Microsoft came out swinging at E3 this year, with two new console announcements and a whole slew of upcoming titles. Let's dig in!
Xbox One S
As per several prior leaks, the new, slimmer version of the Xbox One was confirmed at Microsoft's presser this morning.
Called the Xbox One S, the updated system will be 40% slimmer, feature 4K gaming and HDR, have a 4K BluRay drive, and include a redesigned controller. It will retail for $299 USD and be hitting store shelves this August.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is still slated for 2016.
The latest entry in the popular third-person shooter franchise will feature cross-buy, cross-save, and cross-platform multiplayer between the Xbox One and Windows 10.
It will hit store shelves on October 11 of this year. In addition to this, Gears of War's General Raam will be hitting Killer Instinct this week, and will free to play as during this week.
Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 will take place in Australia and is hitting store shelves this year.
The newest entry in Microsoft's flagship racing franchise will have a heavy focus on off-road racing, and will feature a co-op campaign with drop-in multiplayer. Players will be able to cruise across the Outback on September 27 of this year.
Comcept and Armature Studios' new IP, ReCore, was fully revealed.
The game features a female protagonist who uses cores to activate a collection of robot partners. From the looks of the gameplay, it's an action-platformer with shooting and grappling mechanics, and will feature environmental puzzles.
ReCore will swing onto the market on September 18.
Microsoft will be rolling out support for background music this year. In addition, Cortana will be added to the system, and there will be new group features as well. These include Clubs, Looking For Group (a sort of "wanted ad" for players,) and an Arena tournament platform.
All of these features are expected to be rolled out this year.
Minecraft is rolling out cross-platform compatibility today. This includes Xbox, mobile, and PC platforms able to seamlessly play with the free "Friendly Update."
In addition, Minecraft will be adding VR support, personalized servers for consoles, downloadable texture packs, and "add-ons" that change core gameplay features. These will all be available this year.
ID @ Microsoft
Microsoft debuted a sizzle reel for current indie projects hitting the Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox Game Preview program.
They also showed off trailers for We Happy Few and Inside, two new indie projects coming over the summer. We Happy Few is a roguelike survival horror title that takes place in an Orwellian dystopia, and hits Game Preview on July 26; Inside is a new side-scroller from the developers of Limbo which will be available on June 29.
Tekken 7 for consoles was fully revealed today. Featuring a bout between series player Heihachi and Street Fighter guest character Akuma, the fast and furious round showed off special moves and a new mechanic that appears to be similar to a QTE.
The game was revealed to be available for purchase in early 2017. According to a press release, the game will be available on Xbox One and Steam, with no word on a PlayStation 4 release. In addition, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be free to download for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this week.
Dead Rising 4
Confirming our story yesterday, Dead Rising 4 is in development. It will indeed feature series protagonist Frank West, and take place during the holiday season.
Fittingly, Dead Rising 4 will be released during the holiday season of 2016.
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2, following weeks of speculation and leaks, was officially revealed with a cinematic trailer.
Developed by Creative Assembly (famous for the Total War franchise,) the real-time strategy title will pit players against a new alien threat, and will feature the return of the set of protagonists from the initial game.
There is an open beta occurring this week, from today until June 20. Halo Wars 2 is slated to release on February 21 of next year.
Microsoft announced their new console, codenamed Project Scorpio. It will feature advanced specs, with full 4K support, 16 terraflops of processing power, and numerous other improvements that will attempt to put it neck-and-neck with current PC specs.
Little else was revealed about the console, but it was given a release window of the 2017 holiday season.
Gameplay from Scalebound and Sea of Thieves was shown off during the conference, and neither were given concrete release dates. State of Decay 2 was revealed with a cinematic trailer, but was not given a release date.
Microsoft's conference was filled to the brim with exciting announcements, and it looks like the Xbox has a big year ahead of it!