E3 2018: Microsoft Turn the Tide at E3

Leading up to E3 the focus was heavily on Microsoft delivering games, lots of games. Luckily for Xbox fans, they did just that, with some 50 titles old and new on show. We got the usual updates to core franchises, Halo, Gears and Horizon, as well as some premiered footage of multi-platform titles Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus and a brand new Devil May Cry.

Battletoads was a surprise announcement

Elsewhere, we got a clear indication Microsoft are pushing towards a subscription-based model. Game Pass, their browsable catalogue of downloadable titles, took centre stage, with news Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 will both launch on the pay-monthly service. Phil Spencer also confirmed work is underway on a streaming solution, making a Netflix-style future seem inevitable.

All in all it was a great turnaround from Microsoft, definitely their best showing of this generation, but when you strip away the 3rd party games and focus on what was actually exclusive, you’re left with a handful of titles, the majority of which are also headed to PC. Scratch beneath the surface then, and it’s clear Microsoft are still struggling for exciting new IP.

So what are they doing about it? Buying game studios is what. Four to be precise. Forza Horizon developer Playground Games seems like a no brainer, but when you throw in Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games, it’s clear Microsoft are putting massive effort into revitalising the Xbox brand and winning back their fanbase.

We have to be realistic about this and realise games from these new studios are likely years away. Probably next-generation away. So Microsoft are definitely building for the future. With persistent rumours of them selling off the Xbox brand, this is a clear statement they’re in this for the long haul. It’s real shot in the arm for Xbox fans, and great news for gaming in general.

List of games with media:

Battlefield VTrailer
Captain SpiritTrailer
Crackdown 3* – Trailer
Cuphead DLC*Trailer
Cyberpunk 2077Trailer
Devil May Cry 5Trailer
Division 2Gameplay
Dying Light 2Trailer
Fallout 76Trailer
Forza Horizon 4* – Trailer
Gears of War 5* – TrailerCinematic
Gears POP* – Trailer
Halo Infinite*Trailer
Hyper Universe Trailer
Jump ForceTrailer
Just Cause 4Trailer
Kingdom HeartsTrailer
Metro ExodusTrailer
Nier AutomataTrailer
Ori and the Will of the Wisps*Trailer
PUBG* Trailer
Sea of Thieves DLC*Trailer
Sekiro: Shadows Die TwiceTrailer
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderTrailer
Tales of VesperiaTrailer
We Happy FewTrailer

* denotes exclusive title



E3 2018: EA Press Conference Round-up

The #EAPlay Press Conference kicked off E3 earlier today and we got to see a bunch of new trailers and announcements. Top of the billing was last year’s new reveal, Anthem. Looking like a mech/superhero/destiny/monster hunter love child, it was EA’s biggest offering, and it even got a release date (22 Feb 2019).

Elsewhere we got the usual sports announcements, including news of FIFA sucking yet more life out of poor PES by taking the Champions League rights. Madden has gone mobile in the new Overdrive, and NBA Live returns this September (7th), together with its much-loved career mode, The One.

EA have made a habit of late of showing off their creative side, i.e games that don’t try and take your money. Last year we got the well-received prison breaker A Way Out. This year the ever melancholy Sea of Solitude made an appearance, together with a surprise announcement that co-op puzzler Unravel Two was out now.

To top that lot off a somewhat awkward visit to the crowd resulted in Respawn’s Vince Zampella spilling the beans on new Star Wars title, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Command & Conquer returns in portable fashion with Rivals for iOS and Android.

Oh and did I mention Battlefield V is getting a battle royale mode?

Full list with media links:

Battlefield V (PS4/One/PC)Trailer
Battlefront II: Clone Wars DLC (PS4/One/PC)Announcement
Command & Conquer: Rivals (Mobile)Trailer
FIFA 19 (PS4/One/PC/Switch)Trailer
Jedi: Fallen Order (TBC)Announcement
Madden NFL Overdrive (Mobile)Trailer
NBA Live 19 (PS4/One) – Trailer
Sea of Solitude (TBC)Trailer
Unravel Two (PS4/One/PC)Trailer