Almost three years into its lifecycle, the Xbox One is starting to hit its stride. The first couple years plagued the console with rudimentary missing features and delayed exclusives. Without backwards compatibility or a tempting catalog of new IPs, the Xbox One became more of a pleasantry purchase than the necessity upgrade the console reveal hyped it up to be.
However, the Xbox team bunkered down, listen to early adopters and started implementing fixes, features, and request that would soon have the console delivering some of the gaming aspects fans felt were missing. Today at E3, the Xbox One team showcased even more announcements to lure fence straddling gamers into this generation of gaming on the Xbox One.
Backwards compatibility: Soon the Xbox One will be given an update that allows it to tap into the massive Xbox 360 library, making the purchase of the new Xbox One console a no-brainer for some.
Elite Wireless Controller: The new controller will have hair trigger locks, higher accuracy, the ability to button re-map. The controller will also work with Windows 10 and the Xbox One and offer numerous customizability options for the more detailed oriented gamer.
Halo 5: Guardians Warzone: The Halo universe just expanded to include a new combat mode where two teams of twelve can face off on maps four times larger than normal. Instead of running into the annoying 'respawn/killed instantly' loop, players can now experience true large scale combat, similar to games like Battlefield.
Rare Replay: A new addition to the varied way gamers can consume content on the Xbox One, Rare Ltd. Is offering $30 hit games for $30. Gamers can now grab up 30 games that span the 30 years of Rare Ltd content starting August 4, 2015.
Minecraft for HoloLens: Speculation and rumors have argued the Minecraft acquisition was central to the HoloLens reveal. Today at E3, Microsoft all but confirmed it with an announcement of a specialized version of Minecraft built specifically for HoloLens. The powerful augmented reality headset showcased an incredible 3D version of gameplay for Minecraft. With voice and gesture commands, players can be as immersed as possible in the game. More about the Minecraft/HoloLens game will be revealed at MineCon later this year.
Xbox Game Preview: As the Windows Stores begin to merge, Xbox One Preview gamers will start reaping the benefits of free trial gameplay found in similar app store strategies. For now, the game titles are limited, but more should make the cut in the future:
- The Long Dark
- Elite Dangerous
Xbox One exclusives and games: The term exclusive seems watered down for this generation of consoles. Many are either timed or ports, the Xbox team still have a few exclusives to pull from their sleeves this year however.
- Recore: is a Xbox One exclusive from Mega Man co-creator Keiji Inafune and is due in the Spring of 2016. The game mixes the Mega Man cartoonish artwork with a post-apocalyptic Metroid feel. The details of the game are a bit sparse, but the game looks very entertaining thus far.
- Fallout 4: The next generation of this game still offers the open world gaming players have gotten used to but with new refinements. As part of the new Xbox One backwards compatibility push, purchasers of Fallout 4 will also receive a token for Fallout 3, "through the first 90 days after Fallout 4's release." Fallout 4 should be available November 10, 2015.
- The Division: Ubisoft showed us some more of their Tom Clancy game schedule for a beta this December. Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place in New York City after a virus effectively takes out much of the population. Gamers will play as members of a secret division that attempt to rescue as many survivors as possible as they traverse the New York landscape.
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege: Another Tom Clancy project, Rainbow Six Siege will be available Oct 13, 2015. For fans of the hyper-realistic close-quarter counterterrorist take down genre, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is back to offer its best version yet.
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: The reinvigorated Tomb Raider franchise just revealed its second installment to be a Xbox One exclusive. The game is as much or more intense looking than the last episode. The game is scheduled for release in Q4 2015, likely around November
- Fable Legends: Fables Legends will be cross platform with Windows 10 and the Xbox One as well as being free to play on either platform.
- Cuphead: the 1930’s Disney-ish cartoon bonanza nightmare game comes from StudioMDHR. The retro style game includes hand-drawn and inked gameplay as well as original jazz compositions. Currently, there is no release date for the game but the developers promise more news in the coming months.
- Sea of Thieves: Another Xbox One exclusive should make its debut next holiday season. During the announcement today, the game is supposed to be another of the cross-platform games Microsoft has to offer. Players will be able to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, in 2016.
- Gigantic: a new free-to-play shooter MOBA. Players can battle alongside their massive guardians. The gameplay is reminiscent of Titan fall where players could automate their Titan to become an additional weapon while moving around the world. The game also introduces cross-platform play. Players can play either on Windows 10 or Xbox One.
- Plants vs. Zombies offer even more gameplay: Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is stepping up its gameplay this year on the Xbox One. "For the first time in franchise history, zombies have taken over and plants are on the attack. With new characters, more ways to play and immersive new maps, the game taps into the heart of what fans loved about the original and goes above and beyond to deliver the biggest, craziest and most over-the-top shooter. Available 2016."
- Ashen: is an action RPG where players wander in search of a home. The game centers around forging relationships to stay alive in a world with no sun.
- Darksouls III: also announced was the third installment in the Darksouls franchise. However, the game will not be out this year, players can expect to play the sequel sometime in 2016.
- Beyond Eyes: is a new [email protected] title that centers around a blind girl by the name of Rae. Players must help Rae through her world using her other senses of sounds, touch and smell. The gameplay works on the narrative of the character and pushes traditional gaming mechanics. The new game is also cross-platform and can be played on Xbox One & PC sometime later this year.
- Another [email protected] game is ION from the creators of DayZ. ION promises to be a massive multiplayer simulator experience in space.
- Gears of War Ultimate Edition: There is a public Beta that will offer gamers a free period of gameplay for the remastered edition. The public beta is open as of today. As for Gears of War 4, its looks scheduled for Holiday season, 2016.
As if new IP’s, backwards compatibility, and new hardware were not enough to entice gamers, Phil Spencer took the remaining moments to tease new user experience will be coming to the Xbox One this week. We’re not sure what exactly that means. However, some gamers have voiced their request for new layouts of the home screen, more refined, UX elements as well bringing over elements of the Windows 10 Store experience. As Microsoft continues to push the One OS strategy, we should expect to see many of the Windows 10 features make their way over to the Xbox One in the future.
The Xbox One team came out in rare form today and possibly made the best case for the console since its original reveal.