In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft’s “ship” had sprung so many leaks it’s a wonder they didn’t sink. Instead, they came out swingin’ and did not waste any time to address the rumors of their new slimmed-down model of the Xbox One, titled the Xbox One S. Microsoft announced that it would come in three different versions: 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB, as well as a streamlined controller that has new features and a more tactile grip. The console is 40% smaller than the original Xbox One and, so far has only been confirmed to come in a white version, and will drop some time in August of this year.
Not only did Microsoft start the showcase off by unveiling the Xbox One S, but they also ended it by confirming another rumor that had been circling around since the leaks. Project Scorpio is real! Project Scorpio is their upgraded Xbox One console that will release in the Holiday season of 2017. The new console will feature 8 cores, 320Gb memory bandwidth, and six teraflops of performance that will allow for true fully uncompressed 4K gaming, which suggests that it will not simply be upscaled 2160p. Microsoft also unveiled that Project Scorpio would be backwards compatible with both the Xbox One and Xbox One S, and you’ll be able to use the same peripherals and controllers with the console as well.
Microsoft also talked a little bit about their ‘Play Anywhere’ program which will allow games to be purchased once and then played across Xbox One and PC at no extra cost. During the conference, The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson announced that Gears of War 4 will be on PC and support Xbox Play Anywhere. Other confirmed Play Anywhere game include Dead Rising 4, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 3, Scalebound, State of Decay, and Halo Wars 2.
Another big announcement from Microsoft this year was some new Xbox Live features. One of these new features is Clubs on Xbox Live, which will allow players to create communities and meet people you can go back to. With Clubs, Microsoft’s goal is to connect people “that love the same things you do.” Another new feature announced was Looking for Group, which helps players find “other gamers with a shared goal in mind.” This means that if you’re looking for someone to run an Incursion in The Division or build a giant castle in Minecraft, Looking for Group will help. Arena was also announced, which is a new tournament platform on Xbox Live. According to Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra, Arena is “the easiest way to discover register and compete in one place.” Players can either compete solo or with friends.
Microsoft had a really solid showing at this years E3. I really like the fact that they came out and immediately addressed the leaks that had occurred in the days leading up to the conference. There is a lot to look forward to in the world of Xbox and the future is looking very bright. Stay tuned to SportsNerdWeb for more follow-up on the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo.