E3 2016: Microsoft reactions

“You did it Xbox. No freaking mention of television.”- Myself

Xbox One started the conference by mentioning that this would be the year with no restrictions, enabling friends to play together with no limits and all ambitions.

The potent rumor of the Xbox One S came true. It is slimmer, sleeker and 40% smaller than the original Day One unit with a 2 TB hard drive. The controllers are Bluetooth (a little late, but awesome) and the unit will feature HDR gaming.

Xbox One S Console Vertical Right Angle

Then, what we had all been frantically waiting for took to the stage early: Gears of War 4! Around eight minutes of campaign gameplay featuring more of the dramatic and unpredictable weather elements was shown, an we also had the opportunity to see some new weapon types in action. We also caught a glimpse of a familiar face, which left us hungry to find out more about how the story is going to unfold.
Oh, an I almost forgot… Horde mode was announced!

After all the hoopla concerning Gears 4, and my dreams finally coming true, a limited edition Gears 4 wireless controller was announced, complete with a customized D-pad, a direct replication of the weapon wheel in-game, and paddle buttons on the back for ease of use and those prepared for more competitive gaming.

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Killer Instinct will also feature General Raam as a free download this week.

Forza Horizon 3 was leaked and will feature an open world with various racing modes including beach dune buggy sessions, and four-player campaign co-op (a first for the series).

Some ReCore footage was shown that detailed the game’s main protagonist, Joule, her adventures in Far Eden, and individualized robotic characters Mack, Seth and Duncan. The game looks as great as last year’s E3 and will release September 13, 2016.

Final Fantasy 15 was briefly shown, further proving the series is continually evolving…

The Division Underground will be an Xbox first, launching June 28th, and will feature random missions and urban dungeons.

Dice wanted to remind us that if you’re a subscriber to EA Access you can play Battlefield One on October 13, 2016 (a week early).

Some updates were given to us about Xbox Live; This fall the service provider will feature “Clubs,” “Looking for group,” and “Arena.” Which involves a more pronounced medium for finding gamers who share your interests, along with a convenient location to search for help regarding various raid-based and multiplayer games, and tournaments for anyone interested in competing for various offerings.

What would a Microsoft press conference be without Minecraft? Minecraft will feature cross-play on iOS, Windows 10 and Xbox Live. Achievements will also be available on all platforms. Minecraft Realms was also announced and is available today along with texture packs and add-ons coming this fall, which makes Minecraft that much more interesting by applying themes and longevity to their classic structures and enemies.

Xbox Design Lab was then introduced, which came as a pleasant surprise. There wasn’t much information given, other than you can build your controller with any color combination you’d like with a quaint, cute labeling of your desired nickname on the front faceplate.

The indies finally took the stage, and if you’re not a fan of indies then you probably shouldn’t read our stuff because WE. ARE. INDIE! Playdead’s highly anticipated platformer, Inside, calls to their critically acclaimed Limbo, and was finally given a release date of June 29. Additionally, as icing on the cake, Limbo has been made free on the Xbox One.

ID@Xbox then took the stage to showcase the indies they continually show us every year without release dates. Sarcasm aside, I am beyond excited for Yooka Laylee, The Culling, Cuphead, Below, and all the other amazing titles that I’ve forgotten here… And you probably should be too..

Compulsion Games finally showcased We Happy Few, which will be available as part of Xbox’s preview program on July 29.

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Following on the coat-tails of The Witcher 3 and its highly praised and hefty DLC releases, CD Projekt Red announced Gwent, a console playable version of the fan favorite card game. The beta will be available September 2016 and you can hop in by signing up here.

Banco Namdia came to the stage to show off Tekken 7, which will feature seamless narrative cinematics that jump straight to gameplay, along with all of your favorite classic Tekken characters. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will also be free to Xbox users starting this week.

Xbox then announced a slew of exclusive titles: Dead Rising 4 (Holiday 2016), Scalebound (2017), Sea of Thieves (N/A), State of Decay 2 (2017) and Halo Wars 2 (February 21, 2017) coupled with a free beta, available now on the Xbox One.

The show ended with a bang. Next year, Xbox will release Project Scorpio, which will feature 6 teraflops of computing power and 4K resolution. Just bought new hardware for your Day One Xbox? Don’t fret, because all console accessories will be interchangeable. Project Scorpio will come out Holiday 2017.

Something to note, a majority of these titles and features will feature cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10.

Grade: A-  They brought everything I thought they would and then some. A few titles were missing: Crackdown, Remedy’s projects and no Sea of Thieves release date, but overall, they shined bright!

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