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E3 2018: Microsoft Conference Goes Halo Infinite, Gears 5, Cyberpunk 2077
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E3 2018: Microsoft Conference Goes Halo Infinite, Gears 5, Cyberpunk 2077

Ambitious Halo, Gears spinoffs and other heavy-hitters lead Microsoft’s game-packed conference.

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Another year, another E3, and with it we’ve got press conferences on press conferences. Your real heavy-hitting games always tend to be announced at these pre-show conferences; this year, Microsoft’s briefing was no exception, slapping viewers about with new entries in multiple beloved franchises. It’s also the first conference out of the gate (literally, actual days before the show even begins), giving the Windows company a chance to prove they’re still in the game and mean business.

If you’ve already got an Xbox One…then you should probably considering trading up for the beefier, more powerful Xbox One X, because you’re going to want it to play some of these babies in all their 4K, HDR-powered goodness. Believe it.

What They Showed:

Case in point: Halo Infinite. It’s a new Halo game, and it’s not numbered! Even better, it also stars Master Chief! We know very little else about it. In fact, the trailer we saw wasn’t even the trailer for an upcoming Halo game but rather a trailer for a new engine for Halo games. This will be the first mainstay Halo game to debut on both Xbox and Windows 10, a feat unto itself that should help bridge both of Microsoft’s platforms nicely.

Still, if one should happen to show up, a new Halo game focused on the Chief is sure to pluck away at fans’ heartstrings – Spartan Locke was a great guy, sure, but he’s not the heart and soul of Halo.

Likewise, we’ve got not one, not two, but THREE new Gears of War releases. Gears Pop is related to Funko Pop so I’m going to let others think about that one, Gears Tactics is a strategy-RPG release somewhat akin to XCOM and Gears of War 5 is, well…Gears of War 5. This one stars Kait, originally a supporting character in Gears 4, marking a significant turn from the burly musclemen of previous releases.

Will we get sick of Gears saturation? I mean…the Funko Pop game isn’t getting my blood pumping or anything, but we’ll see how the others turn out. Sure is cute, though.

The hits just kept on coming: Devil May Cry 5, holy crap. A new Battletoads game, where have you been all my life? Fallout 76. A sequel to Dying Light. Forza Horizon 4! A new Just Cause. More footage from Ori and the Will of the Wisps. DLC for Cuphead with The Delicious Last Course! As if those – and many others – weren’t enough we even got a surprise trailer for CD Projekt RED’s upcoming sci-fi themed Cyberpunk 2077. If you didn’t get caught up in at least a couple of these reveals, you might not have been paying attention.

In Conclusion:

Of course, few of these bigger announcements are going to be exclusive to Microsoft’s console (or even platforms, which include Windows 10). But it pushes home the point that your big guns come out before the floor show even begins. That’s particularly important for Microsoft, who have been running into issues keeping their big ol’ black boxes stocked with the exclusive games necessary to push console sales. We’re seeing something similar to the seventh console generation where Nintendo leads the pack with a device beloved by the everyman while Sony and Microsoft compete to catch up by marketing to the core base.

With that in mind, Microsoft really needs to grab that base by the pixels and choke the money out of them; conferences like this are a pretty decent way of signaling they’re in it to win it. Let’s just hope the rest of this year’s E3 extravaganza can keep pace with what we’ve already seen. Stay tuned!