Xbox took the stage at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at 9:30 am PDT this morning and brought with them loads of excitement for the future of Xbox One gamers and Windows 10 PC gamers. Below you will get a recap on some of the highlight’s of the Xbox presentation.
Xbox Future Tech
The opening presentation showed off the previously rumored (then later confirmed) Xbox One S. The slimmer console will be available in August of this year. The new console will be 40% smaller with a 2 Terabyte hard drive, and comes with a new streamlined version of the Xbox One controller. The controller has textured grips as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The Xbox One S will play all Xbox One games as well as all features (including Xbox 360 backwards compatibility)
Besides the overwhelming amount of Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusives, Xbox CEO, Phil Spencer, announced that their new program, Xbox Play Anywhere is upon us. This program will allow gamers to buy a game once for either Xbox One consoles or Windows 10 PC and be able to play it on the other platform free. This will allow you to save a game at home on your console, then possibly go on the road, check in to your hotel, fire up your laptop and continue where you left off. Assuming, of course, your laptop is compatible with the game in question. This also opens the door for cross platform online gaming. Phil Spencer ensured us that games that are Xbox Play Anywhere compatible will be cross platform, meaning that Windows 10 PC gamers and Xbox One players will be able to play together.
Later this year, Xbox Live Gold member will be receiving some new features to fully immerse players into online gaming. Besides the forementioned Play Anywhere and cross platform gaming, Xbox One consoles will have acess to Cortana (Microsoft’s voice commanded digital assistant, much like Apple’s Siri). Another feature coming to Xbox Live is Clubs. Clubs lets users create pre-defined groups that exist outside of games, and include tools like persistent chat so that friends can hang out even when they’re finished a round of Battlefield 1. Mike Ybarra, Xbox Director of Program Management, said:
“Clubs is sort of our version of guilds and clans in MMOs”
As adult gamers, we have responsibilities like jobs, children, and our daily lives that don’t always line up with our other gamer friends, so sometimes it is difficult to find a good group to game with. Xbox’s new feature, Looking For Group (LFG) should help remedy that issue. LFG will give you an opportunity to post a “Help Wanted” ad to put together a specific group to play games with. You will be able to set up hardcore gaming groups using level and skill specific groups as well as casual, just for fun groups.
The next feature coming to Live is Arena. An online tournament based system allowing players to participate in pro gaming events and tournaments from the comfort of your own home. Whether you go in solo or as a team is totally up to you.
A new Design Lab will let you customize your very own Xbox One controller. Options in case colors, button colors, and even personalization will be available. Check out the quick video below:
Now, the big reveal: PROJECT SCORPIO. Officially confirmed during their presentation, Project Scorpio promises to be the next step in the evolution of console gaming with 4K compatibility and hardware designed for smooth, seamless Virtual Reality gameplay. Don’t worry though, this is not the end of Xbox One. All games will be playable across all three Xbox One consoles.
Let the Games Begin
Along with the outstanding new consoles and features, Xbox brought a plethora of games to their presentation. While I won’t list them all in this particular article, here are some highlights.
Gears of War 4 was the first to take center stage during the presentation. Live gameplay showed the beautifully dynamic graphics as well as the action packed carnage that awaits.
Next on the list is the highly anticipated game by Microsoft Studios, Scalebound. The presentation of the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC exclusive game, highlighted a boss fight with a giant crab slash scorpion creature. The focus of the demo was to show off multiplayer capabilities in the upcoming game. No official release date has been confirmed, but is set to release sometime in 2017.
CD Projekt RED took the stage to confirm the previously rumored Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Based on the trading card game within The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Gwent will have a single player campaign as well as cross platform multiplayer.
This year on Xbox’s stage, we got trailers for two Zombie games: Dead Rising 4 and State of Decay 2. Dead Rising 4 will star Frank West, the protagonist from the first Dead Rising game, and is set for a holiday 2016 release. State of Decay 2 will once again take place in Trumball Valley. During the trailer, the tagline “Nobody survives alone” appears, indicating it will feature cooperative play.
A new pirate themed multiplayer game is on its way from Rare titled Sea of Thieves. A look at some gameplay footage revealed that this swash buckling action adventure game will let you be part of a crew of pirates, hunting for treasures, discovering far off lands, and battling other pirates in team based pirate ship battles.
The last, but certainly not least, game I will feature is Minecraft. Developers, Mojang, introduced Minecraft Realms, which will allow players across Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, and Android to play Minecraft together. Minecraft players will be able to build immersive worlds together across the listed platforms in a shared, dedicated server that will also allow Gear VR support.
You can watch the entire Xbox panel by clicking here.
What did you geeks think of Xbox’s presentation? Anything in particular you are excited about? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned with DHTG for LIVE E3 coverage.