E3 2017 – Microsoft Press Conference

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After an impressive opening video showing fancy schmancy “what the Xbox feels like” visuals, Phil Spencer walks onstage with a t-shirt bearing an Xbox controller and the words “Player (1)”

Project Scorpio

Project Scorpio was given a name: The Xbox One X. Kareem Choudhry, the head of Xbox Software Engineering, came and spouted a lot of numbers to the crowd’s delight. A 6 teraflop GPU at 1.172 GHz with 12GB of GDDRS and 326 something. “True 4K” was acquired with 8 million pixels on screen, Dolby Atmos sound and UHD Blu-ray playback. There was something about 16 nanometres of a thing and 7 billion transistors – I don’t know, I’m not a hardware person! If you are, you can probably infer what they were trying to say.

But to translate, the Xbox One X is the most powerful and also the smallest console ever and even features a liquid-cooled vapour chamber!

It was announced that it be released on November the 7th for $499USD.

Backwards Compatibility

While not entirely new, Microsoft is expanding the Backwards Compatibility store by adding original Xbox games! Including Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, which fans have been asking for.

The BIG Announcements

Phil Spencer promised 42 games to be featured in the next hour and a half, with 22 of them being exclusives. Finally, Xbox is getting some proper exclusive action! But anyway, this section is going to be pretty quick-fire.

Forza 7 Motorsport
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

If you’re a super car fan (haha, pun!) and you missed the Microsoft Press Conference, then you’ll be kicking yourself. To celebrate Forza 7 Motorsport, Porsche made their global debut for their new 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS. I’m not a big car person, but WOW, it looked nice.

Many manly tears were shed in that moment, I’m sure.

Two professional drivers were then invited on stage to give the car a go inside the game. Both of these drivers, might I add, were female. It reminded me of their conference last year, where Microsoft obviously tried to get as much gender diversity as they could on stage – which is cool!

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Gameplay footage revealed RPG elements have been added into the game, with a leveling system and the ability to take and keep (finally!) enemy weapons. Looking at the trailer we could assume sailing on the sea again, a gladiator ring, and a bit more supernatural stuff than your average Assassin’s Creed.

Horse riding is back as well as a return to swords, though this time you have a shield as well! Bows with heat seeking arrows are a thing too. The story, as the title suggests, tells the origins of the Assassin Brotherhood. We’re following a guy called Bayek who is the last Medjay – a protector of his community.

There also seem to be parts of good underwater diving, like in Black Flag, and we have a recon drone in the form of Senu, Bayek’s pet hawk. The environments look pretty and quite diverse, though I didn’t see any tall buildings – apart from the pyramids. I long for the days when you could traverse easily from one side of the city to the other simply by jumping over roofs. But they may have prioritised open spaces for horse riding.

They showed some gameplay as well, which you can watch below

Minecraft

Okay, this was a big announcement! Crossplay is officially happening! Massive servers containing and able to hold players across mobile, VR, PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and tablets. But not with the PlayStation 4, to the disappointment of many people including myself.

Minecraft will also be getting a free 4K update called the “Super Duper Graphics Update!” for Xbox One X players and oh my goodness it looks gorgeous!! The trees and grass all look like actual trees and grass, and the sun’s rays are dappled through each blade and leaf. but it still looks like your classic Minecraft with the blocks and flat faced people. But more real!

Anthem

As promised in the EA conference, we got a good look at what BioWare’s Anthem is all about! It’s basically a third person shooter in the vein of Destiny, where you have an (actual) open world that you explore with a squad of up to three friends. Players are “Freelancers” that have customisable exo-suits called Javelins that they use to go outside the city walls. “Attack on Titanfall” I heard it dubbed.

In terms of gameplay, it looks really amazing, with the ability to fly around and even go deep underwater. I’ve really enjoyed Destiny, so I’m hoping this will play just as well but with the story-driven gameplay that BioWare is known for. I am really looking forward to this one!

 

Game Trailers

Metro Exodus

The sequel to Metro: Last Light has come. An alternate universe where it looks like everything was nuked and the radiation turned everything into massive were-rats with teeth for faces.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Battlegrounds is coming to Xbox One, with 4K enhancement updates for the Xbox One X. The Xbox One is the only console that will have Battlegrounds.

Deep Rock Galactic
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

1-4 player co-op sci-fi shooter game that sort of reminds me of No Man’s Sky.

State of Decay 2
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Gather survivors and create a community to survive the zombie apocalypse.

The Darwin Project
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Pretty-looking Hunger Games! The title makes you think ‘survival of the fittest’ type things.

Dragon Ball Fighterz

Street Fighter Dragon Ball style! Has this not happened before and if not, how come it’s taken this long? Either way, this game looks beautiful and is basically all the good parts of Dragon Ball – all the parts I remember, anyway. There’s even a 3 v 3 mode!

Black Desert
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Medieval MMO with magic and anime-looking characters that grunt and yell like anime-characters. You can set up trade routes and breed horses and become a master craftsman.

The Last Night
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

This one looks incredible. I’m not immediately drawn to pixel art games, but this one really reeled me in. Action, infiltration, and keeping a low profile is right up my alley, as is the soundtrack of the trailer.

The Artful Escape
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. Featuring a guitar-wielding space man.

Code Vein

Think Final Fantasy mixed with a dark Van Helsing.

Sea of Thieves
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

We got another look at Sea of Thieves, the popular MMO-esque pirate game, where you and friends can sail the seas, seek treasure and fight off skeletons in island caves. The whole world is shared, so you may find yourself in a fight with a couple of scallywags from across the ditch.

I recommend you take a look at the trailer. It’s worth the watch!

Tacoma
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Ever since I saw the first teaser for this, I’ve been excited, but this trailer looks quite a bit different from what I thought it was going to be. But we have a release date now! August 2nd.

Super Lucky’s Tale
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

At first I was like, ‘Hang on, this isn’t the Nintendo conference, is it?” But it’s really nice to see more platformers and kid’s games seeing a resurgence.

Cuphead
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Cuphead is finally coming out! Oh, it’s been so long! September 29th, my friends. Put it in your diaries. Or, you can preorder it now, if you’d like.

Crackdown 3
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

Do you like Terry Crews? Well, my friends, read no more and check out the trailer, because while it was a bit cringe, it was totally awesome. Step up your boom, guys.

Ashen
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

It looks pretty dark. (Ahaha, pun). Basically there’s no light except for the occasional burst that also brings more ash into the world. And there’s monsters all over the place. You bring others you think you can trust to your camp and hopefully you can survive together.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

The prequel to Life is Strange! The hella feels!

Shadow of War

The sequel to the awesome Shadow of Mordor. We got another look at the new and improved nemesis system and met the best orc I’ve ever seen. Seriously, he’s so cool. Watch the gameplay trailer just for him.

Ori and the Will of the Whisps
Xbox One/Windows 10 Exclusive

The trailer started so nicely that I was not prepared for the sadness that came. Yes, my friends, this is the sequel (sort of?) to Ori and the Blind Forest. The trailer had a live piano accompaniment, which was a nice touch.

[email protected] Program

We were given a glimpse at some awesome-looking games made through the [email protected] program which helps out indie developers.

That’s it from the Microsoft Press Conference. For the lowdown on all of E3, you can check out our article E3 in a Nutshell, where we’ve got everything in one place.

 

Ubisoft’s Press Conference will be on tomorrow, 13th June at 8am NZDT

Sony’s Press Conference will also be on tomorrow, 13th June at 1pm NZDT

 

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