Overnight at the Xbox E3 press conference, Microsoft confirmed the leaked Xbox One S, the slimmer, smaller version of Xbox that’s available for pre-order. While Xbox One S adds 4K video playback, Microsoft also announced ‘Project Scorpio’ which will be the most powerful console yet, adding 4K gaming support and Virtual Reality capability, problem is, its not coming until next Christmas.
2016 is the year many refer to as ‘the year of VR’ and its easy to see why when the more affordable GearVR arrived, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and Playstation VR all shipped. This means Microsoft, like they did in phones, are once again missing the timeline the rest of the industry is running on.
If you have an Xbox One, you’re unlikely to need to upgrade to the Xbox One S and now that you know about Project Scorpio is just a year away, you may wait, which puts the Xbox One S in a strange position.
Xbox is extending Xbox Live to all devices and networks, that means PC, console, VR and mobile. The new Xbox Play Anywhere program lets you buy a game once and play it on both their Windows 10 PC and Xbox One console with shared progress, game saves and achievements. Microsoft Studios has committed to supporting Xbox Play Anywhere with every title shown during the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing.
Xbox Chief, Phil Spencer said,
“Gamers have never had more choice in how and where they play,” “We are bringing our biggest games lineup ever to Xbox One and Windows 10, uniting gamers across networks on Xbox Live and expanding the Xbox One family of devices with the addition of Xbox One S and “Project Scorpio” to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. There’s never been a better time to be an Xbox gamer.”
Xbox One S.
Debuting a sleek new design and “robot white” color, the new Xbox One S is the smallest and most compact Xbox ever. The 40 percent smaller console has an internal power supply and supports 4K Ultra HD for Blu-ray movies and content streamed from partners like Netflix and Amazon Video. High Dynamic Range (HDR) support for video and gaming delivers richer, more luminous colors in games like “Gears of War 4.”1
Available for pre-order beginning today and in stores starting August 2016, the Xbox One S comes in 2 variations, 500GB Xbox One for just A$399, with the 1TB Xbox One now available for A$499.
Limited launch edition 2TB Xbox One S will be available in select markets including Australia,
no pricing on this yet for A$549.00.
- “Project Scorpio.” Coming holiday 2017, “Project Scorpio” will be the most powerful console ever created, with 6 teraflops of GPU delivering a premier console gaming experience including true 4K gaming and high-fidelity virtual reality. “Project Scorpio” will join the Xbox One family and coexist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S and all of your Xbox One games and accessories are compatible.
- New Xbox Wireless Controller. We’ve enhanced comfort with a textured grip and introduced a sleek, streamlined design in white. Added Bluetooth radio gives you easy wireless connection to your Windows 10 PCs and tablets.2 The new Xbox Wireless Controller will be available worldwide starting in August (local pricing to follow).
- Xbox Design Lab. Now fans can create their own official, one-of-a-kind Xbox Wireless Controllers with more than 8 million color variations to customise the controller body, D-pad, thumbsticks, ABXY buttons and more. Each controller is handmade to order and shipped directly to fans. Xbox Design Lab is open for orders now in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico through http://www.xbox.com/xboxdesignlab. Local availability and pricing to follow.
- Xbox Elite Wireless Controller – “Gears of War 4” Limited Edition. A pro-level controller designed in collaboration with The Coalition, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller – “Gears of War 4” Limited Edition features laser-etched claw marks and a battle-weathered design, telling the survival story of a confrontation with the Swarm.
Xbox Live changes
Xbox have announced a number of changes and new features to Xbox Live.
- Clubs on Xbox Live. A new way to connect with gamers and create private communities with people who have similar play styles, personal interests and values.
- Looking for Group on Xbox Live. Like a “want ad” for multiplayer, Looking for Group on Xbox Live is the easiest way to seek out players who are available — and qualified — to jump into your multiplayer match right now.
- Arena on Xbox Live. A new online tournaments platform designed for everyone, from novice to aspiring pro, Arena on Xbox Live brings competitive gaming to Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. Sign up for tournaments directly through the Xbox UI or the Xbox app and play for prizes and bragging rights.
- Cross-play. Gamers on Xbox One and Windows 10 can now play select multiplayer games together. “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3,” “Sea of Thieves” and “Scalebound” all support cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and now “Minecraft” players on iOS, Android, Windows 10 phone and Windows 10 devices can all join together in cross-device multiplayer fun.
- Cortana on Xbox One. We’re bringing the popular digital assistant Cortana to Xbox One, featuring familiar voice commands available on Windows 10 devices and new gaming-specific scenarios for Xbox One. Cortana will initially launch on Xbox One in the U.S. and U.K. with additional markets coming soon after.
- PC games (Win32) in Xbox Live. With the Xbox update coming this summer you’ll see the top PC games on Xbox Live, with more added every month. Use the Xbox app to see what PC games your friends are playing, view game clips and upload your own, and message and voice chat with friends across games.
- Language Region Independence. Based on overwhelming fan feedback, we’re enabling Language Region Independence to give gamers even more control over their Xbox experience and how they engage with their Xbox One. Language Region Independence gives gamers the freedom to choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of their location.
Games comes to Xbox One and Windows 10
Xbox premiered a wide range of games launching in 2016 and beyond for Xbox One and Windows 10, including a mix of exclusives, blockbusters and independent games through the ID@Xbox program.
- “ARK: SURVIVAL EVOLVED” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). The wildly popular indie game from Studio Wildcard has sold over 1 million copies on Xbox One via Game Preview, and is soon coming to Windows 10. Stranded naked, freezing and starving on a mysterious island, you must hunt, harvest, craft items, grow crops and build shelters to survive. Learn how to tame, train, breed and ride dinosaurs and primitive creatures living on the ARK as you forge new paths across the beautiful open world in this large-scale survival game. Team up with hundreds of players online, play split-screen locally or brave the island on your own.
- “BATTLEFIELD 1” (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Featuring some of the largest, most dynamic battles in FPS history, experience the dawn of all-out war across war-torn France, in the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert, and in the skies over London — only in “Battlefield 1.” Join in massive 64-player battles and experience unexpected Only in Battlefield moments during a time where the old world was destroyed, giving way to the new one. Play it first, exclusively on Xbox One with EA Access beginning Oct. 13. Available worldwide on Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 21, 2016.
- “DEAD RISING 4” (WORLD PREMIERE). Developed by Capcom Vancouver, “Dead Rising 4” marks the return of photojournalist Frank West in an all-new chapter of one of the most popular zombie game franchises of all time. With an unmatched level of weapon and character customisation, ambitious new features including new zombie classes and EXO Suits, “Dead Rising 4” delivers a heart-pounding experience as players explore, scavenge and fight to survive in an epic open-world sandbox. Available Holiday 2016 on Xbox One and Windows 10.
- “FINAL FANTASY XV” (SQUARE ENIX). “FINAL FANTASY XV” is the highly anticipated action RPG and 15th mainline entry in the iconic “FINAL FANTASY” franchise. Set in an enthralling world where fantasy meets reality, players will join Crown Prince Noctis and his comrades on an epic journey of brotherhood, love and despair as they unravel Noctis’ destiny and take up arms against the nefarious Niflheim empire. With a captivating cast of characters, breathtaking visuals, open world exploration and action-packed real time combat, “FINAL FANTASY XV” is the ultimate “FINAL FANTASY” experience for fans and newcomers to the series. Available worldwide for Xbox One on Sept. 30, 2016.
- “FORZA HORIZON 3” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE — WORLD PREMIERE). The best-selling racing franchise returns with “Forza Horizon 3.” Race and explore the rugged wonder of Australia with your friends in over 350 of the world’s greatest cars as you win millions of new fans and build the world’s greatest automotive festival. As the new boss of the Horizon Festival, you can modify every aspect of race events, and how you get to the finish is up to you. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Sept. 27, 2016.
- “GEARS OF WAR 4” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). A new saga begins for one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in history. After narrowly escaping an attack on their village, JD Fenix and his friends Kait and Del must rescue the ones they love and discover the source of a monstrous new enemy. “Gears of War 4” returns the franchise to the dark tone and intensity of the original and includes split-screen and online co-op, the next generation of the five-player favorite, Horde Mode, 60 frames-per-second Versus multiplayer, and stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Oct. 11, 2016.
- “GWENT” (WORLD PREMIERE OF CLOSED BETA ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). “Gwent,” the hit card game from CD PROJEKT RED’s game of the year — “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” — is now its own standalone collectable card game. Inspired by player feedback, with new rules and mechanics, “Gwent” puts players and their style of play, and not only their cards, in the center of the action. In “Gwent,” You are the Wild Card.
- “HALO WARS 2” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). The best-selling console real-time strategy (RTS) of all time is back! Developed in partnership by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, “Halo Wars 2” is an action-packed RTS on the biggest Halo battlefield ever. Get ready to lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy, The Banished. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on Feb. 21, 2017.
- “INSIDE” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE). Developed by Playdead, “INSIDE” is the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s groundbreaking digital hit “Limbo.” Featuring Playdead’s trademark dark art, emotion and game craft, this adventure puzzler ships June 29, 2016, and is available for pre-order now. To celebrate the launch, “Limbo” will be free to all Xbox players from June 13‒20.
- “MINECRAFT” (REALMS AND ADD-ONS). Mojang and Microsoft showcased cross-device multiplayer between iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR and Windows 10 devices, made possible with Monday’s launch of the “Friendly Update” for “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition” Beta and “Minecraft: Pocket Edition.” With Xbox Live and the “Minecraft Realms” service, Windows 10 and mobile Minecraft players can host their own multiplayer worlds on private, cloud-based servers and play with friends 24/7, even when the original world creator is offline. Starting today, players with Xbox Live accounts can try “Minecraft” Realms on mobile and Windows 10 free for one month through the “Minecraft” app. The team also announced new game add-ons coming this fall that will let players modify their in-game worlds to customise key game elements and create their own maps and minigames.
- “RECORE” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). From legendary video game creator Keiji Inafune and Armature Studio LLC, the team behind the “Metroid Prime” series, comes “ReCore,” an action-adventure game masterfully crafted for the modern generation. Play as Joule, one of the last remaining humans, and forge friendships with courageous robot companions to lead them on an epic adventure through a mysterious, dynamic world. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title starting Sept. 13, 2016.
- “SEA OF THIEVES” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). Developed by Rare, the legendary creators of “Perfect Dark” and “Banjo-Kazooie,” “Sea of Thieves” is an immersive, shared world adventure game filled with pirates, unexpected dangers and loot for the taking. Be the pirates you want to be, share adventures with friends, and set your own rules, roles and goals in a world where every sail on the horizon is another crew of players with unknown intent. “Sea of Thieves” offers an experience that will evolve over time, landing in players’ hands early and growing based on feedback from the community.
- “STATE OF DECAY 2” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE, WORLD PREMIERE). The next installment in the fan favorite “State of Decay” franchise immerses you in an all-new multiplayer zombie survival fantasy. Players work together to build lasting communities where choices made shape an interconnected world and form a unique experience every time. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title in 2017.
- “SCALEBOUND” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). From critically acclaimed developer PlatinumGames Inc. and renowned Game Director Hideki Kamiya, “Scalebound” brings epic adventures and battles at enormous scales across the beautiful and dangerous open world of Draconis. Customise main hero Drew and your dragon, Thuban, to suit your playstyle as you battle legions of soldiers and massive monsters solo or cooperatively with up to three additional friends on Xbox Live. Available worldwide as an Xbox Play Anywhere title in 2017.
- “TACOMA” (FIRST ON XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10). It is the year 2088, and humanity has taken to the stars. You step aboard the abandoned space station “Tacoma,” the facility’s Augmented Reality technology your only connection to the crew that once lived here. What happened to them — and what role did the station’s AI overseer, ODIN, play? Discover the truth in “Tacoma,” Fullbright’s follow-up to the genre-defining story exploration game “Gone Home,” when it comes to Windows 10 and Xbox One next year.
- “TEKKEN 7™” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). An engrossing story intertwines the past, present and future fates of fan-favorite characters in “TEKKEN 7.” Known for revolutionizing the fighting genre through both its hard-hitting gameplay and diverse cast of characters, “TEKKEN 7” introduces enhanced fight mechanics alongside a slew of new combatants to ensure that your next fight won’t ever be your last. Available worldwide for Xbox One in early 2017.
- “TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION™ – EXPANSION I: UNDERGROUND” (UBISOFT®). Dive into the underbelly of New York to save what remains in Underground, the first expansion for “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” Explore the randomly generated mazes of subways, tunnels and sewers to fight deadly enemies and recover powerful loot. Experience an all-new incursion and find the latest weapons, gear and more. Available first on Xbox One and Windows PC beginning June 28.
- “WE HAPPY FEW” (FIRST TO CONSOLE ON XBOX ONE). Developed by Compulsion Games, “We Happy Few” is coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One this summer. In a dystopian, mod 1964 England that lost World War II, the citizens of Wellington Wells are taking a happy drug called “Joy,” and living in denial of their grim existence and a terrible past. Can you survive among them once you stop taking your Joy become a “Downer?”
1 4K streaming with select apps, see Xbox.com. HDR functionality available with supported games and TVs. Some apps require app provider-specific subscriptions and/or other requirements.
2 Windows 10 Anniversary update required.