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Microsoft Xbox E3 Press Event – Live Reaction

Hello all! In about half an hour, Microsoft will take the stage to kick off the day of video game press conferences coming out of E3 2015. Right here is where you can get updated information as it is announced at the event. I will be updating this post with announcements and perhaps a bit of snark. So watch with me as the “greatest games lineup in Xbox history” is revealed.

This page will not automatically refresh. I will put the latest update at the top of the list, so if you join us late, scroll down. Here is the full E3 coverage schedule, so stick with us.

Update 18: We’re coming to the end. Phil is back on the stage talking about how awesome they are. Quantum Break and Crackdown will be shown at Gamescon. Exit sizzle reel has some other games, but that is it. I would say the backwards compatibility is the biggest announcement. Otherwise, no real surprises here. Overall, I’d give this presser a grade of a C. Nothing super great or exciting, but no major missteps either. I will give them credit for mainly focusing on what is happening now and not over promising. Still, it would have been nice to see a non-indy title that wasn’t announced at last year’s E3.  Alright, that is it for now. Next up is EA at 4 PM. You can get to our coverage through the hub-page.

Update 17: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. A remastered version of the first Gears of War. Public beta for it begins today. Now here is the new Gears game. It is dark and has big soldiers with chainsaws on their guns and rumble-running. Oh yeah, and weird monsters you need to destroy from behind cover. Gears 4 is the title, but Holiday 2016 is the date….so we’ll see it again next year for sure.

Update 16: Fables: Legends has become a free-to-play game. We get a new trailer, but aside from a few short clips, it is hard to tell what’s going on. It is cross-platform between Windows 10 and Xbox One. New relationship with Valve VR – working with Valve to make Windows the best VR platform. Reconfirming their partnership with Oculus Rift. And now we’re going to talk about the Microsoft HoloLens. Time for a tech demo using Minecraft and the HoloLens. It is a tether-less holographic projector headset.   They are using a special camera to show what the HoloLens is showing. It is pretty cool as a tech demo, but they aren’t selling this as something that will actually make my gaming experience better. Also, they are going to hold MineCon in London in a few weeks.

Update 15: Rare Replay – 30 games for $30. Haha, 10,000 gamerscore available for the achievement chasers. Battletoads, Viva Pinata, Perfect Dark (the original), Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and many more. Coming in August, this collection is totally worth $30. Also, they introduce a “shared-world adventure game”. Looks first-person and pirate-y. We see a group of players coming to a pirate ship then working as a crew aboard, finding treasure, walking the plank, fighting other ships. Sea of Thieves looks like it could be fun. The problem with all online games like that is the player base needed to make it work is tough to get and balance, but it is exciting.

Update 14: It looks good. Trudging through the snow leaves trails behind Laura. More ice climbing and major storms trying literally rain destruction as Laura tries to make it to some mysterious ruins. November 10th release. That game looks pretty great. Oh snap, time for Rare.

Update 13: Xbox Game Preview – an early-access program. Elite Dangerous and The Long Dark will be available later today. It will be interesting to see how this shapes development for these games. DayZ creator comes to the stage to introduce Ion which is some kind of space management sim. Again, just a teaser. Here comes Crystal Dynamics to show us Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Update 12: Windows 10 and Xbox One exclusive of a cartoony third-person title. Gigantic seems to be a team battle arena? Free to play…I dunno…not a lot here to explain what is happening. Followed by a sizzle reel of a lot of indie games, many of which were introduced at last year’s E3. Now branded as ID@Xbox. Fullbright studios takes the stage to show off their new game, Tacoma which is first on Xbox and PC. It seems to be a first-person puzzler on a space station. Next, Ashen, an adventure game set in a bleak land. Again, not much to judge. Next indie up is Beyond Eyes which has a blind protagonist. Very nice art style, with a very watercolor feel. The world is only “visible” in small swaths of hearing and smell and touch. Keeping the Indie train rolling, the return of Cuphead, which was one of the most interesting teases from last year’s E3. Classic 1930s/40s art style meets 16-bit platform mechanics. Still coming 2016.

Update 11: New video for The Division. The graphics look a little less gritty than when we last saw it. Ubisoft Americas president takes the stage to talk about it a bit more. Action-RPG, set in New York after a plague sweeps the place. Xbox One gets an exclusive beta in December. I’m sure we’ll hear more later tonight. Next up Rainbow Six: Siege. Rainbow Six: Vegas and Vegas 2 will be backwards compatible and will be free with Siege. October 13th release date.

Update 10: From software world premier? Time for a Dark Souls 3 trailer. It looks dark and hard and like a game I won’t be playing, but I know there are a lot of you that like it.

Update 9: Forza time. Ford Motor Company is bringing back the Ford GT, and they lower one onto the stage. It is a good looking car. Forza Motorsport 6 is coming. Guess what? The team that has been making near-photo-realistic racing games for a while are still really good at their job. 24 player multiplayer, 1080p 60 fps. Releases September 15th.

Update 8: Peter Moore from EA comes to the stage to talk about EA Access – the subscription based service. Play first, play more, play for less is their tag. Xbox One EA Access users will get this year’s Madden early. Xbox Live Gold members get to play the EA Access vault for free this week. Also, announcement of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 coming next spring. He leaves us with a trailer. This trailer is a mix between the Minions and a bad ’90s action movie. I suppose that is intentional, but it didn’t work for me. Of course, I don’t think I’m the target demo.

Update 7: Fallout 4 on stage. So far nothing new from last night’s Bethesda press event. Here is a bit about a laser musket weapon with a little bit of story. Ah, this is where last night’s bit with the power armor came from. A little more context, but still, nothing amazing to add. Here is a new bit: mods created on PC will be sharable and playable on Xbox One. There is also a banner saying you will get Fallout 3 with Fallout 4 on Xbox One.

Update 6: The backwards compatibility is native and will be available this holiday season for everyone. No charge to play the games you already own. Preview members can start with select titles today. This is a major announcement. It will require that you download the game to the Xbox One, so I guess it is a good thing they are releasing the larger hard drive version. Next comes a trailer for the Xbox Elite Controller which has some cool customization options like the ability to add paddle controllers and it looks like you can program what they do.

Update 5: Phil Spencer takes the stage and drops a bomb: Backwards compatibility with 360 titles is coming.

Update 4: World Premiere video for a game of a kid and its robot dog wandering a desert wilderness. Spider turret bots attack. The kid has a rifle, and gadgets, the dog sacrifices itself leaving behind a big ball of blue energy which the kid uses to power a larger ape-like robot and says “welcome back buddy.” Recore is the title, slated for a Spring 2016 launch. Another exclusive from Microsoft. Looks cool, has a good pedigree, but not a lot to judge since it was just a trailer.

Update 3: Starting with 343 Studios head on the stage. There we go best exclusives launching this year going into Halo 5: Guardians with the audio tag of Xbox One exclusive. Nathan Fillion getting prime play in the teaser. We move into game play. In this demo you are playing as Spartan Locke on the trail of Master Chief. The visuals are impressive. It certainly looks like Halo, but has a different finish and feel from Bungie. There is squad based combat, and we see Locke issuing squad commands to focus on an enemy ship and help a downed comrade. In the next area the group splits in two to flank the enemy. It is Halo, it will sell millions of copies.

Update 2: Here we go. Sizzle reel to start: Tomb Raider, Gears of War, HALO, Fables, Forza all make an appearance. Setting the tone early that we are going to harp a lot on platform exclusives. You know, the bane of the non-fanboy gamer.

Update 1: The stream is up. So far, just a screen telling us in several languages that the briefing will start at 12:30 EDT.