E3 2015: Microsoft’s Xbox One Presentation

While the launch of the Xbox One in 2013 was a bit of a disaster, Microsoft has been working hard to turn around public perception and lack of confidence in the machine. With this year’s E3 presentation, it looks like they might have succeeded.

The focus of their E3 presentation for 2015 was very much on the games themselves, or more specifically their big exclusives. There was also some big hardware news as well with the announcement that Xbox One will getting backwards compatibility so you can play Xbox 360 titles on the machine. The first batch of around one hundred last-generation Xbox titles will be playable on the console later this year.

At the same time, a new ‘Elite’ wireless controller sporting all kinds of customisation will be available, and they’ve even posted a video about the changes including swappable components, Hair Trigger Locks, and limitless customization. Players can choose from a variety of thumbsticks, D-pads, and paddles for a tailored feel.

Talk of the Kinect was notably absent, but augmented reality wasn’t as Microsoft’s HoloLens demo for “Minecraft” was on display and wowed the crowd. However, many questions remain about the system, how it will work on a mass consumer scale and at what price level and point in time it might become available?

Onto the exclusive or console exclusive games themselves and the focus was very much on the company’s two flagship franchises – “Halo” and “Gears of War”. Both scored trailers galore, but a big surprise was the reveal of a rather large array of newly announced titles as well. Here’s the breakdown of the individual games:

Gears of War 4 (Xbox One Exclusive)
Targeting a Holiday 2016 release, Microsoft released the first trailer for the next chapter in the “Gears of War” game series. There’s no sign of Marcus Fennix in the clip, but there is a good several minutes of gameplay showing off what to expect from the next instalment.

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One Exclusive)
A new campaign trailer shows the mission “Battle of Sunaion” in which Spartan Locke and Fireteam Osiris pursue the Master Chief and Blue Team on the planet Sanghelios. The game sports “seamless” online co-op gameplay on dedicated servers, along with enormous levels four times the size of previous maps, sophisticated AI, and a steady 60 fps. The second trailer shows off the game’s ambitious and gigantic multiplayer mode. “Halo 5” hits stores October 27th.

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One Timed Exclusive)
After several cinematic trailers, two trailers were shown demonstrating gameplay from the upcoming reboot sequel “Rise of the Tomb Raider”. The clips look stunning, showing off Lara Croft exploring a large range of environments and a lot more tombs than the previous game. The trailer also confirms the game’s rumored November 10th release date.

Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One Exclusive)
Set for release September 15th, the next entry in the racing series allows you to collect, customize, and race over 450 Forzavista cars and compete in 24-player races across 26 world-famous locales.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (Xbox One Exclusive)
A look at the “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition,” a ground-up remastering of the original first “Gears of War” which has been painstakingly remastered and updated with a whole bunch of new content. It hits stores on August 25th.

ReCore (Xbox One Exclusive)
An Xbox One exclusive from the makers of Metroid Prime. You play one of the last humans who teams up with robot companions on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world. It will hit Spring 2016 and was the best looking of the new IPs the company had on offer.

Sea of Thieves (Xbox One Exclusive)
A multiplayer pirate drama in a shared world, the freedom of pirate life awaits in Rare’s next adventurous voyage.

Rare Replay (Xbox One Exclusive)
A 30th anniversary collection of thirty iconic games from Rare Studios including “Perfect Dark,” “Perfect Dark Zero,” “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts,” “Kamino,” “Conker’s Bad Fur Day,” “R.C. Pro-Am,” “Viva Piñata,” “Battletoads,” and “Beast Corps” but sadly no “Goldeneye” or “Donkey Kong Country”. The collection hits August 4th.

Fable Legends (PC & Xbox One Exclusive)
Cross-device multiplayer is on offer in this free to play continuation of the fairy tale franchise.

Ashen (Xbox One Exclusive)
An action RPG about a wanderer looking for a home in a land where there is no sun, and the only light comes from eruptions that cover the land in ash.

Cuphead (Xbox One Exclusive)
A single player or co-op platformer with a heavy focus on boss battles and with a style inspired by 1930s cartoons. Visuals are hand drawn and inked and the music is all original jazz recordings.

Gigantic (PC & Xbox One Exclusive)
A 5-x5 co-op title with a stylised cartoonish style. Battle alongside a massive guardian in a fight for supremacy in this fantasy team action game.

ION (PC & Xbox Timed Exclusive)
From the creator of “DayZ” comes an emergent narrative massively-multiplayer online game in which players will build, live in and inevitably die in huge floating galactic constructions as humanity takes its first steps to colonize the universe.

200,000 miles from Earth, onboard a Lunar Transfer Station, Tacoma and its crew lives at the edge of humanity’s reach. From the makers of “Gone Home,” the game will first come to Xbox One next year.

Superhot (PC & Xbox Exclusive)
The first-person-shooter in which time only moves when you do. Combined with a unique art style, the game is due for release later this year.

Independent Games
A montage of various independent games on the way, some exclusive, some not so much, including “Beyond Eyes,” “Rise and Shine,” “Gemini,” “Below,” “The Flame in the Flood,” “Ashen,” “The Solus Project,” “Westerado: Double Barrelled,” “Happy Dungeons,” “Recruits,” “Castle Crashers Remastered,” “Tacoma,” “Full Mojo Rampage,” “Z Heroes,” “Sword Coast: Legends,” “Goat: More Goatz Edition,” “Game 4,” “Phantasmal: City of Darkness,” “Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide,” “Outward,” “Sheltered,” “Ark: Survival Evolved,” “Dovetail Games Fishing,” “Space Dust Racers,” “The Mean Greeks: Plastic Warriors,” “Superhot,” and “The Long Dark”.