From Project Scarlett to Gooigi: The best of E3 2019

Source: Microsoft more

Every story about E3 has opened with a mention of Sony’s absence, and this one’s no different. The lack of one of gaming’s “big three” loomed large over the show, right down to a strange sense of space on the showroom floor.

Even Xbox chief Phil Spencer mourned the absence of the company’s biggest competitor, stating, “I wish Sony was here,” during a live stream.

But the show went on, as it has through countless ebbs and flows of the gaming industry. Sony’s clearly got plenty up its sleeve with regard to next-generation content, and frankly, no one’s too worried about their health.

Microsoft, meanwhile, came out swinging on Sunday. The company had a TON of games to reveal at the show, with dozens of trailers, all told. And while Microsoft did touch upon two key pieces of news, it ultimately ended up blowing through those announcements, with very little time devoted to either its next-generation 8K console, Project Scarlett, or its streaming service, Project xCloud.

In fact, we ultimately went back to Microsoft later in the week to clarify some things about the service and discovered in the process that console streaming will be free and not a part of the broader xCloud offering.

While Microsoft ultimately seemed cautious (or pressed for time) to go into either xCloud or Game Pass in too much detail onstage, streaming was unquestionably the biggest story of the show. That’s due in no small part to the fact that Google took a little wind out of E3’s sails by shedding more light on its Stadia offering during a surprise press conference last Friday.

On Tuesday, a Nintendo executive confirmed for me that the company is exploring streaming, but wasn’t able to comment on any specifics. Regardless, the writing is clearly on the wall here, and Nintendo has certainly taken notice. In the meantime, the company showed off its latest Animal Crossing title, a sneak peek of the next Zelda and the surprise hit of the show: A gooey Luigi called, naturally, Gooigi. Honestly though, I’m most excited about that Link’s Awakening remaster.

Square’s big event was fairly lackluster, though we did get a preview of the Uncanny (Valley) Avengers. Ubisoft had some cool demos on tap, including Watch Dogs: Legion and story mode for Assassin’s Creed. The publisher is also launching its own streaming service, with help from Google Stadia. Bethesda, meanwhile, is getting in on the battle royale phenomenon with a new mode for Fallout 76. Though the Fall Guys’ version is far more adorable.

There’s a Razer energy drink, Opera gaming browser, new George R.R. Martin game, Warcraft-meets-The-Office show from the It’s Always Sunny crew and a dance game for the Nintendo Wii. Not the Switch, not the Wii U, the Wii. Happy E3 2019!


From Project Scarlett to Gooigi: The best of E3 2019

Microsoft will offer console streaming for free to Xbox One owners

Source: Microsoft more

Microsoft’s Sunday E3 presser was all about the games. In fact, while the company did offer some information about hardware and services, the information all arrived fast and furious at the end of the conference. While it’s probably unsurprising that the company had very little to offer in the way of information about its upcoming 8K console, Project Scarlett, most of us expected Project xCloud to get a lot more face time onstage.

The company powered through a whole lot of information about its upcoming streaming offering like it was going out of style (or, perhaps, like the lights were going out at its own theater). The speed and brevity of it all left a number of audience members confused on the specifics — and caused some to speculate that the service night not be as far along as Microsoft had hoped.

We caught up with a few Microsoft reps on our final day at the show to answer some questions. The company is unsurprisingly still mum on a number of key details around the offering. A couple of key things are worth clarifying, though. For starters console stream is not considered a part of Project xCloud. Rather, the ability to play games on one’s own Xbox One remotely is a separate feature that will be coming to users via a software update.

Asked what advantages console streaming has over the parallel xCloud offering, Microsoft’s answer was simple: it’s free. Fair enough. This serves a two-fold purpose. First, it helps differentiate Microsoft’s streaming offerings from Stadia and, second, it provides another value proposition for the console itself. As to how performance is expected to differ between console streaming and XCloud, it wouldn’t comment.

As I wrote earlier today, the company does see the potential of a large-scale move to the cloud, but anticipates that such a shift is a long ways off. After all, if it didn’t, it likely wouldn’t have announced a new console this week at E3.


Microsoft will offer console streaming for free to Xbox One owners

What do subscription services and streaming mean for the future of gaming?

Source: Microsoft more

The future of gaming is streaming. If that wasn’t painfully obvious to you a week ago, it certainly ought to be now. Google got ahead of E3 late last week by finally shedding light on Stadia, a streaming service that promises a hardware agnostic gaming future.

It’s still very early days, of course. We got a demo of the platform right around the time of its original announcement. But it was a controlled one — about all we can hope for at the moment. There are still plenty of moving parts to contend with here, including, perhaps most consequentially, broadband caps.

But this much is certainly clear: Google’s not the only company committed to the idea of remote game streaming. Microsoft didn’t devote a lot of time to Project xCloud on stage the other day — on fact, the pass with which the company blew threw that announcement was almost news in and of itself.

It did, however, promise an October arrival for the service — beating out Stadia by a full month. The other big piece of the announcement was the ability for Xbox One owners to use their console as a streaming source for their own remote game play. Though how that works and what, precisely, the advantage remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that Microsoft is hanging its hat on the Xbox as a point of distinction from Google’s offering.

It’s clear too, of course, that Microsoft is still invested in console hardware as a key driver of its gaming future. Just after rushing through all of that Project xCloud noise, it took the wraps off of Project Scarlett, its next-gen console. We know it will feature 8K content, some crazy fast frame rates and a new Halo title. Oh, and there’s an optical drive, too, because Microsoft’s not quite ready to give up on physical media just yet.

Here are the game trailers from Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference

Source: Microsoft more

Trailers. You love them, Microsoft’s got them. According to the company, there were a ridiculous 60 games trotted out on stage at today’s big E3 kickoff. Looks like the Xbox got a little extra love at the event since Sony’s MIA this year. Along with more information on its streaming service Project XCloud a sneak peek at its next console and a very special appearance by Keanu, the company had a LOT of games to show off.

Here are the biggest trailers from today’s event.

Minecraft: Dungeons – Everyone’s favorite building block title gets its very own single and multiplayer RPG adventure.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps: Announced in 2017, Moon Studio’s platformer finally arrives next February.

Bleeding Edge: Ninja Theory’s latest is a multiplayer melee combat title.

Flight Simulator: You know, you love it — or are otherwise indifferent. The classic simulator returns in 2020.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition – Coming later this year, the title will also be available for Xbox Game Pass for PC.

Wasteland 3: The party-based role-playing sequel takes players to…Colorado Springs?

Battletoads: Don’t call it a comeback. Zitz, Pimple and Rash return for a new Gamepass title.

Gear 5: Probably the most eagerly anticipated game of the press conference, the new Gears is launching September 10.

Gears 5: Terminator Dark Fate – Here’s a fun reveal. Those who buy Gears 5 by September 16 with get a character pack, featuring the T-800 Endoskeleton from the forthcoming Terminator sequel.

Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions: The popular racing series gets the Lego treatment.

Kitten Around with RAAM: A series of animated shorts based on characters from Gears POP.

State of Decay Heartland: A new DLC pack for Heartland 2, features two stories and will be available as part of GamePass.

CrossfireX: The latest version of Smilegate’s FPS is arriving on Xbox One.

Halo: Infinite – What’s this, then? Why it’s a brand new Halo title, launching alongside Microsoft’s next-gen Project Scarlett console during the 2020 holiday season.


Here are the game trailers from Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference

Microsoft’s Project xCloud preview launches in October

Source: Microsoft more

Big news out of today’s Microsoft press conference. A few days after Google finally revealed some long awaited details about its Stadia offering, Microsoft just gave us a lot more info on its competitor, Project xCloud.

Announced back in October, the game streaming service is designed to offer a hardware agnostic gaming experience. Unlike Google’s offering, Microsoft’s got the power of its own cutting edge consoles on its side. As such, the company will be leveraging that technology to let gamers use their own Xbox One as a personal cloud server. For everyone else, the computation will happen on Microsoft’s own servers.

A preview of xCloud will be available for E3 attendees this week. We’ll report back as soon as we get some hands on time with the project — including some insight into what the lag is like on the system. For everyone else, a preview version of the offering launches in October — a year after it was first announced.

More information including pricing coming soon, no doubt.


Microsoft’s Project xCloud preview launches in October

Watch Microsoft’s Xbox E3 press conference live

Source: Microsoft more

This year’s E3 is already off to an interesting start. Sony’s nowhere to be seen, and Nintendo, per usual, has opted to go online only. That leaves Microsoft as the only member of the big three with its own, honest to goodness press conference.

The company’s got a big opportunity here, and we’re hoping for some big things. On the gaming side, we expect some big news about Gears 5, Halo: Infinite and, perhaps, Age of Empires and a new Fable title.

News about the company’s Stadia competitor, Project xCloud, seems like a distinct possibility. We might even get a glimpse at the gaming giant’s next generation console. More info on all of the rumors from next week’s big show can be found here

The big show kicks off this afternoon at 1PM PT/4PM ET. It’s available on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Twitter


Watch Microsoft’s Xbox E3 press conference live

George R.R. Martin’s next project is reportedly the video game, Elden Ring

Source: Microsoft more

E3 doesn’t technically start until Tuesday, but the leaks are already arriving fast and furious. Now that winter has come from HBO’s Game of Thrones, creator George R.R. Martin’s got several other projects in the works, including, reportedly, a new video game.

Word is we’ll be hearing more about that last bit on Sunday, during Microsoft’s big kick off press conference. For now, however, we’ve got a smattering of information about Elden Ring from Daniel “ZhugeEX” Ahmed. The perennial game leaker tweeted out a poster for the title, which is said to be a collaboration between Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki, best known for his role in FromSoftware’s Souls series.

In addition to Xbox One, the title is also set for release on PS4 and the PC. Supernatural powers and monarchical kingdoms abound, making this pretty standard fare from the A Song of Ice and Fire writer. Beyond that, details are pretty thin at the moment, so stay tuned to TechCrunch’s E3 coverage, which kicks off in earnest on Sunday.


George R.R. Martin’s next project is reportedly the video game, Elden Ring

What to expect from E3 2019

Source: Microsoft more

E3 2019 is shaping up to be a bit of an in-between year. Nintendo Switch sales have finally started slowing, but the company’s a ways off from its next-generation console. Microsoft and Sony will be offering info on theirs soon, but we likely won’t be seeing much — especially from the latter, which has opted to sit out this show altogether.

Still, there will be plenty to see next week in Los Angeles. Here’s what we expect so far.

Microsoft: Google, of all companies, made the biggest splash at GDC back in March, announcing Stadia, its live-streaming gaming service. Look for Microsoft to hit back this week, with a lot more information surrounding its competitor, Project xCloud. We have even fewer details about Microsoft’s offering, though the company has compared it to music streaming services like Spotify.

We could get a glimpse of some next-generation hardware at the event, as well, though that’s likely to amount to little more than a brief sneak peek. We will, however, be getting a good look at Gears 5, the latest entry in one of the console’s most beloved franchises. The new title, which debuted onstage this time last year, is expected to be a major departure for the series.

Speaking of beloved franchises, look for some gameplay time with Halo: Infinite. So far, we’ve got little info on the Xbox/Windows 10 title beyond a mysterious trailer. Look for more than a dozen titles in all, including Age of Empires and a new Fable.

Nintendo: With a June 28 release date, there won’t be many surprises left for Super Mario Maker 2 by the time E3 rolls around. Pokémon Sword / Shield, too, will also be pretty well-highlighted ahead of the show. The upcoming Animal Crossing Switch title seems like a pretty good bet. Also be on the lookout for Luigi’s Mansion 3, Fire Emblem Three Houses and the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

Sony: Nothing.

Seriously, nothing.

We know the PlayStation 5 is just around the corner. E3 would be a great time to offer some insight into the company’s next-generation console, but Sony has opted to sit this one out instead. The gaming giant’s absence will loom large over the event, leaving Microsoft as the only member of the big three with an actual in-person press conference, after years of Nintendo Treehouses.

E3 has traditionally been a show that’s ebbed and flowed more than most, but the gaming giant’s decision will no doubt leave many wondering whether the event has lost some of its relevance in the age of doing everything online.

Publishers: Marvel’s Avengers is going to be a huge one from RPG stalwarts Square Enix. We’ve heard very little about the eagerly awaited title. A since-removed event synopsis described the Marvel game as, “an epic action-adventure that combines cinematic storytelling with continuous single-player and co-operative gameplay.” The game will be sharing a stage with the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake.

As for Ubisoft, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Rainbow Six Siege and Tom Clancy’s The Division are all on tap. Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are the big titles for Bethesda this year, plus Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76 updates.

The show kicks off Sunday with Microsoft’s press conference. TechCrunch will be there all week.


What to expect from E3 2019