The Microsoft Conference began with a word to the people of Orlando Florida, saying that they are not alone in their struggles and that Microsoft supports them.
The very first thing shown was the new Xbox One S, a white console with very sharp design, a tech demo and shot from House of Cards, and a new controller with an August launch date.
Gears of Wars 4 will be one of the first Xbox One S launch titles with cross buy to Windows 10 and there will be crossplay between the two consoles. This new cross-buy/play will be a program called Play Anywhere. Followed was a Gears of War 4 demo, featuring the voice actor Laura Bailey. The gameplay shows 3 or 4 characters going in for a rescue operation, and using various weapons to take out enemies. It ends with a scene of a hulking beast and Laura Bailey’s character sending a message out, saying she’s getting her mother back and very awkward censored swearing. The final scene is a glimpse of Marcus Fenix. Before moving on, they showed off a new Xbox One S, and Gears of War themed controller.
Play Anywhere, is a new program by Microsoft, and as you’ll see, they’re working it into nearly every new game to come. It’s essentially a cross-buy/play program where when you buy it on either Xbox Live or Windows 10, you’ll get it for the other system and in many cases, online games with Play Anywhere will be able to play across console with each other.
Next was a new trailer for Killer Instinct , which will also be on Play Anywhere. They discussed returning characters such as the Battletoads and the Arbiter from Halo, and a new character, General Raam from Gears of War. A short video of General Raam in-game was shown, as well.
After that was a new trailer for Forza Horizon 3, which is set primarily in Australia. After a cinematic trailer, they went into a gameplay trailer with live players, some one PC, some on Xbox One S. It will have 4 player campaign co-op, and it appears that you can join in a friends game in the middle of a race, by having a helicopter drop you in. Release is late September 2016.
We finally got an actual trailer for ReCore, it appears to be a third person shooter where you can rip the cores out of enemy robots and rebuild them to make new situational robots – such as a spider to swing you around places, or a bulky robot to fight off enemies. It comes off as very Rachet and Clank, and it appears that you can have multiple robots with you at once.
Next up was a new boss fight from Final Fantasy 15 on the Xbox One S, showing off how smooth it runs. The boss fight is the main character against a giant golem called Titan. Its very much in the vein of Shadow of the Colossus. Release date September 30th
New trailer for The Division, a new dlc dungeon with randomly generated content. Seemingly endless enemies and missions, as a potential answer to the lack of content variety in the Division. Release date June 28th.
Battlefield 1, October 21st, Xbox Live players and EA access get it October 13th. A trailer followed the announcement.
Mike Ybara came on stage to talk about Xbox Live, and new features including background music of your choice, choosing whatever language you want, and bringing Cortana to Xbox Live. Next, he announced Clubs for Xbox Live, and its exactly what it sounds like, social groups you can join based on interest. In addition, there is a new Looking for Group app, basically an app for finding players to join in games with you. Third, they announced Arena, a new tournament manager called Arena for all sorts of upcoming games, especially EA sports games.
The Minecraft Friendly Update is coming to iOS, Windows 10, and Xbox Live can all play Minecraft together. People can host their own dedicated servers so you don’t always have to play online to play with friends. Co-creator of DOOM, John Carmack briefly joined in on Minecraft VR just to show off the potential compatibility. New texture packs are coming to Windows 10 and Pocket, and new addons or mods are coming in the fall and Realms, or private servers are available for free right now.
Customizable Controllers are coming to Xbox One, letting you choose whatever colors or engravings you want on the controller.
From the creators of Limbo, a new game called Inside was announced for June 29th. There was a short trailer but not much else, except that Limbo is free to Xbox One players starting today.
Following Inside we got a few very quick trailers for Cuphead, Outlast 2, Yooka Laylee, Stardew Valley, Everspace, Below, Bloodstained, Flint Hook, FAR, Slime Rancher,but particularly another game added to Play Anywhere, Ark: Survival Evolved.
After that was a very strange trailer for We Happy Few, it shows a man refusing to take his pills as he’s having a PSTD flashback. It was a Kickstarted game by Compulsions. It appears to be a game about psychotic people who take pills to remain happy, and if you don’t, you become a “downer”…
A new game based upon the card game inside the Witcher, called Gwent is being made into a game in its own right. They’ve revamped the game mechanics and made it into a game of skill. It will have single player and multiplayer across PC and Console. Go to playgwent.com to join the beta, and the game is set to release in September.
A new trailer for Tekken 7 featuring HeiHachi fighting Akuma from Street Fighter. Releasing 2017, it will have a story mode that has cinematics transitioning into gameplay. Xbox Live Gold Members are getting Tekken Tag Tournament 2, via backwards compatability starting today.
Dead Rising 4 got a very merry trailer, featuring Frank from the first Dead Rising, and several Christmas-y weapons and vehicles. Dead Rising 4 comes out this Holiday.
Scalebound by Platinum Games was shown next, it’s a new Action RPG for the Xbox One and Windows 10. The trailer showed several warriors with companion dragons as they fought a giant crab or krakken. The player jumped on their dragon and flew around to get a good angle on the beast. Scalebound will be on Play Anywhere and will have 4 player Co-op.
A new trailer for Sea of Thieves by Rare was shown, one introducing the concept and a new one featuring gameplay. There were groups of players put into crews, with no tutorial. It showed all the players with face cams as they experience the game for the first time, and they were definitely having fun with it. When the players found each other, they immediately began to attack each other, and the ships began to sink. Sea of Thieves will be Play Anywhere.
State of Decay was up next, a co-op zombie survival game for Windows 10 and Xbox One, also on Play Anywhere. A trailer was shown with a few characters working together to take out zombies, until they see a flair that calls them to help.
A cinematic trailer for Halo Wars 2 was shown, strictly cinematic, showing the 2 sides of the war – the UNSC and a race called the Banished. Halo Wars 2 will be Play Anywhere, and launch on February 21, 2017 but there is a free week long beta on Xbox One all this week.
Phil Spencer came on stage again to to talk more about Play Anywhere, Xbox Live features such as clubs, LFG and Arena. He segued into VR and talking about the specs of the next iteration of the Xbox One, after the slim, only known as Project Scopio, and they emphasized that The Xbox One, S, and Project Scorpio will all be able to play the same games
And with that, the Microsoft Conference came to a close. If you’re interested in any of the specific games they announced be sure to check out our individual articles on them, we were sure to write up an article for every announcement. What did you think of the conference? Are you excited for the Xbox One S or are you gonna wait for Project Scorpio? Leave a comment below and have a great E3!
Find more of our E3 coverage at out E3 2016 Coverage Hub!