Published on June 15th, 2015 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Xbox E3 2015 Briefing: The Summary
If ever there was a proper kick-off to E3, this year was the year to have it. Microsoft has gone FULL BORE into making not only the Xbox One the platform to pick up, but also throwing Windows 10 heavily into the mix. Let’s go through a small-but-massive list of what Microsoft announced in their E3 2015 press conference.
It’s a journey, so buckle up!
Halo 5: Guardians
Not only was there gameplay of Halo 5: Guardians, the hotly anticipated game from 343 Industries, but we also got a glance at the new Warzone mode that seems to pit player-versus-player-versus-AI in a 24 player war, which could be all sorts of amazing. From the trailer, not only are there Ghosts, Banshees & Warthogs, but also full on mechs that the Spartans can hop into and cause mass mayhem.
I’ll definitely be picking this one up!
Xbox One Backward Compatibility
The back-compat system that people remember from the Xbox 360 makes a return to the Xbox One. Xbox Preview Members (like myself) get to test out the backwards compatibility today with a list of currently backward compatible titles, with a goal of 100 titles being ready by the end of the year. The biggest news here is that all the games will be able to use the in-game features of the Xbox One, like screenshots and streaming, while simultaneously playing with your friends on Xbox 360. Highly impressive.
This is a big deal for those not sure if they want to upgrade, and it’s nice to see Microsoft playing to their strengths here. The question is how many of the titles will be backward compatible — and when will people stop caring because of all the new games being released?
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
Not content with other companies cutting in on their territory, Microsoft is releasing the Xbox Elite controller this fall. Combining fully customizable components like thumbsticks & d-pads, hair-trigger switches, and paddles combined with customizable paddle re-mapping, then adding in full Xbox One and Windows 10 support, it seems Microsoft is gunning for the market that ScufGaming is currently servicing.
Its MSRP is $149, so you’re putting out simliar pricing to what a Scuf controller costs for something completely official. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller will be available in October 2015. Go pre-order it!
It may not be a big deal that Fallout 4 is coming to the Xbox One, but what is a big deal is that player mods created for the PC can be utilized on the Xbox One version of the game. That’s a HUGE deal to those of us that enjoy the added features that mods can provide to the PC experience.
Not only is EA continuing its EA Access program, it’s expanded on it for the week. The EA Access Vault, twelve games selected from EA that get changed on a regular basis, is open to Xbox Live Gold members for the week. Titanfall was just added to the vault and Dragon Age: Inquisition will be added later this summer. Go download some stuff!
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Dropping in Spring 2016, they’ve upped the mayhem from PvZ: Garden Warfare. There’s a laser-firing orange on the Plants team and a Titanfall-esque mech on the Zombies team. ‘Nuff said.
They brought Henry Ford III on-stage as a partner with Forza 6 (and dropped in a Ford GT from the ceiling) to show off their ridiculously awesome car in the upcoming racing game from Turn 10 Studios.
Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III, the latest in the mind-numbingly challenging series created by From Software, was officially announced.
Tom Clancy Stuffs
Tom Clancy’s The Division got an extended trailer along with an announce of an Xbox One Exclusive Beta announced for this December. I’ve been clamoring for this game since the launch of the Xbox One, so that Beta better be awesome!
Continuing in the love, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege was announced as coming to the Xbox One with an added bonus of Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 for free on Xbox One.
Upcoming free-to-play MOBA shooter, Gigantic, was announced as a Windows 10 and Xbox One exclusive.
ID @ Xbox and Xbox Game Preview
Tons of awesome indie games coming to the Xbox One, including the ever-amazing looking Cuphead. The Long Dark, Elite: Dangerous & ION, the latest game from DayZ creator Dean Hall will be hitting Xbox Game Preview — which is essentially an Early Access system for Xbox Live. This could be a lovely thing for upcoming developers, but unlike Steam’s Early Access program, you can get a demo of the game before you sign on and spend any money on the title.
Very well played, Microsoft.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The latest game in the Tomb Raider series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, got a fairly extensive gameplay premier. To say that Tomb Raider has become a much more cinematic and visceral experience is a bit of an understatement, as the preview was amazing.
Rare had a pretty good stage presence this E3 as their first announcement was of thirty — Yes, thirty — of Rare’s classic games will be dropping to the Xbox One as Rare Replay for a bargain-bin price of $30. Which means you can get Perfect Dark, Battletoads, RC Pro-Am, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Viva Piñata, and another twenty-four games for $1 each. The word is yes.
On top of that, they announced that Rare is developing Sea of Thieves, a multiplayer pirate-themed first-person game.
The arch-nemesis of the first season of stories was announced for the upcoming title. That sentence alone clues us in that this is planned to be an ongoing series, quite possibly episodic in the way that The Walking Dead is.
They hit the stage to show off a version of Minecraft combined with Microsoft’s HoloLens, and HOLY CRAP, I want it:
So that was apparently what the presenter wearing the HoloLens could see. On top of a regular table. There are no words to describe the mind-bogglingly high levels of want on display here. The event could’ve ended here, but they decided to drop more news on us.
Gears of War Lives
First up was the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition due out this year on August 25, which takes the first Gears of War, gives the graphics an impressive boost & bumps it up to 1080p. Right after, they announced Gears of War 4 with an impressive and very cinematic gameplay trailer. Gears of War 4 be dropping exclusively to the Xbox One in Holiday 2016.
Verdict: Pretty Damn Good
After watching the entire presser, I’m impressed by the amount of exclusive and new content was announced. With Halo 5‘s Warzone, Fallout 4’s mod support, Rare Replay, the upcoming Gears games, the Xbox Game Preview program and the Minecraft HoloLens integration, this was a helluva start to E3 2015.
Microsoft has laid a serious gauntlet down that they’re serious about turning things around from the issues they had at launch. Proving that, the Xbox One is now officially $349. You can still find the Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle for that price though, so make sure to shop around before grabbing one if this conference has you on-board! Then, add in all the support they’ve thrown in for Windows 10, and Microsoft seems to be doing everything they can to make the Xbox the platform to game on.
What do you think? How did Microsoft do on in this briefing?