Microsoft E3 2016 Preview: Xbox One Scorpio, First Party Exclusives, UI Updates and More

Microsoft enters this year’s E3 as the underdog but what surprises await us?

Posted By | On 31st, May. 2016 Under Article, Feature


It’s that time of you-know-what where that-thing-that’s-done is happening at that place. Honestly, it’s been only a handful of years covering E3 but each year feels like a proverbial warzone. The event is only really the beginning with constant updates and excessive developments. In some ways, it’s a catalyst for the year that will follow and so we come to E3 2016.

Xbox One Elite

This year is odd, primarily because Microsoft’s strategy feels unclear. We all know the joke about the TV and sports and fish AI but the last two years have been pretty solid for the house that built Xbox. Last year was exceptionally good, especially when it came to future reveals since there was assurance that most of these titles would be releasing in the near future. The focus remained on games. The problem is, it wasn’t quite enough to aid the company in securing a lead over the PS4. In fact, despite arguably more releases in 2016, Sony has pulled well ahead of Microsoft in the console race.

So what’s the plan this year? More games? That will always be on the menu and honestly, more games are good. But rumours have been swelling. Expectations have been building. What can you possibly expect at Microsoft’s E3 2016 presser? Let’s touch in the main points.

Scorpio and Slim

15 Ways to Enhance Your Experience on PS4 and Xbox One

Despite reports of the PS4 NEO which will compliment rather than replace the base model, it’s ironically Microsoft that’s garnered the most attention with rumours of its upgraded consoles. Or rather consoles in general since according to source, an Xbox One Slim will be releasing this year while a redesigned and souped up version of the console codenamed Scorpio is out next year. So far, so salty in terms of how you should be taking rumours. But that’s not all.

According to these sources, Microsoft will also be releasing Chromecast-esque and Apple TV-esque Xbox attachments, presumably for streaming media in homes. And it also seems the vaunted Xbox One controller is also going in for a redesign when the Xbox 1.5 – the slim version – debuts. Which console has 4K support? With rumours of the Xbox 2 aka Scorpio being compatible with VR and a VR game in development (not to mention Microsoft reportedly courting Oculus), what will E3 2016 hold in terms of surprises?

Overall, one can hope that this isn’t simply a knee-jerk reaction to what Sony’s doing. It takes more than better hardware to succeed and hopefully Microsoft is working on facilitating more games for its console.

The First Party

crackdown-3-multi-explosion_0

If there’s one thing Microsoft does have going for its console, it’s the first party support. Last year hyped up a number of great games for the future including Scalebound, Crackdown 3, ReCore, Sea of Thieves, Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2. The problem now is information.

Scalebound was delayed into early 2017, which is understandable given its massive scope. Crackdown 3 and ReCore haven’t really had a ton of details going about. Same goes for Sea of Thieves. Wasn’t Crackdown 3 supposed to be all revolutionary with its open world destruction and cloud computing capabilities? We heard a whole lot about that at GDC 2015 with the promise of a multiplayer demo in the Summer but nothing’s emerged just yet. Gears of War 4 had its multiplayer beta roughly a month ago but it’s the campaign which draws the most interest.

And there’s that something else that 343 Industries was teasing recently. It’s probably Halo related. Why mention it alongside Halo 5 updates and Halo Wars 2 if it wasn’t? Forza Horizon 3 will also likely be announced because duh.

Here’s the thing – Microsoft doesn’t have an awful line-up of games for this year. It just needs more. For all of its prolonged development cycles and constant delays, Sony does have the upper hand for 2016. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Ratchet & Clank were both great. Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Last Guardian are out this year. Gran Turismo Sport will follow. Other titles like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Media Molecule’s Dreams and so on will continue to be hyped. Sony may not have had the most number of releases last year but it’s seemingly making up for it this year. And that’s counting the unannounced games that are presumably waiting in the wings.

How does Microsoft counter that? That’s a good question if ever there was one. Not that Sony is on top of the world or anything (it has its own unique set of problems) but Microsoft has its work cut out for it in making me care about the line-up between this year’s E3 and next year.

Quality of Life

Xbox One Streaming to Windows 10

Another area where Microsoft has seemingly slowed down is in its quality of life updates for the Xbox One. Maybe that’s because it intends to shift to Scorpio more next year? Regardless, there’s a big difference between last year – which saw the release of backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games,  dedicated servers for party chat and a revamp of the entire UI – and this year where we’ve gotten the odd few improvements to Achievement tracking, multi-disc support for backwards compatible titles and being able to see who’s in a party.

If anything, the focus has been more on integrating the Xbox One into the Windows 10 framework via cross-platform titles. Not that this is a big deal but it’s a bigger deal for PC players than console gamers. Coming out with significant updates to the UI is no easy feat but hopefully this E3 will see something, anything interesting. We expect to see a number of Xbox One titles carrying the tagline of also heading to Windows 10. That won’t be shocking and it hopefully won’t be a major focus for Microsoft. That being said, there is the rumoured Project Helix, an initiative between Xbox One and Windows 10. Whether really shakes things up remains to be seen.

All in all, E3 2016 is shaping up to be something special. The jury is out on just how well it could pan out for Microsoft but there is stuff in the pipeline. There are plenty of big developments that could come true. And really, at the end of the day if there are fun games to play, everyone wins.


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  • Ben A

    Where is Sony upper hand smh, more like stellar line up from Sony. Microsoft has the upper hand with this year exclusives such as Gears Of War 4, Recore, Crackdown 3, Halo Wars 2, Forza Horzion 3 and they will be a lot more to come

    • Maverick Saturn

      I guess that depends on how much lack of gameplay and repeats of games you’ve played before interest you.

      On the creative side, there is more interesting and exciting things going on in Sony’s camp.

    • Mr Xrat

      You keep saying this every year and it never happens.

    • Tonton Ramos
    • Bad wolf

      #Xbox the best Box 🙂

    • MrSec84 .

      Dude Sony has Horizon Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, The Last Guardian, Gran Turismo Sport, Ni-Oh and Nier Automata as AAA, outright PS4 exclusives.

      FH3 hasn’t even been announced yet, Gears 4 is the only game confirmed as an outright exclusive for XB1 coming in 2016, the rest are all likely multiplats releasing on PC and XB1.
      Sony already has Uncharted 4, Ratchet & Clank, Shadow of The Beast, Alienation and Hardware Rivals which released already and those are exclusive to PS4.
      Sony has a way bigger line-up of exclusives than Microsoft in 2016, just like every past year of this console generation.

      As for your “they will be a lot more to come”, from who?
      Microsoft doesn’t have very many developers dedicated to making games, any games made by 3rd party will likely release on PC too.
      Sony on the other hand already has a tonne of stuff announced for 2016, with Detroit and Ni-No-Kuni 2 that could be moved forward if some of the above games need more development time.

      Let’s not forget that Sony Bend, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, London Studio, Naughty Dog and Japan are all working on new exclusives that they have yet to announce.
      Only Naughty Dog are likely to be far off from revealing their next game, the rest could all have something that could release in the next 12 months.
      As second party Insomniac, From Software, Supermassive Games and a bunch of other studios known to partner with Sony could have 2nd party exclusives in the works for PS4.

      So yeah Sony has the upper hand on the games front for sure.

    • Daniel Lawson

      A game on the PC is an exclusive what does it matter if you buy it from the store on your Xbox or PC?

    • Maverick Saturn

      Because an exclusive to a console requires you to buy said console to experience the game, it is the only way to experience it, like Gears 4 for an example. Whereas if one should already own a PC capable of playing games that are available on PC and Xbox, even on the lowest setting, one therefore has no reason to invest in an Xbox, thus rendering the “exclusivity” tag useless.

      I am fortunate enough to own a gaming PC and PS4, with the two of them in tow, I have very little reason to buy an Xbox, I’m not missing out on much.

    • theduckofdeath

      We have all witnessed how many people claim PC gaming to be too expensive/uncomfortable/mentally & emotionally taxing (all while posting in videogame forums, no less). Provided these posters are sincere, the percentage of normal people who would think to buy a game on PC and not a console is likely infinitesimal.

    • Doggystyle

      You’re only missing out on having to press the reset power cycle button on the Xbox One everyday to get the crappy thing to work.

    • MrSec84 .

      If a game is on PC and XBox then it’s no longer exclusive to Xbox One, it’s a multiplat.
      Exclusives are a major selling point for a platform, if that system doesn’t have any, then there’s very little differentiating that system from another one.

      If someone hasn’t bought an XB1 yet and there aren’t any unique games for it, then there’s really no reason for new buyers to get the system.
      If another platform has loads more, then it’s going to continue selling way better and appealing to people that are yet to buy into the current generation.

    • Eddie Battikha

      That’s y the PS4 NEO compared to the Scorpio will be a success, it’s not about hardware, it’s about software. PS2 vs Xbox proved it in sales.

    • #TeamCap

      sony have the upper hand as they are in the lead by 19 million units sold to consumers!

  • Rhodri

    Xbox have gotten QB so far. I think they are saving everything for E3. Also isn’t FF7 coming to xbox?

    • Mark

      Yeah I think there’s a good argument to be made that since they’ve only had QB release this yr, they have massive stuff pinned up in their chest to show now!

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  • Mark

    THEY BETTER SHOW SKORPION

    • Hvd

      they could wait till next e3 and release in in nov if they announce it now it will kill their xbox slim sales.

    • Mark

      *Sigh. I feel u, that makes sense. I just figured Microsoft would want to punch a hole in the NEO’s sails, by announcing they’ll have a system with a bigger GPU, and get some people to hold off on the NEO this fall. But, I guess they’ve figured they’ll just try to sell the Slims. Personally I think Sony’s gonna bury them if they don’t reveal the Skorpion lol.

    • Hvd

      they may not announce scorpio at this e3 but i bet right after they leak the xbox scorpio specs to kill those ps4 neo sales.

      keep an eye out for those leaked specs after e3.

    • OC Guy

      True..”IF” Neo is supposed to be a Christmas release I can see MS showing everything in regard to their Scorpio a month or so before its release to cool its hype.

    • Hvd

      yep it will remain hype so they can sell xbox slims.then next e3 its announced.

    • Doggystyle

      You people think its really about the GPU? I think its more about how Microsoft does its business. They are in second place with gamers and the dev community because they treated everybody like crap. You can’t keep moneyhatting your way out of everything. I doubt if a new more powerful console will even make a difference with their bad reputation. Their Xbox division is a worthless money pit.

    • Mark

      Well I hold no company high on a pedestal. I pay u for ur product and services, you provide me with a better gaming experience….it’s that simple for me. Playing games on a console that’ll run them @60fps and at high end graphics settings is a dream for me. I’m having enough politics shoved in my mouth by now with this presidential election, so who’s “right” & who’s “wrong” in gaming I could care less about. But I respect ur opinion, I’m just in a different place.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      I doubt that will deter sells for slim. Fact is these are new hardware, calling it an “upgrade” is just a marketing term to ease gamers anxiety over new consoles. Imagine if they announced it as new generation? So it’s like a PC market, even though I’ve had a 290x for 3 years now I’m not upgrading anytime soon for a new GPU. Point is there are options for enthusiast and entry level gamers and most of all helps entry level gamers because the standard console prices become cheaper faster. Win win for everyone in the industry.

    • Hvd

      here is the announce ment here is our xbox slim for $250 and then released next year the x4 more powerful xbox scorpio next year but still go ahead an buy the xbox slim..lol

      you think people would buy the xbox slim know a new console is releasing next year?

    • JerkDaNERD7

      Yes! That’s how the current PC market works (ecossystem). Casual gamers will only see the price and being told they can upgrade later and still have their games and profile, they will buy the cheaper Xbox. Enthusiast as I’ve stated are the only gamers willing to upgrade early in the generation so only they will reserve from buying a cheaper Xbox to get a more powerful Xbox. Which are the minority of gamers.

      It’s the ‘hardware ecosystem’ Phil has been bragging about since last year similar to PC and mobile. Meaning no anxieties over a new generation console where gamers sacrifice their games and developers sacrifice their Engine/tools and source code for a new API/OS exclusive to a new console. Which makes sense why both companies went with PC architecture this generation. It’s becoming more clear now.

    • Hvd

      consoles arnt pc thos its a different market.you cant convince someone parents to buy a xbox slim now know in 8 more months there is a stronger consoles coming out.

      i believe people have more common sense then that.

      phil just wants to play xbox exclusives on his 4k pc..lol

    • JerkDaNERD7

      Bottom line to average buyers is what’s common is price makes sense and you buy because of the games and you sacrifice none of that. Parents could care less about 8 months from now because they arent’ missing anything. Games will still be designed for the standard version. Upgrade later when a third version is released.

      Also current console hardware is like a PC and why it’s going to be like a PC market where software isn’t exclusive allowing developers to scale to new hardware.

    • Hvd

      lets take it out odf console terms.are you going to buy the galaxy 8 when the galaxy 9 is 6 more months away no .

      i believe people have more common sense hen that.

    • JerkDaNERD7

      Obviously no because we’re speaking in terms of mobile now because Galaxy 9 will have exclusive hardware features that only the new OS will allow and mobile market go by contracts making upgrading cheaper. This is a gaming rig that you leave in your house and on occasion play. You’re so obsessed with absolutes and why you find this difficult to comprehend.

      I find it simple. I’ve had my Xbox for 3 years now, I’m upgrading to a powerful console next year because it’s been long enough and I have an income to easily save up til’ then especially expecting some good trade-in deal from retailers. All the while not sacrificing my games and profile.

    • Hvd

      im just giving you another point of view.you seam to think if people are aware that a new xbox is coming out in say 8 months they would still buy the slim.

      the point is the same just using a different object.

    • Doggystyle

      In other words, you’ve had it 3 years, and since it was a such a piece of crap for the entire 3 years, you couldn’t find a better excuse to part with it until this Scorpio announcement, so now you’re in here trying to make it sound like you havn’t been ripped off the last 3 years with your inferior 900p next gen game system. LOL.

    • Doggystyle

      Bottom line is you got ripped off 3 years ago on the Xbox One and you’re just so desperate to finally have a more powerful Xbox game console, that you’re already willing to plop down another small fortune on the unfulfilled promises of another new box. What kind of worms is MS fishing with, because the dumbfish are biting like crazy. Hilarious!

    • JerkDaNERD7

      I never got ripped off buying an XOne because I’ve enjoyed their games so far, same thing goes for my PS4 and PC. I’ve enjoyed my games so no feelings of being ripped off.

      I think you’re missing the big picture, this is an industry movement with both companies hence the decision to go with slightly similar PC architecture. So you should show the same sentiment for both sides or are you feelings hurt the Xbox Scorpio will potentially be more powerful than PS4 Neo?

      I could care less, I like it and it’s a win win for manufactures, developers and most of all us gamers.

      Real question is can Sony in time establish a platform before losing out in this console arms race? They can’t last in long run, big fish eat little fish as this industry has proven.

    • A Verdade Ofende

      Different market? not anymore…

      Scorpio will run games X, Y and Z, Scorpio Successor will run better the same games (X, Y and Z) and no one need to be convinced about that. The same thing happens about Xbox One and Xbox One Slim, no one needs to be convinced about their compatibility, so hardware is not the only main point anymore. Now the thing in discussion is “the platform”. ‘Xbox’ is the system that will run in all those hardwares. It will be only one system for all, “Xbox”.

      Microsoft may sell differents models of Xbox, but the market will focus on the system and design of new hardwares. Eventually the hardware specification will be evidenced.

      All developers will focus on the first version of the new generation as standard for graphics and the main, if not the only, diferences will be the resolution, fps, load times, … speed in general for the various different hardwares.

      Something similar happens on mobile and PC gaming.

    • Doggystyle

      LOL. You clearly got sucked in by the lies and false promises.

    • A Verdade Ofende

      Its not about me.

      Just read the news and youll know.

    • Doggystyle

      “Ecosystem” is just a silly buzz word to keep you Xbox nerds heads spinning. I laugh every time I see you clowns repeat it. LOL, you Xbox guys are like spotted cows waiting to be milked.

  • Hvd

    just let it be around $500 $600 wont sell at all the ps3 found that out.it also has to be the price of the ps4 neo or it wont sell.

  • Mr Xrat

    May as well put last year’s conference on repeat if you want a preview.

    Laughing at Xgimps begging for more leaked specs, at least now you can’t deny your disappointment over your vegetable Xbone anymore.

    • Foster Hampton

      You could say that about Sony too.

    • Bad wolf

      Keep crying pony :DDD

    • Mr Xrat

      Tears of laughter? Totally. Watching you Xgimps hype up hot air yet again is always edifying. 🙂

    • Truth™ PSVR 960×1080®

      Where are the PS4 games?

      Oh wait. More tears of laughter. Sonygimps trying to tell xgimps they have no games.

      PC always wins 🙂

    • Truth™ PSVR 960×1080®

      Can’t wait for the Sony conference where they show only PC games and some rushed PS3 shovelware again before embarassing themselves with a 720P VR headset that requires another cuckstation to run. Another year when PC wins E3 and your tears are as nourishing as ever. Better rev up those petitions before you tie the noose, ruggacuck 🙂

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f4bb08c4947fefa218badaec0c49e5697b9f932c95addbb79cdc35054ae222b.png

    • Propranolol50mgonceadayforever

      oh YES brother. you speaked the TRUTH ! NO ONE can come back at those stats AMEN. Total annihilation from Microsoft this E3. YES !

    • Maverick Saturn

      My PC is probably more of a beast than yours (since I went all “no expenses spared” on it) and I still own a PS4.

      So I’m failing to see your point here :/

    • Clint Hoffman

      Funny that I don’t see the One fans that kept harping on how DX12 would ‘save them’ and miraculously create a console superior to the PS4.
      Strangely absent is the same fans stating that M$ or Sony would ‘never’ come out with an upgraded console. lol.

  • JerkDaNERD7

    I didn’t knkow Horizon and Last Guardian was out?

  • Aladan57 .

    Between new upgraded consoles and VR. I’m already bored of the E3 press conferences. I don’t care about either. I just want announcements for new games I can play on the consoles I already bought and play them my good ol’ gamepad and HDTV.

  • V3

    “It takes more than better hardware to succeed ”
    No it doesn’t when you’re competing against a company with weaker hardware. Stop pretending graphics aren’t the most important factor when they just are. Power is what differentiates console generations anyway.

    • Doggystyle

      Well, truth be told, Sony’s console has better graphics, better 1st party studios, better exclusive games, and they have a better relationship with game developers and the indie dev community. MS has better false promises.

    • V3

      It’s power almost exclusively. Everything else is subjective

    • Truth™ PSVR 960×1080®

      PS4 still looks like a tards turd bro and has always been underpowered laptop toaster failing to run games at 30FPS. Unsharted bore was overrated trash. Sony closed down the studios and no games. And every indie is releasing on PC because no one is buying indies on the tardstation poor

      Sorry, better go end yourself for buying the second worst console on the market since the Wii U actually has games 🙂

  • monty

    it’s funny how xbox fanboys hate on rumors for ps4 neo yet are praising xbox scorpio rumors. bottom line is ps4 is ahead by over 20 million

    #DEAL WITH IT

    also rumors are suggesting ps4 neo coming in fall 2016 while scorpio won’t be out till 2017 so basically sony will have the whole year to themself. by the time scorpio comes out ps4 could be ahead by 30 million

    here is what i really think. xbox scorpio will actually be xbox 2. ms will abandon the xbox one just like nintendo is doing to wiiu. because the prospect of catching ps4 is over and done with. it took ps3 6 years to eliminate a 7 million lead of xbox360. and that was done by ps3 outselling xbox360 from day one

    all i am saying is don’t have a double standard. if you are hatiung on neo and praising scorpio than you are a fanboy

    i for one am happy to hear we may get upgraded consoles mid gen


 

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