The electronic entertainment expo (E3) is on its verge and everyone presenting the best they got, with new games, new devices. The Microsoft press conference for E3 2015 was amazing, truly astonishing, and simply mind-blowing. I wasn’t honestly expecting Microsoft’s keynote to be that smooth at all. And the biggest highlight of entire conference was probably that the Xbox One would be able to play Xbox 360 titles with a new backward compatibility feature. Naturally, this was only the tip of the iceberg as Microsoft unleashed a plethora of titles coming to its console in the near future. But seeing all of the exclusive titles, it was very clear that Microsoft was sending a clear message to its competition with its intent to dominate the console market in 2015/16. This will no doubt become a very memorable year for Xbox fans. It introduced a more customizable controller and an early access program for Xbox One games. And the rest of the week is going to be big for augmented and virtual reality: one of the coolest parts of the show was a HoloLens version of Minecraft, which we’ll be learning more about next month. Here are some of the major highlights and big announcements Microsoft made in its 2015 E3 conference.
Halo 5 : Guardians
There have been a lot of rumors jumping around since last year of Halo, but yesterday we saw a brand new multiplayer mode called ‘Warzone’ with some of new features coming up in game, a hunch about its storyline and characters. It looks very interesting, pretty much like the same previous halo games but i expect it to be more visually appealing and a bit smoother. Microsoft’s Xbox flagship franchise, Halo 5: Guardians is expected to be released on October 27th, 2015.
Here’s another one in the bag for Microsoft exclusive collection. An original title coming only to XboxOne, from the makers of hit franchises at Capcom. Keiji Inafune is taking charge for ReCore, while not much is known about this title, it’s clear from the trailer that the game will focus on the interaction between the human and robot. The graphics were pretty much seraphic, quite neat. ReCore is expected to make its debut in early 2016.
This was my favorite moment from the conference because i simply love ‘Forza motorsport’ games very much, ‘Forza 3’ was one of the reasons i bought my Xbox360 ages ago, anyway this is another Xbox flagship exclusive franchise which needs no introduction, The popular racing simulator by Turn 10 Studios returns to its traditional racing roots after deviating with last year’s well-received Forza Horizon 2. As usual, Forza will deliver big with 450 highly detailed vehicles with working cockpits, opening doors and full damage, with celestial visuals. The title will arrive on Xbox One starting September 15th, 2015.
It is known that ‘Gears of War’ lead game designer Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games nearly two years ago, it looks like the franchise is definitely in good hands. But the presentation shown at stage was pretty mediocre and not what I was expecting from a next ‘Gears’ game but anyway, while not much is known about ‘Gears 4’, it looks like it will focus on a completely new set of characters. While we saw a hands-on demo at the keynote, the game will not be available until Q4 of 2016.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Trailer was pretty good, visuals were amazing. The once successful ‘Tomb Raider’ franchise was clearly in trouble by the end of the 2000’s. Luckily, Square Enix decided to reboot the failing franchise and with it found great success and critical acclaim with 2013’s ‘Tomb Raider’. Luckily for eager fans of the series, Lara Croft is back once again in ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’. The title is expected to arrive in Q4 of 2015 as a timed exclusive.
I first heard that ‘Fable Legends’ a beta was taking place for the 4v1 multiplayer game. For those familiar with the Fable series will notice that the new title is quite a deviation from previous titles in the Fable series. The title will also support cross-platform gaming with Windows 10. A release date for Fable Legends has not been announced, but those interested consign up for the beta.
A unique 5v5 team shooter that requires your team to protect your guardian and also attack and defeat and opposing team. Players will be able to select from 16 unique classes. Currently, there is no release date for Gigantic, but those interested can sign up for the beta set to take place in August.
Sea of Thieves
Rare is probably best known for producing a successful streak of iconic games for Nintendo in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. While they have been fairly quiet for the past several years, Rare unveiled a new original title, ‘Sea of Thieves’, that will be an MMO adventure game. Not much is known about the title and we will no doubt hear more as it is scheduled to release some time in 2016.
Minecraft on HoloLens
Technology in its finest evolution. A dream for Minecraft fans came true after all, you can create a pixelated world on your coffee table, using HoloLens’ voice and gesture commands to build it. Looks very intriguing and should be easy too. These controls still aren’t very sophisticated, though, so a standard controller is probably still more comfortable, still it’s a bit vague and in near future hopefully we will find more about AR Minecraft this summer.
It is clear that Microsoft wants to solidify its position in the console wars as ‘top dog’. According to me ‘Microsoft’ won this year’s E3 with bunch of new exclusives, probably better content to offer on table than its competitors. This year is looking good for Microsoft with its games and devices.