An unexpected announcement took the stage next, with the reveal of Xbox One exclusive ReCore, made by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and Metroid Prime studio Armature. While it was a cinematic, and no gameplay was shown, the concept looks promising, as a lone woman; assumed to be the player character, travels a desolate landscape with a robot dog as her only companion. A central mechanic soon became apparent, as all the robots seen in the trailer have a "core" or orb that seems to power the unit, as well as storage for memories and personality. The game is slated for release Spring 2016.
We got a more in-depth look of Fallout 4, but the only real news here was the admittedly huge deal that Xbox One players will be able to download and play mods from the PC version, and that Fallout 3 will be included free for Xbox One.
EA took the stage next to talk about EA Access, and that the next installment of the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is coming first to Xbox One, sometime early next year.
Forza Motorsport 6 was also shown off, with some details including nearly 500 cars, 26 tracks, and of course, upgraded visual fidelity: hopefully they got the memo about the crowds from the otherwise beautiful Forza 5. Forza 6 will be dropping on September 15 this year.
The much rumored Dark Souls III was officially announced, and while there is no exclusivity, timed or otherwise, we did learn that this will be the final installment of the series, and that creator Hidetaka Miyazaki will be working directly on this part, as he was otherwise preoccupied with Bloodborne during the development of Dark Souls II. Dark Souls III is slated for a loose 2016 release.
Ubisoft followed up with some new footage from The Division, and included the announcement of an Xbox One first beta, coming this holiday. If you like Destiny or MMOs, this should be a game on your radar. Third Person Shooting with procedural destruction, MMO elements plus a PvE world setup makes for an exciting and ambitious project. In keeping with interesting takes on Xbox One exclusivity, Rainbow Six Siege will come with Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2 as a separate download.
Gigantic was shown off, and has a very stylized look, and seems to play as a Team Fortress 2/Dota 2/Smite mash up, and will be one of the games that is cross compatible with Xbox One and Windows 10.
We also had a look at a number of indie titles, including the Xbox One exclusive Cuphead, featuring 1930's era cartoon graphics, Tacoma which was announced last year by Sony, but will be coming first to Xbox, Ashen as another exclusive with beautiful cell-shaded style graphics, and Beyond eyes as a timed exclusive. Ion is the new game from the creators of DayZ, but not much else was shown off beyond an interesting announcement trailer.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will be coming this year on November 10, and some new gameplay footage helped to build some excitement, and if this game is half as good as 2013's Tomb Raider, this will make for a great Xbox One title that may help push holdovers from last gen to their system, as even though Rise of the Tomb Raider is only a timed exclusive, there is not currently a release window for other platforms.
Rare is making a collection game called Rare Replay, featuring 30 of their biggest titles from the past 30 years, including Conker's Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Kazooie, and yes, Battletoads. It's releasing on August 4 this year. Also from Rare was a new game announcement, Sea of Thieves, which looks to be a pirate version of Guns of Icarus, but will not be out until holiday 2016.
We got a soft release of holiday 2015 for Fable Legends, along with a new trailer showing off some of the story and hallmark humor of Fable. We still haven't seen much in the way of gameplay, which is worrisome, but there is still plenty of time between now and the holidays.
Finishing up the show was Gears of War, with the dual announcement of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and the confirmation and first gameplay demo for Gears of War 4 and the promise of a holiday 2016 release.
Also during the show we had a number of technical announcements, primarily consisting of a new Elite controller, featuring exchangeable pieces, programmable buttons, and a unique D-pad. We also saw more of HoloLens and an announcement of a new Minecraft version specifically for HoloLens, which we will learn more at next month's MineCon. While Microsoft is not making it's own VR experience, they are partnering with two of the biggest players in the industry, with partnerships with both Oculus Rift and Valve VR, to go with Windows 10. There was also the reveal of Xbox Game Preview, a program much like Steam's Early Access that will allow players to buy and play games while still in active development, and will include DayZ and The Long Dark when the program goes live.
Lastly, the biggest thing at Microsoft's E3 conference, though it took place much earlier in the show, was the announcement of backwards compatibility, which was a huge surprise and still one of the best announcements out of E3 in general. Xbox One will be able to play Xbox 360 game natively on the system, though with some small caveats; the publisher of the game has to give permission, and you must have the disc inserted into your Xbox One at all times while playing, and you have to download the game for it to play. These are small prices to pay though, and what is interesting is that PlayStation 4 did this exact thing at launch with certain titles: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty Ghosts, and a few others to name a few, but apparently that was a one time thing. We now know that both consoles are capable of this feature, and it will be interesting to see what Sony says or does in response.
All in all, Microsoft had a great conference free from embarrassment or lack of enthusiasm, and was the first time in years where they didn't seem like they were apologizing for something, instead taking the approach of confidence and big announcements, though there weren't many new games announced that we didn't already know about, it was good to see Microsoft in great form.