E3 is like Christmas in the summer for people who love video games and 2016 will be no different. Microsoft had stumbled out of the gate when it came to the launch of the Xbox One but has recently made up ground on Sony. Just like last year, this will be a big year for the tech giant as fans haven’t heard much about the new exclusives that were shown last year such as Scalebound and Crackdown 3. From new games to the possibility of new hardware, here are the rumors and my predictions about Microsoft’s E3.
One of the most prevalent rumors coming into gaming’s biggest event was that both Sony and Microsoft would be releasing updated versions of their respective machines.
Recently, rumors have surfaced that Microsoft will be launching two new versions of the Xbox One in the next two years.
The first is rumored to be an Xbox One Slim. Kotaku is reporting that it is slated to be the smallest Xbox ever created and that it will come out this August. While the rumor of a slimmed down Xbox has people intrigued, it’s the second console that has people anxiously awaiting Microsoft’s press conference.
Along with the PS4 “Neo,” the Xbox “Scorpio” is set to break new ground in the console gaming landscape. This new version of the Xbox One is rumored to be much more powerful than the current rig and coming in late-2017. Rumors claim that the company will announce the new system sometime during E3, though details such as cost and a hard release date will be announced at another date.
This would be an unprecedented move by both Sony and Microsoft. Historically, console lifespans have lasted anywhere between five and nine years before a new gaming rig came to market. This has people, including yours truly, anxiously waiting to see what these companies will bring to the table.
Last year at Gamescom and E3, fans got teases of enticing games such as ReCore, Scalebound, Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves. This was a great first step, but now Microsoft needs to show fans even more of these potential console sellers.
I believe Microsoft knows this and will have plenty of gameplay footage from all the above games. I also predict that gamers will get hard release dates for Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves and Halo Wars 2, while we will still have to wait a bit longer for Scalebound and ReCore.
Speaking of Crackdown 3, the last time we saw the fan favorite was a trailer that specifically stated that fans would be able to participate in the game’s multiplayer in Summer 2016. If recent trends are to be repeated, I believe Microsoft will launch the Crackdown 3 multiplayer beta during the show as EA has done with Battlefield and other games.
As for surprise announcements, I feel as though Dead Rising 4 and some sort of new Halo title will pop up at some point in Microsoft’s conference. That being said, I could easily see the former being cross-platform this time around as Sony still dominates the console market. There are also rumors of a deal between Microsoft and another third-party developer that would bring a huge AAA game exclusively to Xbox.
Indie games will also have a solid foothold in Microsoft’s conference. Release dates will (finally) be given for Cuphead and Below and fans will get to see more of Playdead’s long-awaited resurgence back into the gaming world with INSIDE.
Finally, ever since the disastrous start to the Xbox One, Microsoft has strived to make sure they are listening to its consumer base. I believe that because people are not entirely thrilled about a new machine this early in the current generation of consoles, they will offer some sort of trade-in deal for early adopters of the Xbox-One so that the “Scorpio” will be more accessible to a wider audience. Watch for them also to attach a major IP (Halo 6 perhaps?) to the new rig to further convince their fan base that this is the right move.
Regardless of your feelings towards the rumored new consoles, Microsoft is poised to have another strong conference with their impressive catalog of first party games. And as long as I got more Cuphead, I will be a very happy gamer.