languages you wish, and Cortana, which was a feature on Windows 10 PC, will come to Xbox Live. Xbox Live is compatible with Windows 10, Xbox One, iOS and Android. Three new features that will be arriving later this year are Clubs, Looking For Group and Arena. Clubs is where you can join a community that likes the same games that you do. Looking for Group will allow you to search for groups you previously played with and want to play more with. Arena is a tournament platform that will allow you and other friends compete with other players. In the coming years EA Sports will take full advantage of Arena when their games are being released.

You have to hand it to Minecraft. Instead of releasing a sequel, they will just update the new game for free that adds so much stuff. Today, they have released a new update called The Friendly Update. This will allow cross play between iOS, Windows and Android. The official update is called Minecraft Realms. This will allow you to have dedicated servers on the mobile devices. There will be even texture mods for the game. If you have a mobile device, you can play Minecraft Realms right now with that update coming later next year on Xbox One.

If you ever wanted to have an official custom Xbox One controller, you now have the chance. Today, Design Labs will let you create your own Xbox One controller. You can pick what style you want, what colors and you can even have your gamertag laser printed into the controller. It is $79.99 to create your own, but it’s nice to know that it’s built to the ground up with you in mind. If you manage to create your own controller before the end of August, you’ll be able to get them by early September.

After that announcement they started with the indie game stuff starting with a trailer to Inside. All they showed was a trailer and nothing else so there wasn’t much to say. It is coming out on June 29th. After that they showed a sizzle reel of all the games coming to Xbox One. Then they announced that Ark will become part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. Owners of Ark: Survival Evolved will be able to download the Windows 10 version later this year free of charge.

Then Microsoft showed of what seems to be the coolest game of the show so far, We Happy Few. The game play seems that it’s taken its cues from BioShock, but only made it better. What they showed was something instantly intrigued me and I can’t wait to play it. They never said it was a Xbox One/ Windows 10 exclusive.

After the success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Projekt Red never thought it’s card game within a game would be so popular. To give the fans what they wanted, a full blown Gwent game, and now they got it. Gwent: The Witcher Card Game will have single player, multiplayer and it will be cross play between Xbox One and Windows PC. The closed beta will begin in September.

Then they started showing a bunch of trailers. Tekken 7 will arrive on 2017 and if for Gold Members you can download Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for free right now. Dead Rising 4 will arrive sometime in the holidays of 2016 and Frank West is back where it looks to bring that ridiculousness the series is known for. They did show gameplay footage of Scalebound with co-op and that will arrive in 2017.

Rare came out and showed off their new IP, Sea of Thieves, which seems to be a big online only game where you meet up with other players and become pirates in a big open ocean. It seems you can do anything and go anywhere. Sea of Thieves will arrive sometime in 2016.

Then they showed off two more trailers. State of Decay 2 will be arriving sometime in 2017 and it will have Xbox Play Anywhere program. Halo Wars 2 was announced last year and nothing was said sinc. The silence is broken and 343 Studios and Creative Assembly will release Halo Wars 2 on February 21, 2017. That will be a Play Anywhere game and they have announced that there is a week long open beta starting today.

Then they ended in a bizarre note. They announced Project Scorpio. They showed a video that talked to some of the developers talking about the upgraded system. It’s expected to handle 4K gaming and be VR ready. Phil Spencer did say that no console will be left behind so all games will be played on the Xbox One Family. Project Scorpio will arrive late 2017.

Microsoft had a fantastic E3 this year, but I’m still not sold on Project Scorpio. It’s going to take more than 4K to make me want Scorpio when I can get a $300 Slim model a few months down the line. Not everyone has a 4K tv to take full advantage so there is no point. When those TVs still cost upwards to $2,000, you know that they are not massively available. I can see VR because what is happening with VR, but not 4K.

Jesse Webster is a Senior Writer for MONG and is not even done.

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