Microsoft was up first again this year and they had a great conference overall. Showing off 2 new consoles as bookends to their conference, they filled the rest up with exciting announcements like new updates to Xbox LIVE and the introduction of Play Anywhere, which allows you to buy a game once and play it on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Of course, it wouldn't be E3 without new game announcements and live demos and we saw some great looking games. Here's the rundown of what we saw coming to Xbox One and Windows 10:
Game / Platform / Release Date
Gears of War 4 / Xbox One, PC / October 11, 2016
We got to see Gears 4 co-op first hand and it looks like a lot of fun. The Coalition also announced cross-play between Xbox and PC communities across the board with Gears 4 multiplayer, including the new Horde Mode. They announced the Gears of War 4 Elite Controller. If the new controller didn't give the "GearHeads" in the audience enough excitement, I'm sure seeing Marcus Fenix at the end of their presentation did the trick. Gears of War 4 launches in October exclusively to Xbox One and PC.
Forza Horizon 3 / Xbox One, PC / September 27, 2016
Although it certainly wasn't surprising to see Forza Horizon return this year with Playground revisiting the series every 2 years, it looks gorgeous. The co-op that was demoed during the conference looked fantastic and connecting with your friends is the most seamless experience I've ever seen in a racing game. That was easily the most jaw dropping piece of their demo, with a synchronizing weather change upon meeting up with friends. Of course, just like the previous 2 installments in the series, Horizon 3 looks unbelievable and will arrive on Xbox One and PC in September, exclusively.
ReCore / Xbox One, PC / September 13, 2016
ReCore showed up at E3 this year after being initially announced at last year's show and we got a new trailer showing off the buddy-robot project. ReCore's biggest surprise at E3? The fact that it releases in 3 months and we still don't have a clue about this game. Microsoft has done a great job of keeping ReCore a secret since it's announcement last year. This looks to be a really fun and charming addition to the Microsoft lineup this year, even after only seeing a few trailers and bits of gameplay. Xbox and PC gamers should definitely check out ReCore when it releases in September and it'll only set you back $40! Even better.
Final Fantasy XV / Xbox One, Playstation 4 / September 30, 2016
It was somewhat surprising to see Final Fantasy XV at the Microsoft show and even more surprising to actually see the game's first demo here. Either way, the developer jumped into the demo running on the Xbox One and showed off the E3 special version of the level, "Trial of Titan." In the level, he fights off an enormous titan with the help of another faction utilizing the new combat system, including some quicktime events. FFXV looks pretty nice running on the Xbox One S and it will launch on both consoles on September 30.
Battlefield 1 / Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4 / October 13, 2016
EA showed off Battlefield 1's 64 player online multiplayer on Sunday, so thankfully we weren't forced to sit through another lengthy WWI demo on Monday. Of course, Battlefield's presence at the Microsoft show was to remind gamers that if they play on Xbox One and have EA Access, they can be the first to play the game days before it's domestic launch. Battlefield 1 sends the series to the first World War, while it's competition, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare heads into space later this year. Battlefield 1 will release on consoles and PC in October.
Inside / Xbox One, PC / June 29, 2016
Two E3's ago, we once heard of Playdead Games making a new game. Not much was said, but there was a short trailer and that was pretty much all we needed to see. Everyone has been anxiously waiting to see what they would bring us after Limbo and it's finally here. One of the biggest shocks of E3 was seeing a very short clip from Inside and then seeing the release date: June 29. Much like ReCore, we've seen basically nothing about this game until now and the game releases in two weeks. I was sold two years ago and nothing has changed. Check out Inside on June 29th, exclusively for Xbox One and PC.
We Happy Few / Xbox One, PC / TBD (Xbox Game Preview July 26, 2016)
We Happy Few is a fantastic looking game. It's somewhat disturbing, full of character and color, with music that borders happy and creepy. The live demo shown gave us a glimpse at what happens when you forget to take your "Joy." One things for sure, Compulsion Games gave every Bioshock fan plenty of joy when they showed off this game. A similar reaction from their first game in 2013, Contrast. We Happy Few still doesn't have a set release date but it is hitting Xbox Game Preview next month, so be sure to check it out for yourself then.
Gwent / Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4 / TBd (Beta begins in September 2016 on XB1/PC)
The popular card game from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt became a full blown, stand alone game. Other than the fact that you won't need to boot up The Witcher 3 to play Gwent anymore, the new version includes a full blown campaign. We were shown some gameplay at the conference and from what we've seen the rest of the week, it seems that Gwent works really well as a stand alone card game. You can try it for yourself in September when the Xbox One and PC beta begins for the game. A release date for the game has not been announced.
Tekken 7 / Xbox One, Playstation 4 / TBD
That awkward moment when everyone at E3 thought that the Tekken 7 trailer was the long awaited reveal of Tekken X Street Fighter. Although, it was a bit disappointing at the end of the trailer, the gameplay shown immediately after in a live demo was pretty impressive. Not much other information on the console version of T7 other than a speculated 2017 release and a free copy of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for Xbox One via backwards compatibility.
Dead Rising 4 / Xbox One, PC / December 6, 2016
The Dead Rising 4 trailer wasn't a huge shock to anyone. We've heard rumors recently that there was a new installment coming, but the big news out of the E3 trailer? #FrankIsBack. That's right, Frank West returns this holiday to kill lots and lots of zombies.It also appears that Frank has traded in his camera for a smartphone, allowing him to take selfies that we all want to experience. The trailer for DR4 looks like one hell of a good time and we can't wait to see how Frank spreads his holiday cheer this December when the game releases for Xbox One and PC.
Scalebound / Xbox One, PC / TBD
We first saw Scalebound at E3 in 2014 and it's since been delayed and even after this week, we still don't have a hard release date for Scalebound. Platinum Game did offer us a fantastic live co-op demo. In that demo, 4 players team up to take down a huge, gigantic boss with the help of dragons. Yeah, that's right. We've also learned this week that Scalebound will support 4 player co-op throughout the entirety of the game. Seems that delay into 2017 might just be worth it after all. When Scalebound does release next year, it will be Xbox One and PC exclusive featuring Microsoft's newly announced Play Anywhere feature.
Sea of Thieves / Xbox One, PC / TBD
We haven't seen much of Sea of Thieves since last E3, but Rare came through with a really fun demo of the game, even though the players they chose were slightly annoying. The game looks fantastic, with a really awesome art style that just bleeds fun and color. Watching the prerecorded "crews" set sail and embark on their adventure just made me that much more excited to try it out with my own friends. I know that when the game releases early next year, my friends and I will spend plenty of time on the sea ourselves. Sea of Thieves is expected to release in Q1 next year for Xbox One and PC.
State of Decay 2 / Xbox One, PC / TBD
State of Decay 2 was probably Microsoft's biggest surprise moment of E3. I mean, pretty much every announcement leaked days beforehand, but that just made the trailer that much better. We really only saw the trailer with no mention of a release date in the future, but one assumes that this will probably end up close to the end of 2017 at this point. Either way, get ready to survive another round.
Halo Wars 2 / Xbox One, PC / February 21, 2016
Halo Wars 2 was the last game shown at the conference and one has to assume that was because of the "Surprise" beta that everyone knew about days ago that started right after the conference. We did see some more gameplay this week from Halo Wars 2 and beta impressions so far are pretty well received. We'll see how the full game performs in February when it launches, exclusively, for Xbox One and PC.
Overall, a great show for Microsoft. They announced the Xbox One S, which was the coolest console in the room until Scorpio crushed it at the end of the show. The 4k console seems to be a beast, literally. Ready for VR and 4k resolution gaming, this will be one powerful console next year when it releases. In October, Xbox LIVE will see new social features added including Clubs, Cortana, Arena, and Looking for Group. For Xbox fans, the future of gaming has never seemed brighter, especially with the list of exclusives that we saw today, most of which having release dates in the near future.
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