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E3 2016 Highlights

E3 2016 is well under way and there’s been an exciting mix of new hardware, new and returning games shown at the press conferences. This year has seen a break from tradition with publishers such as EA choosing to have their own event – EA Play – rather than a traditional press conference. Nintendo has stuck with its own recent tradition too with a live-stream rather than a conference. Meanwhile, the Sony and Microsoft conferences occurred in a more traditional manner. As of the time of writing, the press are now getting their demos and hands-on time with the games and there’s more announcements and reveals incoming but here are the biggest ones from the publishers so far:

Microsoft Reveals Project Scorpio

Sony’s long rumoured PS4.5 may not have made an appearance at E3 2016 but Microsoft’s Project Scorpio did. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer took to the stage to announce that Microsoft’s 4K console would be released Holiday 2017. The upgraded console will sport a better GPU and can handle 4K gaming at 60 Hz. VR was also spoken about in relation to Project Scorpio but no specific announcements were made other than that VR games will benefit from Scorpio’s added horsepower:

Phil Spencer said:

“Project Scorpio will be the next addition to the Xbox One family, and it is ultimately the next step in delivering our vision of gaming beyond generations.

“When it ships next year we believe it’ll be the most powerful console ever built.”

In addition to next year’s new hardware, Microsoft also announced the Xbox One S, a 40% slimmer model with an in-built power supply and a 2TB hard drive.

The tweaked console supports 4K video streaming and the 2TB version will be available August 2016 for £349.99 here in the UK:

 

Sony Goes Big on Games, Showcases New IP

Sony kicked their E3 2016 off with an impressive demo of God of War, a continuation of the series which looks to have more of an open-world feel this time around. The demo showed Kratos teaching his son how to hunt as they are ambushed by creatures and a troll:

 

Sony Bend Studio showed off their new game, Days Gone, a post-apocalyptic action adventure game where you play as a former biker. A full demo was shown as well as a trailer for the game:

 

 

Sony also revealed that Resident Evil VII: Biohazard will be fully playable in Playstation VR and looks like it has a P.T. vibe:

 

Several more VR announcements were made including an Arkham VR game made by Rocksteady, a Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR mission and a release date for Playstation VR of October 13 with a £349 price tag.

The Last Guardian finally got a release date of October 25, 2016, Horizon: Zero Dawn continued to impress with an excellent demo and Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human got a new trailer which highlighted the importance of choice in the game.

 

Finally, Insomniac Games revealed it has been working on a Spider-Man game exclusively for the PS4, which has no tie-ins to the upcoming film and is an original story:

 

EA Disappoints with Lack of Mass Effect and Star Wars

As expected, EA showed off their annual sports offerings such as Madden 17 and FIFA 17. The latter is running on the Frostbite engine and includes a story mode giving you a narrative experience of journeying to fame as a footballer:

 

Respawn Entertainment showed off a frenetic multiplayer trailer for Titanfall 2 which includes grappling hooks for increased maneuverability. Also shown was a trailer for the single-player campaign:

 

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda only appeared in a developer diary suggesting the game is further out than we think yet it did at least give some new snippets of footage from the game:

 

If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll have to wait a bit longer for any concrete news on EA’s various Star Wars projects. This update video did give us a glimpse of Visceral’s third person action-adventure game though which looks stunning:

 

Ubisoft’s Conference is Bloated But Shows New Gameplay

Ubisoft’s showing this year went on for nearly two hours but thankfully there was intriguing gameplay on show. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is Ubisoft’s largest open world to date and looks like GTA meets Tom Clancy. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is available on March 7, 2017:

 

Customers who buy a digital version of South Park: The Fractured But Hole will receive a free copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth. The game will be available on December 6th.

 

Watch Dogs 2’s impressive recreation of San Francisco was shown off in new footage. The game is due for release on November 15 and Playstation owners will have access to all DLC 30 days early:

 

Nintendo Goes All Out With Zelda

Nintendo didn’t show off their new console yet and so had little to show besides Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which is coming to both Wii U and NX. Fortunately for Nintendo fans, The Legend of Zelda looks fantastic and the new open world game boasts plenty of fun gameplay:

E3 2016: Best of the Rest

Bethesda:

-Bethesda announced Quake Champions, an arena style first-person shooter designed with eSports in mind.

-Three new pieces of Fallout 4 DLC were announced including: Contraptions, Vault Tec Workshop and Nuka World.

-A remastered special edition of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC.

-A new gameplay trailer showcased Dishonored 2.

Sony:

-Hideo Kojima announced Death Stranding, a new game that stars Norman Reedus.

-Crash Bandicoot is making a comeback by appearing in Skylanders Imaginators and with remasters of Crash 1, 2 and 3 in the works for PS4.

Microsoft:

-Frank West returns in a trailer for Dead Rising 4.

-Xbox Design Lab allows you to craft your own custom Xbox Wireless Controller.

-CD Projeckt Red revealed Gwent: The Witcher Card Game with a closed beta coming in September.

-We Happy Few looks like the next Bioshock and is pretty sinister.

-Microsoft’s new Play Anywhere initiative allows you to play select games you own on Xbox One on Windows 10 free of charge with the ability to share progress and achievements. The first game to do this will be Gears of War 4.

 

These are all the highlights for E3 2016. What were your favourite moments from the show?

Let me know by commenting beneath this article.

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