Show us the money!
According to a tweet by Spike TV's Geoff Keighley, Microsoft are poised to show 20 Xbox One games at their E3 press conference today. The conference begins at 9.30am PST, 5.30pm UK time - and you can watch it right here on GamesRadar. Previously, the Xbox owner promised us 15 exclusives during the console's first year, so we imagine the split between Xbox-only and third-party games will be fairly even.
Microsoft is keen to get core gamers back on side after its Xbox One reveal, and subsequent DRM plans, left the hardcore feeling unloved. So, here are the games we think Microsoft will show to try and win us back. The list is based on facts, hot rumours, and our own industry insight. Sure, we expect other multiformat games (like Watchdogs and Assassin's Creed) to appear, but these are the titles we think Microsoft will try to claim as exclusive or semi-exclusives at its show.
Its Microsofts biggest exclusive franchise, for starters. Also we know Halo 4 is the first in a new trilogy of Halo games. Regardless, Xbox One will be packing enough graphical power to render Master Chief in armour so shiny it can reflect every polygon in the environments. Even just a reveal trailer will ensure every Xbox fanboy will buy the new machine at launch, but we expect a gameplay demo of this one.
This was announced at the Xbox Ones official unveiling but only in trailer form. We expect to see the full game being played at E3 as part of Microsofts press conference. It is going to be a launch game, after all, meaning development should be in its final stages already. Definitely gonna be there.
Already officially announced, Quantum Break is the TV/gaming crossover from Remedy that was announced in teaser form during the Xbox Ones announcement conference. We expect Microsoft to demonstrate the game running and show off its connectivity with Smartglass as a demonstration of how the game and the TV show work with each other.
Cryteks high-falutin Kinect combat game has to reappear at some point. It dropped off the radar almost immediately after its announcement in 2011, but surely the advent of the cranked-up Kinect 2.0 is exactly the right opportunity for Microsoft to show off a new, retooled version.
Kinect Sports Season 3
With the new and improved Kinect 2.0, you can bet your bottom dollar that Microsoft will have a new sports game to show off. Reduced lag and better body recognition should make this an ideal game to demonstrate live, even if the motion control fad is almost completely dead.
Gears of War: Pendulum Wars
Gears has always been a graphical showcase for Xbox 360, even going so far as to influence the amount of RAM the machine was given before launch. So if Microsoft really wants to demonstrate what its new machine in capable of, Gears of War is the game to do it. Epic has previously stated it wanted to talk more about the pre-Emergence Day Pendulum Wars--so expect this to form the basis of a next-gen Gears trilogy.
Dance Central 4
Dance Central has been one of Kinects biggest success stories, so it makes sense that the next version will be demonstrated at E3. Perhaps by some megastar of the hip hop world. In fact, the celebrity who will inevitably endorse the new game could demonstrate their own dance moves while their virtual self mimics them on-stage.
Alright, so Peter Molyneux has left Lionhead and Fable: The Jouney was a complete flop, but that just means the stage is set for a new Fable RPG to be shown off. Imagine: With a new director and hopefully less-intrusive (but actually useful) Kinect functionality like speech recognition, this would make for a spectacular RPG demo. The tech might even be in place to realise those acorn-planting promises of the original. You never know.
We already know that Titanfall is going to be Respawn Entertainments first game and that its a Microsoft/Windows exclusive. However, nobodys actually seen it running yet (aside, possibly, from Game Informer if this leak is anything to go by), so we imagine it would make for a brilliant addition to Microsofts E3 presentation. And a first-look at hands-on gameplay would be a traditional E3 dazzler.
Banjo Kazooie next-gen
Ooh, controversial, right? Well, not so much. Rare are working on more than one project, and although the Kinect Sports franchise is their bread and butter, we expect another Rare game at E3. Banjo is one of Rare's best-loved, family-friendly and most recently remade franchises, so it's the best bet.
Were surely bound to see Lococycle, Twisted Pixels motorbike combat game. Until last week wed seen barely a peep of it since last years show, but now its confirmed as an Xbox One launch title. The XBLA version is still coming, but the next-gen one promises boosted resolution and frame-rate.
Halo: Spartan Assault
This top-down, twin-stick shooter has already been confirmed for Windows 8. Chances of it coming to the next-generation of Xbox Live? 100%. This could be Microsoft's next-gen Geometry Wars, and we like the idea of that a lot.
A Bethesda appearance would immediately create the air of mega-ton third-party support that MS needs (no pun intended), and while we dont think the time is yet right for a brand new Elder Scrolls reveal (Skyrim: Legendary Edition only came out a few days ago, and TES Online is Bethesdas new fantasy push), rumours of Fallout 4 have persisted for ages.
Mirror's Edge 2
Another long-rumoured sequel, and one most recently rumoured to be an Xbox 360/Xbox One exclusive. MS has a history of surprise sequels to cult games (though admittedly Crackdown 2 didnt exactly deliver what we hoped), so its far from impossible that the rumour is true.
Epics first announced Unreal Engine 4 game is currently only confirmed for a PC release, but we wouldnt be at all surprised if it turned up on the Xbox One. Epic have a close relationship with MS after Gears of War, and Fortnites whole scavenge, build, defend vibe isnt a million miles away from that of Minecraft. And Minecraft did huge numbers on the Xbox 360.
Its a yearly sports update from EA. EA releases all of its yearly sports updates on every format available. Madden is a yearly sports update from EA based on an American sport, and E3 happens in America. It will be on the Xbox One, and theres a very high chance that itll appear at the show, possibly during a demo of the consoles various interactive sports watching doohickeys.
Because it wouldnt be a Microsoft E3 press conference without an embarrassing demo of a Kinect-powered dance game. We know that Harmonixs Fantasia is coming to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Its 90% guaranteed to be there, and if it is, the poor soul demoing it is 100% guaranteed to become a meme within seconds.
Bethesda have confirmed that Doom 4 exists, which is a good start. We also know that it's going next-gen. When Doom 3 came out on console, it was only on Xbox (although the BFG edition went multiplatform last year). In other words, Bethesda have form. This one's a bit of a Hail Mary prediction, but Doom is exactly the kind of game Microsoft would want at its conference...
NBA Live 14
Ok, so EA have already confirmed this will be Xbox One and PS4. However, given that Microsoft and EA are currently wearing BFF bracelets, we think this will be one of the sports centrepieces of Microsoft's press conference. NBA Live has been away for 3 years, so there's a lot of expectation on this one.
Dead Rising 3
We know this game is happening--Capcom have admitted it. Why do we think it'll be at Microsoft's E3 presser? Dead Rising was exclusive to the Xbox 360, it's a series that has always sold well on Xbox, and DR3 is a game that keeps cropping up on alleged 'leaked Xbox One games' lists.
Did we miss anything?
There are our predictions. Call us over-confident, but if we get less than 15-16 of them absolutely spot-on, we'll be very disappointed. Sure, there are a few wild-cards, and maybe we've missed the biggest bombshells, but we think our list is bullet-proof. Ish. As ever--please let us know your predictions in the comments.
Check back at 9.30am PST or 5.30pm UK time to see how we did. The Microsoft Press Conference stream is right here. Then stay tuned because the EA Press Conference is right afterwards at 1pm PST / 9pm UK time.