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Microsoft E3 Press Conference Write-up

June 11th, 2013 by

E3 has finally arrived and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been eagerly awaiting this year’s reveals and conferences.

The Microsoft’s conference live stream has finished and we have this handy summary for you to keep you up to date if you missed the stream or fancy seeing it in writing. If you want to watch it for yourself you can check it out in the YouTube embed at the bottom of the page.

Microsoft kicked off the conference in style with Konami revealing gameplay footage of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The latest in the MGS saga with be open-world with real-time weather and realistic passage of time, meaning day and night cycles and all manner of natural advantages and hindrances to the classic stealth gameplay we all love in a beautiful and powerful new engine, Fox Engine. Various transport (horse, tank, jeep)  allows you to move around this open environment and take advantage of unprecedented strategic freedom. CQC returns, enhanced to work dynamically based on environment and enemies. Lastly we were able to hear the recently announced new voice of Snake, Kiefer Sutherland. So it’s confirmed, MGSV is coming to Xbox One.

Next Microsoft announced briefly what’s going to be happening with the Xbox 360 in the near future. As of today a new Xbox 360 model is available to buy. It’s a more box shaped console, fitting in with the Xbox One design and runs much quieter.

From July 1st all Xbox Live Gold members will be able to choose two free Xbox 360 games to download and keep each month – Microsoft’s answer to PS Plus. Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3 have been confirmed as upcoming free titles.

Next three Xbox 360 games were showcased, including two new reveals. World of Tanks in coming to Xbox 360 in the Summer via XBLA. The free to play title is already a massive hit on PC and that same free to play experience is coming to XBLA, rebuilt specifically for Xbox 360 and featuring 15 Vs 15 tank combat.

The second new reveal was for Max The Curse of Brotherhood, a 2D side scrolling platformer where you manipulate the environment to create paths and puzzle solution via an on-screen marker.

Finally and extended Dark Souls II gameplay video was shown.

Xbox One was the focus for the rest of the conference.

RYSE: Son of Rome was announced for Xbox One. Previously revealed as an Xbox Kinect title a couple of years back, RYSE is now a third-person action game. Gameplay footage of Roman ships and soldiers storming a beach was showed, seemingly played on stage. It suggested dynamic quick-time event executions for dealing with multiple foes as well as vicious sword and shield combat and the famous turtle shell manoeuvre, all rendered with the latest cry engine and looking gorgeous. RYSE: Son of Rome is an exclusive launch title for Xbox One.

Next Microsoft made a lot of fan’s loins stir with passion and anticipation, as they announced the return of the beloved Rare fighter Killer Instinct coming to Xbox One.

Ted Price from insomniac took the stage next to show a CGI trailer for FPS Sunset Overdrive, a purportedly dynamic open-world, living-world game with a cartoon style and Insomniac’s flare for unique weapons. Unfortunately information on Sunset Overdrive was limited but it will be exclusive to Xbox One.

Forza 5 was shown next, confirming that it will feature the McLaren’s highly advanced P1 sports car. A new feature called Drive-a-tar was introduced, which learns to mimic your play style to better compete with you and even goes online against others whilst you’re away from the Xbox, earning you credits. A new in-game footage trailer was also shown, further cementing the titles as one of the most beautiful racers yet. Forza 5 is an exclusive launch title for Xbox One.

Irritated by the size of the maps in Minecraft on Xbox 360? Want more multiplayer options for it? Well this announcement is for you. Minecraft is coming to Xbox One with bigger maps, and enhanced, although currently undefined, multiplayer.

Remedy’s Sam Lake took the stage next to briefly talk about one of the new IPs revealed alongside the Xbox One a few weeks back, Quantum Break. This transmedia project will meld the experiences of TV and games to allow a more personal narrative to run alongside the TV series and for each to affect how the other plays out, similar to Defiance. Some in-game real-time footage was shown of an explosion being suspended in a bubble of time whilst two investigators saved the woman caught in it. It suggests gameplay involving pausing time to solve mysteries.

Next an cell shaded, episodic murder mystery from Swery65 was announced called D4, showing a little bit of footage and no information.

Project Spark was the next announcement. Project Spark is Xbox One’s answer to Little Big Planet. It’s a set of game making tools for you to create a variety of different experiences. Voice control can be used to shape the terrain, Smart Glass can be used for sculpting and create rivers, cliffs and bridges. You can add villages, pets, enemies and events to create scenarios. It supports multiplayer, you can warping landscape in-game whilst playing. It’s a difficult game to describe and what was shown was impressive but vague. However, creating your own games based on certain foundations seems to be the order of the day, then you can play them yourself and share them online.

Next a few announcements about the extra game related options available with Xbox One. Upload Studio allows you to records game clips as well as edit and narrate them. Microsoft has partnered with Twitch to allow you to stream your game anytime. MS points are being scrapped for real money instead, and finally everyone in your household can experience the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, including multiplayer, even if the primary account isn’t logged in.

A spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon was announced with a gameplay video, Crimson Dragon.

Next came a gameplay footage reveal of Dead Rising 3, which is now set in an open-world city. Dead Rising 3 will feature breakable and climbable scenery, no load times, a huge density of zombies onscreen, exploding cars and the popular and title defining weapon customising and creating. Everything is a potential weapon and you can customise and build weapons wherever you are. Dead Rising 3 will also feature driving with zombies able to get you through car windows and Smart Glass can be used to call in additional support such as artillery strikes. The big news is that Dead Rising 3 will be exclusive to Xbox One.

CD Project Red were next on stage to re-reveal the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s still set in a dark and mature world but this time it’s free-roaming in an open-world with 100 hours of play, optional voice commands through Kinect, optional Smart Glass inventory management and character development, and a fancy new engine to bring it all to life.

EA and Dice then showed some gameplay footage of Battlefield 4 featuring a sinking ship, debris dynamically sent hurtling towards enemies by explosions and some truly impressive visuals and sound. Also the Second Assault map pack will get a timed exclusive release on Xbox One.

Microsoft then mentioned they still aim to support indie developers and their projects, they also revealed isometric adventure title Below, where you exploring a mysterious island, and that a studio called Black Tusk is working on an exclusive title, with a CGI trailer showing a potential spy action title.

Next 343 took the stage to show a new Halo title coming to Xbox One in 2014. It was called simply Halo, suggesting it’s not a part of the reclaimed trilogy. It was also announced as the first 60fps Halo title.

The conference then started to wrap up, but Microsoft and one of their partners still had something to show. Firstly Microsoft revealed the launch month and price for the Xbox One, November 2013 and £429.

And finally, ending the Microsoft press conference, out came Respawn entertainment to show the Xbox One exclusive title, to be published by EA, Titanfall. Titanfall is a futuristic FPS title featuring personal mechs you can jump in and out of whilst you’re on the battlefield. An on-stage gameplay demonstration showed the mechs, jetpacks and wall running whilst you battle it out in a war-torn city. Titanfall is due for release exclusively on Xbox One in Spring 2014.

Microsoft indeed kept to their promise to deliver nothing but games in this conference, and what was shown looked terrific. Regardless of your feelings about the DRM for the Xbox One, you can’t deny that games coming to the console are looking mighty impressive.

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2 Responses to “Microsoft E3 Press Conference Write-up”
  1. avatar Baron Von Pleb says:

    Great summary Greg. Thank you!

  2. Many thanks Greg, great write up. Did Microsoft impress you enough to secure a pre order of the Xbox One?

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