Microsoft jumps into E3 2019 with an unprecedented 60-game lineup and outlines the next generation of Xbox in Project Scarlett.
Microsoft kicked off its presence at E3 2019 with a plethora of world premieres, plenty of hype-building trailers, and a deep dive into the next console generation with Project Scarlett.
With Sony skipping out on E3 2019, Microsoft knew it had a golden opportunity to make waves and build up hype for its consoles of both the current generation and the next. Boy, did they ever deliver.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get to detailing everything that Microsoft showed off at the Xbox E3 Press Conference:
The Outer Worlds
Microsoft kicked off the presentation by showing off the work of one of its latest studio acquisitions, Obsidian Entertainment. With retro-futuristic vibes and the studio’s trademark humor, this exciting new sci-fi RPG has all the Obsidian Entertainment trademarks that made games like Fallout: New Vegas a success.
Microsoft revealed that The Outer Worlds will launch on October 25th, and it’ll be available to subscribers of the Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft’s acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment came after it had made multiplatform arrangements, which means the game will still release on PC and PS4 as well.
Ori and the Will Of The Wisps
Moon Studios’ gorgeous platformer got a brand new trailer, which reveals that the title will arrive to Xbox One and PC on February 11th, 2020. Out of any Microsoft-published titles, I thought Ori and the Will of the Wisps had a high chance of being released on Switch—but it remains an Xbox exclusive for now.
There have been plenty of leaks ahead of E3 2019, and Bleeding Edge was one of the titles we knew was coming ahead of time. Still, Ninja Theory’s upcoming 4v4 brawler looks to be plenty of fun. There’s no release date as of yet, but a technical alpha on PC will arrive on June 27th. If you’re interested, you can sign up here!
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is true to its name
With an ever-expanded library of games and a focus on both console and PC access, it only made sense for Microsoft to encourage users to combine both. It does this with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which combines your subscription of Xbox Live and the Xbox Game Pass into one rolling subscription, with access to the Xbox Game Pass on PC to boot. Microsoft also added four new games to the Game Pass library today, too!
Right now, the Xbox Store has it on sale for $1 for the first month. I purchased it earlier today and can confirm it stacks on top of your current months of subscription. If you’ve got a year of XBL to go, paying $1 will give you a year and one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than that.
Next, Microsoft unveiled a bold new spinoff for Minecraft, and it seems to be heavily inspired by Diablo. In Minecraft Dungeons, you’ll be able to team up friends across a variety of biomes, battle enemy hordes, use magic and customize your characters.Minecraft Dungeons will release in spring 2020 for PC, Xbox Game Pass, Nintendo Switch and PS4.
We knew that CD Projekt Red wasn’t showing off a gameplay demo for the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077, but the cinematic trailer shown tonight was definitely one of the show’s top highlights. It gave a great look at the gritty underbelly of a dystopian world where humanity is obsessed with altering bodies, and it’s one I can’t wait to dive into.
The trailer then gave way to one of the most surprising cameos I’ve ever seen at E3: Keanu Reeves. Just as his in-game character made an appearance on-screen, the man himself showed up on-stage to reveal that Cyberpunk 2077 will release on April 16th, 2020 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Keanu called the game breathtaking, to which one fan immediately yelled out, “You’re breathtaking!” The wholesome heckle got a good reaction from Keanu, so expect to see that top the E3 memes this year.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Respawn Entertainment followed up yesterday’s gameplay demo from EA Play with a visually stunning cinematic Xbox trailer. The mostly-cinematic second-look did show off a few sprinkles of gameplay, with the main protagonist, Cal Kestis, and Saw Gerrara (played by Forest Whitaker) heavily featured.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is easily shaping up to be one of the most gorgeous games available on consoles. It’s slated for release on November 15th, for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
After the high octane trailers of Cyberpunk 2077 and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Spiritfarer arrived to calm things down. Described as a “cozy management game about dying”, you take on the role of a ferrymaster for spirits of the recently deceased. You build a boat and explore a world where you can farm, mine, fish and craft, all the while interacting with spirits that you’ll grow attached to—but as you’ll soon discover, all good things must come to an end.
Spiritfarer looks like it’ll be a relaxing, cute and emotional all at the same time. It’ll release in 2020 for Linux, Mac, PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, where it’ll also be an Xbox Game Pass title.
You might also like: Details We Pulled from our Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Closed Gameplay Demo
Horror fans take note: the iconic Blair Witch movie is getting its own game on Xbox and PC, and it’s developed by the studio that made Layers of Fear. Players can expect plenty of creepy, wooded environments, an emphasis on using a camcorder, and a presumably tangible sense of dread from start to finish.
Microsoft’s reveal trailer felt like a true extension to the film universe, but don’t take my word for it—you can find out for yourself when it releases on August 30th.
When Microsoft first announced Battletoads at E3 2018, the company only had a logo to tease. This time around, Microsoft showed off gorgeous hand-animated visuals taken straight from gameplay, with the trailer confirming that the infamously difficult jet-ski level will be making a return.
The radical couch co-op title still has no release date, but given that the original game is 28-years-old this month, I suppose we can still wait a little longer.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
This series has been a staple on PC ever since 1982, but I don’t think anybody saw it jumping to consoles with this new upcoming edition.
While the name of the game may be going back to the basics, the technology behind the title is certainly going forward: it’s powered by Microsoft Azure cloud artificial intelligence and satellite data for geographic renderings, and the result is a truly gorgeous-looking environment to fly around in.
Microsoft Flight Simulator will release in 2020 on both Xbox and PC, and will be an Xbox Game Pass title.
Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition
Later on this year, a stunning 4K remake of one of my all-time favourite RTS titles will arrive on both Xbox One and PC. With remastered audio and an entirely new campaign called The Last Khans, this definitive edition has a lot to offer for fans new and old.
Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition will arrive later this year for Xbox One and PC, with the title being available on Xbox Game Pass as well. You can sign up for a beta on the official website.
Double Fine Productions gets acquired, shows off Psychonauts 2
Microsoft has been on a studio purchasing spree over the last year or so, and today the company announced another huge player has signed on as a Microsoft studio: Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions.
Much like Obsidian Entertainment, the studio has one last multiplatform game, Psychonauts 2, that it must finish before jumping onto the exclusivity train. Tim Schafer showed off a trailer for the game that was, uh, filled with literal teeth, so it’s looking as creative and bizarre as one can expect from a Tim Schafer game.
Psychonauts 2 will release later this year for Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
inXile Entertainment is one of the other studios recently purchased by Microsoft, and it’s been cooking up a continuation to the Wasteland franchise. The series has left its desert setting behind for the snow-filled lands of Colorado, with a familiar-looking grid-like combat structure returning.
Wasteland 3 has no release date, but it will drift in for Xbox One and PC at some point in the future. It’ll be available on the Xbox Game Pass.
Phantasy Star Online 2
One of Japan’s biggest free-to-play titles will make a push for western markets with a long-awaited release in North America! Sega has the game on everything from the PS Vita to the Nintendo Switch, so it’s good to see the Xbox One add the online RPG to its catalogue, too.
Phantasy Star Online 2 will release in spring 2020 for Xbox One and PC. Microsoft has added cross-play functionality, so players on PC can play with friends on Xbox and vice versa.
Gears 5 gets trailer, release date, a new game mode and even The Terminator
It’s no secret that Gears 5 is one of Microsoft’s biggest draws for the Xbox, and The Coalition delivered plenty of footage to match the hype.
First, a trailer comprising entirely of Gears 5 protagonist Kait Diaz played on her emotional struggle between her own humanity and the pull of the Locust horde through her mother. You can expect this to be a major theme throughout the game’s campaign, which wasn’t shown off by The Coalition today.
Then, The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson took to the stage to reveal a brand new Gears 5 game mode called Escape. It’s a three-player co-op experience where you need to break into a hive, plant a bomb and extract yourself without any of your squadmates dying.
Fergusson also revealed that horde mode will be making a return and it’ll introduce new character abilities. You can expect to see more on this at Gamescom this August.
As if that wasn’t enough, if you pre-purchase the game or have Xbox Game Pass during the launch of Gears 5, you’ll get access to a rather unexpected crossover: The Terminator. Yep, you can the big-bad Terminator himself. As if the combat on Sera wasn’t brutal enough already!
Gears 5 will release on Xbox One and Windows 10 on September 10th, and will also be available on Xbox Game Pass.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Fresh off the heels of Dragon Ball FighterZ comes Bandai Namco’s next entry in the fight-filled universe of Dragon Ball Z. As the name Kakarot implies, you’ll be able to relive the story of Goku and see a roster of familiar faces along the way.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot will release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in early 2020.
A brand new Xbox Elite Controller
The sleek and elegant Xbox Elite Controller is ready for the next generation. This time around, you’ll get adjustable-tension thumbsticks, a redesigned rubber grip, an internal rechargeable battery that nets you 40 hours of game time, new interchangeable components and three game profiles to quickly switch between.
Trust me when I say that the Xbox Elite Controller is one of the best-feeling controllers across any console that I’ve ever felt. A rubber grip with more durability is a key redesign that I’m really grateful for.
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 will release on November 4th.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 is set 15 years after its predecessor, which made waves for its fun zombie-kicking co-op experiences. The game puts you firmly in a “modern dark age” of sorts where surviving groups have banded together into factions and they’re all vying for control of a dilapidated European city.
The choices you make while interacting these factions will have large implications for the in-game world, and I can’t wait to see exactly how deeply I can impact this zombie-filled experience—though I’ll try to do it during the day because Dying Light’s zombies are horrifying at night.
Dying Light 2 will arrive for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in spring 2020.
Forza Horizon 4 gets LEGO DLC
The Forza series is no stranger to amazingly nostalgic tie-ins, with the last game having introduced life-sized Hot Wheels tracks into the oft-photorealistic racing simulator. This time around, the developers are giving us the LEGO treatment.
The upcoming DLC introduces LEGO Valley, where you’ll be able to construct brick-based vehicles like the McLaren Senna, Ferrari F40 Competizione and the 1967 Mini Cooper S. Rally. More importantly, you can crash into destructive LEGO environments, and that’s half the fun.
Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions will arrive as DLC on June 13th for $19.99. Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get a 10% discount.
Tales of Arise
One of Bandai Namco’s oldest-running series is making a return: the dynamic action-RPG offers an updated combat system that the developers weren’t afraid to show off for the E3 2019 trailer.
Tales of Arise will launch on PS4 and Xbox One in 2020.
State of Decay 2 gets Heartland DLC, and you can play it now
Undead Labs has announced what it calls its “biggest expansion yet” for State of Decay 2, and it sends you right back to where the original game began—Trumbull Valley. Players will continue directly from where the story of the original left off, too.
The DLC will add two new stories and plenty of “new danger”‘, whatever that may mean. Given how tough it can be to survive in State of Decay 2, it looks like Heartland isn’t for the—forgive me—faint of heart.
The Heartland DLC for State of Decay 2 is available now on Xbox One and PC.
With more than 650 million registered players, Crossfire is one of Asia’s most popular FPS games, so it’s no surprise that developer Smilegate Entertainment wants to introduce it to a western audience.
The free-to-play shooter has a simple enough story, with two factions fighting against one another via land, sea and air combat. As the cinematic trailer shows, this western adaptation is going to look good when it comes out.
CrossfireX will be an Xbox-first title when it arrives in 2020. It’s not currently known how long this period of exclusivity will be for.
Gearbox whipped up a special trailer for the Microsoft E3 conference and it opens with Lilith introducing the four new vault hunters: Moze “the gunner”‘, Fl4k “the beastmaster”, Zane Flynt “the operative” and Amara “the siren”.
What followed was two minutes of the hectic, gun-filled gameplay that we’ve all come to know, love and expect from Borderlands 3. The game has a gun with literal legs—and I’m here for this madness.
There’s also Borderlands 2 DLC that helps bridge the gap between the Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3. It’s got new bosses, areas and loot, but even better is that it’s free to owners of Borderlands 2 or The Handsome Collection for a limited time.
Borderlands 3 will release September 13th for PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One.
Project xCloud is coming
After a ludicrous amount of game trailers, Phil Spencer changed pace to a give a long-awaited update regarding Microsoft’s secretive streaming project, xCloud.
The streaming service will get a preview this October and will allow you to turn your Xbox One console into a personal console server. This means you can stream your full Xbox One library to consoles, mobile devices and PCs, opening up huge possibilities for portable gaming.
Project xCloud doesn’t have a full release date as of yet, nor has Microsoft indicated how much it will cost.
With Console Streaming from your Xbox One you'll be able to:
✅ Turn your Xbox One into your own personal console server
✅ Stream your Xbox One library, including Xbox Game Pass, for free
— Xbox ➡️ E3 (@Xbox) June 9, 2019
The next Xbox gets revealed in Project Scarlett
At long last, Microsoft has revealed the next Xbox console to us! As previously known, it’s called Project Scarlett—and it’s an absolute workhorse.
The next Xbox is four times as powerful as an Xbox One X and will support 120FPS gameplay. It has GDDR6 memory, and even utilizes a built-in SSD as virtual RAM. Suffice it to say, this 8K-capable console will replace the Xbox One X as the most powerful Xbox console.
What’s more, Phil Spencer even gave us a release date: holiday 2020. The next generation is approaching and I can’t wait to see exactly what Project Scarlett can do.
There’s only one game confirmed for the upcoming console, with Microsoft saving its mic-drop moment for the very end of the conference…
We all knew it was coming, but when the Halo Infinite trailer started playing it was impossible not to be on the edge of your seat. Master Chief makes a return in the ‘spiritual reboot’ of the Halo franchise, getting revived by an engineer in the trailer. While it looks like all hope is lost for the UNSC, Master Chief isn’t phased: it’s time to jump in.
This is the rebirth of one of the most iconic gaming franchises of all time. It’s the perfect launch title for the next generation of Xbox—though it’ll be available for Xbox One and PC, too.
Halo Infinite will release as a Project Scarlett launch title in holiday 2020, and will also release on Xbox One and PC.