The biggest news to come out of Microsoft’s E3 press conference was almost certainly the reveal of their new console, but it also delivered exactly what fans watching have always asked for above all else; games, games and more games.
So much so that their impressive new console almost took a back seat. From highly anticipated trailers to completely new reveals, Microsoft went all out to impress.
If you’ve yet to catch up on the big presentation, here are 8 of the biggest highlights.
- Xbox One X Specs revealed
After teasing project Scorpio last year, Microsoft finally unveiled their new powerhouse console as the Xbox One X – an overpowered, native 4K console that will hit the shelves this year for $499 on 7th November 2017.
We also got a better look at the hardware, and confirmation that the new machine would be more powerful than its rival the PS4 Pro. Xbox One X will have 6 teraflops of graphical power, a custom 1172MHz GPU engine, 1TB hard drive and an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive.
Pitched as the most powerful console in the world, X specs look downright impressive, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
- Forza Motorsport 7 4K Looks Stunning
To show off the power of their new machine, Microsoft kicked off the flurry of game trailers with a look at Forza Motorsport 7 – which runs impeccably on Xbox One X in native 4k at 60fps.
The release date was also revealed as 3rd October 2017 for Xbox One and PC, but strangely the game won’t reach X owners until “Holiday 2017” so its unclear if this will be available when the console launches on 7th November.
- Assassin’s Creed: Origins Finally gets a Trailer
Ubisoft’s worst kept secret (and that’s saying something) is finally officially confirmed – Assasin’s Creed will return this year set in ancient Egypt.
The trailer and gameplay previews show of a well-polished chapter of the popular franchise, with a world that looks bigger and more alive than ever.
The game launches on 27th October for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC – and will be one of the first big games to really show off the power of the Xbox One X on November 7th.
- Microsoft Have Exclusives
Microsoft’s strongest hand was perhaps the influx of console (and in some cases Windows 10*) exclusives. Whilst the lineup arguably still lacks the big, console-selling titles like Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn or Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild, it’s great to see the presentation emphasise some exclusivity gems.
The following games were featured in the presentation as Microsoft exclusives;
- The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti
- Black Desert
- Crackdown 3*
- The Darwin Experiment
- Deep Rock Galactic
- Forza Motorsport 7*
- The Last Night
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps*
- Sea of Thieves*
- State of Decay 2*
We also got a look at some highly anticipated non-exclusive games, including the new Metro Exodus, a Life is Strange prequel, Dragon Ball Fighter Z and a look at the Shadow of Mordor sequel, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
- Backwards Compatibility Expanded
A strong highlight for nostalgic gamers, Microsoft announced original Xbox games would soon be playable on Xbox One.
After releasing Xbox 360 backwards compatibility last year, the range will soon expand to include early classics, with Crimson Skies confirmed as one of the first games planned for the new collection.
- Multi-Platform Minecraft
An unlikely bombshell came in the form of a Minecraft server update. Microsoft’s exceptionally popular sandbox will now have seamless cross-functionality across all platforms.
Currently there are several versions of the game running on PC, along with the console and mobile versions. The update means Xbox players can easily play with IPad users, or Nintendo Switch owners, or even VR players.
So far there is an ominous cloud over whether this extends to Sony platforms, but Microsoft have stated their vision is to connect all versions of the game.
- A closer look at BioWare’s Anthem
Microsoft ended their show with a glipse of BioWare’s brand new IP, Anthem.
The game was teased a day earlier at EA Play, but Microsoft’s E3 press conference was the first real look at the game and even showed it running on Xbox One. Anthem is an incredibly ambitious open-world, multiplayer that follows exosuit-wearing explorers through a dynamic, sci-fi setting.
The game is set to launch in 2018.