This is a big one folks, 5 DAYS to go. Not only Microsoft’s decision regarding their consoles affect millions of console fans, but it also deeply affects PC Gaming. With a renewed focus on combining both Xbox and Windows 10 ecosystem under one wing, we are already seeing many Xbox One games coming to PC. And if Kotaku rumors are to be trusted, we might see a huge change in their plans these years.
With their Xbox brand success previously, they had bid adieu to PC Gaming only to re-enter with GFWL which was throughly rejected by PC fans as it should. Now that Xbox One is seeing some really harsh years while PS4 makes record sales, they are trying to look back at the lost opportunity in PC gaming and following Windows 10 very closely to what Apple did to Mac OS, rendering it into a walled garden.
Microsoft not only shows first and second party games on their conferences, but also purchased marketing deals with third party developers and possibly any new hardware. Last year they showcased Hololens, which wasn’t primarily build for gaming but it still left an impressive mark on us. This year we are going to see a whole lot of hardware…possibly more than any E3 before this.
Microsoft E3 2016 – New Upcoming Games
So lets get this thing started. Microsofts conference from E3 will be LIVE on 13th June at 10:00 PM (IST – New Delhi) on Youtube/Twitch.
XBOX ONE – MINI and XBOX ONE – “SCORPIO”
Nobody expected Sony, who are leading this generation, to jump the gun with PS4K “Neo”. Though not a generational leap, it is marked to be a mid-gen console with capabilities including 4K output (not to be confused with 4K Gaming) and with that a stronger CPU and GPU compared to original PS4. Microsoft couldn’t possibly let Sony do whatever they want to do on their own, this is not how competition works. So recent strong rumor suggests many new products under Xbox name is going to come. Among them will be Xbox One – Mini, which will be a slim version of Xbox
One with all the same capabilities original Xbox One has. And in 2017, another faster and stronger Xbox codenamed “Scorpio” will be released, and it will be able to support Oculus Rift. That sentence alone means it has to be far stronger than current XB1, maybe stronger than even PS4K, which is rumored to release this year.
Xbox One “Scorpio” is said to be a 6 TeraFlop machine with in-built VR solution. For comparison, original Xbox One was 1.32 TeraFlops. Sony’s PS4 was a little stronger with 1.84 TeraFlops. That should give you a slight idea how 0.5 TeraFlop difference made PS4 run games at 1080p while XB1 dabbled in and out on 900p. According to estimations, new PS4K “Neo” will have 4.14 TeraFlops, which still is weaker than Xbox One “Scorpio”, which begs the point how much costly would this new Xbox machine in 2017 will be.
This E3, XB1-mini is coming. Whether this will have the 4K output capabilities is difficult to say. The rumoured 2017 Xbox Scorpio announcement is anyones guess. Would Microsoft risk revealing a far stronger machine this early which will stop XB1 sales much more than they already had become. We will be sitting on the edge of our seats thinking the same thing this E3.
Also, Xbox brand is going really diverse. Expect a Xbox Stick (similar to Chromecast), Xbox TV (similar to AppleTV), Xbox One Mini model and maybe a hint of Xbox One “Scorpio”.
GEARS OF WAR 4
Microsoft needs this. Halo 5 was great and showed good sales but there is no denying the popularity of that ultra huge franchise has fallen miles below where it once started. With Fable being a third pillar of X360 days, it’s latest installment is cancelled and the studio shut down.
Forza are seeing relatively good sales but racing market is not what it was once. Microsoft needs this win. And nobody can deny that Gears of War certainly has the potential to be that ultra huge game.
With the reveal at 2015, a small section of gameplay and recently multiplayer was shown. With the release date already out, we expect Microsoft to turn the wheels on the marketing and will make us more excited than we already are. A lengthy gameplay, this time maybe a little something bright, (the previous E3 gameplay was so dark many people live couldn’t see things properly) and with a little more details about the story setting.
We know the main character is the son of the legend Marcus Fenix, whose statues can be clearly seen in the new Gears 4 trailer. And we know the entire campaign happens in the duration of one day – or more appropriately one night, like a Batman game.
It would be interesting to see the campaign dwell into gore and scary settings and how Coalition (the developer of Gears game forseeable future) will present a thrilling start to a trilogy of sorts. Just like Halo 4 was shifted to a new developer, Gears 4 is also being developed by a new team. The expectations are high, the fans, the developers and Microsoft are all pinning huge hopes from this entry. As your humble writer’s most anticipated game, I wish this game be good. And lets hope the inevitable PC port of Gears of War 4 will be announced shortly too because…it will come eventually.
Gears of War 4 is scheduled to release on 11th October on XB1.
Microsoft E3 2016 – New Upcoming Games – Literally nothing is known about this game. Revealed at E3 2015 with a CGI trailer, which did gave hints about its setting and the gameplay, but very little which we will go through here. The trailer featured a female main character with a pet-robot whose consciousness can be transferred to any new robot with the help of a glowing orb. You can increase you party to many robot pets who helps you in combat.
The female protagonist looks to be a teenager and sports a grappling hook and a gun. We don’t even know whether the game is a first person shooter or third person, but it does involves shooting.
The team behind this game have some impressive ranks. The creator of Mega Man games is involved in this and the director is Mark Pacini, who was director of Metroid Prime series. Seeing the roster, we believe it will involve exploration and puzzles to be a strong focus.
It has an estimation release date of 2016, but as we have not even seen a single gameplay footage, not in-door or out-door, which makes us believe that this game could be delayed to 2017. Ofcourse, Microsoft can pull a surprise release this E3 which might be the best thing for us gamers.
The game is confirmed to be on PC and XB1. But given the low coverage it has got, and MS still sticking to 2016 release date, it might be not a AAA game we all hoped it will be. Still, a new IP is always welcome, and we expect at least a gameplay footage this E3 if Recore is to be released this year or delayed to Q1-2017.
Who doesn’t want a game where you can level an entire city through explosions. This is exactly what Crackdown 3 multiplayer promises to give us. The Single Player will also have impressive destruction physics, as long as it doesn’t breaks the games mission structure completely.
Last Crackdown game was released in 2010 on Xbox 360. So even if a crackdown game wasn’t in development from the get go, the sequel must be very close to finish. Not much is know about the plot, but there are indications that it will be set in an alternate timeline than CrackDown 2 was set in.
Microsoft had hinted towards a Crackdown 3 – Multiplayer only Beta to hit in 2016. We are eager to get our hands upon all the destruction physics made possible by Cloud Computing. A official in-game trailer hasn’t been showed yet, and as this game has some hype situated to it, we highly expect atleast a gameplay trailer to be dropped on E3 or at Gamescom. The multiplayer needs to have some huge hooks besides destruction-physics, because in holiday 2016 we’re getting the likes of Battlefield 1, Call of Duty and Titanfall 2 among other MP games.
It would be hard to crack that bubble even when you’re just releasing a free Multiplayer Beta. More reason to tune up the game and release it in top notch conditions. Microsoft doesn’t want another Halo MCC fiasco in their hands. Crackdown 3 is expected to release in 2017, with multiplayer beta in 2016. It would be interesting to see how gamers will react to this game, and it may very well become a pillar in Xbox gaming roster.
Watch Crack Down 3 Trailer
SEA OF THIEVES, CUPHEAD and others
Microsoft E3 2016 – New Upcoming Games – Not every game needs to be a high budget explosion. Sometimes a genuine idea with the right presentation is all it takes to become gamers darling. CUPHEAD was one of those game. It is entirely hand drawn tough as nails platformer which reminds you of old cartoons. Just one look of this game will make almost anyone stun on their place and take notice. With an incredible artstyle and addictive platforming mechanics, this one is a sure shot success.
Sea of Thieves is a game in development from Rare Studios. You might remember this studio name because last year Microsoft released a remastered experience of their best 30 games in one collection. Though many amongst the team who made up their golden years had left, Sea Of Thieves looks like it can bring back Rare Studios back to glory days. The game will generate its content much like how Minecraft community works and will depend on user-generated content to give it a replay value.
Microsoft’s other game which had user-generated content concept “Spark”, didn’t really set the world on fire, but as far as trailers go, Sea of Thieves is something we expect to roam the world. No release window is announced, so we expect a reminder with a 2017 release date this E3. It has been confirmed for PC.
Undead Labs previously made State of Decay for XB1. From then there has been no information on their next project. We know they ramped up production in 2014 and hired a bunch of people. So lets see if we see some zombie madness from this studio this E3.
The developer of Gone Home showed us their new survival horror game TACOMA last E3. We expect the release to be late 2017, so its appearance here is hard to predict.
Watch Sea of Thieves Trailer
Microsoft’s new AAA IP’s are not doing well. Sunset Overdrive’s sun set just few weeks after the release, Quantum Break didn’t break into success and previous launch lineup like Ryse and Dead Rising 3 all ended up on PC to make up their losses, even still when Microsoft was not willing to let go of these IP’s. Scalebound’s future is of grave concern to Microsoft.
But still, you really can’t go wrong with an upbeat protagonist riding on a dragon, hack and slashing its way to the end, dawning his magical armor and super agile sword skills. Made by Platinum Games, ( maker of Bayonetta and MGS:Revengeance ) Hideki Kamiya is personally directing the game, (previous director of Devil May Cry) and has promised an advanced AI in your companion Dragon with a good combination of Swords and Ranged gameplay.
The game sport gigantic areas to fight huge monsters and small human enemies. It has 4-way co-op in special dungeons. And in terms of customization, the game doesn’t have a crafting system but special kinds of weapons will be dropped throughout the game, and you can even customize your dragon as you fit.
We should not forget that Microsoft has an only limited amount of time at E3, and with so many games and so many other conferences like Gamescom, they may spread out the gameplay details of many games into two. Still, we expect some details to come about it here. The release date is 2017, so we expect a firm release date to be announced alongside more gameplay.
HALO WARS 2
Microsoft E3 2016 – New Upcoming Games – Nothing warms my heart more than seeing an AAA RTS being made. Halo Wars 1 came back in 2009 on both Xbox 360 and PC and now 7 years later its sequel is coming, this time helmed by Creative Assembly ( Total War Series ). After putting out an explosive CGI trailer last E3 and pulling of a big surprise on all PC fans, we all are expecting a gameplay. Now RTS demos are a little confusing to people who aren’t really accustomed to it.
We hope Microsoft will take time out of their conference to showcase it in detail among the console crowd, but personally, I wouldn’t be too shocked if they left it out to reveal it at another time or save it for a PC centric conference like last years AMD PC Gaming show.
Halo as a franchise has climbed down to a believable level, and this might be a great effort to branch out the lore and get a hold of some new fans. With Microsoft combining Xbox and Windows10 ecosystem, many are acknowledging that the next mainlined title Halo could come to PC side by side with the console. A reintroduction of Halo Wars 2 on consoles and PC might be a great way for that.
Also, Halo 5 Forge mode is already on its way to PC. Last year Halo standalone multiplayer was released exclusively on PC in only Russia. So with Halo Wars 2, we could see more Halo games on PC. The release date is late 2016, so we should learn about it more in some coming days.
Watch Halo Wars 2 Trailer
FORZA HORIZON 3
Forza franchise is an annual series. Last year Forza Motorsport 6 released on XB1, and a Forza Motorsport 6 : Apex free version on PC this year. So Forza Horizon 3 is imminent. Racing genre has generally been in a slump with only handful of titles and not much great sales attached to them.
The announcement of Gran Turismo Sports very much lifted out the spirit, only to bring them down with a subpar graphics we weren’t expecting. Turn10 studios (Forza) has been consistent in delivering great Forza games, with additions like Drivatar and 3D water puddles. This year they’re ramping up the heat even more by announcing a “Special Forza Motorsport Event” at E3.
With great reception of Horizon 2, looks like Forza Horizon 3 is in a great place to counter any other racing game this holiday, and certainly, Microsoft doesn’t want Gran Turismo to steal all the spotlight with their FIA approved online races. It is almost guaranteed that a new Forza game will be announced and released in Q4-2016.
MULTIPLATFORM TITLES AND TIMED EXCLUSIVES
Many games we know are coming would certainly see their reveal at Microsoft’s or Sony’s booth.
Xbox has Battlefield 1 marketing deal, so expect a gameplay trailer in Xbox Conference. Titanfall 1 also had Xbox marketing, so it could be that EA went with Microsoft again with Titanfall 2 marketing, and thus we can see more details about it in Microsoft’s place too.
It would be interesting to see whether Overwatch would debut on Microsofts booth or Sony’s.
If Read Dead Redemption is having a sequel this E3, Microsoft showcasing it first would be a big win for them perception wise. Many backward compatible games will be name dropped for Xb1. All bets are off but expect many games whose publisher aren’t doing a conference to end up on anyone’s conference, team Green or Team Blue. It doesn’t really affect you much, other than how the DLC and season pass will be distributed among PS/XB users. But it makes up for an eye-grabbing show, and E3 is all about that.
Written By – Shubhendu Singh.
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