Editor’s Note: This is a special edition of the GameSentral Rewind, focusing on the Xbox E3 2016 press conference.
Xbox One S
Microsoft has officially confirmed the Xbox One S, which is 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One, and totes HDR and 4K video support.
The system will sell for $300 starting in August, alongside a slightly redesigned controller with textured grip, increased wireless range, and Bluetooth support.
Alongside the One S comes Project Scorpio, a new, high-end console set to launch in 2017. The system will feature eight cores, 320GB memory bandwidth, and six teraflops of performance for uncompressed 4K gaming.
According to Microsoft, Scorpio will be backwards compatible with the rest of the Xbox One lineup, and you’ll be able to use the same peripherals and controllers with the console as well.
In addition to the 4K announcement, according to Microsoft, the console will also be capable of targeting 60fps performance and deliver a “no-compromise” experience.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is coming to PC, and will be included in the Xbox Play Anywhere cross play program (more on that later). The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson also confirmed Horde 3.0, the latest version of the series’ wave-based co-op mode.
We also got an extensive look at the game’s cooperative campaign, showing a story mission set during a storm.
As winds ripped across the top of a crumbling dam, protagonists Del Walker, Kait Diaz, and J.D. Fenix (Marcus’ son) muscled their way through a heavy door into the chaos.
J.D. carefully maneuvered through the environment, heavily slamming into every new piece of cover with his classic Lancer. Later in the demo, we saw Kait launch a corpse using Gears of War 4’s new Dropshot mining-tool-turned-firearm and J.D. mow down a hallway full of agile drones using the Buzzkill’s ricocheting saw blades.
This cover-based shooting accounted for most of the demo, but there were a few distinctive set piece moments. At one point, J.D. took out a turret by sniping explosives launched from what appeared to be a Swarm tank. Of course, these explosives had to be individually launched by Kait, which indicates certain gameplay moments might allow players to work together in ways that extend beyond shooting and reviving.
At another point, J.D. shot a bundle of sewer pipes dangling from a crane, causing them to crash down on an unsuspecting drone.
The demo culminated in a massive lightning storm, which played out like a traversal puzzle. As corpses and cars whipped past his head, J.D. had to strategically spring through the area, avoiding persistent bolts of lightning as they blazed in deadly vertical columns across the ground. After making it through, he was greeted by a hulking boss character once he and Kait pried open the next heavy door.
Kait then delivered a message to the Swarm where she promised to rescue her mother from their evil clutches. Next, we saw a brief glimpse of a bearded, white-haired Marcus Fenix, welcoming J.D. home with an air of doom and gloom.
Gears of War 4 will launch on Oct. 11 for Xbox One and Windows 10.
The game is also getting a specially themed Xbox One Elite controller, featuring all the swappable components from the standard Elite controller, an exclusive in-game item, and three Gear Packs.
The controller is available for preorder now, though pricing wasn’t mentioned.
Platinum Games’ Hideki Kamiya showed off more gameplay from Xbox One/Windows 10 exclusive Scalebound, featuring the studio’s largest boss (a giant crab/scorpion blend) and four-player co-op gameplay.
Dealing with the boss, direct combat intermingled with moments of ranged attacks by riding the dragons. These dragons unleash their own attacks without the aid of your character. The battle featured a boss assault loop of exposing weak spots and concentrating with those openings.
The game is scheduled to launch in 2017 for Xbox One and Windows 10.
Xbox One and PC exclusive Recore, the brainchild of Mega Man and Dead Rising creator Keiji Inafune, will launch on Sept. 13.
A new trailer (embedded above) introduced the game’s cast of characters, which the player brings to life by putting an AI core into the shell of robots.
Recore stars Joule and robot-dog companion Mack. Metroid and The Legend of Zelda are inspirations for the game, according to Armature Studio co-founder Mark Pacini.
Josephn Staten, co-creator of the Halo and Destiny universes, is working as Recore’s lead writer.
Final Fantasy XV
Square Enix has debuted the first demo of Final Fantasy XV running on the Xbox One, showing off the Trial of Titan gameplay section. In the video, the developer fights against a gigantic titan. The company mentioned that the level featured a three-way battle with another faction joining the action.
The protagonist hacks and slashes at the rocky giant’s hands, and do a dash move that teleports him a short distance across the landscape. In the demo, the titan fights back by punching the various characters on screen. As he swipes at the characters, he destroys the landscape around him and we see rocks crumble and dust rice from the environment.
Final Fantasy XV launches on Sept. 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Dead Rising 4
Dead Rising 4 will launch this holiday season.
Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is coming to Xbox One and Windows on Sept. 27 with cross-platform play.
The game is set in Australia and offers a wide variety of environments, from suburban areas, a desert, flooded plains, and a downtown section featuring an elevated train.
Along with traditional vehicles are off-road racing buggies and other new vehicle types, offering more vehicles than any previous game in the series.
Four-player “instant” campaign co-op was also announced, allowing users to join up with friends to race alongside each other.
Gwent, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s in-game card game is getting a standalone release for Xbox One, PS4, and Windows, according to developer CD Projekt Red.
The game will launch in September, and features a “full-blown” multiplayer experience with console/PC cross-play. There’s also a “monumental” single-player campaign, according to CD Projekt Red.
Additionally, the visuals have been “almost completely” redesigned, with the game’s core mechanics remaining intact.
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 will launch in 2017 for both Xbox One and Windows 10 as part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere program.
Minecraft Realms, an Xbox Live-powered multiplatform version of Minecraft, allowing for cross-play with iOS, Windows 10, Android, and Gear VR. Microsoft also announced that the game has dedicated server support, which allows you to host your own Minecraft worlds for your friends to visit. This means that you can be offline while your friends build on your server.
The game is available now.
Inside, Playdead’s follow-up to the Limbo puzzle-platformer, will launch on Jun. 29 on Xbox One and Jul. 7 for PC.
Limbo will be available for free from Jun. 13-20 on Xbox One, and Jun. 21-22 on Steam.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Underground, the first paid expansion for Tom Clancy’s The Division, will launch on Jun. 28 first on Xbox One, as part of a timed-exclusivity agreement between Microsoft and Ubisoft.
The DLC comes with “deadly urban undergrounds,” according to a trailer shown during the conference, along with randomly generated missions.
Two more paid add-ons are planned for The Division: Survival and Last Stand. Release dates haven’t been announced as of yet.
Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 fighting game will be coming to Xbox One and Windows in “early 2017,” according to the company.
The trailer showed a brawl between Street Fighter’s Akuma and Tekken’s Heihachi Mishima, blending cinematic action scenes with in-game fighting. Akuma spoke of “fulfilling a promise” to Kazumi Mishima.
Tekken 7 will also come to PS4, but no firm release date has been announced.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will also be free for Xbox Live Gold members this week.
Xbox Play Anywhere
Microsoft has announced Xbox Play Anywhere, which allows players to purchase a title once and then have access to it across Xbox One and PC.
Once you purchase a game on either platform, you can play it on the other at no additional cost.
Xbox One and Windows 10-exclusive fighting game Killer Instinct will be getting a new addition to the roster this week, according to developer Iron Games.
Gears of War’s General RAAM is joining the cast, equipped with a serrated dagger and the ability to summon Kryll to attack. The character is playable for free this week.
Xbox Design Labs
Microsoft has launched Xbox Design Labs, a program that lets players customize a controller to their liking.
Players can customize the color of the controller’s body, the d-pad, and the buttons, as well as engrave their name on it.
Microsoft has announced three new features for Xbox Live, all designed to improve the multiplayer experience for Xbox One and PC, according to Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra.
Clubs on Xbox Live allows players to create “communities and meet people you can go back to.” Microsoft wants to connect people “that love the same things you do.”
Next is Looking for Group, which helps players find “other gamers with a shared goal in mind,” whether it’s looking for someone to run an Incursion in The Division of build a giant castle in Minecraft.
Lastly is Arena, a new Xbox Live tournament platform. According to Ybarra, Arena is “the easiest way to discover, register, and compete in one place.” Players can compete either solo or with friends.
Smite, World of Tanks, and FIFA will be among the first games supported by the tool, with more on the way.
Halo Wars 2
According to 343 Industries head Dan Ayoub, Halo Wars 2 will be available on Xbox One and Windows 10 on Feb. 21.
A beta for the game was also confirmed for this week.
Sea of Thieves
Rare showed off a new gameplay trailer (embedded above) for Sea of Thieves, its secretive pirate-themed adventure game for Xbox One and PC. In the clip, the developer invited community members to play an early version of the game.
According to studio head Craig Duncan, Sea of Thieves offers an “emergent experience with limitless adventures.”