Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference was full, from start to finish, with big announcements and, in an atmosphere in which Xbox is undoubtedly seen as the younger sibling to Sony’s PlayStation 4, it set the tone for the Xbox One to make a late-cycle resurgence while cementing the future of Xbox as a brand. Before we get into all of the videogame announcements and trailers, there are some other announcements that, while not as showy as a snazzy new trailer, are definitely worth mentioning.
First, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer doubled down on the importance of first-party titles in Xbox’s present and its future. He did so by highlighting that Microsoft has acquired four studios with the focus on first-party development: Undead Labs (makers of the State of Decay series), Playground Games (makers of the Forza Horizon games), Compulsion Studios (the developers behind We Happy Few) and Ninja Theory (makers of Hellblade). In addition to the announcement of said studio acquisitions, Spencer also announced the opening of a brand-new first-party studio The Initiative, which will be led by former Crystal Dynamics head of studio Darrell Gallagher. A more steady and varied output of AAA first-party titles is the future Xbox both wants and needs.
Spencer also took a moment to touch on Microsoft’s cloud streaming options and how we may play videogames in the future, and hinted that Microsoft is in the midst of crafting their next Xbox console.
Xbox Game Pass also had its moment in the limelight, as Microsoft announced that more high-profile videogames will be making their way to the already-profitable subscription service. The Division, Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited are available now, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be added to the service later this year.
Now for the coup de grâce: the videogames that were announced, shown and played at the Microsoft E3 2018 conference.
Microsoft and 343 Studios have announced that the sixth entry in the main Halo franchise is in development, but it is not titled with a “6.” “Infinite’ could mean anything and, as far as the trailer goes, it appears this entry will have some of the biggest and most varied environments yet. Plus, it is running on the new Slipstream Engine, an engine designed in-house for all future Halo titles. Halo Infinite will come to Xbox One and Windows 10.
The next chapter in the Gears of War saga seems to have dropped the “Of War,” as The Coalition has opted to title it, quite simply, Gears 5. This time around, the game stars Kate Diaz, as the end of Gears of War 4 set up some major story beats for her character. Gears 5 comes to Xbox One and PC in 2019.
Well, Gears of War is getting a mobile game set in the visual homogeny of the Funko Pop toy line. No, really. Just watch the trailer. It will be available on iOS and Android in 2019.
The Gears of War series is being fitted into the tactics genre in Gears Tactics, as shown in a short trailer. Developed by Splash Damage and releasing on PC (Xbox was not mentioned), Gears Tactics takes place twelve years before the first game.
It turns out that the short teaser From Software showed last year had nothing to do with the Dark Souls franchise, nor Bloodborne. Rather, it was a teaser for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, an Activision-published action RPG set to release in 2019.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks to build on what made the original such a special experience, as the visuals seem to be more striking than its predecessor, and Ori will now have more gameplay options at their disposal. It is set for release sometime in 2019.
Available June 26, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a free prequel to Life is Strange that is being developed by Dontnod Entertainment.
Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios took to the stage to show off a new trailer for the hotly anticipated new entry in the Fallout universe. It is a multiplayer take on the Fallout experience that is set in West Virginia, and the trailer set the tone and awareness of place quite well. Will players be able to encounter the legendary Mothman? Hopefully.
Recently delayed into 2019,, Crackdown 3 was shown via an insanely loud and explosion-filled trailer. Crazy cars, mechs, Terry Crews, agility orbs … it’s all here.
Microsoft and Square Enix confirmed that Nier: Automata will finally be making its way onto the Xbox One come June 26. It will come with new cosmetic DLC and the already-released expansion.
A lengthy gameplay demo gave viewers a deep dive into the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-lite world of Metro. Exodus is set to release on Feb. 22, 2019.
Sound mixing aside, the trailer shown for Kingdom Hearts 3 during Microsoft’s conference showed off new gameplay in and out of the newest world, Frozen, and Elsa straight-up kills someone in it. Anime hair, Disney properties, nonsense—it’s Kingdom Hearts and it will be out on Jan. 29, 2019.
Rare’s foray into big multiplayer experiences is getting two new expansions this year, and they are as pirate-themed and adventurist as one might expect. New seas to sail, new foes to fight and new experiences to share—Sea of Thieves: Cursed Sails launches in July, with Forsaken Shores set to follow in September.
A small teaser was shown for Battlefield V’s campaign—one of the war stories, specifically. A Norwegian resistance fighter named Nordly wants to rid her country of Nazi occupation and she’ll go through hell to do so. Battlefield V comes out on Oct. 19.
Forza Horizon 4 was given a hefty chunk of time as the videogame’s new shared-world experience, dynamic seasons/weather and backdrop of Britain were put on display, followed by an in-depth demo. It will be out for Xbox One and PC on Oct. 2, with simultaneous availability on Xbox Game Pass.
New maps, new weapons, new updates. It is still PUBG on Xbox One, though.
The Division 2 looks like more of the first title with a visual overhaul and a new setting, as seen in a demo featuring a gunfight along the snaking remnants of Air Force One. The Division 2 is out March 15, 2019.
Death-defying puzzles, cinematic moments of destruction and doom-filled visuals—Lara Croft has triggered the apocalypse. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is out on Sept. 14.
Capcom’s techno-emo action series is officially back in sword-swinging action and Nero seems to have taken top billing over Dante. This one’s coming next spring.
A brand-new expansion to last year’s Cuphead is set to release sometime in 2019. It features a whole new isle, new bosses and a new playable character by way of Ms. Chalice.
A new Shonen-based IP fighter is on the way in Jump Force. Bandai Namco wants to bring fans of One Piece, Naruto and more together, and then watch them fight.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is pretty amazing, right? Foxes are cute, aren’t they? If your answer to either or both of these questions is yes, then Tunic, developed by Finji, may be the game for you.
Chris Avellone, now of Techland, took to the stage to show off the sequel to the zombie-parkour open-world videogame, Dying Light. This time around, choices matter and the game world reflects the player’s choices, both directly and indirectly.
Following a leak via Steam, Avalanche Studios and Square Enix revealed Just Cause 4 on Microsoft’s E3 stage, and weather is now a weapon, or so it seems. Just Cause 4 is out Dec. 4.
Microsoft closed its show with a crowd-pleasing trailer for CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077. It “hacked” its way into the conference and stole the show.