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Microsoft knew coming into E3 2017 that they needed to have a heck of a showcase, that Scorpio would not be enough on its own. They started the show off with a bang, showcasing their much hyped Scorpio console. The name was finally revealed to be Xbox 1X and will launch on November 7th worldwide. Among the technical accomplishments touted were the true 4K UHD resolution, enhanced resolution for existing Xbox One titles and the smallest Xbox console ever made.  The price will be $499 USD at launch. Microsoft also announced backward compatibility for Original Xbox titles for later in 2017 including the title Crimson Skies.

Microsoft had a fairly decent first party showing at the conference. Microsoft’s first game showed off was Forza Motorsport 7 for the One X, the latest title in the critically acclaimed racing franchise. The series, known for dazzling visuals and exotic locations, uped the ante again by being the most impressive looking racing title so far this generation. The Forza reveal included a partnership announcement with Porsche and a brand new supercar unveiling form Porsche. The game will ship on October 3rd.

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Mojang took the stage to announce that Xbox, Windows, Nintendo and more would all gain cross play functionality for the very first time, as well as a 4K update. Rare’s pirate adventure Sea of Thieves was shown in one of its most extended looks to date. In Sea of Thieves, players find themselves as members of a pirate crew, working to captain the ship, explore and plunder together. The game is bright, colorful and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The game is currently in Alpha and is expected in early 2018. State of Decay 2 was also shown briefly and looks to expand upon the crafting systems and open world exploration of the first tile. The title is also expected in 2018.

The long-awaited and long in-development Crackdown 3 was finally, publicly shown. Starring Terry Crews, Crackdown 3 takes everything great about the original and makes it better. The game retains the signature cell shaded graphics and boasts cloud based graphic systems for more destruction than ever for the series. The title will launch with the Xbox One X on November 7th. Also of note was the appearance of the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest – Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

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Not all of Microsoft’s exclusives hit though. Super Lucky’s tale was a notable lull in the show’s programming and sections of the Seas of Thieves gameplay demo got tedious with the continuous voiceovers. Other things that weren’t necessarily fit were the Porsche on stage car reveal and, while nice, the live piano during the Ori and the Will of Wisps trailer. They felt out of context for a conference that focuses so much on footage and shooters. 

Gamers were also treated to a flurry of third party announcements and trailers such as Metro: Exodus, the smash hit from PlayerUnkown Battlegrounds and the much leaked Assassin’s Creed Origins that feels very Breath of the Wild in its design.. Microsoft also showed off the Darwin Project, a game with community emphasis that honestly looked VERY rough and like your typical arena game, the long awaited Cuphead (coming Sep. 29th) and Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Square Enix debuted the sequel to Life is Strange, a surprise hit from a few years ago that plays much like a Telltale Studios title.

Microsoft actually closed their showcase with the first look at Bioware’s new IP – Anthem. The gameplay demo opened up in a market, sometime in the future. You play as a freelancer – someone who protects the city and explores in an effort to protect humanity and wear exosuits called Javelins. The Javelins are fully customizable to fit your playstyle. The game is visually stunning and huge, with tons of room to explore and varied styles of combat. Anthem looks like the next big multiplatform IP and its great to see Casey Hudson back at the helm of a title.

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All in all, Microsoft had a stronger showing than the last few years but still failed to impress me. More of the same was the general message and the focus on “exclusives that aren’t really exclusives” got tiresome very fast. For all of your E3 news – keep it tuned to geeksandgamers.com
About the Author
Author: Josh Finney