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Xbox E3 2019 Recap: Best of Microsoft Xbox at E3 2019

Xbox E3 2019

The Xbox E3 2019 show has wrapped, showing off 60 E3 2019 games, including 14 titles from Xbox Game Studios, Microsoft teased its next console generation - and yet all I can think about right now is Keanu Reeves. Here's a summary of everything coming to Xbox from E3 2019, in order of importance; be sure to check back and tune in for everything else in the E3 2019 schedule.   

Xbox Project Scarlett launch set for Holiday 2020 

Xbox Project Scarlett is launching next year, even if Microsoft still hasn't nailed down an official name for its next console. "For us, the console is vital and central to our experience" said Head of Xbox Phil Spencer. In a video showing interviews with plenty of engineers, we got to hear some tantilizating specs for Project Scarlett, like the fact that it will deliver a "four times performance increases over the current generation." There's a big focus on reducing load times thanks to a built-in SSD that doubles as virtual RAM, and the graphical capabilities will allow for 120fps, 8K resolution, variable refresh rates, and ray tracing with hardware acceleration. Project Scarlett will also continue the Xbox trend of offering backwards compatibility, allowing for "four generations" of games on the system. "Power and performance you can see and feel defines Project Scarlett," said Spencer. It's also launching with a long-awaited sequel... 

Halo Infinite will be a Project Scarlett launch game in Holiday 2020 

A cinematic trailer gave us another glimpse of Halo Infinite, which will be launching alongside Project Scarlett sometime in the Holiday 2020 timeframe. A man separated from his wife and daughter is adrift in space, when suddenly his craft comes across a familiar figure: Master Chief, floating lifelessly in the void. The man revives Chief with a jolt of electricity, then reveals a solemn sight: the original Halo has been fractured, and all seems lost. Just then, the ship comes under attack, and Chief states that "We need to fight." A quick stinger featured Cortana's voice saying "I chose you because you were special" - maybe the fan-favorite AI will find a way back to Master Chief. 

Cyberpunk 2077 has a release date (and KEANU REEVES OMG) 

Cyberpunk 2077 is launching on April 16, 2020, and CD Projekt Red had one hell of a surprise in store for us: Keanu Reeves playing a part in the game and showing up onstage to announce the Cyberpunk 2077 release date. Reeves' character is still unnamed, but we got to see a cinematic featuring protagonist V getting double-crossed by some thugs after losing his partner Jack in a shootout. After seemingly getting taken down, V awakes to a hologram of Reeves telling him "Wake the f** up samurai, we have a city to burn." A gameplay sizzle reel showed off some sweet new scenes, like using a laser whip and plugging into a mainframe while submerged in a tub of ice, so hopefully we'll get to see much more Cyberpunk 2077 on the show floor. 

Gears 5 reveals release date, Escape mode, and a Terminator crossover 

After a freaky-deaky trailer showing protagonist Kait struggling with a fractured mind, we learned that Gears 5 is launching on September 10, 2019. The Coalition's Rod Fergusson took the stage to show off a new mode: Escape, a three-player co-op mission to infiltrate a Hive nest, plant a bio-toxin bomb, and escape with your life. There's also an unexpected cameo in Gears 5: a Terminator exoskeleton will be showing up as a playable character. We'll get to see more of Gears 5 during a July 17 Versus multiplayer tech test featuring the Arcade mode, then Horde mode will be available for hands-on at events on August 19 before the game's launch in September. 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a new tier for the subscription service 

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is for the player who wants to play on their Xbox or PC at will, and it's launching alongside Xbox Game Pass for PC today. Xbox Game Pass for PC will offer over 100 games by August, and costs $9.99 a month - or you can pay $14.99 for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes Xbox Game Pass for consoles, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass for PC. To sweeten the deal, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metro Exodus, Hollow Knight, and Borderlands The Handsome Collection are now part of Xbox Game Pass as of today, and first-time subscribers can jump in for just $1. 

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 looks sleek 

A new version of the Xbox Elite controller is coming, and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 has tons of upgrades. Adjustable tension joysticks, shorter hair trigger locks, wrap-around rubber grip, support for multiple game profiles, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rechargeable battery with 40 hours of play per charge. It's now available for pre-order for $180. 

Elden Ring is the upcoming collab between FromSoftware and George RR Martin  

It was less surprising since it leaked right before E3 started, but the first Elden Ring trailer looked appropriately grandiose given that it's the brainchild of Hidetaka Miyazaki, his team at FromSoftware, and Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin. 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps coming in February 2020, looks as gorgeous as ever 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps showed off some new gameplay footage featuring all manner of aggressive animals that seem hellbent on eating Ori, including a giant spider covered in writhing glow worms, a bird with bony arms, a giant wolf, some octopus tentacles, and a huge lava-mouthed worm. Ori's grapple mechanic is still here, and we also got to see a flight on the back of your new owl friend. Ori and the Will of the Wisps launches on February 11, 2020. 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay shows off AT-ATs 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order showed off more gameplay at the Xbox show, featuring snippets from the behind-closed-doors demo where Cal Kestis and his droid BD-1 scale AT-ATs, hijack them, and first meet Rogue One's Saw Gerrera. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches on November 15. 

Borderlands 3 trailer features Lilith's middle finger 

A new Borderlands 3 trailer sounded the horns on Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary, a Borderlands 2 DLC you can download for free right now that sets up the story of the forthcoming sequel. We got to see even more sweet footage of the four new Vault Hunters kicking all kinds of behind, which you can do yourself when Borderlands 3 launches on September 13. 

Bleeding Edge reveal trailer shows off 4v4 bouts 

Another pre-E3 leak gave away the surprise of Bleeding Edge, a 4v4 brawler from Ninja Theory that focuses on melee combat and outlandish cyborg character designs. Bleeding Edge will be playable in a technical alpha launching June 27, so we should find out more on its multiplayer fights soon. 

Minecraft Dungeons is like a blocky Diablo 

We already knew the new game from Minecraft's creators was named Minecraft Dungeons, but a new gameplay trailer showed off some very Diablo-esque adventuring in an isometric perspective, with support for four-player co-op adventuring in both local and online play. Minecraft Dungeons will launch in Spring 2020. 

Psychonauts 2 gameplay shown, Microsoft acquires Double Fine 

Double Fine Productions has long been an indie star, but now it's part of Xbox Game Studios. Good ol' Tim Schaefer unveiled a new Psychonauts 2 gameplay trailer featuring the return of Raz, all your favorite camp counselors, and even the nefarious Dr. Loboto, who seems to have a mindscape full of creepy teeth. We also got a brief look at the new Big Bad, a Cruella Deville-looking lady. 

Get froggy with the return of Battletoads  

The Battletoads reboot is looking like some good ol' fashioned beat-'em-up action with a lovely new coat of paint. Rash, Pimple, and Zitz look great in the new Battletoads' hand-drawn animation style, and of course, it'll support three-player couch co-op. There's even a new take on the accursed Turbo Tunnel section, this time from a behind-the-back perspective. No release date for Battletoads yet, but it's coming to Xbox Game Pass. 

ID@Xbox sizzle reel features tons of nifty games 

As is tradition, Microsoft showed off a bevy of games in an ID@Xbox sizzle reel, featuring (deep breath): Dead Static Drive, Pathologic 2, Star Renegades, Afterparty, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, The Good Life, CrossCode, Creature in the Well, Killer Queen Black, Riverbond, Unto the End, Blazing Chrome, Felix the Reaper, UnderMine, Supermarket Shriek, Secret Neighbor, Ikenfell, The Lord of the Rings Card Game, Night Call, and Totem Teller. They'll all be available as part of Xbox Game Pass when they launch. 

More announcements: 

  • Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming westward in Spring 2020, with all available content in a free-to-play package.
  • The Outer Worlds release date is set for October 25, and a new trailer featured some heavy 'Fallout meets Borderlands' vibes as your hero sets out to save or terrorize a Halcyon colony.
  • Blair Witch is a new first-person horror game from Bloober, the studio behind Layers of Fear, using camcorder mechanics akin to the classic film. It also features a dog named Bullet, and we hope we can pet him. It launches on August 30.
  • Spiritfarer is a new game from Thunderlotus, featuring gorgeous 2D art. You'll tend to a ship full of anthropomorphic animal companions that you can expand as you travel, and eventually ferry this animals to their spiritual destinations. Spiritfarer will be coming to Xbox Game Pass.
  • RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is a cute-looking RPG with a 'notebook pencil sketch' aesthetic and a backdrop made to look like an actual desktop covered in cardboard doohickeys. It launches in 2020.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator is making a surprise comeback on Xbox One and PC, powered in part by satellite data and Azure AI.
  • Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition brings back the classic PC RTS with 4K visuals, remastered audio, and a new campaign called The Last Khans. It'll launch this fall.
  • Wasteland 3 had a goofy new trailer with all kinds of mayhem happening in the snowy Colorado Springs. Meat clowns are involved, as are flamethrowers and rocket launchers. Wasteland 3 is coming to Xbox Game Pass.
  • Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga wraps all nine films in the mainline Star Wars series into one new game, all branded with the Lego series' trademark goofy humor. It's coming in 2020.
  • Dragon Ball Z Kakarot revisits the classic Vegeta Saga and Frieza Saga, with more behind-the-back fighting in line with the Xenoverse games. It was formerly known as Dragon Ball Game: Project Z, and will be launching Early 2020.
  • 12 Minutes is a cerebral murder mystery made by Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna. It features a man trapped in a time loop and trying to solve a mystery before he and his wife are harmed, and it's coming in 2020.
  • Way to the Woods, the adorable-looking game starring two deer exploring the urban environments of Japan, showed off a new trailer and will be coming to Xbox Game Pass.
  • Dying Light 2 got a cinematic trailer highlighting the conflict against humans and zombies alike, featuring an infected character named Aiden. Dying Light 2 is launching in Spring 2020.
  • Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions launches soon on June 12, bringing blocky cars to Forza Horizon 4 for some very family-friendly racing.
  • Gears Pop showed off gameplay that looks like Clash of Clans, featuring big-headed Pop figures of the Gears stars. Gears Pop will be available for pre-order on mobile soon.
  • State of Decay 2 Heartland expansion is available now with two pairs of characters, each on their own mission in Trouble Valley amidst the zombie apocalypse.
  • Crossfire X, which Phil Spencer says has 650 million players on PC, will bring its urban warfare to consoles exclusively on Xbox in 2020.
  • Tales of Arise is the newest entry in Bandai Namco's JRPG series, featuring a man who breaks free from his creepy helmet and a woman with a souped-up laser rifle. It's coming in 2020.
  • Project xCloud will turn your Xbox into a streaming server. If you're interested in console streaming akin to Google Stadia, Microsoft is offering the first public hands-on of its Project xCloud service at E3 2019. Come October, you'll be able to turn your Xbox One into a server that lets you play games on a variety of devices. "Where you play is now entirely your choice," said Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!