E3 Day 2: Microsoft

The main day of E3, where Microsoft and Sony take to the stage alongside EA and Ubisoft’s own conferences, may seem a little diluted back here in the UK, especially when some people hold their conferences at stupid-o’clock (Sony, I’m talking to you), but it’s always a chance to take stock of what we’ll expect to see over the next 12-18 months from the big 2, EA and Ubisoft.

Microsoft

It’s no secret that Microsoft were on the back foot going into this year’s E3.  The industry’s bizarre rule that selling a few less consoles makes you the ‘loser’ hasn’t changed in years, despite the Xbox One doing considerably well for itself over 2015 so far.  It does, however, push both Sony and Microsoft to punch a little harder all the time, which means benefits all round for the players.

Based on their showing at E3, though, Microsoft look like they’re not only back on track but have stoked up the furnace ready to roll full steam over the coming year.

Backward Compatibility was the first step in their push to get more 360 owners on to Xbox One.  Currently available to Preview Programme owners, the service will eventually roll out to everyone on Xbox One by the end of the year with the ability to play 100 Xbox 360 games if you previously owned them digitally or have the disc.

Recore, a new IP from Keiji Inafune, looks interesting but the trailer really offers nothing more than a glimpse.  Since the game is slated for Spring time next year, we’ll probably hear and see more on this soon enough.

Fallout 4 was highlighted with a surprise announcement that free mods would be coming to Xbox One (and other platforms) to the delight of the audience.

No surprise again, but Forza 6 looked stunning and will hopefully be a much more fleshed out experience than the launch game Forza 5, which felt like a bit of a rush job content-wise, even if it did look and play well.  It can also be pre-ordered now on the Xbox Store and early access to the full game will be given to those who pre-order the most expensive edition, weighing in at just over £80.

Indie game Beyond Eyes is getting Early Access, Microsoft’s take on the Steam idea of letting people play games before they come out (in my day we had demos…), as is Elite Dangerous.  It looks quite nice so we’ll be jumping on that this week.

Microsoft’s timed exclusive of Tomb Raider meant that they had more to show off from the game. The scenery is different but it looks like more of the same.

Fable Legends is an interesting concept that still needs to be tested.  It could work well and there have been some positive murmuring from the beta so far.

Rare were around for a dip into their history with the forthcoming Rare Replay, out in August. The £20 price point nets you a bunch of games from their past as Ultimate on 8-bit computers right through to the recent Banjoo Kazooie hits.  Obviously no Goldeneye or Nintendo owned licences, though, which is a pity.

Talking of Rare, their new game Sea of Thieves was announced with a rip-roaring trailer full of pirates and plunder.  Pretty much all the Pirate tropes are included, which is no bad thing.

Halo 5 looks as stunning as ever but with the issues surrounding the Halo Master Chief Collection, all eyes will be on the team to see if they can release this bug free.

The Gears of War Remaster gets a beta starting now (check your inboxes on your Xbox One, folks) and is out October 25th, paving the way for the new Gears of War Game that gets a nice trailer but we don’t really find out much more than that.

Finally, the demo of Minecraft on HoloLens was stunning.  It may not be a piece of tech that everyone will pick up, but Minecraft was certainly the perfect choice to highlight what it can do.

 

 

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