Much like last year, Microsoft takes the stage Monday afternoon, following EA and Bethesda’s Sunday night specials. Last year Microsoft had to follow up Bethesda’s crazy Fallout 4 presentation with a lot of news about backward compatibility, but this year the Xbox One and Windows company should have plenty more to talk about.
Rumors of new Xbox hardware have been swirling around for months and the time has finally come to find out of codename Scorpio is going to be revealed. Rumors suggest that a new Xbox One slim will be revealed and that there will be a more powerful Xbox One that is fine tuned for 4k displays and VR support. Those two products do seem to clash a bit, but it would follow the very successful iPhone model of releasing a stripped down piece of hardware for casual consumers and a beefed up shiny, expensive product for the hardcore. The tactic has definitely worked for Apple.
In addition to new console bundles, this may also be a VR heavy E3. Last year, the Hololens was brought on stage for a very impressive presentation that involved controlling the world of Minecraft from above, but it’s hard to say how well that experience would translate to an actual gaming session. News has been almost non-existent on both the AR and VR fronts for Microsoft during the last year, so we’ll be interested to see whether or not the company gambles on that tech this coming year or if Microsoft continues to wait and give the tech more time to advance and stabilize first. Rumors suggest Microsoft VR will make an appearance, so it will be exciting to see what form that takes.
Although it’s fun to speculate about new hardware, there are some sure things that can also be expected from this presentation. Microsoft has been working around the clock to unify the Windows 10 and Xbox One audiences and it seems highly likely that the presentation will put a big focus on cross-platform support and reminding PC gamers that Microsoft still cares about them. Games like Scalebound, Crackdown 3, Gears of War 4, and the recently leaked Dead Rising 4 will all likely make an appearance on stage and don’t be surprised if cross-play is announced for all of the above.
It’s unlikely that Master Chief will make an appearance at this year’s presentation, considering that the Master Chief Collection and Halo 5 are still less than two years old, so Microsoft will be in need of some kind of Xbox One mascot. Gears of War 4 and Dead Rising 4 will likely fill this role, but hopefully there will also be some surprise announcements concerning new IPs or a sequel that has been kept under wraps.
What are you hoping to hear Microsoft announce at this year’s presentation? Let us know in the comments.