E3 2016 – Microsoft Conference

The answers are finally here. What are the new Xbox consoles, what t-shirt was Phil Spencer wearing, how accurate were the leaks? Well, let’s find out.

Xbox One S

Now officially announced, the leak of the Xbox One S appears to be spot on. The new console will be 40% smaller whilst incorporating the power block, include a vertical stand (this is a big deal, really), 4K Video output on video and Blu Ray, High Dynamic Range for gaming, a 2TB hard drive, a new controller that looks a little tidier and smaller, it’s all in white with a different vent hole pattern, an IR Blaster (answers on a postcard) and finally a USB port on the front. It will be $299 and be available from August.


Xbox Game Anywhere

Further to this is the announcement of Xbox Game Anywhere, where new games announced on Xbox will be playable on Windows 10 PC at NO ADDITIONAL COST and will also have cross-play. This is happening across all future exclusive Microsoft titles so all of them will be available on all where the symbol is seen.


Gears of War 4

Gears 4 will be the first game to benefit from Game Anywhere, as well as the added HDR gaming quality. Meaning games will be designed with that in mind. Gears of War 4 will have multiplayer co-op cross play between the Xbox and Windows 10 platforms for both campaign and the Horde mode. From the footage of this demo, the environments look hectic and tense with wind and particles. And Marcus Fenix with hair. Here’s some gameplay captured by Eurogamer.


Gears also has a custom wireless Elite Controller that looks like you have picked it up in a trampled mess from a war torn floor. Here’s a little look.


If that doesn’t take your fancy, Xbox also announced a new standard controller.


Killer Instinct Season 3

New characters are ahoy for Season 3 of Killer Instinct, with Gears of War’s General Ramm. It will also be cross play between Xbox One and Windows 10.


Forza Horizon 3

As predicted, Forza Horizon 3 will be taking place in Australia, with a wonderful mix of roads, city, desert, rainforest, beach and the outback. There’s kit customisation, new Lamborghini’s and of course cross play between Xbox One, Xbox One S and Windows 10 PC. It’s the largest car roster out of any game and it has 4 player Co-Op campaign with worlds synchronising to the host. It’s coming on 27th September and, as a Forza Horizon fan, I cannot wait. Enjoy the video and a cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.



Another exclusive title announced last year, we finally see some gameplay. ReCore is a third person shooter with multiple characters on the planet of Far Eden. There’s the leader, Joule, a Mech Dog called Mack, a spider like surface climber called Seth and a big tank called Duncan. This game looks part shooter, part platformer and will be out Septermber 13th


Final Fantasy XV

We got a demonstration of the newest addition to the Final Fantasy series, which will be released on 30th September. Again, here’s some footage from Eurogamer.


The Division: Underground

We have our first look not at DLC for Ubisoft’s The Division. The Underground Expansion is coming to June 28th to Xbox One as a timed exclusive and here’s the trailer for you.



Xbox Live

We had a little recap of what Xbox Live has done in the past year, it’s now available on PC, Xbox, iOS and Android in the guise of the formerly titled Xbox SmartGlass app. Now we get background music capabilities, Language localisation and Cortana usage across all platforms. There are also Clubs for people to group together and the “Looking for Group” apps which will be a way to get people to find players to play a game or do specific things. There’s also the Arena that will allow people to compete in tournaments, against each other and in sponsored competitions.



We got to see a bit more about Minecraft’s cross play ability. With realms, you can play regardless of platform together with a demonstration using an Apple iPad, a Microsoft Surface and a Samsung Gear VR (demonstrated by Oculous’s John Carmack no less). There’s also add-ons and texture packs coming to the Pocket and Windows 10 editions of the game later in the year. You can try Realms for free now, regardless of platform.



We get a sneak peek at Playdead Studios new game Inside, and the announcement that Limbo, the studio’s most famous title, is now free on Xbox One. But we also get a look at a load of new games which include Cuphead, Slime Rancher, The Culling, Everspace which are all available on the Xbox Game Anywhere program. Also included (breaths in) is Outlast 2, Deliver Us The Moon, Flint Hook, Far, Shadow Tactics, Figment, For the King, Beacon, Stardew Valley, Hand of Fate 2, Below, Raiders of the Broken Planet, Bloodstained and Yooka-Laylee… (breathes out).



We Happy Few

This title from Compulsion Games was given a long space on its own and looks like the creepiest mix of Orwellian propaganda dystopia and creepy Bioshock-esque masquerade faces and some Philip K Dick/Balladian insanity. It’s coming first to Xbox Game Preview on July 26th. It’s looks crazy and I think I love it.



CD Project Red have turned Gwent in to a “full blown game experience” with a single player campaign and cross platform between PC and consoles. Apparently we all played a lot of Gwent in The Witcher 3. It’s had a bit of a redesign and a re-imaging compared to the in-game version but it’s essentially the same. Thanks to Eurogamer, here’s CD Projekt Red talking about it.


Tekken 7

Bandai Namco are bringing back Tekken Western consoles, although the game has been out in Japanese arcades for a while. It’s due to come early of 2017 and looks very colourful and has a new storymode that flips between cinematics and gameplay seamlessly. Xbox Live Gold will have Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for free via Backward Compatability for this E3 week.


Dead Rising 4

It’s Christmas in the mall as Frank returns to kill many zombies. Highlights include a candy cane cross bow, a mech suit and a big boulder on a stick. The game will be coming Holiday 2016 (Christmas to the rest of us) and will be on Xbox One and Windows 10.



More gameplay demonstrations now as Platinum Games take to the stage to show us some co-op gameplay in the delayed title, Scalebound which will becoming exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2017, but no fixed date yet.


Sea of  Thieves

Rare return with a cinematic trailer for their Sea of Thieves game which seems to channel the humour they are best known for, before showing some gameplay. It will also be a Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive and a co-op game with “emergent” aspects. The footage was captured from Rare inviting their “Sea of Theives Community to be the first to play the game.” Can a community even exist for a game that’s only been announced and nothing else? That’s a whole difference discussion. There’s some sailing, grog drinking, landing on islands and, cannon ball fights. It looks like a lot of fun.


State of Decay 2

ANOTHER Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive, State of Decay 2 is introduced with a cinematic trailer that shows off an open world feel and driving around in cars. No gameplay or date yet, just an announcement.


Halo Wars 2

A deadly new faction of Coveneant called the Banished are stumbled upon by the Spirit of Fire  crew. Developed with Creative Assembly it will be out Feburary 21st on Windows 10 and Xbox One, also with Play Anywhere. The Beta is live during E3 week and can be downloaded now from your Xbox. Have a cinematic and multiplayer trailer.



Project Scorpio

Here we go then. 4K Gaming with a huge GPU that developers and you, the internet commentaries and reviewers wanted. Built to support 4K and VR, and with an eye on cross play and games being playable on all of the Xbox family of consoles.  8 CPU Cores, 6 Terraflops of GPU Power. It’s the next step and will launch in 2017, promising to be the most powerful console ever built.

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