Roundup of the Most Important Announcements from Microsoft at E3 2015

Since the time of Xbox One’s somewhat subpar launch two years back, Microsoft has tried hard to make up for the lost momentum and it finally looks that the hardwork is bearing fruit. At E3 2015, the company made a number of important announcements to place its next-gen console better armed than its competitors.

The Xbox One gets (even) better

The most radical announcements in the conference were about the system itself. So if you still haven’t chosen your console for the next few years, Microsoft just made your decision a lot easier.

To begin with, the company is bringing your older library of 360 games to the One and if you still have those titles with you, you needn’t shell out your money again. But rather than a just a straightforward revamp, the company has actually built an Xbox 360 emulator for the new system. By the holiday season, it will have brought a hundred 360 titles to the One, with plans to bring hundreds more in the future. You’ll also be able to use advanced Xbox One exclusive features on those titles.

Secondly, Fallout 4 modifications made for the PC work for Xbox One too. Furthermore, Fallout 3 comes with Fallout 4 for the console. With a feature called ‘Game Preview’, you can pay to get early access to some select titles. Currently, the list tops at two games: The Long Dark and Elite Dangerous.

The ability to stream Xbox One titles to a Windows 10 PC has also arrived. Kinect games won’t work now, nor would external wheels or flight sticks. You can’t operate the system on a TV and laptop simultaneously either. Most of the games should work just fine with the Xbox One controller on Windows 10. The service is currently available to Xbox One Preview members. Lastly, the interface of the console is updated, from the tiled setup to a speedier arrangement with one-click accesses and Cortana.

New ‘elite’ controller

While we sure did tell you about an updated Xbox One controller a mere week ago, Microsoft has made yet another controller, marketed as ‘an elite controller for the elite gamer’. The new $150 controller features swappable D-Pads/paddles (around back), remappable buttons and Hair Trigger Locks. This might very well be the most hackable controller ever.

Halo 5: Guardians

Unarguably the biggest exclusive on the Xbox One just got a release date. The lives of many of us will come to a halt on October 27th, 2015.

Arguably the biggest feature this time is the massive world itself, which is four times the size of previous installations and available in its entirety on the 24-player multiplayer, dubbed ‘Warzone’. The game utilizes a new engine for the Xbox and as a result maintains a steady 60 fps everywhere, along with a major bump in graphics dept. There is a varied list of characters to choose from.

Epic world, epic battles, epic scale. This is Halo 5: Guardians.

Forza Motorsport 6

E3 also brought with it further details on Microsoft Studios’ next major racing simulator release. Forza Motorsport 6 will be released on September 15th, 2015 and features the stunning Ford GT as its major attraction.

The new game brings dynamic weather, a total of 26 tracks, 450 cars and 24-player online races. The graphics look even more mouth-watering with gorgeous trackside scenery and destructible surroundings. The numbers may sound a bit low on compared to competition but the series has always placed quality above quantity.

HoloLens Minecraft

Possibly the most intriguing announcement was that of games featuring Microsoft’s ground-breaking HoloLens technology.  The game allows you to create your own little world in your living room with voice and gesture controls, in addition to controller support. The ‘Air Tap’ gesture which uses your index finger is also supported, as a result. More plans will be unveiled at Minecon in July.

Valve VR

Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Oculus to make Windows 10 “the best platform for VR gaming”. Furthermore, it is working with the Oculus to make stream games from its Rift headset to Windows 10 PCs. The games will support the Xbox One controller. More on this will be revealed later.

Gears of War 4

While a remastered 1080p, 60 fps version of the original Gears of War is set to be released late August, it hasn’t stopped Epic from announcing Gears of War 4 (or simply Gears 4). The game is meant to be a new start for the franchise, for Redmond’s new console only.

The game features two protagonists with the cover-based mechanisms and a few truly terrible monsters. The game is set to be released in the holiday season of next year.

Rise of the Tomb Raider:

The sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider was announced, called the ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’. The game will hit Xbox One and 360 systems on November 10, 2015.

The gameplay this time around focuses more on traditional gameplay elements such as crafting, jumping and dodging, along with more stealth-based action. It places much emphasis on self-exploration of tombs and monuments, which is exactly what is needed. Many of them are concealed within the game, with secret pathways that you’ll have to find yourself.
Still, a few more weapons are added to the mix, should you find yourself in that situation. The game should hit other major platforms later but is a timed exclusive on the Microsoft consoles.

  • Valve VR and Oculus are two completely different VR headsets. Microsoft has partnered up with both. Not just Oculus

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