The Xbox E3 2015 Briefing started as most briefings do – with a video montage. The montage ended with the slogan “Jump ahead”, inviting gamers to jump ahead with the Xbox One. The Xbox briefing this year was filled with mostly video of exclusives – something Xbox was really driving home this year, new IPs, and some news on some upcoming additions to existing Xbox franchises. The biggest news however was the announcement that the Xbox One now supports backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games (more on that later). Read on to see all the videos and tidbits from this year’s Xbox E3 briefing.
343 Industries Studio Head, Bonnie Ross, took to the stage and continued by indicating that in 2015 Xbox will be delivering the greatest games line up in Xbox history from new and innovative IPs, indie games, and franchise blockbusters – and as expected led into the next game in the Halo franchise.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5: Guardians was built from ground up for Xbox One and has a two pronged story approach, as we’ve seen in past trailers and teasers. Is Master Chief a hero or traitor? Spartan Locke – friend or foe? According to Ross, Halo 5 will feature epic worlds and epic battles on an epic scale.
Halo 5: Guardians will support seamless drop in, drop out co-op gameplay. Throughout the campaign, you’ll be in control of two teams – one led by Master Chief, the other led by Spartan Locke offering that two pronged story approach.
Ross then introduced Warzone, Halo 5‘s new multiplayer mode that is 4 times larger than any previous Halo multiplayer experience which is sure to delight Halo fans.
The first new exclusive comes from Keiji Inafune and the makers of Metroid Prime, a new and exclusive first party franchise from Armature Studios called ReCore.
Xbox One Backward Compatibility
Next up was the big news of the briefing – Xbox One backward compatibility! Gamers will now be able to play Xbox 360 games natively on their Xbox One consoles. Over 100 titles will be available this holiday with hundreds more coming. The titles will be available as digital downloads or gamers can just insert a physical disc and download the game to their Xbox One. When playing an Xbox 360 game on your Xbox One, you’ll also be able to play multiplayer with those still on Xbox 360 but have access to Xbox One features like screenshots, video recording, and more. The best part is, the backwards compatibility requires no additional coding from developers – they simply need to indicate they want it enabled for their titles.
Backwards compatibility is available today for preview members and allows gamers to play the games they already own without additional charges.
New Wireless Controller
The Xbox Elite Wireless controller coming this fall is an elite controller for Elite gamers – check out the reveal video below.
We already covered Fallout 4 in the Bethesda E3 Showcase, but a few new details were unveiled for the Xbox version. An exclusive to Xbox, Fallout 4 will include Fallout 3 at no extra charge. Mods created on the PC will also be able to be transferred, shared to and played on the Xbox One.
Peter Moore, CEO of EA, took to the stage to talk about EA Access. The best of EA, for $5/month, only on Xbox One, as well as access to play EA’s newest releases before anyone else and a 10% discount on EA content. Members get exclusive, unlimited exclusive access to titles in the Vault which are ready to download and play as much as you want, whenever you want. Titanfall will hit the Vault sometime this week with DA: Inquisition following later this summer. EA Access is also free this week for Xbox Live Gold members.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Moore then introduced what he describes as the funniest, craziest most over the top experience you’ve ever played. EA is adding new characters, new worlds, new ways to play in Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 which launches next spring.
Forza Motorsport 6
The moment a lot of gamers were waiting for – more information about Forza Motorsport 6. Another Xbox One exclusive, the latest installment in the Forza franchise features a number of upgrades including weather effects, night driving, 24 car multiplayer, and more. Forza 6 launches on September 15, 2015.
Dark Souls III
Bandai Namco & FromSoftware, Inc. debuted footage from Dark Souls III, slated for an early 2016 release.
President of Ubisoft America, Laurent Detoc, described Tom Clancy’s The Division as an RPG that feels personal. Based in New York, Xbox One players will be the first to try The Division with exclusive Beta access this December.
Detoc followed that up by talking about Rainbow Six Siege and announcing that Xbox One gamers will be able to play full versions of Rainbow Six: Vegas and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 thanks to backwards compatibility. – both of which will also come free with Rainbow Six: Siege when it is released on October 13, 2015.
Gigantic is a new IP that will be a Windows 10/Xbox One exclusive and will be free to play across both systems. The beta will begin in August 2015 and you can sign up at GoGigantic.com.
Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox, indicated this is just the start of the ID@Xbox program and unveiled some games that will be exclusive on Xbox One from ID@Xbox developers.
He also announced the Xbox Game Preview program which will allow people to test certain games before buying them including – The Long Dark, Sheltered, Elite Dangerous, and DayZ. Both the Long Dark and Elite Dangerous will be available later today.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Crystal Dynamics’ Bryon Horton, Game Director, introduced the world premiere of Rise of the Tomb Raider gameplay footage. The answer to everyone’s exclusivity question remains muddled however, as the video started out by saying “Rise of the Tomb Raider, Xbox Exclusive, Holiday 2015″ – making it sound like it will indeed be an Xbox One exclusive. Rise of the Tomb Raider will be available November 10, 2015.
Many gamers grew up with Rare, and on the 30th anniversary they wanted to celebrate by giving fans the ultimate collection. Exclusive to Xbox One, Rare Replay features 30 games in one epic collection, with 10,000 gamerscore. The collection will be available August 4, 2015.
Sea of Thieves
Not stopping at the collection, a new exclusive shared world adventure game from Rare was unveiled. Rare indicated this is by far the most ambitious game Rare has ever worked on.
Some more footage of Fable Legends, an XBox One/Windows 10 exclusive was shown. The title will be free to play with XBL Gold and anything you earn or buy on one version of the game becomes part of the other version for true cross-platform play.
Kudo Tsunoda from Microsoft Studios took to the stage and announced a partnership between Xbox and Valve VR to bring the best possible VR experience on Windows 10. He also mentioned the partnership with Oculus that bundles an Xbox One controller with every Oculus Rift unit and reiterated that you will be able to stream Xbox One games to Rift through a Windows 10 computer.
Next up was HoloLens and a demo was provided by Lydia Winters from Mojang. The company has developed a new version of Minecraft built specifically for HoloLens, allowing players to play on any wall with controller or move their worlds to a table to play in all its holographic glory.
Gears of War
Gears of War co-creator Rod Fergusson wrapped things up by announcing the Gears of War Ultimate Edition – remastered and modernized for Xbox One with 60fps multiplayer. The Ultimate Edition launches on Aug 25, 2015 exclusively for the Xbox One. In addition, a one week public beta starts today.
Lastly, another Xbox One exclusive, Fergusson debuted Gears 4, but you’ll have to wait until Holiday 2016 to pick this one up.
And that wraps up the Xbox E3 Briefing. What are you most excited for out of the briefing? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.