E3 2016: Microsoft conference announcement round-up

by on June 13, 2016

If you were too paralysed with mortification during the Minecraft Realms demonstration to pay attention to the rest of Microsoft’s presser, we’ve got you covered. Find all the announcements below in a handy little list.

Xbox One S reveal

Microsoft came out guns blazing, announcing their brand new, slimmer Xbox One S. The new console is 40% smaller than its predecessor and is capable of 4K video playback and Blu-Ray support. The Xbox One S will retail for £249 and will become available in August of this year. Trailer above.

Project Scorpio

At the other end of their conference, Microsoft got real philosophical and vowed to do away with generational restrictions — unveiling Project Scorpio in the process. Phil Spencer described it as the “most powerful console in the world”, which is hardly an understatement as the system will boast 8 CPU cores, 320GB/sec memory bandwidth as well as 6 teraflops of GPU processing power. The system is capable of 4K gameplay, running at a constant 60Hz and its early announcement allows developers to build launch titles that utilise the consoles impressive specs. No images of the console were shown, only a cryptic teaser. Project Scorpio is slated to launch next winter.

Forza Horizon 3 announced

Microsoft also confirmed just about every leaked detail about Forza Horizon 3 during their conference — the game will feature the largest open-world that Playground Games has ever created, as well as an expansive roster of vehicles and extreme offroad tracks. The main location of the title is Australia and it will feature 4-player co-op, allowing friends to seamlessly join each other’s games and race to their hearts content. It will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10.

ReCore gameplay trailer and release date

The techno-dystopian title ReCore saw its first gameplay trailer debuted during the conference, showing off the various in-game mechanics of combat and exploration as well as introducing us to the quirky cast of futuristic characters including the game’s synonymous robotic hound. Players were invited to Players are invited to join Joule Adams as she leads a group of Corebot companions on an adventure to save mankind in the dangerous world of Far Eden. See the trailer above. ReCore launches on September 16 on both Xbox One and Windows 10.

Dead Rising 4 releasing this Christmas

Another leak before the conference saw the existence of Dead Rising 4 spilled out before its official announcement. Dead Rising 4 returns to the setting of the original, Willamette Mall, and will feature the original protagonist of Frank. It takes place during the festive period (probably to match up with its release window), so you know there are going to be plenty of Christmas tree kills featured. Dead Rising 4 wasn’t announced as an Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive, so we could be seeing it coming to PlayStation 4 too. Releasing this festive period.

State of Decay 2 is Xbox exclusive

Not one zombie game, but two! State of Decay 2 was formally announced too, with a first trailer and release window of 2017. The game will be an Xbox and Windows 10 exclusive, and the trailer showed three survivors ransacking a gas station, before seeing a flare in the distance and speeding off to assist. Trailer above!

New Xbox Live features

Microsoft couldn’t upgrade the Xbox One without adding some improvements to its online services. A variety of buffs to the Xbox Live service were announced during the press conference including the addition of voice assistant Cortana, the ability to create clubs and background music. The company also announced Arena, a platform which allows players to compete in tournaments set up by developers and publishers — FIFA 17 was announced as the first game to feature it “in the coming years”. Looking for Group was also introduced, allowing players to hunt for willing companions to help with in-game project such as building structures in Minecraft.

Minecraft gets online cross-platform play

While not specifically coming to consoles until 2017, Mojang announced that online cross-platform play will be making its way to the Windows 10 and iOS/Android versions starting today, with players being able to host and share worlds with their friends across a variety of platforms. Even when you’re offline, your friends can continue to play and build in your world resulting in some surprises when you return to the game. The Pocket Edition will also receive new texture packs, allowing players to change in-game aesthetics and modify enemies to make them tougher to defeat. These updates will make their way to the console versions of Minecraft sometime next year.

Scalebound multiplayer trailer

After silence on Scalebound last year, the game was highly anticipated to make a return to the E3 stage this year. It did so and then some, with Platinum Games debuting a multiplayer trailer which showed gameplay of an enormous spider-like boss. Platinum Games said it was the largest boss battle they had ever worked on, and there was plenty of human-dragon interactive. See the trailer above. Scalebound is due out next year on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Playdead presents Inside

Microsoft showed off the next game from the Limbo devs, titled Inside. Not much was said about the game, or shown for that matter, with a short trailer displaying a greyish art style and minimalistic narrative. This one is an enigma, but we might here more prior to its June 29 release date.

We Happy Few comes to Xbox Games Preview on July 29

The trippy happy-yet-sad We Happy Few launches on Xbox Games Preview on July 29, announced by a handy gameplay demo which showed off the beautiful art style and dystopian, almost Clockwork Orange-like narrative. The trailer features the protagonist being accused of not taking his ‘Joy’ — a drug which causes happiness within humans — and becoming a ‘Downer’. He is pursued by police throughout the sewers, before the footage cuts to black as he is knocked out.

Halo Wars 2 trailers, open beta, release date

Two new trailers were shown off for Halo Wars 2, displaying the campaign and multiplayer elements of the game. Microsoft then announced that the strategy spin-off would receive a week-long open beta starting today on Xbox One for all Xbox Live Gold members. Halo Wars 2 releases on February 21, 2017.