This morning Microsoft kicked things off with their E3 Press Conference out in Los Angeles. Microsoft gained momentum leading up this week’s conference thanks in part to their announced partnership with Oculus VR. The question was, could they keep that momentum going with their briefing this morning.
Naturally, Microsoft started things off with campaign gameplay and multiplayer trailers for Halo 5: Guardians.
They followed that up by unveiling a new game from Keiji Inafune of Mega Man fame and creators of Metroid Prime. The game called ReCore was showcased with a cinematic trailer that was able to show some heart in a small amount of time. It looked quite impressive.
In my favorite moment of the conference, Microsoft announced that Xbox 360 backwards compatibility was natively coming to Xbox One (none of that emulation garbage). Hundreds of title will be compatible this holiday season with more titles being made available down the line.
Even your Xbox 360 disks will be compatible to play but you’ll have to download a digital version of the game using the disk as verification.
Bethesda’s Todd Howard then came out to show a new gameplay trailer for Fallout 4, which will be out this November.
With the trailer came two fantastic pieces of news as Fallout 3 will packaged with Xbox One copies of Fallout 4 and the game will also support free PC mods. That’s huge considering how big the mod community is and how much life that breathes into games once they are out for awhile.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 was also announced. It will arrive sometime in early 2016. It will also be released for PlayStation 4 and PC.
EA’s Peter Moore came out next and announced that Titanfall was coming to EA Access this week and also said Dragon Age Inquisition will be added to the subscription service this summer.
Their EA Access program is exclusive Xbox One owners and gives gamers access to a vault of games for a monthly or yearly subscription fee. It’s a great service. Don’t take my word for it? You can try out the program for free this week.
Back in January, Forza Motorsport 6 was announced but now we have a release date.
September 15th is when you get can your hands on Xbox One’s premiere racer.
From Software came out and “officially” revealed Dark Souls 3.
The game is expected to come out in early 2016 and it was later revealed that Dark Souls 3 would be the final game in the Dark Souls saga.
There was some rumblings about a redesigned Xbox One controller and those rumors proved to be true as a new “Elite” controller was announced for the Xbox One.
I love how highly customizable the controller is and the new shifter-like buttons on the backside seem like they added even more functionality to an already solid gamepad. Supposedly, the controller will retail for $149.99 if xbox.com is to be believed. Pretty steep asking price for a controller.
Although Tom Clancy’s The Division isn’t coming out this year, gamers will be able to get their hands on the game this year with a beta that is coming in December.
Rainbows Six Siege is coming in October and those who buy the game get downloadable copies of Xbox 360’s Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2.
Gigantic, a new MOBA for Xbox One announced that a beta was coming this August.
Steve Gaynor of Fullbright (Gone Home) came out and revealed that their new sci-fi tale Tacoma would be a timed exclusive for Xbox One.
Aurora44, a development studio out of New Zealand unveiled Ashen. A third-person RPG featuring faceless characters.
Cuphead, a stylish new platformer made to look like a 1930’s cartoon was shown again with a new gameplay trailer.
Cuphead is set to come out at some point in 2016.
On top of the mod compatibility that is coming to Fallout 4, Xbox announced that another popular PC feature would be coming to their console. That feature: Early Access which Xbox is calling Xbox One Game Preview. Xbox One users will now be able to play games before they are released/finished.
The Xbox One Preview will include four games when it launches which are The Long Dark, Shelter, Day Z and Elite Dangerous.
Beyond Eyes which places you in the role of a blind girl, was announced as a timed exclusive for Xbox One.
The adventure game is also coming to PlayStation 4 and PC.
Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is coming first to Xbox One, was shown via a new gameplay trailer followed by a familiar release date.
The game will release November 10th, the same day as Fallout 4. It might be wise of them to move it up a week or two, if possible.
For old school fans of Rare, a huge collection of 30 games called Rare Replay was announced to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Rare’s existence. The collection is coming this year on August 4th and will cost only $30. That’s only $1 per game!
Some of the game’s included are Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Battledtoads, Perfect Dark and about 26 more. I think I did the math right there.
But Rare didn’t just have Rare Replay announce. They also revealed a new pirates themed multiplayer game called Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves is coming holiday 2016 to Xbox One and PC.
So, that Gears of Wars remaster is real and was announced and is a remaster of the original Gears of War.
The game will run at 60fps and 1080p and comes out for Xbox One on August 25th.
They also showed off their new Hololens which looked pretty cool. Even cooler was the live demo they showed of using Hololens while playing Minecraft.
I’m not sure how representative the demo was of the actual experience of using the device. But this looked pretty damn cool.
To cap the conference off, Gears of War 4 was revealed!
It’s exclusive to Xbox One and will be the big title that anchors their holiday 2016 season.
Overall, I thought Microsoft had a great and relentless press conference. The announcements throughout really hit it out the park. Although backwards compatibility isn’t a huge, it’s nice to see that Microsoft is not nickel and dimeing gamers by giving them the option to play the older games they have with having to repurchase them.
The focus here was games, as Microsoft has learned from mistakes of their past. It’s going to be hard for Nintendo and Sony to top this. I can’t wait to find out if they do.