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The 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo, which most of you probably only recognize as E3, is in full swing in Los Angeles. Microsoft held their press conference today and let loose with more than a few juicy announcements. Read on and get hyped.

Xbox One S and Project Scorpio

Many people thought the Xbox One maybe wasn’t the best name for a new console and Microsoft aren’t doing themselves any favors by just adding letters at the end. It’s become a tradition now to release an improved version of a console halfway through that console’s lifespan, and that’s exactly what the Xbox One S is. It’s not only thinner and smaller, but it has a larger hard drive, a few internal upgrades, and a spiffy new paint job. Look for it in August.

Project Scorpio is something a bit different. It’s a new console but it isn’t. It’s technically a souped-up Xbox One designed for virtual reality and 4k resolution, and it likely won’t hit the market for at least another year, but Microsoft announced it this early so that gamers can make informed decisions before putting a lot of money into VR. It’s a smart, helpful move on Microsoft’s part. The company plans to keep improving the hardware as they go along, while maintaining the capability to play older games.

Xbox Play Anywhere

Most of Microsoft’s upcoming library will be playable both on Xbox One and Windows 10, allowing you to swap back and forth while maintaining your progress, something Xbox president Phil Spencer compares to Netflix in its consistency across platforms. The first titles to take advantage of this feature will be Recore, Forza Horizon 4, and Halo Wars 2.

Xbox Live Clubs

This seemed inevitable given the push towards social gaming in the last ten years or so. Xbox Live “clubs” sound similar to VOIP groups. They’re persistent chat rooms that players can drop in and out of, without having to form a party each time they want to play. The text chat can also be accessed on PC and the Xbox Live mobile app.

And Games, Of Course

Microsoft talked about a few big titles at their press conference. State of Decay 2 promises to expand on the first game’s potential with a bigger budget (which means better graphics) and a multiplayer component.

State of Decay isn’t the only thing bringing undead goodness to E3 this year. Frank West is back in Dead Rising 4, which will feature a Christmas theme and appropriately be released around the holidays.

Recore is still a thing, and this time we actually get gameplay footage! It looks promising, and it definitely has a Metroid vibe to it, partly thanks to being developed by some of the actual Metroid team.


Finally, this is the Microsoft press conference, so I think I legally have to post the trailer for Halo Wars 2.

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