Microsoft E3 press conference roundup

We’ve been looking forward to this since the moment last year’s Microsoft E3 press conference ended, and finally, after months of rumours – including a bunch of predictions from our selves – it’s here again. Join us as we round-up the announcements from Microsoft’s E3 2016 conference.

Remarkably, the conference started on time, with Phil Spencer starting thing off by sharing his condolences for the tragedy in Orlando.

Due to it being leaked already, seeing the Xbox One S wasn’t a surprise, but the smaller, shaper design on the box, the white colouring, the textured grips and Bluetooth support on the new controller, and the 4K Blu-ray support was still enough to impress. We’ll be able to get our hand on it in August.

Gears of War 4 was then shown off, with voice actor, Laura Bailey – who voices Kait in Gears 4 – playing cooperatively with Head of Coalition, Rod Fergusson. Sunning graphics with particle effects up the wazoo pulling off realistic weather makes the game look truly jaw dropping. Meanwhile, it was announced that Gears of War 4 will be a Xbox Play Anywhere title and support cross-play with Xbox One and PC, meaning you buy it once for one platform and get it on both and you can play with Xbox One and PC players. Gears of War is due out in October and we can’t wait. Oh, and looks like Dave was right, a Gears of War 4 themed Elite controller is coming out.

Killer Instinct was up next, showing off a new Gears of War character joining the rooster, Raam.

Another exclusive Xbox One and PC title up next, the stunningly pretty Forza Horizon 3, showing off an Australia and its beaches, dusty trails, swamps, plains, forests, deserts, and of course roads. Cross-play again for this title, as four players start racing on two PCs, Xbox One S and Xbox One. Campaign coop makes its debut to the series, with instant coop allowing you to jump into a friend’s session instantly. We can’t wait until 27 September when it hits shelves.

Yet another exclusive to Xbox and PC, Recore. The teaser showed off the platforming and robot foes you’ll be up against, and it looks terrific.

Final Fantasy XV up next. A massive battle against a Titan whilst gorgeous music plays in the background. Indeed, we’re impressed. Roll on 30 September.

Ubisoft’s The Division then shows up, introducing a new expansion, first on Xbox One. Featuring randomly generated ‘dungeons’, The Division: Underground adds more opportunities to explore and fight on 28 June.

Battlefield 1 gets some love next. EA Access means we lucky Xbox One owners get to play Battlefield early on 1 October instead of the 21st. The trailer from the EA conference was then shown, so nothing new, but we’re pretty excited for it after seeing it in action.

Now some news on Xbox Live. More servers coming to help improve Xbox Live, servers that are in more locations and therefore closer to regions, improving latency. Background music playing is being introduced later this year, as well as the ability to change your language settings at will, and Cortana. You will soon be able to create clubs for different games to manage your own communities. Meanwhile, a looking for group option will also be introduced shortly, making it easier to find players for games rather than relying on matchmaking. Xbox Arena, meanwhile, allows for tournaments to be created.

Minecraft will now support cross-play between iOS, android, PC and Xbox One, which is awesome. Better yet, dedicated servers are being introduced for cross-play, and they’re free, at least for now. Cross-play will even support Oculus VR. Texture packs are also being release on Minecraft Windows 10 and pocket edition. Villagers can now defend themselves, or at least with particular add-on packs they can.

You can customise your Xbox One S controller when you order on from Microsoft, changing the colour and adding your Gamertag.

Limbo developers have a new game in development: Inside, coming 29 June. Not sure what to expect, but the head of ID@Xbox apparently loves it, and starting today Limbo will be free for everyone on Xbox One to celebrate the imminent release of Inside.

ID@Xbox montage up next. Too many games to name but I’m sure we’ll have this video ready for you as a news post shortly. Meanwhile, Ark is coming to Xbox Play Anywhere as well, and if you have already bought Ark, you will still get the Window 10 version free.

Psychological action set in a dystopian world that maintains happiness with pills up next. We Happy Few, available 26 July on preview program.

CD Projekt Red shows off a standalone version of Gwent next. It will support cross-play, features a single player campaign, and has redesigned card visuals. There’s a Beta coming in September.

Bandai Namco up next with Tekken 7. Its story mode will transition between cut scenes and fights fairly seamlessly, and is due out in 2017. And Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is free on backward compatibility, nice!

Read Rising 4 up next. We knew it was coming but it’s still so awesome to see. It looks very much like Dead Rising 3 when it comes to vehicle and weapon crafting, it looks like Frank West is the protagonist, and its set in the original game’s Willamette area but no more info was shared.

Hello, Scalebound, we’ve missed you. Four player coop stage demonstration shows off a multi stage fight against a massive foe, with ground combat and dragon riding aerial combat. Scalebound will also be an Xbox Play Anywhere title. Visuals look like they’ve been downgraded a little, but perhaps that’s just this particular environment.

Rare’s Sea of Thieves up next. Another Xbox One and PC exclusive. Open-world coop experience with emergent gameplay against fantastical beasts in a pirate themed world, best describes Sea of Thieves, and seeing a demonstration of players actually playing the game and figuring out where to go and what to do, showed off the emergent gameplay superbly. Another Xbox Play Anywhere with cross-play – loving this new sense of unification.

Yet another exclusive to Xbox One and PC: State of Decay 2.

Guess what, another exclusive: Halo Wars 2. Coming out 21 February 2017 and is an Xbox Play Anywhere. The Beta is available right now.

Phil Spencer comes back on stage to talk about Xbox Play Anywhere and how it’s bringing communities together. But it’s the new console he’s unveiling that’s really caught our attention. It’s official, the rumoured Scorpio is coming Holiday 2017, with 6 teraflops of graphics performance, 8 CPU cores, pushing 4K 60 hertz, and supporting VR. So that must mean VR is coming to Xbox as well, right? Well they didn’t say anything else about VR, so yes it is coming to the new console but we don’t know what headsets it’ll support.

And that’s the Microsoft E3 2016 conference over with for another year. It was exciting and less predictable than we feared due to the many leaks. Roll on next year when we’ll see more from Scorpio.

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