While there was a lot of speculation that the next generation Xbox console, Project Scarlett, would be unveiled–it sort of was, Microsoft instead showed that the Xbox One isn’t ready to bend the knee just yet. Showcasing over 30+ games coming in both the near and distant future, there’s still a lot to be excited for on Xbox One including the highly anticipated Gears 5 (releasing September 10th, 2019) and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (releasing November 15th, 2019) just to name a few.
One of the standout moments of the Briefing was during the Cyberpunk 2077 segment, when John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves showed up to talk about the game; a cinematic trailer revealing that he appears as a character in the game, calling it ‘breathtaking’ to which a fan shouted “YOU’RE BREATHTAKING”, with the entire room erupting in laughter and Reeves shouting it back to the fan; no doubt making their day.
Microsoft also spent a great deal of time talking about Xbox Game Pass and revealed that the subscription service ($9.99/month) would be making the jump over to PC with the newly created Xbox Game Pass PC. This version of the service will see over 100 games added by August 2019 including Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Reach; it will also be included in the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Bundle – in addition to Xbox Live & Xbox Game Pass.
Surprisingly, no gameplay footage for Gears 5 was shown this year – a new mode called Escape Mode was the focus, which sees players planting bombs within a hive and then, you guessed it, escape the area before being overtaken by swarms of enemies. Players will also be able to build and create their own levels and share them with the gaming community; again, no gameplay was shown for this – more information coming over the next few months according to Rod Fergusson, Studio Head at The Coalition. And, if you pre-order the game OR play it within the first week of release, you’ll receive the Terminator: Dark Fate Character Pack absolutely FREE of charge; yes, you get to play as a Terminator in a Gears game!
Microsoft ended their Briefing by teasing the successor to the Xbox One – code-named Project Scarlett. And although no other information was revealed, we did get a few hints at what exactly the console will be able to achieve:
- Native 4K at 60 FPS – up to 120 FPS
- Next Gen SSD – 40x faster than Xbox One X
- Hardware accelerated ray tracing
- 8K capable
The release date for this mammoth of a console is set for Holiday 2020 – in other words, it could either come out sometime between September and December; price still yet to be confirmed.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Xbox Briefing if Master Chief didn’t make an appearance, and he did in a big way as Halo Infinite was confirmed to be launching alongside Project Scarlett next year – Day One release! No gameplay footage was shown but a lengthy cutscene was shown that gave some hints as to what happens in this chapter of the epic franchise – Cortana is missing; likely due to her story from Halo 5: Guardians, a Halo Ring was seen broken, and an unseen enemy force was preparing to attack a derelict spacecraft with Chief and an unknown pilot onboard.
At the end of the day, Microsoft packed a lot of punch into their E3 2019 Briefing, with a lot to look forward to in the near and distant future. With a decent balance of AAA titles (Gears 5, Cyberpunk 2077) and brand new IP’s (Blair Witch, The Outer Worlds), gamers will have their plates filled with great experiences leading into the new year. And with Project Scarlett and Halo Infinite on the horizon, it’s safe to say that E3 2020 is going to pack an even bigger punch – one that I will be happy to take right in the chest.
You can find Chris on Twitter at @ChrisZaiser for more live updates from E3 2019!