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E3 2016: Microsoft Press Conference Recap

Xbox and Microsoft kicked off E3 2016 with their live press conference today at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California unveiling upcoming video games, updates, new hardware, and even a new console as a part of the lineup for Microsoft and Xbox for 2016 and beyond as we head into 2017.

Xbox One S Console Unveiled

Microsoft didn’t waste anytime unveiling a new and slimmer console in the Xbox One S Console that will be apart of the lineup as the newest development for playing games in high definition resolution; but, also playing online with Xbox Live, using backwards compatibility feature, and other features that the Xbox One already has.

Microsoft unveils Xbox One S Console at E3 2016The Xbox One S Console provides up to a 2TB Internal Hard Drive and includes an integrated power supply. It is also mentioned that the console does play games in 4k resolution and is also compatible to play in Blu-Ray.

The Xbox One S wireless controller is also state-of-the-art with the console that is mentioned to have 2 or even 3 times better range than the stock Xbox One controller. It is compatible to be programmed with both wireless and Bluetooth headsets as well as provides firm texture grips on the handles to prevent slip resistance.

The Xbox One S is set to be released and available in August 2016 for just about $300 nationwide in the U.S.

Gears of War 4 One of First Released For Xbox Play Cross-Platform

Gears of War 4 Horde 3.0 Mode

The Coalition Studios announced on Monday that Gears of War 4 will be one of the first Xbox games to be available for the all new Xbox Play Anywhere cross-play platform in which everyone who chooses to buy an Xbox One game digitally can now play it from both their Xbox One console and from their Windows 10 OS PC.

Rob Fergusson, Co-Creator and Studio Head of The Coalition, said that all game progress and achievements are equally shared to both platforms for no additional costs to the Xbox Live subscription as well as all co-op game modes (campaign, multiplayer, and all new Horde 3.0) in Gears of War 4 will be fully supported to the new cross-play platform when the game is released in October 2016.

The addition of the Gears of War 4 game will also bring the addition of the all new Xbox One Gears of War 4 Elite Wireless controller into the line up that will be released in October.

Ubisoft Announces “Underground Expansion” DLC for The Division

Sneak Peek of fighting underground in Tom Clancy's The Division Underground DLC Pack

The fighting is finally coming off the streets of New York City and going underground in NYC’s subways, sewers, and tunnels in Tom Clancy’s: The Division as it gets one of it’s first of three DLC Expansion packs for the game starting with the Underground Expansion DLC pack which will take a number of randomly generated missions into new enemy territory.

Prepare to take the wage of war underground on June 28th, 2016….

Microsoft Announces Added Features to Xbox One consoles

Besides the newly updated cross-network platform, Head of Platform Engineering for Microsoft, Mike Ybarra announced during the E3 conference that there will be more added features made available to all Xbox One consoles this Summer which will include the biggest benefit of adding more live network servers across the U.S. and around the globe to online gamers for developing faster and sophisticated network connections.

In addition, Microsoft will also be adding the all new background music feature to allow every gamer to stream and listen their own music. There will also be the language independence region and the annoying digital assistance service in Cortana to Xbox One consoles.

Later this Fall, there will be 3 other helpful features that will be added to Xbox One consoles. In regards to the first feature, Xbox Live will make a community board or Club on Xbox Live for all gamers who share the same interests in a particular game to share common strategies or potentially ways of overcoming obstacles on certain missions/levels.

Next, Xbox Live will include the “Looking for Group” feature which will take away the difficulty of finding the right kind of player who potentially has the same skill set or goals as you would have. So, if you are an expert player that is only looking to play with other gamers who are into “stealth” gameplay with say Splinter Cell, then you could look them up through this feature.

Finally, all Xbox Live gamers will get a chance at playing in tournaments with the Arena feature on Xbox Live to compete solo or with online friends in competitions including in sports games such as the all new FIFA 17′ and NBA 2K17.

New Games Coming to Xbox One and Windows 10

  • Forza Horizon 3 (Set to be Released on September 27th, 2016)
  • Re-Core (Set to be Released on September 18th, 2016)
  • Final Fantasy 15 (Set to be Released on September 30th, 2016)
  • Battlefield 1 (Set to be Released on October 21st, 2016 and also on October 13th, 2016 for only EA Access members)
  • Scalebound (Set to be Released in 2017)
  • State of Decay 2 (Set to be Released in 2017)
  • Halo Wars 2 (Set to be Released February 21st, 2017; Beta Gameplay Now Available through June 20th)

Other Gaming Updates & Features (DLC, Add-Ons, etc.)

  • Minecraft unveils “The Friendly Update” where all gamers can now play with others on Apple iOS and Android OS mobile platforms and added dedicated servers allow anyone to host their own Minecraft world and allow others to play in your world even when your not online. New Texture Packs and Updated enemy AI.
  • Xbox Live Design Lab Coming Soon

Final Words and Thoughts

The Xbox briefing and press conference to me was very surprising and led me to believe that Microsoft and Xbox have yet again raised the bar to a much higher level especially since they have put a lot of thought process into making the Xbox One platform better with the addition to the Xbox One S console bringing the gaming community into the world of 4k resolution and UHD for consoles

As for the future, I say it will be even better when “Project Scorpio”…whatever the real name is going to be when this new gaming console is unveiled in December 2017. It will definitely provide what I’m thinking is going to lead in finding the reliability and quality at the same time in graphics development as well as providing faster processing times for these future games.

For the video games mentioned in the Xbox briefing this year, I’m more excited to get to play Battlefield 1 to get to understand what it is like on the battlefield from back in World War I with the trench warfare and the technology they had back in the day. I did get to see a first hand look at some multiplayer from E3 with some celebrities playing some Conquest multiplayer in BF1 and was really impressed by what it has to offer especially shooting down the blimp and working your way around it. My hope is that the campaign won’t be boring and will make sense.

The underground expansion DLC pack for The Division is going to be interesting to see as we take the fighting down under the streets of NYC and it will be interesting to see what the missions are going to be like. Also, looking forward to the other 2 DLC mission packs for The Division when they become available later this year.

My final remark is that I’m really happy to see that Microsoft is finally taking the steps in the right direction for making gaming on the Xbox One better as well as taking the feedback seriously especially with providing a stronger network to connecting the dots for a community of gamers to provide the needed techniques in sharing the experience online with the added features on Xbox Live. These features showed me that Microsoft is truthfully is trying grow the network as much as possible and it will continue to grow as we move to newer and sophisticated Xbox gaming consoles.

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