E3 2018: Xbox Press Conference Recap

E3 2018: Xbox Press Conference Recap

It is time for Phil Spencer, Executive President of Gaming at Microsoft, to take the stage to speak about 50 new games, 18 new exclusives, and 15 new, world premiere titles.

Microsoft’s press conference kicked off with a look at their new Halo title, Halo Infinite. Previously rumored to be titled Halo: Infinity, we didn’t get a great look at the details of the game, besides open terrain with Marine-like soldiers travelling across it in a Warthog. What we do know is that it is powered by a whole new game engine called “Slipspace” and that Master Chief will make an appearance in the game.

Next, Microsoft highlighted a bunch of new titles coming in the new year, including Ori and the will of wisps, Crackdown 3, and Cuphead: The Devilous Last Course. These title will all release in 2019, with support for 4K HDR content upon launch. Battlefield V, Just Cause 4, and Tunic all received trailers, with not much else revealed past a trailer.

The company went on to discuss third-party announcements, starting with From Software’s new title Sekiro Shadows Die Twice. Sekiro appears to be loosely-inspired by the Dark Souls series, with new battle systems and mechanics shown in the full trailer. Some surprising third-party titles made appearances during their press conference, including Kingdom Hearts III, where they announced that Disney’s Frozen and Wreck It Ralph would make appearances in their title launch on January 29th, 2019.

Phil Spencer’s team doubled down on their Xbox Game Pass program during the conference, announcing that Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited, and Tom Clancy’s: The Division is available through the program today. Additionally, Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 will be available upon launch through Xbox Game Pass. Additionally, Microsoft announced a new technology called “Fast Start” which will improve the download speed of select titles using a new system which identifies gamer’s habits.

The company announced that they are investing in a bunch of new studios including Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. These studios have been purchased by Microsoft, and are now developing titles specifically under the Microsoft Studios brand. With this, eleven studios are now developing new titles, exclusively for the Xbox One. They have also formed a new studio called The Initiative, but no specifics on the games they are developing have been relieved.

Life of Strange developer DontNod announced Captain Spirit, the second game in development from the studio. It is available, free of charge, when it launches on June 26th. Also on June 26th, previously Playstation 4 exclusive Nier: Automata will come to the Xbox One in the form of a “Become As Gods” edition, including all of the game’s downloadable content.

In first party news, Rare is doubling down with Sea of Thieves and providing new content called Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores launching in July and September respectively. Forza Horizon 4 received an official announcement via a live-gameplay trailer, and was one of the only titles to receive a bunch of information regarding it’s release. First, all cars on the road will be controller by real people when enjoying the game online, as opposed to featuring AI cars on the road. Second, the game’s environments will change based on the seasons in the game’s setting, Britian. Forza Horizon 4 will launch for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on October 2nd.

The Gears franchise had a large chunk of time during Microsoft’s Press Conference, revealing three new titles coming to various platforms. First, Gears Pop was announced, in collaboration with the Funko Pop team, coming to Android and iOS devices later this year. Windows exclusive Gears Tactics was also announced, introducing the Gears of War franchise to a Tactics system for the first time. Most notable, Gears 5 was officially revealed through a cinematic trailer (Which you can see below), and will release for the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at an unannounced date.

Capcom announced Devil May Cry 5 is releasing in Spring of 2019. The game features both versions of the series’ main protagonists Dante from the original Devil May Cry series and Dante from DMC. Ubisoft took time to deliver a new trailer for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, with more to be discussed during Ubisoft’s Press Conference tomorrow. Last, but certainly not least, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition was announced, 10 years after the original release for the Xbox 360.

PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds received news of updates coming to the Xbox One version of the game, including the game’s newest 4x4KM map Sanhok, launching this Summer. Releasing alongside Sanhok is War Mode, featuring a wide-variety of new game modes to PUBG. Also announced was the arrival of a Winter map releasing this holiday season, along with the inclusion of new weapons and armor such as Riot Shields.

Battletoads received a new game announcement, featuring 3-player couch co-op arriving next year, complete with 4K HDR visuals. Just Cause 4 was (finally) announced for Consoles and PC during the press conference, with a release date of December 4th, 2018. Techland took the stage to announced Dying Light 2, a brand new parkour-inspired adventure where you actions have impacts on the game’s story and world. Anime characters are receiving a new battleground to fight on in Bandai Namco’s Jump Force, which hosts characters from Dragon Ball, One Piece, Death note, Naruto, and more.

It was announced that Gearbox is taking over the publishing rights for We Happy Few, launching on August 10th, 2018 for the Xbox One and PC. Sqaure’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider received a brief story trailer showing off the dark, edginess of Lara Croft’s new adventure. Another thing we are excited for is a new skateboarding title named Sessions. The game will launch in early-access this year, with a full release planned in 2019.

Microsoft ended their press conference by announcing CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, a rumored game prior to Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference. Besides the cinematic trailer released, not much is known about the game, including the release date. Hopefully we hear more about Cyberpunk 2077 in upcoming months.

Overall, we are excited for Microsoft’s future, but there are no killer games dropping exclusively for the Xbox One this holiday season. We received a lot of new updates, but release dates or even release windows are missing in action. They slayed it in terms of presentation and made gamers feel appreciated by the industry by making it a celebration of gaming, rather than a press conference pushed by money. We are excited for Microsoft’s future, but we hope to hear more news regarding Microsoft’s IPs in the coming weeks.