by Graham Taylor

Day two of E3 has so far brought of Microsoft’s press conference, and with it, a lot of interesting developments. Possibly taking note of Sony’s conference last year, Microsoft spent a majority of their time showing off games, 22 of which are exclusive to Microsoft in some way. And of course, audiences finally got to see the first look at Project Scorpio.

The long awaited Project Scorpio was finally unveiled, officially named the Xbox One X. With 12 GB of RAM and 6 Teraflops of computing power, it is being marketed as the “most powerful console” to date. On launch, it will be comparable with all with all Xbox One games and accessories, and will be releasing later this year for $499.

With one of the bigger announcements of this E3 out of the way, Microsoft dove right into what games they would be bringing to both the Xbox One X and Xbox One. Forza Motorsport 7 was the first new reveal, and will be launching October 3. They quickly moved onto the reveal of Metro Exodus, the third game in the Metro series, and the first open-world entry.

While we knew a new Assassin’s Creed was in the works, many were expecting its official announcement to be during Ubisoft’s conference tomorrow. Instead, Assassin’s Creed Origins was first seen on Microsoft’s stage. Taking players to Egypt this time, the story revolves around the formation of the Brotherhood, and is set to include more RPG influence and more overall detail.

The increasingly popular Player Unknown’s Battleground was also a surprising show for the conference, announcing a console version of the game that will be releasing on Xbox first this year. Afterwards, we got short glimpses of a few more upcoming games, including Deep Rock Galactic, State of Decay 2, and The Darwin Project, another competitive focused multiplayer survival game.

Another weird, yet big announcement was the Minecraft would be going cross platform via Xbox Live. Xbox, PC, mobile, and VR would all be able to play together for the first time. Console was also included on that list, and the Nintendo Switch was shown, but no further details were released. This update will also be introducing player made custom skins and texture packs and Ultra HD textures for Xbox One X. All of this will all be available after a free update this fall.

Moving on from that, a whole slew of new games took the main focus, ranging from indie to AAA. Highlights include Dragon Ball Fighter ZBlack Desert OnlineThe Last Night, AshenThe Artful EscapeCode Vein, Tacoma, and quite a few more. Sea of Thieves returned to E3 this year, and while there is still no release date, more gameplay was shown off featuring off-ship adventuring. Previous E3 debut Cuphead also took the spotlight for just long enough to announce a release date of September 29.

A whole lot of sequels were also shown off towards the end. Crackdown 3 is being released alongside the Xbox One X; the Life is Strange follow up was revealed, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and will be released over the course of a total of three episodes; Ori and the Will of the Wisps debuted officially after being leaked this morning; and Mordor: Shadows of War revealed a release of October 10 and two new features: the ability to recruit fighters, and then have them storm enemy fortresses.

With the show winding down, Microsoft had two more big announcements. The first being that backwards compatibility with original Xbox console games would be implemented for the Xbox One and Xbox One X, including the cult classic Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, which is available now. The second announcement was that over 30 games, both first party and third party, would be receiving free 4k updates for Xbox One X consoles.

Finally, fans got their first gameplay look at Anthem, EA’s new IP that they announced yesterday. It will be a third-person shooter, featuring co-op focused combat in a post-apocalyptic word inhabited by monsters and machines. Players will don personalized mech suits and fight these threats as freelancers.

Overall, Microsoft’s conference was rather hefty. Even with all of that, there is still a lot more to come from E3 2017, so stay tuned to Byte for the latest updates.

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