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E3 2016: Microsoft E3 Conference.

Microsoft had a pretty fantastic showcase, despite not many surprise titles announced here. Here are the highlights of the event.

Xbox One S

Microsoft started off their show showcasing off the new Xbox One S, a 40% trim downed version of the current Xbox One console. The system has 4K support and HDR compatibility. They have also integrated the power supply inside the system. The new Xbox One controller has the much requested grip texture on the back of the controller, a feature that made the Lunar controller so popular. The controller also has better range to the system as well.

The system will start at 299.99 US with a 500GB hard drive and also offer 1TB and 2TB options as well, however; no price was announced for those packages. Look for the Xbox One S to hit stores in August.

Xbox-One-S

Gears of War 4

The son of Marcus Fenix will take the spotlight this time around, as will a new team to assist in your journey. The title also mentioned Horde is back with Horde 3.0. Gears of War 4 will also support Xbox Play, a cross play and cross buy component to Xbox One games. If you purchase the game digitally through Xbox or Windows 10, you’ll own them both on each platform. This cross platform also allows co-op and multiplayer to exist between both Xbox One and Windows 10 users.

There is a huge variety of new weapons and enemy types shown off as their new demo footage looks fantastic. It was also mentioned the lighting and coloring is far better on the Xbox One S and will take advantage of the Project Scorpio console released next year.

It was also announced after the event that Gears 4 will come with the entire Gears library as backwards compatible downloads.

The Gears Elite controller was also shown off and it is a design dream.

Look for Gears of War 4 to hit stores October 11th, 2016.

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Killer Instinct

There wasn’t much shown off here other than a new guest character for this season of Killer Instinct, Gears of War’s General Raam. The character looks fantastic and should add some great moments during matches.

Forza Horizon 3

Another title that will take advantage of Xbox Play. Forza Horizon 3 looks graphically superior to the past version with the addition of 4 player co-op. I was really impressed with the new courses as they offered a great amount of variety in their offerings. Easily jump in and out of co-op this September 22nd.

Forza

Recore

This was a huge title reveal last E3 and we finally saw some gameplay. Created by Keiji Inafune, this exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10 looks fantastic. Play as Joule and control a variety of different robots, you’ll platform jump, solve puzzles and battle various enemy types on your adventure. We are not far off from enjoying this great looking title as it releases September 19th.

Final Fantasy XV

This was a surprise to see at an Xbox Conference, but it looks fantastic. SquareEnix showed off some gameplay featuring a massive Shadow of the Colossus type battle. September 30th can’t arrive soon enough.

The Division

Ubisoft snuck a trailer in for its new expansion that arrives early on Xbox One June 28th. Players will explore underneath New York City through a series of randomly generated missions. PS4 will take the fight on a little bit later with PC on August 2nd. Have yet to jump into The Division? Check out our review here.

Battlefield 1

Dice showed off the same footage we saw at the EA conference, with the game arriving October 21st. The title will feature a full story campaign, 64 player multiplayer with dynamic weather and other non-scripted events to shake up gameplay. Xbox One users that subscribe to the fantastic EA Access service will have digital access to the title a whole week early on October 13th, 2016.

Xbox Live updates

Current users of Xbox One have been demanding some key features and Microsoft has listened. Here are some of the new updates coming down the pipe:
– Background Music.
– Language Region Independence.
– Cortana Support.
– New Xbox Clubs that allow gaming communities to exist on the console.
– Xbox One Arena Clubs that give more support for team vs team action. EA Sports will join this service in the following years.

Minecraft

There are various features that are time specific, so not all features will launch on all platforms at the same time, but there are some awesome things to look forward to. You will be able to play online with your friends and share content regardless of the platform with Minecraft Realms. Texture support is coming to Windows 10 and Pocket edition and add-on’s will start showing up this fall on a few platforms with full support next year.

Custom Controllers

Coming soon you will be able to custom design and order a flashy controller designed by you. Change a variety of parts on the controller to any color you want and have it engraved with your Gamertag as well. The service is going to be available soon, but won’t come cheap.

Inside

This game has been the talk of E3, but not a lot was shown on stage. The game is set for a release soon on June 29th and it is by the creators of Limbo, which is now free for all Xbox One gamers.

We Happy Few

A story based adventure game that looks to be the next BioShock. As part of the Xbox Games Preview program, this title is set for release July 26th.

WeHappyFew_2_ExitBobby_PreAlpha

 

Gwent – The Card Game

Players of Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt had a great time with the in-game card activity known as Gwent, and now it is getting a PC and Console release. There is also a single player campaign, new visuals, four factions, and you can go to playgwent.com to sign up for beta access. The beta is set for release in September. If you have yet to experience Witcher and it’s two huge expansion packs, Check out the review for Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt here, The Expansion Hearts of Stone here, and Blood and Wine here.

Tekken 7

The fighting franchise is back after a long break. Showcasing off a cutscene fight between Heihachi and Akuma was fairly impressive, but as I have also seen actual gameplay of the game, it looks like it is set to impress in early 2017.

Dead Rising 4

Frank, the star of the first two Dead Rising games is back. A trailer, to the tune of Jingle Bell rock, showed off a variety of new weapons, new locations and new vehicles to kill as many undead as you can find, and then some. Check it out this Holiday on Xbox One and Wndows 10. There was no mention of it being exclusive like Dead Rising 3 was.

Scalebound

Exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10 through Xbox Play, Scalebound features co-op battles and a fantastic and energized campaign by developers Platinum Games. Armed with a variety of weapons, including a bow and arrow, you’ll take the fight alongside your dragon against gigantic bosses and huge varieties of foes in a game that reminds me a bit of Devil May Cry, but with color. This is set to be released sometime in 2017.

Scalebound-Promo-Art

Sea of Thieves

Drink some Ale, then it’s off to sail. Become the pirate you have always wanted to be, join your friends on the open seas. Rare’s new adventure game looks to set you in the role of a pirate, give you a ship, and with your friends as your crew, you set sail for an adventure. Not too much else has been shown, or talked about, but the gameplay footage looked promising.

Sea of Theives

State of Decay 2

Co-op seems to be the name of the game this time around. The brief trailer looks great and should be a zombie slaying, and surviving, good time. The title is set for release sometime in 2017.

Halo Wars 2

Another contender for Xbox Play, this Xbox One and Windows 10 RTS looks fantastic, and after spending some time with the OPEN BETA that is currently going all this week, this game is fantastic. Look for the final version to release February 21st, 2017.

Halo Wars 2

Project Scorpio

Microsoft announced a new higher tier version of the Xbox One. Fully compatible with all Xbox One titles, and everything else the Xbox One can play, this powerhouse is the most advanced console system ever made. This seemed to have been a passion project between Microsoft and other top level developers. It is set to release holiday 2017 and once final specs have been announced, then stay tuned to Game Refraction for a full write up.

Here is a list of titles that fully embrace the Buy it Once, play it on Xbox One or Windows 10 service:

  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Recore
  • Cuphead
  • Slime Rancher
  • The Culling
  • Everspace
  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Scalebound
  • State of Decay 2
  • Halo Wars 2
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