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Xbox At E3 2019: Here's Everything You Missed

The Xbox presentation at E3 2019 has officially come to an end, and it's safe to say that Microsoft made a whole lot of news today.

Where do we begin?

In terms of big announcements, we have to start on the homefront. Xbox Game Studios showed off several games, including the previously leaked Bleeding Edge from Ninja Theory, as well as Ori and the Will of the Wisps, which got a release date of Feb. 11, 2020. The team behind Minecraft is hard at work on a Diablo-style dungeon-crawler called Minecraft DungeonsBattletoads is still very much coming in the future, and The Outer Worlds will launch into Xbox Game Pass when it arrives (despite it being published by 2K's Private Division). And inExile's Wasteland 3? That's releasing into Game Pass, too.


Some Xbox Game Studios titles are getting content updates, as well. Forza Horizon 4 is getting a Lego Speed Champions expansion, due out this week, and an expansion for State of Decay 2 — called Heartland — is also in the works.

We got the expected look at Gears 5 during the show, but we didn't just get a rundown of things we'd already heard about, thank goodness. A cool new co-op three-player mode called Escape is coming to Gears 5, and it looks fantastic. And hey, we got a release date for Gears 5! It's going to be Sept. 10, 2019, so we're just a few months out from experiencing a brand new story in the Gears universe. A tech test for the game's VS. mode is scheduled for July 17, so you have even less time until you can actually get a little play time in. Mark it on your calendar.


ID at Xbox made a splash during the show, showing off a slew of titles such as AfterpartyCreature in the WellSupermarket Shriek and more. All in all over a dozen indies got prime-time placement during Microsoft's Xbox conference, and every single one shown off during the ID at Xbox segment will be coming to Xbox Game Pass on the day of their release. Not bad!

But the big blockbuster announcement on the Xbox Game Studios side of things came after Matt Booty took the stage. He announced that Double Fine Productions has been acquired by Microsoft, becoming the latest addition to Xbox Game Studios. And hilariously, Tim Schafer came out to assure Booty he was a "team player," offering to make anything Microsoft wanted, including Halo content, Forza content, or Excel content. We can't wait. Psychonauts 2, by the way, will come to Xbox Game Pass day and date.

Would you believe us if we told you that Keanu Reeves was on Microsoft's stage at E3? Because he sure was. During a trailer for CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, it was revealed that Keanu Reeves will have a major role in the game. And much to the crowd's delight, Reeves was on hand to say a few words and point toward large display in the arena. And yes, that screen had a release date for Cyberpunk 2077: April 16, 2020.


And whoa, Microsoft brought some surprises to E3 (unless you read about them beforehand). We got looks at Elden Ring (the collaboration between FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin) as well as a new Tales game from Bandai Namco called Tales of Arise. But not many of us saw Sega bringing Phantasy Star Online 2 to Xbox One in Spring 2020, nor did we see Microsoft teaming with Smilegate to get Crossfire X out the door. Well played, Microsoft.

Xbox Game Pass for PC is also a thing now. It launches today, costing the same $9.99 a month that the console version does (despite leaks suggesting otherwise). And those who subscribe to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate — which costs $14.99 — will get Game Pass access on both PC and console, plus an Xbox Live Gold subscription to boot.

Microsoft showed a lot of love to PC during the show, too. A new Flight Simulator game is coming that uses satellite imagery and Azure AI to bring Earth to life. And Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is also on the way, boasting 4K graphics.

And a new Xbox Elite Controller is also being developed and is up for pre-order now on Microsoft's website. The updated Elite appears to address may of the shortcomings the first model had, and adds new features like Bluetooth, more hair-trigger lock options, joystick tension adjustments, and more. No word on when that'll launch.


With that, let's talk about the future of Xbox.

Microsoft seems intent on bringing Project xCloud to the masses this October (unless we misunderstood that part — Phil Spencer said it!). And you won't just be able to stream from Microsoft's servers. According to Spencer, you'll also be able to use your Xbox console as a "free" cloud server for xCloud and access your games no matter where you are. That tells us xCloud will come with a price tag when it launches (which isn't surprising), but we likely won't know more until xCloud gets closer to launch.

And then there's the next console. Holy smokes. Microsoft touted a lot of impressive stats about the machine, running a Project Scorpio-like hype trailer for Project Scarlett while mentioning things like 120 frames per second, 8K graphics, SSD, and all that jazz. Project Scarlett may or may not be the console's name when all is said and done, but we do know when it'll arrive: Holiday 2020, along with Halo: Infinite, a launch title for the system.

Halo: Infinite closed the show, and the trailer was nothing if not a technical marvel, running in-engine with hands-down the best graphics ever seen in a Halo title. We didn't get much to chew on other than a bit of story (humanity apparently ended up on the losing side while Master Chief was floating around in space), but we'll undoubtedly hear more about both Halo: Infinite and Project Scarlett in between now and Holiday 2020.


There's still a lot more E3 to come, including a Bethesda conference set for today at 5:30 p.m. PT. Keep it here for all the news on that and the rest of what E3 has to bring.