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10 Things You Need to Know From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference

by William Schwartz

Xbox-Live-Down

Another press conference is in the books for Microsoft with their E3 2019 show finished, a lot was announced for Xbox fans.  If you missed the press conference we’ve highlighted the 10 biggest things that you need to know about what Microsoft announced and showed at E3 2019.

Cyberpunk 2077 has a release date

Cyberpunk 2077 is probably going to steal the show at E3 2019.  Not only did fans get a little bit more to chew on when it comes to what to expect from this long-awaited title, but there’s now a release date to look forward to.  April 16th 2020 is the official release date for CD Projekt RED’s next RPG and it was revealed that Keanu Reeves will be in the game.

Double Fine is now a Microsoft Studio

Microsoft’s quest to bring more original content to the Xbox via acquiring studios has brought another high profile developer into the fold.  It was announced that Double Fine was purchased by Microsoft.  The creators of Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and many others will now be making games under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella.  While Double Fine does normally focus on smaller experiences, this should provide plenty of exclusive content that Xbox fans have been clamoring for and yet another reason for Xbox owners to subscribe to Game Pass as these games will release first there.

A New Minecraft is Coming

A new Minecraft game is coming and it’s being developed by Mojang.  This four-player cooperative takes the visual style of Minecraft but changes the gameplay into something that appears to be incredibly different.  What it looks like is something of a dungeon-crawler, Diablo style game that will have players fighting through familiar Minecraft enemies while searching for loot and customization items.

This new take on Minecraft is set to arrive in Spring 2020 for PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch.

Xbox Studios Has Multiple Games on the Way

Remember all those studios that Microsoft announced had been purchased last year?  Well, they basically all have games that are far along in development and things are starting to look impressive.  From Obsidian’s Outer Worlds to a new multiplayer combat game from Ninja Theory in Bleeding Edge, there appears to be plenty on the horizon when it comes to Xbox Studios.

Ninja Theory  — Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge is a hero multiplayer game that is reminiscent of something like Overwatch with more of an edge.  Of course, this also isn’t a first person shooter so it does seem like something incredibly different as it’s going to focus on melee combat.

Obsidian — The Outer Worlds

Mojang — Minecraft Dungeons

As was described above, this Minecraft spin-off seems pretty promising as a family friendly dungeon crawler that can engage the massive Minecraft audience in new ways.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

D LA LA  Studios — Battletoads

The reveal of Battletoads is a long time coming.  Phil Spencer sent fans into a frenzy a few years back by wearing a Battletoads shirt at the Microsoft Press Conference, but it was unclear whether this game would actually see the light of day.  This year we got to see what we can expect from a modern Battletoads game.

Moon Studios — Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps will arrive in 2020 as the follow-up to the critical darling Ori and the Blind Forest.  While we’d seen this one before at previous conferences, the new Ori looks better and better each time.

The Coalition — Gears 5

The Coalition showed more new Gears 5 footage at the press conference, but it wasn’t a secret that they were plugging away on another sequel.  They did, however, announce a new game mode called Escape.  This seems to be the focal point of the conversation when it comes to Gears of War at E3 2019.

There’s another Elite Controller on the way

The second generation of Elite Controllers is set to arrive with Xbox Elite Series 2.  From the trailer it looks like the controller is going to get some significant upgrades in terms of customization.  Owners will now be able to adjust the tension in the sticks, and the hair trigger locks will be even tighter.  Competitive shooter players will know that this results in being able to fire a little bit faster than on a standard controller.  With custom profiles for different games, the controller will feature Bluetooth this time around, will feature an internal battery which Microsoft boasts will last for 40 hours.  Still, this controller isn’t for those not willing to pay up.  The original Elite controller was definitely on the pricey side and it’s expected this one will be too.

Xbox Game Pass Debuts on PC

Microsoft had recently announced that they would be bringing Xbox Game Pass to PC, but today they launched the service into beta while also giving players a $1 entry fee for the “Ultimate Bundle” which allows play on the Xbox or PC.

Dark Souls & Game of Thrones are Colliding

George R.R. Martin and Hidetaki Miyazaki are making a new game and it looks a lot like the Souls series.  Called Elden Ring, the new title is being developed by From Software (Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro Shadows Die Twice) and is being published by Bandai Namco.  The trailer was of the cinematic variety so there’s really no telling just how close to the Souls series this game will be.  However, From Software’s recent games have all had some gameplay threads that link it back to Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls in some way.  The Bandai Namco Twitter feed did reveal that this will be another action RPG so it’s safe to assume that it might follow suit.

X Cloud

With Google Stadia getting set to disrupt the video game market with console-less game streaming this fall, it was kind of expected that Microsoft say something about their streaming initiatives.  They spent a brief amount of time at their press conference talking about X Cloud.  While the details were slim, it looks like Microsoft has plans of their own to offer streaming to a variety of devices.  However, it doesn’t look like Microsoft is abandoning the Xbox hardware anytime soon.  They say that gamers will be able to access X Cloud through Microsoft’s own consoles in the cloud, or they can access the X Cloud through their own Xbox on any of their devices.

Details on how this will work has not been revealed, but the company already has similar streaming features from the Xbox One baked into various products.

Next Xbox Console

Those hoping for a complete reveal of the next Xbox console probably left this press conference a little bit unfulfilled.  Microsoft is still calling their next console Project Scarlett, but they did reveal that the new console will release in Holiday 2020.  As they did with the Xbox One X, a bunch of developers tossed around a variety of buzzwords that equate to calling this the most powerful console ever made.

Without any concrete details, the developers say that the console will have faster load times, a custom design processor from AMD calling it 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X, capable of outputting 8K resolution, with up to 120 frames per second, next-gen ray tracing, SSD.   Fans will be happy to know the emphasis that Microsoft placed on bringing things forward with this new console.

It seems like the days of wondering whether your games are going to be backwards compatible or not are over, as Microsoft says everything on your current console experience will come forward with Scarlett.

Halo Infinite

Microsoft finally took some of the wrapping off of Halo Infinite.  They’ve revealed when fans should expect the next iteration of the flagship franchise and it’ll be launching with Scarlett in 2020.  It’s unclear whether the game will come to this generation of consoles and the showing did very little to generate excitement.  While the rumblings of what to expect from Halo Infinite was that this could be a very different Halo game than previous ones, the footage shown didn’t relay that message.  Nor did it really showcase the power of the new console.  While this probably could’ve been a show-stopper for Microsoft if they revealed more of what to expect, what it seemed like was another shooter.  There’s still plenty of time to find out what this is, if it is more than what Halo has been in the past, but the first showing was a little lackluster.

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