Xbox had the biggest stage this year and a load of hype to go with it. What they showed was a massive lineup of titles, some new games seen for the first time, some new hardware, and a look into the future (and of course Keanu Reeves). Here’s many of the major trailers and announcements from the show along with our comments on them (including some things that seemingly went unnoticed by some fans).
First, here is a recap discussion with Ains and Bert on all of the games, announcements, and hardware from the show.
Opening with The Outer Worlds was a solid choice as it’s an anticipated title and looking to capitalize on the love for titles like Fallout. The game looked solid and it was great to see some new gameplay. We’re also surprised that the title will be releasing so soon on October 25th. And as we’ll say often, it is launching in Game Pass.
Obviously a very big one here that sadly leaked ahead of time. From Software titles have a large following now and seeing Miyazaki working with R.R. Martin is obviously headline worthy. The trailer was as cryptic as you would expect but we’re highly intrigued to see more of the title in the coming months.
This was a tremendous surprise. While we had heard that Xbox was working with Bloober team on a new horror game, there was little information ahead of time and we certainly didn’t expect it to be related to Blair Witch. We loved this trailer and cannot wait to see more of the game. The August 30th release date was a pleasant surprise for sure and it will be in Game Pass as well.
Chills. Seeing a next-generation teaser for Infinite was excellent and completely in the vein of prior Halo teasers over the years. The new look of Chiefs armor is something that is very meaningful to Halo fans as well as the seemingly remastered classic Halo songs. Hearing Steve Downes say “No we fight” got the fans hugely excited. The Cortana tease at the end leaves us on a cliffhanger as to what the story direction will be and as always, we can’t wait to see more. It is confirmed to launch with the next Xbox in Fall of 2020.
While this leaked somewhat ahead of time, it was great to see the official video of the new IP from Ninja Theory. We have a really good feeling about this game as the art style and character designs are very noteworthy, and titles like Overwatch and Apex Legends have shown that players identify with those types of characters. The combat being from the prior Devil May Cry Director is also notable. We’ll be sharing hands on impressions soon!
One really big surprise during the conference was the announcement that after years and years of waiting, Phantasy Star Online is coming West finally. PSO2 will be launching on the Xbox, with all content and for free, in Spring of 2020. This is utterly fantastic news for old-school Sega fans and certainly something our crew will be checking out. One interesting footnote is that the trailer shows “Powered by Azure” at the end.
The next expansion for Forza Horizon 4 is coming and it’s a partnership with Lego. The Hot Wheels expansion for FH3 was a massive hit with fans and so we can only imagine how popular this will be particularly with so many new players due to Game Pass. The introduction of the title including the Lego built McLaren was really fun and we’re sure this will be an absolute blast to play.
One of the biggest surprises was the reintroduction of one of the most well known franchises of all-time; Microsoft Flight Simulator. This new entry is captured in real-time 4K and uses satellite data and azure AI to re-create ultra realistic, real-life locations. While we feel this landed flat (no pun intended) for some fans, this is a very large announcement and will likely have a large audience ready to play it upon release. For reference, note that in terms of views, this trailer is only behind Halo Infinite out of all the titles shown.
Dying Light 2 looks to greatly expand on an already very impressive title and it’s obvious that Techland is putting everything they have into the sequel. It was great to see it again and we simply can’t wait to play it in Spring of 2020.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a known title and will be launching on February 11, 2020. What we saw highlighted this E3 was more environments and more action with some utterly stunning footage. It will be in Game Pass at launch.
While we knew about Dungeons, it was great to see some of the gameplay in action including the environments, co-op, and RPG elements. This one surprised us as it looked to have far more depth than initially assumed. We’re excited to try it and it will be in Game Pass at launch.
As expected, Gears 5 was a major highlight for the show. However, it was not campaign gameplay as expected. Rather, we received an emotional look at Kait as she struggled to deal with the forces pulling her in both directions (to the tune of Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish). We then got a look at the new mode for Gears 5 “Escape” which is a 3 player co-op PVE experience which looks refreshingly impressive. While we were disappointed like others in not seeing campaign footage, we still appreciate what was shown for this massive release on September 10th. Note that the Ultimate Edition releases on September 6th and is free for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
We are massive Psychonauts fans and so seeing the Double Fine studio acquisition and a new gameplay trailer for Psychonauts 2 was a joy for us. Double Fine is incredibly creative and always brings something interesting to the table so this is great to hear as they’ll be able to extend that creativity far more than ever before. And yes, this means Psychonauts is launching on Game Pass too.
One of the most impactful surprises of the conference was an indie title name Twelve Minutes. It showed dramatic situations played out through a time loop. All we know for now is that it’s “coming soon”. Have a watch!
Wasteland 3 has been in development by InExile for some time and we saw the latest trailer for it at the conference. Not much else to say on this one that wasn’t already known!
The Tales series of titles is a very popular JRPG franchise and it was amazing to see the next entry debut on the Xbox stage. Tales of Arise will be launching in 2020 which is about all we know at this time!
Crossfire X, while you may not have heard of it, is one of the most played games in the world (a massive sensation in Korea and some Asian countries). The fact that it’s coming West and will debut on the Xbox in 2020 is rather big news and we’re certainly excited to see what the fuss is all about!
A while ago we broke the news that Bandai-Namco was working on a Dragon Ball Z ARPG code named Project Z. Yesterday we learned that the real title is Kakarot with some new footage of some of the core characters. Sadly, we hoped to see more gameplay here so that we could understand the RPG elements, but we’ll likely see more soon given the game launching in early 2020.
Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition was shown as part of Xbox Game Pass for PC and it looks really well done. As one of the best RTS titles ever, it’s great to see it updated and coming to Game Pass!
As expected, we got the annual ID @ Xbox sizzle reel and what’s not to love about it? A lot of great indie games that will all launch in Game Pass!
The Elite controller, save for some durability issues, is widely considered the best controller on the market. As has been rumored for a long time, an update is coming. It has all of the features of the existing Elite but adds adjustable tension thumbsticks, three settings for the triggers and profiles, new rubberized grips, and an internally rechargeable battery with a charging dock (and quoted 40 hours of gameplay charge). It retails for $179.99 and is available to pre-order now. We will give you hands on impressions soon!
As expected, the Xbox team talked about their next-gen console. We have confirmation of a Holiday 2020 launch and that it will feature some cutting edge tech. Sadly, some seemed to have expectations that we would get specs or pricing but as we have said in our Bitcasts, that was not going to be the case.
Rather, there were some key things said and likely missed during the presentation. The most notable comment was “next-gen ray tracing. It’s real-time because it’s hardware accelerated for the first time ever“. This is extremely important and seemingly missed by many people watching. Depending upon implementation, and the version of Navi they are moving forward with, this could be a differentiator between the high-end next Xbox and any other platform.
They also mentioned how the “new SSD” is being used as “virtual RAM” and as we’ve discussed before, this will likely make the OS and any games using it (on that specific drive if you’re running multiple drives) almost instant. As we all know, one of the largest complaints with the X1 is the sluggish OS so this should be entirely eliminated in next-gen.
Lastly, they mentioned “four generations of content better than you’ve ever seen it before” which alludes to the fact that all Xbox backward compatibility will not only be intact, but likely further optimized for the new hardware (similar to how some original Xbox games were Xbox One X enhanced). This is excellent news for fans who enjoy backwards compatibility today.
We’re hugely excited for next-gen and getting confirmation, as our own Porshapwr (Ainsley Bowden) speculated, that Halo Infinite will launch with the console is also very exciting. Bring it on!
If you missed the full briefing, here you go!