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This Week in Xbox - E3 2016 Round-Up! All the reveals, trailers, and a giveaway!

Xbox at E3
Xbox at E3 (Image credit: Jez Corden | Windows Central)

This week, I'm rounding up all of the major E3 2016 news and announcements you may have missed during the past couple of weeks.

We have TWO new Xbox consoles, we have an all new controller with Bluetooth, new features heading to Xbox Live, piles of new game footage, game reveals, and more!

To celebrate the wrapping up of E3 2016, we're also giving away an Official Xbox One Stereo Headset!

The Xbox One S is here!

At their E3 conference, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One S – a super slimmed down Xbox One console. The Xbox One S features largely the same internals as the original box, with some notable differences.

  • The new Xbox One S has an integrated PSU – no more hulking power bricks.
  • The Xbox One S has been tested across 'millions' of hours to ensure it won't overheat, given the fact that the power supply unit is now inside the box.
  • It is 40% smaller, and can fit neatly inside the outer shell of the current Xbox One.
  • The Kinect port has been removed, but you'll be able to connect one up using a USB adapter provided for free by Microsoft.
  • The Xbox One S has an IR blaster built into the front of the console, meaning that you'll be able to issue commands to your TV systems without Kinect.
  • The Xbox One S comes with a revised controller that has textured grips and Bluetooth connectivity, which works with Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Developers will have to enable the functionality within their games, however.
  • The Xbox One S can play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and can output streaming video in 4K resolution via supporting services, such as Netflix.
  • The Xbox One S will also upscale games in 4K and support high dynamic range (HDR), making games look more vivid.

The Xbox One S comes in a few configurations, based on the size of the HDD. The cheapest model is $299 and will give you 500GB of storage. 1GB will cost you $349, and 2GB will cost you $399. As usual, external hard drives will work with the console's 3.0 USB ports.

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The Xbox Scorpio is real, and it's a 'monster.'

Microsoft also announced Project Scorpio, a six teraflop Xbox One successor that will go on sale towards the end of 2017. Project Scorpio will be fully compatible with every game you own on Xbox One, in addition to your Xbox 360 backwards compatible titles. Furthermore, games will dynamically scale in resolution between Xbox One and Project Scorpio.

Microsoft has gone on record multiple times to state that 'nobody gets left behind' with Project Scorpio, meaning that the new console will not have any Scorpio-exclusive Xbox games. Instead, developers can make separate graphics tiers for both the Xbox One consoles and Project Scorpio. In theory at least, games on Scorpio will look far better, have higher resolution and more vivid special effects than their Xbox One counterparts, but will still function on both.

With Scorpio and Sony's PlayStation 4 Neo, the console cycle is becoming smartphone-like, allowing people to upgrade when they see fit. The software they already own will be able to travel with them as they upgrade.

When it comes to the finer details of Project Scorpio, we know very little. It will be powerful enough to render games at 4K resolution, and power 'high-quality VR experiences' – although we have no idea whether Microsoft is working on its own headset, or will simply partner up with HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Only time will tell!

Xbox Live set to get Clubs, Looking for Group and Arena features

Xbox Live will pick up a host of new features in the near future with the aim of making the platform more social.

  • Clubs will allow players to create groups with shared gaming goals in mind. You'll be able to tag your Clubs with specific features such as "no swearing", for example, to help you find the players you want. If accepted into the Club, members will gain access to a dedicated chatroom, activity feed, clip showcase, and Looking For Group ads.
  • Looking For Group allows players to post ads either within their Clubs or to Xbox Live en masse to find like-minded gamers for specific reasons. Need an extra raid member for Destiny? Looking to improve Killer Instinct skills? Need help on a big Minecraft project? All types of ads will be supported, and like Clubs, you'll be able to tag the ads with specific conditions. Both Clubs and LFG will get dedicated tabs on relevant title's game hubs, allowing players to easily find the content they want.
  • Arena will allow eSports organizations to create tournaments around specific games. Developers will be able to share those tournaments to people following their game hubs, and the competition pages list the rules, prizes, and entry conditions. Upon joining a tournament, you'll be given a countdown on the top left-hand side of the dashboard, in addition to notifications on the Xbox apps for Windows 10 devices, Android, and iOS. Once it's time to battle, you'll be given an actionable notification that pulls you straight into the game with your opponent. Tournament pages show each bracket through to the winner, in addition to game clips and screen shots associated with the matches.

The above features join anniversary updates such as background music playback and Cortana currently in development for the Summer. Clubs, LFG, and Arena should be available by the end of 2017. For more detail, be sure to check out my behind the scenes look at the newest features.

Microsoft reveals new game trailers

Microsoft unveiled an ocean of new game trailers, although the vast majority were titles we already knew were coming. Microsoft also announced that all future first party games would be part of the "Xbox Play Anywhere" program, which allows players to buy the game once and use it on both Xbox and Windows 10 PCs with capable hardware. Save files and purchases will carry between versions too, synchronized seamlessly via Xbox Live. Many games, such as Scalebound and Gears of War 4 will feature cross-platform co-operative play.

Bethesda unveils a Prey reboot, Skyrim remaster and more!

  • Bethesda announced Quake Champions, which is a class-based arena shooter looked set to take on the likes of Overwatch and Lawbreakers.
  • Elder Scrolls Legends is a competitive card game similar to the likes of Hearthstone, and Bethesda gave us a closer look.
  • Fallout 4 is set to receive more DLC features.
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is being remastered in HD for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
  • New Wolfenstein was teased in the middle of the Quake Champions trailer.
  • Prey has been rebooted, and it's looking rather fantastic.
  • Dishonored 2 picked up a fresh trailer as well and looks set to take the supernatural stealth 'em up to all new heights.

EA shows off Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1 and more

  • EA revealed Titanfall 2 in full, complete with a full cinematic single player campaign and far more ambitious multiplayer.
  • FIFA 2017 was shown off, now running on DICE's Frostbite engine.
  • Mass Effect Andromeda broke cover with a brief but intriguing trailer.
  • EA Originals will see the company working with smaller developers to bring games to the big screen, in comparable deals to Unravel.
  • Star Wars games were teased, but very little was actually shown.
  • Battlefield 1 stole the show, with its BFBC2-like destruction and new combat features, wrapped in an authentic WW1 atmosphere. I was lucky enough to go hands-on with Battlefield 1, so stay tuned for some impressions.

Ubisoft gives us a look at Watch Dogs 2, For Honor and more

watch dogs 2

watch dogs 2 (Image credit: Ubisoft)
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands received an all new gameplay walkthrough trailer.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole received new trailers and information. It's based on the Coon and Friends story arc and parodies the battle between Marvel and DC comics.
  • The Division's upcoming expansions were teased. The next is titled 'Underground', and gives players a new level cap. After that is 'Survival', although details on that are scant.
  • Watch Dogs 2 was given a full walk through, showing off the game's more light-hearted approach. Ubisoft has also noted you can do a completely non-lethal stealth playthrough.
  • For Honor, Ubisoft's visceral melee combat, title received two trailers. They detail the game's single player campaign, and it looks great.

Everything else!

While it'd be impossible to round up everything that happened at E3 this year, here's some assorted highlights from beyond the big conferences.

  • Capcom unveiled Resident Evil 7, which takes the franchise into a first-person viewpoint for the first time. Despite being announced at Sony's conference, RE7 will hit Xbox One as well in 2017.
  • Mafia III picked up a brand new gameplay trailer, and it looks tremendous.
  • Life is Strange developers DontNod showed off Vampyr, a hack and slash RPG with Mass Effect-like dialogue choices and consequences.
  • Deus Ex Mankind Divided picked up some brand new gameplay footage.
  • Focus Home Interactive's survival horror RPG Call of Cthulhu picked up a spine-chilling new trailer.

ICYMI - Some of our biggest E3 2016 features and interviews!

Giveaway - Xbox One Official Stereo Headset

Xbox Stereo Headset Box

Xbox Stereo Headset Box (Image credit: Microsoft)

To celebrate the end of the E3 proceedings, we're giving away an official Xbox One Stereo Headset!

The headset plugs into the standard Xbox One controller and is a major upgrade from the basic monopiece headset that comes with the console. If you're looking to get into the world of dedicated Xbox One headsets, this is a great entry point. The headset comes with a 3.5mm jack and works on both Xbox One and PC, and can also be used to issue voice commands to Cortana, who is on her with with the anniversary update.

Win an Xbox One Stereo Headset from Windows Central

And that's a wrap!

E3 2016 probably wasn't one for the history books, but Microsoft announced a lot of exciting stuff nonetheless. Project Scorpio might be over a year away, but the beastly console has put Sony on the defensive. Microsoft's pro-consumer attitude towards Xbox game purchases, allowing Xbox owners to take their games between console and PC with a single license is an excellent move as well, and rewards people for choosing the Windows 10 ecosystem.

There are still plenty of unanswered questions, and Sony has plenty of time to respond to Project Scorpio, and the prospects of losing their pole position in the graphical power narrative. Also some critics have suggested that many potential Xbox customers will side step the Xbox One S and wait it out for the Scorpio in 2017, with others suggesting that Microsoft's 'Xbox Play Anywhere' approach removes the case for buying Xbox completely, favoring PC.

What ever the future may hold for the console industry, Microsoft has made the first strike as we look set to leave the generational cycle behind forever.

What was your favorite E3 announcement? Will you buy an Xbox One S or wait for Project Scorpio? Let us know below!

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

47 Comments
  • I'll take an XBox, I havent had one since the Original and wouldnt mind the new one.
  • So looking forward to Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1! Would also love a new headset, been wanting a proper one for a while - fingers crossed!
  • I was on vacations last week so I missed alot :D Battlefield 1 really triggered me, love those WW games since Call of Duty 1&2. Can't wait to try it out though it will probably be on low details XD
  • This would be nice, I can use this to play when my son is asleep!
  • I'm in the new preview program and loving the stuff that I've got so far
  • We played Overwatch this week on our XBox.  Wish ours had more memory.  Might look into newer model now.
  • Mine is the same.  Wish disc based games didn't need to be installed so it can save space.
  • Husk u could just get an external drive they pretty cheap these days
  • Been looking forward to this for too long. Shame the new ones don't have the hybrid drive, would be a nice touch, room for an elite slim though. Roll on the Summer games sale that MS tends to put together towards the end of July, looking for some bargains.
  • Will be interesting to see if SSDs are cheap enough by the end of 2017 to be included in Scorpio.
  • looking forward to sea of thieves, already preordered recore and gears4 ... lot of good games coming, also i would love to enjoy it with this headset... mine (the default one that comes with xbox) is almost dead
  • The best part of the summit was the announcement of Xbox play anywhere, such an idea is awesome and insane, but still a good idea, and yes, I will be aiming to get both the Xbox one s and the Xbox scorpio when it is released
  • Scorpio for the future! Really want this headset! *---*
  • I play Minecraft with my little boy and my oldest son plays games like Battlefield and Call of Duty 
  • I've had the One for a little over a year, so I am waiting for the nextOne.
  • I play fifa16 and call of duty
  • I'll stick with my current Xbox One, excited for Horizon 3!
  • COOL! MS won E3 hands down
  • I'll be checking project Scorpio... but the biggest news (and it is for the history books) is the arrival of play anywhere. My dad will always be a PC gamer and we haven't played much together in the last decade or so since I stopped chasing PC hardware. Starting this fall we'll be getting back to saving the universe together. Him on PC and me on Xbox One... or One S... or Scorpio... or PC... it just no longer matters. Microsoft hasn't won the console war... they've eliminated it (potentially).
  • E3 is the best!
  • This week I've been playing nothing but Civ V & Civ BE because my TV died. So no Xbox for me right now. *This is for the contest question about the podcast topic. I suggested "Backwards Compatibility vs. HD-Remaster". Normally I don't want nor care about HD-remasters. Backcompat is fine. I don't have the money nor do I want to buy a game I own a second time. But some games deserve an HD-remaster. Rumors are that Red Dead Redemption is backcompat (it's been leaked at least twice in preview) and will be either July's free Gw/G or the month the anniversary update hits. This actually makes me sad. RDR is one of the few games that really deserves an HD-remaster. Just look at how gorgeous GTA V is on XB1. It looks so good, and has so many new details compared to the 360 version that it feels like a whole new game. Now just imagine if the same level of polish was given to RDR HD. I can hardly imagine it myself. RDR was one of, if not the best looking game on 360 (at least until GTA V released 3 years later). But because it will be backcompat soon, the chances of an HD-remaster are slim to none. Publishers & developers don't want to invest in an HD-remaster that directly competes for your $$ with a far cheaper backwards compatible last-gen version. If Rockstar is listening, I'll buy RDR HD even though I already own the original and all the DLC on disc, and even if MS gives the digital backcompat version free on Gw/G.
  • Very excited for ReCore and Sea of Thieves, and curious to see what Scorpio brings!
  • Hi Jez, I believe you meant 1 or 2 Tb, right? :)
  • Wish the Scorpio was coming sooner.  Gonna be a torturous wait.
  • Would be great to win this... Maybe i could get my wife to use it when she watches annoying reality shows.
  • Am pretty much excited for Horizon 3
  • I've not been playing much lately, unfortunately. Just Cause 2, Saints Row: The Third, and Dishonored.
  • Intresting. I was a day one edition owner. i wont be for the s. i may see when the next xbox one comes out. time will tell.
  • Lots of news, some exciting things coming! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Really looking forward to the Scorpio! Already started to save money for it :D Except that Sea of Thieves looks really promising, I am looking forward to some piracy with my friends :)
  • One to rule them all
  • Not enough exclusives games as always. Not suprised, we are falling behind PS. I really don't understand, why PS can have double as exclusives every time. Even titanfall 2 won't be special for xbox. Even getting rid of power brick took several years. That's why PS4 sales is unreachable. They produce what customer wants but MS is producing something and waiting for the customers get used to it. Thanks god we have backward compability, only xbox thing left not beaten by sony. Yes, saying these hurts but they're facts.
  • I'd love to play the Witcher on 4k and even more pumped up visuals, started playing it again yesterday.  I hope they'll do some kind of deal if you just want to swap your old Xbox One for any of the newer ones. I don't expect to get a major discount but something would be better than nothing. Having good experience with the preview update here currently though I seriously hope to see universal apps pop-up in the store soon.
  • I'm really looking forward to ReCore; it looks amazing! And I wouldn't mind a new headset either.
  • What about july games with gold?
  • No chance of getting that headset.
  • It was a great E3 for Xbox.
  • That was one of less exciting E3 ever!
  • Great article. This is nice for people that aren't able to sit down and watch the show. Sea of thieves looks like a ton of fun and I can't wait for state of decay 2 whoo
  • Won't show up in my podcasts app... Any reason?
  • Come on Scorpio
  • Waiting for project scorpio :)
  • And the 8:45 mark he put his sleeve back down immediately after he says prototypes!!! Hmmmm lol. Caught ya!!!
  • I've been playing Overwatch this week, good game.
    I'm excited for all the new xbl features! And all the new games of course.
  • Want to see how UWA will work on Xbox!
  • I'm currently playing Fallout 4 on Survival mode.
  • There is a typo in the section where you wrote about the price of the xbox one s. You wrote 500 gb instead of 500 mb Posted via the Windows Central App for Android