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Microsoft's E3 Xbox Event: New Blockbuster And Indie Titles, New Controller, More VR Integration

It's Day 0 at E3, and like always, Microsoft is first up on the list. Coming off last week's announcement of the 1 TB version of the Xbox One as well as a big partnership with Oculus, the company still had a lot to show for its annual E3 event.

Halo 5: Guardians

We start with the landmark game for the Microsoft console and a trailer showing a brief look at the game's storyline with its new character, Spartan Locke, hunting down Master Chief.

We also got to see gameplay footage of four-player cooperative mode featuring heavy explosions and bullets flying everywhere. Communication between the four characters in the game adds to the storyline, so all the players need to do is fight their way through while supporting their teammates, all without the need of verbal communication. New enemies appear alongside familiar foes with powerful melee moves and more dangerous weapons.

You will be able to switch between two squads, led by Master Chief and Spartan Locke, respectively. The game's storyline will also be incorporated into the game's multiplayer mode called Warzone. The series revolutionized the modern multiplayer genre, and with this new version 343 Industries hopes to make Halo multiplayer king of the hill again.

We'll see more of Halo 5: Guardians later today, when we get a few minutes to actually play the latest iteration in the popular series. For now, you have to wait until its release date of October 27 of this year.

Recore

We also got to see the trailer for a new title called Recore from Keiji Inafune and some of the developers behind the popular Metroid Prime games. It showed a woman and her robotic dog-like companion as they traverse a freezing tundra and the hot desert sands, encountering dangerous mechanical beasts. However, it seems that the protagonist can gather the enemy's robotic cores and then turn enemies into helpful allies.

This Xbox exclusive will be out in Spring 2016.

Backwards Compatibility Is Here

Phil Spencer also came out to announce that the Xbox One will finally be able to play Xbox 360 games on its latest console. This has been an issue with the next generation consoles, and with this move, Microsoft is challenging Sony's game streaming service and digital store, both of which provide classic titles from the original PlayStation to the PlayStation 3.

They showed off a classic, Mass Effect, playing on Xbox One. The game performs like it was on Xbox 360, but Xbox Live allows you to take screenshots, stream titles, and DVR your videos via Windows 10. The feature will be available later this holiday season, and as an added bonus, you will not be charged extra for the Xbox 360 games that you already own.

Elite Controller

We also got a look at the new Xbox Elite wireless controller featuring a new analog thumbstick, rear paddles, and even modular capabilities. The controller will work with Xbox One and Windows 10. Details as far as price and release date are still unclear, but if they're showing it off now, it's bound to come soon.

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Fallout 4

Fresh from its event last night, Bethesda's Todd Howard showed off gameplay from the new Fallout 4. For the most part, it's almost the same gameplay we saw from Bethesda's event yesterday, with a few smaller details added this time such as moving around in the enormous Power Armor and using new weapons like the Laser Musket. We even saw the protagonist take down the terrifying Deathclaw.

Howard also mentioned that mods on the PC can be transferred and shared for free for Xbox One players. Again, it's another cog in the upcoming Windows 10 platform wheel, with Microsoft going full steam ahead with merging its console and the new operating system.

EA

EA is having its own press conference later today, but it also had a presence at Xbox's event. The big sell here is EA Access, which allows players to play upcoming titles a few days before anyone else as well as getting exclusive content before everyone else for a monthly subscription. Titanfall and Dragon Age: Inquisition will also make their way to EA Access soon.

We also got to see the next installation in the Plants vs. Zombies franchise with Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, which comes next year. There was a brief trailer showing off the rise of the zombies in Zomburbia. Again, new and old characters make their appearances, such as huge oranges, shooting corn cobs and a pirate zombie.

Forza 6

Racing is back with Turn 10 Studios' latest title, Forza Motorsport 6. We also got to see an actual Ford GT come down from the ceiling as part of the fanfare. It seems that the developers have a new partner for their latest title.

A brief trailer was shown with the new cars and beautiful race tracks that make the series a staple in the racing genre. For multiplayer, you can now have 24-car races, increasing the size of the field you can compete in. The game comes out on September 15.

Dark Souls III

It's time to die again and again and again. From Software is back on the Xbox One with a trailer for Dark Souls III, showing a crumbling city, ugly monsters, and a lone warrior to take on the wrath of evil. The game is coming out in 2016.

The Division And Rainbow Six

Ubisoft's new online action shooter, Tom Clancy's The Division, also made an appearance despite the game's delay to next year. Still, that didn't stop a new gameplay trailer showing the chaos and destruction visited upon New York City. As a member of the Division, it's your job to eradicate enemy forces in an attempt to bring peace and order back to one of the nation's largest cities.

Xbox players will get a first look at the game through an exclusive beta in December.

Ubisoft also talked about Rainbow Six: Siege, coming out in October. Thanks to the new backwards compatibility feature, fans will also be able to play Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 on Xbox One because they come free with the new game. Another trailer was shown with players in team-based combat, with one holding a hostage while the other team attempts to rescue the hostage without taking any casualties.

Windows 10 And Xbox One

We finally also got to see the first game that would work on both Xbox One and Windows 10, and it's called Gigantic. The game features multiple characters, each with different skills. Players can summon powerful monsters to help out in the fight. The game will have a beta later this year.

Other cross-platform indie games were shown to work with both systems. Microsoft really wants people to switch to Windows 10, and this large lineup of games including Ark, Below and Mean Greens means that there will be a lot of content available in the new system.

Indie Games

Microsoft wants to put a huge emphasis on small, independent developers and their titles to add to its ever-growing lineup of games, and we saw some new titles from the indies.

Gone Home's Steve Gaynor talked about his new game, Tacoma, which is set in a space station. Players must walk around and discover the secret of the mysterious space station. The game will be coming out in 2016.

Beyond Eyes is another indie title, showing a painting-like world where the environment springs up like paint on a canvas as you continue to explore your surroundings. The game is out this summer.

Other indies such as Ashen, Cuphead and Ion were shown. There's also a new feature for developers called Xbox Game Preview, which allows players to play early access games, like Frontier's Elite Dangerous and Bohemia Interactive's DayZ. This is nothing new for Steam users, but this is a first step to bringing early access games to a wider audience through the Xbox One console.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

The sequel to the reboot is finally here. Lara Croft's adventures continue with the first gameplay trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider. We see Lara traversing a treacherous and snowy mountain, trying to reach the summit in search of a long-lost ruin.

As always, a Lara Croft adventure isn't easy, as she encounters falling ice, death-defying jumps, and unrelenting weather conditions. Oh, and there's an avalanche, just to keep you on your toes.

It's only the beginning as she continues to face local wildlife, merciless soldiers and even more unknown forces to reach her goal. The game comes out on November 10, the same release date as Fallout 4.

Rare Nostalgia

Titles such as Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie and Viva Pinata are going to be placed in one huge collection consisting of 30 games called the Rare Replay. The entire lineup of nostalgic titles from the classic development team at Rare will be available August 4.

However, Rare also announced a new title in its roster called Sea of Thieves. The gameplay trailer features a first-person adventure where you can play with other people in a cooperative mode as you sail the seas, in what seems to be a fully-functioning ship, and battle other pirates and skeletal monsters while also searching for treasure.

Fable Legends

We've already seen Fable Legends a few times, most notably earlier this year with the first showcase of Windows 10. The multiplayer game became a free-to-play title a few months ago, and it was one of the first titles at the time to work with Windows 10 and Xbox One. This means that gameplay content on the PC and Xbox One can easily be transferred.

VR

With Sony's Morpheus VR headset coming out next year, Microsoft was left without its own VR technology to compete with its gaming rival. That changed last week when it partnered with the mighty Oculus Rift, giving players the Xbox One controller and allowing the headset's use along with Windows 10 and Xbox streaming via the new operating system.

However, we found out that Microsoft is also working with Valve VR in what could be a monumental change in gaming. With Microsoft working with not one, but two VR headsets, it's going to have a big impact in the VR space, filling the incredibly important content void with tons of titles in the future.

HoloLens was also discussed, and we finally saw it in action, specifically how it works with the popular Minecraft.

Just as Microsoft did with its onstage demos at Build, the experience used a special camera that showed viewers what it looks like if you are wearing HoloLens. Even if you don't have a HoloLens, you can still play together with the Surface tablet.

You can also put the world of the game on an actual table, bringing the experience with you wherever you go. You can manipulate the environment with hands and voice, as well as zoom in and out and peer inside buildings like a giant. Even on a limited space, the game map moves to show different locations on such a small board. You can even move the map up and down to see subterranean levels while you can watch other players move around in your world. It really makes you feel like a god as you can call down thunder on locations and set marks for your friends to see.

More information about Minecraft will come soon, but it's good to know that we're seeing HoloLens more in action.

Gears Of War

Gears of War has been a longtime staple of the Xbox franchise, and an Ultimate Edition of the game's past titles was announced with improved graphics and 60 fps gameplay. It's coming out on August 25, but fans can participate in the public beta for one week only, starting today.

We also got to see the next iteration in the series. The gameplay showed a new character with the traditional armor seen in past titles. Together with a female counterpart, you explore a dark and creepy set of ruins.

Unlike its predecessors, which have sprawling cities with ongoing combat at every corner, the gameplay seemed more exploratory as you hunt down some unknown monster. It definitely gives the feeling that even though you and your partner are two strong soldiers, the frightening foe might be too tough to handle. For the most part, gameplay looks very similar, including the popular chainsaw execution.

Gears of War 4 is slated to arrive during the holiday season of 2016.

A Big Start

Even though the big sign on stage says "Xbox," there was a larger emphasis on more features with Windows 10 and VR. However, Phil Spencer and the Xbox team haven't forgotten about the core gamer. Halo 5 and Forza 6 keep the diehards happy, while popular titles and indie games round out the roster. We're going to see Microsoft more throughout E3, and we'll see how many of these games we can play in the coming days.

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  • dstarr3
    The X-Bone is getting backwards-compatibility. Which is awesome, because Sony is going to have to get backwards-compatibility to keep up, and then I can finally buy a PS4!
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Man they really want everyone to think its important to be first to play, play early before others... I seriously have never seen that pay off. (not counting actual alpha / beta testing)

    If I buy the xb1, can I play Jade Empire? :)

    I'll take an updated Bayonetta please.

    Are we really ready for mass Halo spammage in the media again? So tired of it.

    I am ready for Windows 10 though.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    After watching Xbox Live Event and living without a console since I don't want to say, I am ready to buy XBOX ONE
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    still no redesign smaller version of the xbox one. I guess we are stuck with the vcr shape until e3 2016.
    Reply
  • DelightfulDucklings
    Dam, they really had a great conference between the backward compatibility, the games and hololens I think this will be hard to beat!
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    16060764 said:
    still no redesign smaller version of the xbox one. I guess we are stuck with the vcr shape until e3 2016.

    The only way to do a shrink of the console is to lower its thermal requirements. The 360 Slim was after IBM did a shrink of the PowerPC and was able to do a MCM type package putting both the CPU core and GPU core on one package eliminating the need for a lot of extra space.

    Right now they are using the 28nm process they have for their GPUs (AMD that is). If they can get it to 14nm (current CPU node size) or even 16nm (future GPU node size) then they can reduce the space needed for both power and heat. Of course that is if the shrink goes well and the new process is decent.

    I am excited for a lot of what Microsoft is doing, Windows 10/Hololense. But man, getting a soon to be released Ford GT to show up is pretty awesome. I am hoping Rockstar puts a version in GTA V as I will never be able to own a car like that.
    Reply
  • NightLight
    To hell with all the haters, microsoft is kicking ass here, and you know it!
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    16060764 said:
    still no redesign smaller version of the xbox one. I guess we are stuck with the vcr shape until e3 2016.

    The only way to do a shrink of the console is to lower its thermal requirements. The 360 Slim was after IBM did a shrink of the PowerPC and was able to do a MCM type package putting both the CPU core and GPU core on one package eliminating the need for a lot of extra space.

    Right now they are using the 28nm process they have for their GPUs (AMD that is). If they can get it to 14nm (current CPU node size) or even 16nm (future GPU node size) then they can reduce the space needed for both power and heat. Of course that is if the shrink goes well and the new process is decent.

    I am excited for a lot of what Microsoft is doing, Windows 10/Hololense. But man, getting a soon to be released Ford GT to show up is pretty awesome. I am hoping Rockstar puts a version in GTA V as I will never be able to own a car like that.

    That's not true the ps4 uses the same die on their console and it's smaller. they don't have to got to a smaller die to go to a smaller console. they could use the same technology and still go smaller. ms made the xbox one big on purpose because they over engineered the design so there wouldn't be any fear of ROD like on the xbox 360, but those types of fears were quickly put to rest seeing as the ps4 is smaller and it has had no overheating issues and it has an internal power source to boot. so Microsoft can still make the xbox one smaller without having to wait for a sie shink.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    16061460 said:
    16060764 said:
    still no redesign smaller version of the xbox one. I guess we are stuck with the vcr shape until e3 2016.

    The only way to do a shrink of the console is to lower its thermal requirements. The 360 Slim was after IBM did a shrink of the PowerPC and was able to do a MCM type package putting both the CPU core and GPU core on one package eliminating the need for a lot of extra space.

    Right now they are using the 28nm process they have for their GPUs (AMD that is). If they can get it to 14nm (current CPU node size) or even 16nm (future GPU node size) then they can reduce the space needed for both power and heat. Of course that is if the shrink goes well and the new process is decent.

    I am excited for a lot of what Microsoft is doing, Windows 10/Hololense. But man, getting a soon to be released Ford GT to show up is pretty awesome. I am hoping Rockstar puts a version in GTA V as I will never be able to own a car like that.

    That's not true the ps4 uses the same die on their console and it's smaller. they don't have to got to a smaller die to go to a smaller console. they could use the same technology and still go smaller. ms made the xbox one big on purpose because they over engineered the design so there wouldn't be any fear of ROD like on the xbox 360, but those types of fears were quickly put to rest seeing as the ps4 is smaller and it has had no overheating issues and it has an internal power source to boot. so Microsoft can still make the xbox one smaller without having to wait for a sie shrink.

    Just because Sony did does not mean it is a good idea. After looking at a teardown I have to say Microsoft went with a much more solid build. In my experience, after repairing hundreds and hundreds of systems, a standard 5.25" bay Blu-Ray will last longer than a slim type as well there will be less possible scratches although slot loading sucks either way.

    On top of that the PS4 is using a laptop style centrifuge style fan to help give it its thinner profile. I found that laptop fans die faster than standard desktop fans, especially when they don't get cleaned out as well.

    Again this is based on dealing with similar components in years of repairs. I think Microsoft went with a better build solution to start while Sony is jumping the gun a tad. The CPU and GPU are not being pushed to their maximum potential. I can imagine that once they are the PS4 will start to get hot and the fan will be on high RPMs causing more noise and more wear and tear on the bearings. Why is a 140mm fan better than a 120mm? Same airflow at lower RPMs which means less nose or more airflow at the same RPM and noise. The PS4 has a 85mm fan vs the XB1 112mm fan.

    I really don't care either way as I game on PC but if I built a console I would rather over provision than under provision that way I can design a slimmer model much more easily in the future. Hell Microsoft could do an upgrade for the XB1 if they keep the same cooling design instead of slimming it down. Maybe if they go to the 14nm chips they could beef up the GPU instead of making it slim giving it better capabilities. I think that would interest people more than making a smaller one with similar capabilities.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    16061460 said:
    16060764 said:
    still no redesign smaller version of the xbox one. I guess we are stuck with the vcr shape until e3 2016.

    The only way to do a shrink of the console is to lower its thermal requirements. The 360 Slim was after IBM did a shrink of the PowerPC and was able to do a MCM type package putting both the CPU core and GPU core on one package eliminating the need for a lot of extra space.

    Right now they are using the 28nm process they have for their GPUs (AMD that is). If they can get it to 14nm (current CPU node size) or even 16nm (future GPU node size) then they can reduce the space needed for both power and heat. Of course that is if the shrink goes well and the new process is decent.

    I am excited for a lot of what Microsoft is doing, Windows 10/Hololense. But man, getting a soon to be released Ford GT to show up is pretty awesome. I am hoping Rockstar puts a version in GTA V as I will never be able to own a car like that.

    That's not true the ps4 uses the same die on their console and it's smaller. they don't have to got to a smaller die to go to a smaller console. they could use the same technology and still go smaller. ms made the xbox one big on purpose because they over engineered the design so there wouldn't be any fear of ROD like on the xbox 360, but those types of fears were quickly put to rest seeing as the ps4 is smaller and it has had no overheating issues and it has an internal power source to boot. so Microsoft can still make the xbox one smaller without having to wait for a sie shrink.

    Just because Sony did does not mean it is a good idea. After looking at a teardown I have to say Microsoft went with a much more solid build. In my experience, after repairing hundreds and hundreds of systems, a standard 5.25" bay Blu-Ray will last longer than a slim type as well there will be less possible scratches although slot loading sucks either way.

    On top of that the PS4 is using a laptop style centrifuge style fan to help give it its thinner profile. I found that laptop fans die faster than standard desktop fans, especially when they don't get cleaned out as well.

    Again this is based on dealing with similar components in years of repairs. I think Microsoft went with a better build solution to start while Sony is jumping the gun a tad. The CPU and GPU are not being pushed to their maximum potential. I can imagine that once they are the PS4 will start to get hot and the fan will be on high RPMs causing more noise and more wear and tear on the bearings. Why is a 140mm fan better than a 120mm? Same airflow at lower RPMs which means less nose or more airflow at the same RPM and noise. The PS4 has a 85mm fan vs the XB1 112mm fan.

    I really don't care either way as I game on PC but if I built a console I would rather over provision than under provision that way I can design a slimmer model much more easily in the future. Hell Microsoft could do an upgrade for the XB1 if they keep the same cooling design instead of slimming it down. Maybe if they go to the 14nm chips they could beef up the GPU instead of making it slim giving it better capabilities. I think that would interest people more than making a smaller one with similar capabilities.


    ok so what's wrong with the ps4's design have they gotten overheated and broke? nope.

    ps4's gpu is more powerful then xbox one's and as for the cpu diff in clock speed it makes no diff ms can push the xbox one's clock speed on their gpu all they want but it's not going to be more powerful than the ps4's gpu.

    I have both systems and I can barely hear the diff so it really is no issue. and has for the bearings wearing down faster I have had small fans last longer then some of the big fans that I have owned that all used bearings in them.

    the console is pretty much going to be stuck with the hardware it has now until the next gen whenever that will be. if they beefed up the gpu then it's going to cause headaches for developers because now they would have to make games suited for the more powerful xbox one gpu that will end up being exclusive to it or have to make two disc versions to support the older xbox one. besides that these consoles won't have too long of lifespan anyhow. they were made with budget gaming hardware for the most part, it wasn't like the last gen where when both consoles came out they had pretty powerful gaming hardware that could last for years. sony and ms aren't going that route anymore they see that making a profit off a console off the bat using budget gaming hardware is better than making console with powerful hardware that they lose money on for the first 2 to 3 years before making a profit.
    Reply