Welcome back to another article of speculation! I’d say of all the E3 press conferences, Microsoft is the biggest engima and that’s actually kinda exciting. It’s boring at times to know EXACTLY what you’re going into. This may just be the fanboy in me talking, but this is the conference I’m going into the most interested in. Now the things I’m going to predict will be there may not be so cool, but I’m hoping there are some hidden treats that Microsoft is trying to keep under wraps. Let’s start off the obvious stuff and get into the BIG point of the conference.
This is Microsoft’s major attempt to control the gaming space as the most powerful console hardware available. It was formally announced last year at E3 and is still targeted for a late 2017 release. Thanks to Digital Foundry and Eurogamer, we know what’s in it and if Microsoft was actually bullshitting about its specs (they weren’t), but we still don’t know the precise release date and the major factor: price. This’ll be a tough battle for Microsoft to win as fans will want a cheap console, but with it being touted as the strongest out there, it gives me doubts that it’ll be below the $500 mark. We could very well have another $599 on our hands with this one…
Forza Motorsport 7
When I mentioned earlier that Digital Foundry got to take a look at the Scorpio before anyone else, they explained that a tech demo for Forza Motorsport 7 was what they got to view. This makes it pretty clear that the game will most likely also be showed off when the Scorpio is debuted at this E3. Also helps to predict this when Motorsport and Horizon basically switch off every year. I’m not the biggest fan of the Forza franchise, but I know that if this is the game that will be used to show how good the graphics for the Scorpio are, it’s gonna be beautiful.
Sea of Thieves
Rare’s history with Microsoft has been scattered. People love Viva Pinata, the sequels, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, but then Rare was sentenced off to make bad Kinect games for the rest of eternity. With the Kinect basically being killed off, Rare got to explore its old catalog of games with 2015’s Rare Replay, but now it was time for them to make something with potential again! We saw Sea of Thieves last year and it’s run a few alphas since then, so it’s a good moment to finally get a release date and have a little more gameplay shown off for it. Also, a open world multiplayer pirate game sounds pretty damn cool, reminds me of that cancelled Pirates of the Caribbean game.
State of Decay 2
Do people still like zombies? Yeah, yeah they do. Despite seeing a “Is this the year zombies finally die?” article every year, I don’t think it’s happening anytime soon. I really enjoyed my time with State of Decay as it was a unique experience for a zombie game. You could make your own bases, recruit survivors with unique abilities, and it had cool RPG elements to it. A major thing that was lacking that everyone desperately wanted though? Co-op. And now it looks like the sequel is going to grant that wish. So all the aspects of the first game, plus the ability to play with others? Sign me up. I could see this dropping by the end of 2017, so a release date and some gameplay is smart bet.
Microsoft had a montage last year at their conference in which they showed a lot of awesome indie games and quite a few of them still aren’t out yet, so we’ll definitely see more this year and hopefully get some confirmed release dates. Just LOOK at the art design in Cuphead, how can you not want to play a boss rush game in the style of old Disney cartoons?
We first saw Crackdown 3 back during the 2014 E3 Microsoft conference and it STILL isn’t out yet. This could be due to the ideas that were presented along with the game. You see that building crumbling in the center of that picture? Well, apparently every single building in the game can do that, which requires a good amount of horsepower in your console. Microsoft previously claimed cloud servers would be the key to allowing this to happen in a multiplayer setting, but I’m betting with the release of Scorpio, this task got a little easier. Could be a good 2nd game to show off the Scorpio’s power after Forza.
The picture above is from the Phantom Dust reboot/sequel that was announced alongside Crackdown 3 at the 2014 E3 conference. It was then cancelled. Just last month, however, we got a free (for Gold members) HD remaster of the original Phantom Dust. Now why would Microsoft go and do that, huh? Possibly because a majority of their current fanbase didn’t play the original Xbox title? Possibly because they are trying to gather a new audience before trying a reboot again? Just a guess.
Killer Instinct showed that you don’t need to come out with a new fighting iteration every year. Instead, you can just keep the same game and add new characters/maps/modes to it with seasons. Season 3 wrapped up last year and it’s a safe bet to say that Season 4 will be coming this year. There have already been two new characters added to the game this year since Season 3, so throw/announce one or two more up at E3 and label them all as the beginning of the next season.
We’ve been told Halo 6 is not coming out this year and it’s possible we won’t even get a trailer for it, but I could definitely see a teaser ala that weird ass caped Master Chief one for Halo 5 showing up. That ultimately didn’t have anything to do with the story, but it did serve to hype fans up for the next release. Microsoft desperately needs fan support right now, so it might be a smart plan.
Shot In The Dark:
Quantum Break just came out last year, but in late 2016, they confirmed they were working on two new games. Sadly, they also confirmed neither of them had anything to do with Alan Wake, but…whatever. It may be too soon to see anything from them, but they also could be far along enough in at least one of them to show off something, even if it’s just a teaser.
Blinx: The Time Sweeper
Voodoo Vince got a HD remaster just a few months ago, I want my Blinx: The Time Sweeper, damnit! (Note: I’ve never even played this game)
And that’s it for my guesses at what will be at Microsoft’s conference. I really hope there’s a lot more to the show than I guessed, so we’ll see this Sunday! Next up in the rotation is Sony as I decided to do a little skipping around to just get the other big console out of the way (Sorry, not sorry Nintendo).