All Microsoft E3 2016 Press Conference Announcements

From new games to new consoles, there were plenty of new announcements that came from today Microsoft E3 2016 media briefing. Here is the full rundown.

Xbox Play Anywhere

The prevailing theme at the Microsoft E3 2016 press conference is how the Xbox console is becoming a more open system, particularly with Windows 10 PCs. This theme was demonstrated with the announcement of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. With it, players only need to purchase a game once, and they’ll own it for both platforms. Game progression and achievements will be saved, so gamers can start a game on a console and continue it from a Windows 10 PC.

New Games

Forza Horizon 3 and Dead Rising 4 are two of the highest-profile games to be announced at E3. But Witcher fans can look forward to the addictive collectible strategy card game, Gwent, being released as a standalone game and fans got a first look at The DivisionUnderground” DLC expansion. The fighting game, Tekken 7, was officially announced and will be coming to both Xbox One and PC in 2017, but it has not been announced as part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. Meanwhile, independent horror games such as Inside (from the makers of Limbo) and State of Decay 2 were announced at the Microsoft press briefing.

New game announcements include:

  • Dead Rising 4
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
  • Inside
  • State of Decay 2
  • Tekken 7
  • The Division “Underground” DLC Expansion

New Hardware

Microsoft officially revealed two new consoles at the press briefing, starting with the Xbox One S, which is slimmer and 40 percent smaller than the current Xbox, but supports features such as 4K Ultra HD video. The press conference was bookended with the reveal of Project Scorpio, which features six teraflops of power for 4K gaming and virtual reality. It will become the most powerful console ever built when it launches in 2017. Xbox head, Phil Spencer, noted that all Xbox One games and peripherals will work, regardless of which of the three consoles players decide to buy.

The new consoles are complemented with a new program called Xbox Design Lab, which lets users customize different aspects of their controllers with different colors. Microsoft said that, in all, there are 8 million different possible color combinations to choose from. Those interested in custom colors can visit the Design Lab website to make their own controller.

‘For Honor’ E3 Presentation Unleashes The Fury

For Honor rocked the Ubisoft E3 press conference with trailer featuring a cataclysmic event that  makes resources scarce. Knight, Viking and Samurai factions turn against each other in a big for survival that turns into a millennia of war, stoke by a mysterious figure named Apollyon. After the trailer, Jason Vandenberghe, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, stepped on stage and said, “Desperation drives us to war. It is trust that can end it. Apollyon and her Black Stone Legions crave a world where trust is impossible, and the wolves among us can roam free.”

Last year featured a multiplayer reveal, giving viewers a first look at the battle system. This year’s presentation goes deeper into the story and setting for the game. Vandenberghe turned the stage over to a live gameplay demonstration featuring the Viking faction, which has recovered from the edge of extinction, and is now sailing toward the land of the Samurai seeking plunder and glory. The player used a massive axe to fight through enemy lines, dispatching them in brutal ways before scaling a wall to confront the boss character in single combat at the end.

The raid on the Samurai stronghold is successful, of course, and is said to mark the beginning of a new conflict between the three factions. For Honor is set to release on February 14, 2017, Valentine’s Day, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The demo is available to play this week at the Ubisoft booth, and prospective warriors can register now for the alpha, which will be hosted sometime soon.

‘Star Trek: Bridge Crew’ Debuts With Real Show Actors

Star Trek fans were in for a big treat when Ubisoft Red Storm Entertainment senior creative director, David Votypka, came up on stage at the Ubisoft E3 Press Conference. The publisher has been experimenting extensively with different VR projects such as Eagle Flight, and now ready to boldly go where no VR game has gone before with Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

To announce the game, Votypka played a video featuring himself playing the game alongside popular actors from different Star Trek shows and movies using Oculus Rift headsets. Participants included Levar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who also narrates and stars in the game as Captain Geordi La Forge of the starship USS Aegis. Other crew members included Karl Urban (Star Trek Beyond) and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager), and all the actors are seen going wild about how amazing and realistic the experience of being on the virtual starship bridge is.

“We have been waiting in anticipation for so long for the technology of virtual reality to catch up with where we imagine we should be and where we all want to go,” said Burton.

Up to four players can join in to pilot the space vessel, taking the role of engineer, pilot, tactical officer or captain. Burton joined host Aisha Tyler on the Ubisoft live stage to talk about Star Trek: Bridge Crew and how it compared to being on an actual Star Trek television show. Burton stated that the actors had to rely on imagination when on the set of the show, but you don’t have to imagine while playing this game. Players are in a fully rendered environment, and they truly feel like they are in control of a starship.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew releases this fall for all major VR platforms, and the E3 demonstration is on display this week at the Ubisoft booth.

‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’ Gameplay Revealed

Revealed at last year’s E3 Conference, Ubisoft has finally revealed details for their upcoming game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole. With the same brand of parody that made South Park a hit, Ubisoft unveiled a serious teaser trailer about worldwide turmoil. Just when fans thought it might be an announcement for another shooter game, Cartman appears, dressed as a superhero named Coon.

A sequel to South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Fractured But Whole parodies the world of comic book movie franchises and the formulas thereof. The story picks up right where the last video game left off, with the new kid in town crowned king only to find that the kids have switched games. He or she must now quest for acceptance in the group when they switch from playing fantasy to super heroes. Cartman, taking the role as Coon in their secret hide-out, helps you establish your identity and backstory, allowing players to customize their character once again.

When Cartman proposes a detailed roll-out of super hero movies and Netflix original series, the kids argue and a “civil war” begins. Each faction sets out to get rich on their respective made-up comic book characters.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone took the stage to help explain the new gameplay as only they can, with sarcasm and f-bombs abound. Parker stressed the importance of combat, being a fan of table-top role-playing games. That being said, combat in South Park: Divided But Whole is still turn-based, but characters can now move around a tile-based battleground. Pushing, pulling and using environmental props will also play into battle strategies, as well as points earned.

Because every super hero cliche needs a dark and troubled city, players will now be able to explore the faithfully-recreated mountain town at night. As with the first game, Divided But Whole is crafted to look identical to the TV show.

As an added incentive for fans, anyone who pre-orders South Park: The Fractured But Whole will receive a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or PC version of The Stick of TruthThe Fractured But Whole is scheduled for launch on December 6.

‘Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Shows Off Massive Open World

Following an action-packed Ghost Recon Wildlands trailer, Dominic Butler, lead game designer at Ubisoft Paris, took to the stage and explained the how the important the coca leaf is to Bolivia and its people. “In Bolivia, the coca leaf is core to the culture. It’s found in every gas station, every hospital, and every town square.” It’s used for a variety of things, from treating nausea to making an energy drink, but it can also be used to make cocaine. That’s where the creativity takes over from the real world.

For Wildlands, the development team imagined what would happen in a Mexican drug cartel moved in to take over the country, seize all its coca resources to become the number one producer of cocaine on the planet, effectively turning Bolivia into a narco state. Players take on the role of Ghosts, an elite spec-ops group, sent in to disrupt production and break the alliance between a corrupt local government and the Santa Blanca Cartel.

Butler states that Wildlands is the first military shooter set in a massive and dangerous open world, which can be played solo or with 4-player co-op. Players will face challenges every step of the way, and this was demonstrated with a gameplay video where four players work together to capture a target named El Pozolero (called the Stew Maker, because of the way he disposes of bodies), but the trick is that they have to take him alive. The gameplay video gave audiences a look at the huge landscape, which Butler claims is the largest open world that Ubisoft has ever created. The players need to use a helicopter to properly scout out the area.

Everything goes relatively well as the team moves into the heavily defended compound and quietly take out the guards. However, things go wrong as they close in, and El Pozolero tries to escape in a car. The team pursues and manages to capture him and put him in the chopper shortly before enemy reinforcements arrive, barely making it out alive.

Ghost Recon Wildlands launches on March 7, 2017, but E3 attendees can play the game this week at the Ubisoft booth, where 4-player cooperative demos are set up.

Xbox Play Anywhere Bridges Gap Between PC And Consoles

Xbox Play Anywhere is a new cross-play initiative from Microsoft, allowing players to purchase games at one price for two platforms. Announced during Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference today, the program bridges the gap between PC and XBox One gamers.

The first title to take advantage of the program will be Gears of War 4, opening new possibilities for eSports and online multiplayer. Other titles include:

  • Forza: Horizon 3
  • Halo Wars 2
  • ReCore
  • Scalebound
  • Sea of Thieves
  • State of Decay 2
  • We Happy Few

Currently the program is mostly made up of Microsoft’s first-party titles, with a few smaller indies thrown in, like Ark: Survival Evolved. Ark will be free on Windows 10 to those that bought it on Xbox One, “thanks to Play Anywhere,” according to Microsoft. While all Play Anywhere games will come with console and PC copies at no extra cost, the program is limited to digital purchases only. Also, not every Play Anywhere game will feature cross-platform multiplayer by default.

For those games that do feature Play Anywhere, both versions of the game will automatically sync. For example, buying a game on Xbox One will automatically add it to the users’ Windows 10 library, and vice versa. Saved games, achievements, and other information will carry over between the two versions, as well.

Gears of War 4 is scheduled for release on October 11 for both Xbox One and Windows 10.

‘Halo Wars 2’ Beta Takes Place During E3

The Halo Wars 2 showcase briefing led with an all-new trailer featuring humans battling against massive alien characters. Afterwards, Dan Ayoub, studio head of strategy games at 343 Industries, stepped out onto the stage to present the background story of the game. Halo Wars is one of the most requested sequels from the fan community, and fans got their first look at the game from the Xbox pre-E3 press briefing.

The game will continue the adventures of the Spirit of Fire crew, as they find themselves on a gigantic and ancient alien construct called the Ark. There, they face a new faction called The Banished, led by a warlord named Atriox. The alien commander is new to the Halo universe and presents a threat that the Spirit of Fire is completely unprepared for. He’s a brilliant leader with a massive army backing him.

Halo Wars 2 releases for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs February 21, 2017, and will support cross-platform play as part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. But console fans won’t have to wait that long to try out the game. Ayoub announced that a week-long beta is being hosted on Xbox One starting today, and concluded his presentation with a gameplay trailer to give fans a taste of what to expect.

The game will feature some of the largest multiplayer maps the strategy game series has ever seen, and will have five gameplay modes: skirmish, strongholds, domination, deathmatch, and the all-new blitz.

Microsoft: Project Scorpio Will Be Most Powerful Console Ever Built

Today at E3 in Los Angeles, Microsoft officially revealed Project Scorpio—an enhanced version of the Xbox One that runs 4K-native games, virtual reality and features six teraflops of power running at 60Hz. According to Xbox head, Phil Spencer, games will be able to run at full resolution at all times. Although a specific headset was not mentioned, last year’s press conference revealed a partnership with Oculus.

“The important thing for Scorpio is that it’s a dramatic step up for us in terms of hardware capability,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer told The Verge. “Because as we saw 4K gaming and really high-end VR taking off in the PC space, we wanted to be able to bring that to console. Project Scorpio is actually an Xbox One that can natively run games in 4K and is built with the hardware capabilities to support the high-end VR that you see happening in the PC space today… when it ships it will be the most powerful console ever built.”

Virtual reality has been a hot topic this E3, with Fallout 4 and Serious Sam announced for VR, among others as the gaming industry prepares for a new age of immersive gameplay.

“Today marks the future of gaming beyond generations,” Spencer said at the conference. “A future full of choice, a future where you can all play without boundaries.”

Project Scorpio will launch during the Holiday season in 2017, but price point and finalized name are yet to be announced. According to Microsoft, however, all games and accessories will work across the Xbox One, the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio.

‘Forza: Horizon 3’ Goes Play Anywhere; Adds 4-Player Co-Op

Microsoft has announced Forza: Horizons 3, and this time players are going Down Under. Ralph Fulton, creative director of Playground Games took the stage during the Microsoft E3 press conference, demonstrating Xbox Play Anywhere cross-platform co-op across Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. Multiplayer co-op is a first in the series, and the game supports up to four people working together.

Featuring the largest open world created by Playground Games to date, the latest edition to the iconic racing franchise takes players from the off-road desert terrains of The Outback to dense forest trails and city streets. With this reveal comes the obvious addition of off-road vehicles and the largest car roster in the series—including a BMW M4 customized with a wide body kit, 800-hp truck and the new Lamborghini Centenario.


Forza: Horizon 3 is being called the most social entry into the franchise to date. Together with Play Anywhere cross-platform compatibility and improvements to Xbox Live performance, Microsoft aims to make playing with friends easier than ever before. During the press conference demonstration, viewers watched as four players driving in separate areas of the open world seamlessly joined together with one button press.

Forza Horizon 3 is coming exclusively to Xbox One and PC (Windows 10) on September 27.

‘Gears Of War 4’ First Game For Xbox One S And Xbox Play Anywhere

The Xbox E3 press briefing kicked off with the announcement of the Xbox One S, which is slimmer and 40 percent smaller than the current Xbox One console. Other features include HDR gaming and support for 4K Ultra HD video in addition to a redesigned controller with its own set of new features, such as Bluetooth connectivity. The Xbox One S will retail for $299 when it releases in August.

Spencer then introduced The Coalition co-creator and studio head, Ron Fergusson, to present Gears of War 4, which turned out cover much more than the game’s features, or how it will be the first game to support HDR on the Xbox One S. Gears of War 4 will be one of the first games to support the Xbox Play Anywhere program, which means players will own the game for both the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms when they buy it digitally. Furthermore, progress and achievements are shared across both platforms.

This cross-buy feature was first introduced in April with the release of Quantum Break, and now Microsoft is ready to bring more games into the program. However, Gears of War 4 will be one of the first games to support cross-play functionality. Gamers on both Windows 10 and Xbox One can play alongside each other in all the game’s cooperative modes, including the campaign, co-op multiplayer, and the new version of Horde mode (Horde 3.0).

Following Fergusson’s announcements, actress Laura Bailey, who voices Kait in Gears of War 4, stepped onto the stage to outline the game’s plot and introducing a new enemy called the Swarm. The presentation then goes into a lengthy gameplay demonstration, where four characters go on a mission using a variety of different weapons to deal with a menacing threat, and navigating a field of lightning blasts before taking on the biggest monster yet. The demonstration concluded with the surprise reveal of an aged Marcus Fenix, the main character from the original trilogy, welcoming his son home.

Lastly, Microsoft announced the release of a Gears of War 4-themed Xbox One Elite wireless controller, which is sure to appeal to hardcore gaming fans.