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Microsoft Xbox at E3 2017: the 6 biggest announcements

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Microsoft’s Project Scorpio was one of the most anticipated announcements of E3, and now it has a name and a release date. It’s called the Xbox One X, and you’ll be able to buy it on November 7th, for the disappointingly high price of $499.

But that wasn’t the only thing that happened. We got release dates for some long-awaited games like Crackdown 3, our first look at new series installments like Assassins Creed Origins, and a lot of gameplay footage. There weren’t a lot of big surprises, but all in all, it wasn’t a bad show. You can read all the announcements here, or get the biggest news below.

Project Scorpio is the Xbox One X, launching November 7th for $499

We knew a lot about Microsoft’s new console before its official announcement, but we didn’t have its name, price, or release date. Xbox One X — as we already knew — is a souped-up successor to the Xbox One, with more graphical power than the comparable PlayStation 4 Pro. The One X supports 4K gameplay and promises “super sampling” that’s supposed to make graphics look better on 1080p TVs as well. It’s compatible with existing Xbox One accessories, and maintains support for backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games.

Unfortunately, we also got one very unwelcome rumor confirmed: the Xbox One X will cost $499, a hundred dollars more than the PlayStation 4 Pro.

Original Xbox games are coming to Xbox One

The Xbox One already has backwards compatibility with a large collection of Xbox 360 games, but Microsoft went back another generation at this E3, announcing that it’ll roll out support for some original Xbox games too. One of the first will be beloved flight game Crimson Skies; we’ll be learning more about the program later this year.

Crackdown 3 is finally almost here

Microsoft has been dragging out the Crackdown 3 announcement for years, but now the explosive shooter has a release date: November 7th, the same day as the Xbox One X’s launch. That’s cool, but for now, the best thing about this trailer by far is a guest appearance from Terry Crews.

The next Assassin’s Creed game will be set in Egypt, and it looks ridiculous

Assassin’s Creed Origins is about a magi (“An Egyptian sheriff, if you like”) who returns home to kill an oracle and his henchmen with a lot of pleasantly over-the-top powers. You can scope out situations with a pet bird, and when you shoot your bow, you can leap into an arrow’s-eye view and guide its course. The short glimpse we got of gameplay suggests that you’ll get some Dark Souls-tinged combat, RPG-style loot, and complex customization options, too. The game is coming out October 27th on all platforms.

Forza 7 will feature 700 cars

That’s 250 more cars than Forza Motorsport 6, which boasted what we can all agree was a frankly pathetic 450 cars. From what we’ve seen, Forza 7 is also the graphical powerhouse you’d expect. It runs at 60 frames per second at 4K resolution, rendering cars in hyper-realistic detail. You can go read more in my colleague Sean O’Kane’s deep dive on the game’s development, and the game itself goes on sale October 3rd.

Anthem, the Mass Effect creators’ next game, has jetpacks

Anthem’s teaser trailer showed up during yesterday’s EA event, but this was the first time we saw any gameplay. Developed by BioWare, the title is supposed to be a narratively compelling cooperative game, but it hasn’t really distinguished itself from shooters like Destiny, except for one thing: jetpacks. You can fly around some kind of tropical alien landscape with your friends, and that looks awesome. However awesome (or not) the rest of the game turns out to be, it’ll be released in 2018.