The first major E3 2019 keynote kicked things off with a bang. With Sony absent from the show, Microsoft used the opportunity to make a number of big announcements, including detailing its next Xbox, called Project Scarlett, as well as providing release dates and trailers for much-anticipated games like Halo Infinite and Gears 5. We also got a new Elite controller, a surprise Blair Witch game, and a whole lot more.
If you weren’t able to catch the press conference live, here’s all the big stuff you missed.
The next Xbox is closer than you might think. Today Microsoft officially unveiled Project Scarlett, the long-rumored successor to the Xbox One. The device will support 8K gaming, framerates of 120fps in games, and ray-tracing, and it’s going to launch in the holiday 2020 period.
In addition to new hardware, Microsoft also finally announced a release date for its long-awaited cloud gaming service, xCloud. With the new streaming platform, you can “turn your Xbox One into your own personal and free xCloud server,” according to Xbox head Phil Spencer. It’ll be available in October.
Microsoft’s surprise hit Elite controller for the Xbox is ready for an update. Today the company announced the Elite series 2, which “features over 30 new ways to play like a pro, including adjustable-tension thumbsticks, new interchangeable components, up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life, and limitless customization with the Xbox Accessories app on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.”
Halo Infinite and Gears 5 get release dates
Two of the Xbox’s biggest games finally have release dates. The brutal action of Gears 5 will be available to play on September 10th, while Halo Infinite won’t be out until late next year. The twist? It’s coming to Project Scarlett. Not a bad launch title.
The leaks were real: Elden Ring, a fantasy game collaboration between George R.R Martin and Dark Souls creator FromSoftware, is in the works. And based on the first trailer, it looks to be exactly the fantasy epic you’d expect.
One of the most iconic PC games is making a comeback. Today Microsoft revealed a gorgeous new take on the classic Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is launching on PC next year. As you’d expect, it sounds pretty realistic: “From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.”
John Wick is headed to the future. In the latest trailer for CD Projekt Red’s open-world epic Cyberpunk 2077 revealed that none other than Keanu Reeves will be starring in the game. Really, what else do you need to know? Well, it has a release date now: expect to play the game on April 16th, 2020.
Another good look at The Outer Worlds
Obsidian was on hand to show off a new trailer for its Fallout-style sci-fi role-playing game The Outer Worlds. First announced back at The Game Awards, the game looks to blend the first person RPG gameplay of Fallout with a somewhat over-the-top sci-fi universe, that takes place on what looks like a backwater planet. The game is launching October 25th on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Ninja Theory is making a 4v4 action game
Dmc developer Hellblade is bringing its action game pedigree to a new multiplayer experience called Bleeding Edge. In the debut trailer, the game has somewhat of a Team Fortress 2 vibe, but with 4v4 battles and a greater focus on melee combat. You’ll be able to experience it for yourself very soon: a technical alpha kicks off on June 27th.
Minecraft Dungeons is coming next spring
Last year Microsoft announced a surprise spinoff for Minecraft, with the dungeon crawling action RPG Minecraft Dungeons. Not only did we get a new trailer today, showing off the isometric gameplay, we also learned it’ll be launching in spring 2020.
Blair Witch is being turned into a video game, and it looks horrifying. The brief trailer showed off an experience that looks a lot like classic Silent Hill, only transported into first-person.
Last year Microsoft teased the return of classic beat ‘em up Battletoads, and today we got our first proper look at the 2D brawler. It looks gorgeous, though unfortunately it still doesn’t have anything resembling a release date.
One of the most iconic indie studios is no longer independent. Tim Schafer’s Double Fine, the team behind games like Psychonauts, is the latest addition to the ever-growing Microsoft Game Studios. “And with that we’re officially no longer independent, though forever indie in spirit,” says Double Fine’s Greg Rice.
One of the biggest MMOs in Japan is making its way westward. Sega’s Phantasy Star Online 2, which launched in Japan way back in 2012 on PC, is coming to the Xbox One some time next year as a free-to-play experience.