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.