E3 2015: Microsoft Press Conference

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Monday, June 15, 2015

For more information from E3 2015, check out our other features: Bethesda conference, Electronic Arts Conference, Ubisoft conference, Sony conference, Nintendo conference, Square Enix conference.

After a disastrous 2013 E3, Microsoft turned their fortunes around and had a very solid 2014 outing. They even, in my opinion, had a better showing than Sony, who had easily won E3 the year before.

Microsoft unveiled an awesome new IP in Scalebound, showed off their upcoming exclusive Quantum Break a little more and announced a reboot for their Crackdown series. Oddly enough, it’s been said that all three of those games will not be at E3 this year, but will take center stage for the company at Gamescom this August. This leaves the door wide open for what we can expect to say. We’ll obviously get a good amount of time with Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Motorsport 6, but will we finally see a demo of Rise of the Tomb Raider? What’s Rare working on? Will we see more from Minecraft on Xbox One? We’ll also surely see a big demo from Treyarch for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. I’d also love to see a decent chunk of time to showcase the ID@Xbox program, like they did last year. C’mon Cuphead!  We’ll be spending ninety minutes with Microsoft today so I’m very excited to see what they bring to the table.

Stay tuned below for live updates throughout the conference and updated with trailers and screenshots once they become available.

Starting time: San Francisco: 9:30 AM PST / New York: 12:30PM EST / London: 5.30pm

Live blogging/tweeting: Just refresh this article! Keep checking back in with cosmosgaming.com as well as our Twitter page for more in-depth look into all of the conferences as E3 2015 continues.

Live streaming: Microsoft Twitch channel

And here. we….GO

 

Halo 5: Guardians:

Bonnie Ross, Studio Head of 343 Industries stars off the show with our first real look at the campaign for Halo 5: Guardians. We’re greeted with a short, and beautiful CGI trailer that starts showing off the story for Guardians. Now onto gameplay. We get our first gameplay look at Spartan Locke and his OSIRIS squad. While the Arbiter is still on your side, the Covenant have started waging war against humanity again. Our Promethean foes from Halo 4 return as well. We also get our first glimpse of squad command controls. They’re simple, but allow you to direct your squad to attack certain enemies, flank enemies as well as heal those who’ve been injured. A new weapon – the Plasma Caster – is shown off and seems like a cool mixture of the brute shot and Needler, allows rounds to bounce and explode in other directions as well as stick to enemies and kill a large pack at once.

Maps are four times the size of previous Halo games and will allow for 24-player matches.

Halo 5: Guardians is available October 27th, 2015 on Xbox One.

 

ReCore:

Next we quickly segue into a beautiful CGI trailer for a new game from Keiji Inafune and the makers of Metroid Prime. We’re not sure what it is yet, but it’s captivating. The game is apparently called ReCore and will be coming exclusively to Xbox One in Spring 2016.

 

Backwards Compatibility:

“At Xbox, our mission is simple: to put you – the gamer – at the head of everything”. He announces that backwards compatibility will be coming to Xbox One this fall via Xbox Live, with over one hundred titles available at launch with more being added in the coming months. He showed off a quick glimpse of someone playing the original Mass Effect while using the Xbox One to take a screenshot while playing. The best part about this? It will be completely free.

 

Fallout 4:

Todd Howard is back to the stage, after wowing us during Bethesda’s conference last night, to show off some more of Fallout 4. So far, it’s nothing really new from what we saw last night. Same trailer segments. I lied, we’ve got some new footage including some new weapons.

PC mods of Fallout 4 will be available for use on the Xbox One version for free.

EA Access: 

Pete Moore of EA comes out to talk more about EA Access announcing that Titanfall will be entering the EA Vault this Summer as well as Dragon Age: Inquisition shortly after. The EA Vault will be open to all Xbox Gold members throughout the week in honor of E3.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2:

A quarky CGI trailer shows off some footage of the fun shooter, which will release spring 2016.

Forza Motorsport 6:

Head of Ford Motor Company Henry Ford III and Turn 10 President Dan Grennawalt come out to show off an absolutely stunning trailer for Forza Motorsport 6.

Forza 6 will be available on September 15th on Xbox One

Dark Souls III:

Coming early 2016.

The Division:

After some turmoil and another delay, we get another CGI trailer showing off the newest Tom Clancy game called The Division. Easily one of my most anticipated games. Laurent Detoc comes out to announce that Xbox One will receive its online beta first, this December.

Rainbow Six: Seige: 

Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 and 2 will be available this holiday along with Xbox’s recently announced backwards compatibility upgrade this fall. They’ll also come free with your purchase of Rainbow Six: Siege. We’re also greeted with another action packed trailer for Siege.

Gigantic:

Not really sure what to make of it, but it looks like an online action/shooter. The game will be exclusive for Xbox One and Windows 10.

ID@Xbox Montage:

So many great indie games are being shown. GIVE ME CUPHEAD NOW. Tacoma, Ashen, Beyond Eyes are being shown right now.

 

Preview at Xbox announced:

You’ll be able to preview games early for Xbox. Early access gaming is coming to Xbox One via the just-announced Xbox Game Preview Initiative. The initiative starts immediately, with both Elite: Dangerous and The Long Dark available today. This program won’t require a buy-in. They also announced that DayZ will be launching within the program sometime in the near future. Every title in the service will offer a free demo, so you can try before you put down any of your hard earned money.

DayZ creator Dean Hall showed off his new game, a simulation MMO exclusively for PC and Xbox One called ION. Gameplay wasn’t shown, choosing to go the scripted CGI route, but he did say, “players will build, live in, and inevitably die in huge floating galactic constructions as humanity makes its first steps colonizing the universe.” Sounds positive.

ION will be playable while it’s still in development. It’s going to be a part of Microsoft’s new Xbox One Preview Program.

Rise of the Tomb Raider:

We’re finally getting some footage from Crystal Dynamics follow up to the massively successful 2013 reboot. Everything about this trailer is tense. You and Jonah are frantically trying to climb up an icy mountain to an ancient set of ruins as an avalanche comes at you. After a brief gameplay preview, we get a small gameplay trailer that shows off some other aspects of the game. It was short, but sweet. Hurry up November 10th! Rise of the Tomb Raider and Fallout 4 can’t come soon enough.

Rare Replay:

Rare Replay will cost $30 and will feature thirty classic games in one collection and will be available August 4th. The collection will include tons of classic Rare games including: RC Pro-AmBanjo KazooiePerfect DarkBattletoads and Conker. Full list of titles includes:

  • Atic Atac
  • Battletoads
  • Battle Toads Arcade
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Blast Corps
  • Conker’s Bad Fur Day
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Digger T. Rock
  • Jet Force Gemini
  • Jetpac
  • Jetpac: Refueled
  • Kameo: Elements of Power
  • Killer Instinct Gold
  • Lunar Jetman
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • R.C. Pro-AM
  • R.C. Pro-AM II
  • Snake Rattle N Roll
  • Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship
  • UnderWurlde
  • Viva Pinata
  • Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

 

 

Sea of Thieves:

A brand new IP from Rare is being teased right now and is deemed “the most ambitious game we’ve ever created”. The game is called Sea of Thieves. Not much is known about the game yet aside from its Pirate theme, but from the looks of the trailer, it looks like it might be some sort of MMO.

 

Fable: Legends:

Coming this holiday, we get another look at the free-to-play, 4v1 game.

HoloLens:

Right now we’re getting an insane demo of Microsoft’s new HoloLens, partnered with a demo for Minecraft. No words can do this justice. You need to see it for yourself.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition:

First we get the official announcement for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which features the original game remastered with tons of added content. It will release on August 25th with an open week-long multiplayer beta starting TODAY.

Gears of War 4:

Next, we get our first look at Gears of War 4! IT EXISTS! So far we’ve seen a small gameplay sampling from the new game, which seemingly brings back that unsettling and creepy vibe felt in the original Gears of War game. We don’t know who we’re playing as, what the enemy is or where in the Gears canon this is set. The trailer served as a great teaser, but man, Holiday 2016 can’t come soon enough.

Our impressions:

I expected to see Microsoft come out focused and hit hard. I wasn’t disappointed. As soon as Microsoft opened their conference, they started with their biggest franchise – Halo. After Game Informer posted their June cover story fleshing out Halo 5: Guardians story, it was pretty much guaranteed we’d see the campaign in action. While we didn’t see a tremendous amount of campaign gameplay, the bit we did see reinvigorated my excitement for the game after the so-so outting for Halo 4 and the rocky launch for Halo: Master Chief Collection last fall. Graphics look great and the new team-based gameplay looks really enjoyable, especially for harder difficulties.

New IP’s like ReCore, Gigantic and Sea of Thieves all look really cool and Rare Replay looks fantastic. I was sad that Rainbow Six: Siege and The Division got such little air time, but they’ll be center stage in the Ubisoft conference in a few hours.

Backwards compatibility was a huge shocker for the crowd but was met with thunderous applause. Not much is known now, but it sounds like you’ll have to install games you own but can re-download all purchased content from your 360. Either way, huge step forward for gamers who don’t want to keep their Xbox 360’s around.

With a great indie montage in the middle, it was great to end with first footage of Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War 4, both of which are highly anticipated for me. I would’ve liked a bit more from RotTR, but I won’t complain with only a few more months to wait. But seeing that “Holiday 2016” line for Gears of War hurt my soul a little bit. So long!

But I won’t complain about this conference. Great exclusives, focused almost entirely on games aside from the trippy HoloLens preview, and Microsoft certainly did a good job of instilling faith in their desire to be “the best place to game”.

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