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The first day of E3 certainly had some surprises from both EA and Bethesda, but now it’s time for Sony and Microsoft to show what they’ve been working on. Microsoft is up first! Even though a few of their big announcements have already been leaked (like Halo Wars 2 and the possible Xbox One redesign), there should still be plenty of surprises left in stock. Getting more information on the slimmer hardware is certainly an exciting proposition. I mean, a new machine with a 2TB hard drive capable of outputting 4K resolution is a win. Give me the rest of the specs, Microsoft!
You can watch Microsoft’s conference live here at 9:30 AM PST, and join the conversation as we liveblog the whole show. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun.
With Sony confirming their very own 4K-capable console, it’s going to be interesting to see which one hits the market first. Since Sony already noted that they won’t be bringing their new console to E3, our bets are on Microsoft’s rumored Xbox One Slim. If we’re correct, this could give Microsoft a leg up, or at least help them catch up to Sony when it comes to console sales. Microsoft could own the market for a while if their new box is available first at a reasonable price. But this is all speculation at the moment. That’s why we’re all tuning in to the conference!
Other than that, we should also be seeing more Gears of War 4, Recore, and maybe some more HoloLens information. What other surprises do you expect? Let us know in the comments below!
Editor’s note: Due to a lack of wi-fi on site, senior editor Dan Casey will be liveblogging this press conference
9:31 AM: Microsoft kicked things off with a sweet, very heartfelt message to the survivors and victims of the horrific attacks in Orlando.
9:32 AM: Microsoft is wasting no time in introducing the Xbox One S, a.k.a. the Xbox One Slim. The console is 40% smaller than the current XB1.
9:34AM: Xbox One S will launch this August at a price point of $299.
9:35AM: Gears of War 4 will be the inaugural title as part of Xbox One Anywhere, which lets you access your titles and achievements on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. All titles will support cross-play.
9:38 AM: Laura Bailey of Critical Role fame has taken the stage to help introduce the Gears of War 4 campaign mode. Looks like more of the third-person cover shooting mechanics that made the franchise so fun.
9:40AM: The sound design sounds like someone is making meat smoothies at a Jamba Juice.
9:43AM: That campaign looks suitably epic and incredibly messy. Definitely nice to see Xbox expanding its Elite Controller offerings with a Gears of 4 branded controller too.
9:44AM: Gears of War badass General Raam is now an Xbox One/Windows 10 exclusive character for Killer Instinct. Available free this week.
9:46AM: Forza Horizon 3 is looking beautiful as ever. Although those shots of the wildlife creatures at the beginning got me excited for a weirdo Tokyo Jungle crossover.
9:51AM: Forza Horizon 3 will take you to the Outback of Australia. Releasing on September 27, 2016, the game will include 4-player campaign co-op for the first time.
9:54AM: We got a brief glimpse of ReCore, which introduced us to a whole array of nifty new robots. Looks like a fun, freewheeling platformer.
9:55AM: Final Fantasy XV is in the house, and is getting ready to demo the new and improved battle system.
9:57AM: Prince Noctis and his boy band bros are going up against the massive summon creature Titan, who takes up the entire screen. It’s reminiscent of Attack on Titan in a good way. It also looks like the guy piloting the demo got his ass kicked as much as I did when I played a demo of the game. Glad to know that the devs are just like us.
9:59AM: After a teaser showing new DLC coming first to Xbox One for The Division, Patrick Bach from DICE is here to show us Battlefield 1.
10:03AM: Battlefield 1 will be available on October 13, 2016 as early access for Xbox players with EA Access.
10:04AM: You will be able to play background music while you play on Xbox Live, play in whatever language you choose, and use Cortana for Siri-like assistance.
10:06AM: Xbox is making multiplayer gaming easier with Looking for Group, a matchmaking service for players looking to round out their multiplayer group. They are also introducing Xbox Arena, a competitive gaming platform that will be supported by the likes of EA (presumably under their Premier banner announced at yesterday’s EA presser).
10:11AM: The Minecraft team is here to announce the Friendly Update, which allows players on PC, Android, iOS, GearVR, and Xbox to play together. Minecraft Realms introduces dedicated servers that allow you to create persistent worlds for you and your friends to play in.
10:12AM: The Minecraft Realms update is free-to-play now. John Carmack also showed up on stage to play it in virtual reality on a GearVR.
10:13AM: Microsoft is now offering fully customizable controllers, with unique color schemes a la Nike iD for shoes.
10:14AM: Oh snap! After going quiet, Inside is back. The side-scrolling puzzle-thriller from Playdead, the creators of Limbo looks gorgeous. The game drops June 29, 2016.
10:17AM: The annual [email protected] segment showed off some really impressive-looking indie games like Cuphead, Everspace, The Culling, and Yooka-Laylee.
10:20AM: Now they are demoing We Happy Few, by Compulsion Games, a creepy first-person adventure game that puts you in a ’60s-era dystopia where people are mandated to take Joy, a pill that makes them happy. It looks like a technicolor version of BioShock with a dash of prescription pill abuse.
10:25AM: CD Projekt Red announces Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, a standalone game based on the hit minigame from The Witcher 3. It will support cross-platform multiplayer play and boast a single-player campaign too.
10:26AM: Closed beta comes first to Xbox One and Windows PC this September.
10:30AM: Tekken 7 just dropped an epic trailer with Akuma battling Heihachi. Game will launch in early 2017. Xbox Live Gold members will get a free copy of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 all this wekk as well.
10:31AM: Just when you thought Dead Rising couldn’t outdo itself, Dead Rising 4 unveils the candy cane crossbow. Game drops Holiday 2016.
10:34AM: Xbox Play Anywhere will allow you to save your game to the cloud, and let you pick it up wherever you left off. But first…let’s see some Scalebound!
10:39AM: They are demoing 4-player campaign co-op, which features four players hacking, slashing, and riding dragons to destroy a truly massive monster. This looks like a blast. Kind of like if Final Fantasy XV allowed three friends to take over the other party members.
10:42AM: Craig Duncan, the studio head of Rare, is here to talk Sea of Thieves, their sprawling game that lets you live the rum-soaked, booty-stealin’ life of a pirate. “Sea of Thieves is an emergent experience where you will have limitless adventures.”
10:43AM: Sea of Thieves looks like a blast. Literally in some cases. The gameplay demo shows a bunch of individual groups with no tutorial learning how to man a pirate ship together. Love the teamwork component of this game. Makes those high seas victories even more satisfying.
10:47AM: Now we’re seeing a trailer for State of Decay, a post-apocalyptic survival game that shows a group of people working together to make it through a zombie-infested nightmare-world. Very impressive trailer.
10:49AM: Halo Wars 2 gets a slow-mo trailer of two generals stalking towards one another as death and destruction rains all around them.
10:51AM: Halo Wars 2 launches February 21, 2017. Weeklong beta kicks off right now, June 13-20, on Xbox One.
10:54AM: “We believe in hardware innovation without sacrificing compatibility.” The new Xbox console will offer true 4K gaming with 6 teraflops of processing power.
11:00AM: Project Scorpio is the name of Xbox’s new ultra-powerful Xbox One model. Dropping holiday 2017, it will boast 8 CPU cores, 6 teraflops of GPU power, and true 4K gaming. Project Scorpio will be compatible with Xbox One and Xbox One S, too. “No one will be left behind,” they promise. We’ll see.
11:02AM: That’s all for today’s Xbox E3 press conference! Thanks for joining us. Head on over to Nerdist’s Facebook page for a post-show breakdown, and then we’ll be back here later today for liveblogs of Ubisoft and Sony!
Featured Image: Microsoft