An unexpected announcement finished off Microsoft’s big E3 showing – a next-gen Xbox One, codenamed Project Scorpio. The box, due at the end of 2017, boasts some of the most impressive specs of any console ever built, with 6 teraflops of graphical power – whatever that is – and 4K 60fps capabilities. Not only that, it will take Xbox into the VR world.
##Xbox One S Slightly less exciting, the slimline Xbox One got a formal announcement at the Microsoft conference, with a really appealing price tag of £249 for the base-level 500GB model. The exact purpose of Xbox One S is a little confusing at this stage, especially considering the power of Scorpio looming 18-months away, but the price is still a great announcement for anyone looking to jump in this year.
Play Anywhere on Xbox and PC
Microsoft has been pushing the relationship with Windows 10 for a while. Play Anywhere allows you to own a game on two platforms when you buy it digitally, and you only have to purchase it once. It also seems like there will be multiplayer functionality between the two, with Forza Horizon 3 being demoed with 4-player cross platform multiplayer. The game looks beautiful, moving the series to Australia, and promises to be the funnest open world racer yet.
Gears Of War 4
Gears of War 4 is the big push for Microsoft this Christmas, so it was no surprise that the game got a demo at E3. It looks beautiful, and features 4-player co-op. It’s also one of Microsoft’s new Play Anywhere games, which is promising for anyone who owns a PC.
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2, the sequel to the surprisingly popular Halo strategy game, is out next year. Weirdly, despite not being released until February 2017, there’s a week-long beta available right now. A strange announcement from Microsoft, and probably the weak point in a very strong conference.
The Witcher III's Gwent
Witcher III developer CD Projekt Red has clearly recognised the popularity of its in-game card game with a standalone just titled Gwent. The game packs everything players love about the characterful little game, but lets you play against other players and includes a full single player campaign mode which, if anything like The Witcher III’s, will keep you busy for an incredibly long time.
Sea of Thieves
Rare’s highly anticipated Sea of Thieves looks fantastic, a charming depiction of seafaring pirates with a cool multiplayer component that lets you play with your friends on one ship, and fight against other players’ ships. It looks beautiful, capturing the stunning sunsets of tropical islands and the excitement of a rough sea. There’s no release date yet, so you can probably expect it sometime in 2017.
Dead Rising 4
The zombie romp gets a new sequel this Christmas, set 16-years after the original game. A gameplay trailer revealed that DR4 is Christmas themed, and features some of the most bonkers weapons and action-packed zombie killing yet. There’s a gun that shoots big candy canes. Big. Candy canes.
Watch Dogs 2
Onto Ubisoft – celebrating its 30th anniversary this year – in a conference that seemed to go on for another three decades. Watch Dogs 2 looks great, though; very much a game that’s fulfilling the promises of the original. It seems to have a lot more fun with its technological hacking opportunities, opening the game up in a multitude of ways and relocating to the sun-soaked Californian city of San Francisco. The comparisons to GTA – while bold – seem justified.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Creative and comedic legends Trey Parker and Matt Stone stopped by at Ubisoft’s E3 conference to show off their new South Park game, deviously titled The Fractured But Whole. It’s out December 6, so not far away at all, and those who pre-order get the original game for free. Not bad if you want some unashamedly funny toilet humour between now and the end of the year.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Ghost Recon Wildlands has had a lot of promise ever since it was teased last year. This year, we got a full gameplay demo of the open world 4-player co-op game, complete with awfully bad E3 script voiceovers from the actors playing the game. Despite that, Wildlands feels like a cool amalgamation of several games; from Ghost Recon itself, to Metal Gear Solid V and Hitman. Here’s hoping it delivers on its potential and reboots the franchise.
Ubisoft finished its conference with a surprising reveal: an open world extreme sports game set in a region of the French alps. Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, itself situated at the base of France’s beautiful mountain range, Steep promises interconnected sports on an extreme scale – skiing, snowboarding, paragliding and more. It looks a huge amount of fun, and the scope of potential is very exciting.