This year’s Microsoft E3 press conference produced a whole host of new details on previously unveiled projects, including exclusive titles and in the works hardware, along with several announcements that took people by surprise.
The most popular of these surprise announcements was delivered by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, unveiling that the Xbox One will receive a full update “this holiday” making it backwards compatible , with an initial roster of 100 Xbox 360 games. Initial information has stated that this change is purely a modification to the Xbox One software and will not involve developers making changes to the already released games.
Following this new hardware update, Microsoft also announced they will be releasing a new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller at the end of 2015. The new wireless gamepad will feature customisable controls, additional weights and balancing features, along with enhanced precision triggers. “Choose from a variety of thumbsticks, D-pads, and paddles for a tailored feel that provides game-changing accuracy and speed.”
Viewers were also given another sneak peek at the progress of Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset, with a new live demo showing a scaled down version of Minecraft, projected on to a table-top. The demo showcased the player’s ability to manipulate a Minecraft world using their hands and a range of voice commands, as well as tracking and zoom features allowing you to follow players around the world in real time.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
This time last year Microsoft unveiled a sequel to the hugely popular 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider. This year fans were given their first look at action packed gameplay, with Lara Croft now facing new dangers atop a frozen mountain range, as she dangles from several hundred foot high cliffs, makes impossible jumps between icy cliff faces and runs to escape a perilous avalanche.
Halo 5: Guardians
Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries revealed a new gameplay trailer unveiling the player’s ability to join up into 4 person Fireteams working together through online co-op to complete Halo 5’s new expansive and highly anticipated story campaign. Players will complete missions as part of two different squads, one led by Master Chief, and the other by the new Spartan Locke.
Gears of War 4
Previously unannounced but rumoured to be in the works, Microsoft officially announced the next instalment in the Gears of War franchise, Gears 4. Focused on a male military character, the gameplay also includes a female companion as the pair explore an abandoned village and fort in search of a mysterious creature. From the trailer fans can easily recognise the return of the classic running style and cover features, as well as the brutal chainsaw quick time events, sawing enemies to pieces. Although still a while off, Gears 4 is scheduled to release “Holiday 2016”.
Dark Souls 3
Through the unveiling of a world premiere trailer, Microsoft announced a new entry to the ultra-difficult combat series Dark Souls, titled Dark Souls 3. With very few details being divulged at this stage, the trailer does display a release date of early 2016