After EA’s rather tepid E3 2017 keynote, Microsoft came out swinging in its Xbox press conference.
The Xbox platform holder announced a release date and price for its new console – now called the Xbox One X – and showed off a boatload of games. Sony and Nintendo have their work cut out for them if they hope to ‘win E3’ this year. Here’s a breakdown of the highlights:
Xbox One X launches worldwide this November
Ever since it was unveiled at last year’s E3 keynote, Project Scorpio has had tongues wagging. Now it has an official name, a price and a release date. The Xbox One X will drop worldwide on November 7th of this year and will cost $499 (that’s nearly R6 500 at the current exchange rate, so we hope you’ve been saving).
Tagged as the most powerful game console ever created, the Xbox One X boasts some pretty impressive specs and looks to be smaller and smoother than any of its forebears. If you’re being positive you could say this is the console we’ve all been waiting for. If you’re being negative you could say early adopters got royally screwed.
There’s a new Forza game
Because of course there is. In case you hadn’t been paying attention, Microsoft pumps out a new Forza game every year now – whether it’s a core title or a Forza Horizon title.
Not that we’re criticising Turn 10, mind. Forza isn’t just a fantastic racing franchise, it’s a showcase for Microsoft’s gaming platform and the E3 presentation didn’t disappoint. On top of that, the motor industry seems to be edging closer to Microsoft’s racing sim; Turn 10’s studio head Dan Greenawalt showed off a brand new Porsche as part of his presentation. Gran Turismo should be worried. This baby’s out on October 3rd.
Metro Exodus looks great. Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks lovely. Battlegrounds looks like it did a while back. Deep Rock looks primitive. State Of Decay 2 looks like yet another zombie game (and it will probably be awesome). The Darwin Project looks like… Overwatch on a budget.
And then there’s Minecraft. Minecraft in 4K, which to my untrained eyes looks exactly like Minecraft. Hell, what do I know? I’m sure the faithful will love it. Oh, and the new Dragon Ball looks ridiculous and amazing and stupid – just how a Dragon Ball game should look.
Some welcome release dates
Okay, Microsoft, can we please have Sea Of Thieves? You showed it off last year and again this year and it has yet to receive a release da… oh, okay, it’s out early 2018. Okay, fine! What about Cup Head? That’s been doing the rounds for ages. We played it two years ago at rAge and it’s still not… oh, September 29th. Right.
So what about Crackdown? Or Crackdown 3 as it’s now known? You’ve waved this game in our faces since 2014 and quite frankly it’s about time you gave us a release da.. oh. November 7th. Right. Okay, nothing to complain about here.
More backwards compatibility
So you remember that rather popular initiative that Microsoft announced two years ago about backwards compatibility for the Xbox One? You know, you’d be able to play Xbox 360 titles on your shiny new console?
Well, at E3 this year, Microsoft announced it’s extending this feature to include games from the original Xbox. There wasn’t much info on which games would be included in this offer, but we’re hoping Shenmue 2 is on the plate, only because it’ll knock the knees out of Sony’s E3 keynote from two years ago.
More gaming kerfuffle
So Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is a thing. As is Shadow Of War. As is Ori: The Will Of The Wisps. As is a whole ton of indie games. It’s pretty impressive that in a keynote devoid of any new Halo or Gears Of War title, Microsoft can still show off games that not only make its new console enticing, but essential.
The keynote’s showstopper, however, was the extended reveal of Anthem. While very little about BioWare’s new IP is known at this stage, the reveal at Microsoft’s keynote set the hype wagon in motion. This game looks utterly incredible and we are genuinely desperate to get our mitts on it. Roll on 2018.