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The 9 biggest announcements from the Xbox E3 2019 press conference

From “Project Scarlett” to Keanu Reeves, here are the announcements that really stole the show at the Xbox E3 2019 press conference.

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From “Project Scarlett” to Keanu Reeves, here are the announcements that really stole the show at the Xbox E3 2019 press conference.

Well, that’s it, folks. The Microsoft Xbox E3 2019 press conference is over, and it was quite the ride. We’re currently bathed in a warm green glow in the Microsoft Theather, but we’ve not just been clapping and cheering along with the influencers: we’ve been hard at work.

Thank you for following the event with us live on Twitter, and on our ever-growing guide to everything Phil Spencer, the Xbox team, and their ever-growing army of first-party studios had to show. It’s all newsworthy stuff, of course, but here are the 9 biggest announcements, the moments from the Xbox E3 2019 press conference that we think made the biggest waves.

Keanu Reeves (Cyberpunk 2077)

Microsoft clearly knows its audience. Just when we thought the biggest cheer of the night was going to be the start of the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, it turns out, it came at the end. When Keanu Reeves rocked up as a character in Cyberpunk 2077.

Then that cheer was bested about five seconds later when a door at the side of the stage opened, and Keanu walked out onto the stage wreathed in smoke. It was such a big cheer that even Keanu then giving us the release date for Cyberpunk 2077 at the end of his little speech didn’t get as big a cheer as the man himself.

He’s also just a very lovely and personable bloke. Can we get Keanu to do all the press conferences from now on?

The Outer Worlds

This is one we’re really excited for. It’s basically space Fallout, and the more we see of The Outer Worlds, the better it looks. Which is good, because we’ve got a demo with Obsidian later in the week. The key takeaway here was the release date reveal: The Outer Worlds will release on October 25, 2019.

Xbox Game Pass PC/Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

We already knew about Xbox Game Pass on PC, and earlier today, the pricing was revealed. But during the Xbox E3 2019 press conference, we learned that some very PC-specific titles, like Football Manager 2019, will also join the roster. Oh, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, too, on PC for the first time. No big deal.

Oh, and that it launches into public beta today.

But there’s more: Microsoft also announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which combines Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Live for PC into one bundle. For $14.99 a month. Which is quite the bundle already, but as an added incentive, you can get your first month for $1.

Microsoft acquires Double Fine Productions

Continuing on from last year’s Xbox press conference, where Microsoft announced it acquired a whole bunch of third-party studios and brought them in-house under the Xbox Game Studios banner, there was just one such announcement this year. But it was a big one: Double Fine Productions.

This means that Psychonauts 2, which is currently in development, will become an Xbox Game Studios title. But better than that, it means Double Fine will hopefully get bigger budgets to staff up and continue making weird, scrappy games.

And we got to see a bit of banter with Tim Schafer on stage. He’s such a nice bloke.

Gears 5

Rod Fergusson popped onto the stage to talk to us about Gears 5.

First, he announced that the Gears 5 release date will be September 10, 2019. Then, he casually mentioned there’d be an online technical test of its new “Arcade” multiplayer mode in July, followed by a hands-on build of its “Horde” mode at Gamescom in August.

Then, erm, the stage exploded in pyrotechnics a bit for some reason? We think it’s to show off a new mode called “Escape” but there’s no gameplay on show here, just a pre-recorded trailer? Bit odd. Seemed like a bit of a letdown after the release date reveal, but the game will be playable at select Microsoft stores over the next two games if you want to get your hands dirty. Finally, what looked like a really cool Terminator game just turned out to be some pre-order tat for Gears 5, which was quite the letdown.

Though nothing went down quite as poorly as the audible groan from the audience when the Gears of War/Funko Pop cross-over popped up on screen.

[email protected]

There were so many games revealed in the [email protected] segment – all of which are also going into Xbox Game Pass – that we struggled to keep up with them all. It’s great to see Microsoft renewing its commitment to indie games, though, and particular highlights from the segment were Dead Static Drive, Afterparty, Felix the Reaper, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, and the beautiful Way to the Woods.

Project xCloud and console streaming

“Two months ago, we connected all Xbox developers to Project xCloud,” says Phil Spencer. There are two ways to do it, he says. You can either use your console at home to stream your games to wherever you like, or you can stream from Microsoft’s xCloud data centre hardware. And that’s all he said about that, because he then said, “Let’s talk about our next console.”

Project Scarlett

We must confess, we were a little surprised to see Microsoft still referring to this as “Project Scarlett” and not more of a… final-sounding name. But the talking heads of developers, discussing the aims of the project, the capabilities of the machine, and yes, some of the specifics of the hardware, was very encouraging. One of the points they kept coming back to was loading times. They are very much going to war on loading times.

We don’t have all of the exact details, but we made some quick notes as we went along:

  • Custom AMD Zen2/Navi architecture
  • GDDR6 memory
  • Frame rates up to 120 frames per second
  • Real-time ray tracing
  • A custom-built SSD (to eat up those load times) but can also be used as virtual memory to boost performance (sounds suspiciously like a Windows page file, but if the SSD is architected with this feature in mind, it should work well)

And then Phil popped back out on stage to announce that “Project Scarlett” will be launched in “Holiday 2020” with a very special launch game…

Halo Infinite

We were treated to what looks like the opening cinematic for Halo Infinite. It. Looks. Epic.

Assorted other musings

Here are a few other things that we thought were cool or memorable, but we couldn’t really cover them all in that much detail:

  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps is coming February 11, 2020, and it looks spectacular. The level of polish on that game is incredible.
  • Jedi: Fallen Order will release on November 15, 2019. There was a bit where the Jedi kills a big spider with his blue lightsaber, which looked a lot like the Shelob bit from Lord of the Rings.
  • There’s a new co-op Minecraft dungeon crawling game, appropriately called Minecraft Dungeons. It’s coming in Spring 2020, and reminds us of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
  • There’s a new Microsoft Flight Simulator, “powered by Azure AI and satellite data,” apparently. As if those games weren’t punishingly realistic enough before.
  • Wasteland 3 looks rather nice.
  • We got a release window for Dying Light 2: it’s spring 2020.
  • Forza Horizon 4 is getting a Lego expansion, and it releases on June 13.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to Xbox One.
  • So is CrossfireX, as a console exclusive, but we’re none the wiser what that is yet. Maybe that’s why it reminded us of Metal Gear Solid a bit?
  • Oh, and there’s a Blair Witch game. It looks horrific, which is… good?

Don’t forget to check out the full list of everything announced.


To keep abreast of all the biggest developments at E3 2019, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and bookmark our E3 2019 landing page.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PS5 is digital only, won’t feature cross-save

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

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Sony

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

Next-gen remasters like the PS5 Remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man are becoming a complicated business. We’ve already seen controversy spring up over limited eligibility in accessing the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 “free upgrade” of Remedy’s Control.

After a session responding to queries on Twitter, Insomniac has confirmed some of the limitations of the PS5 version of their acclaimed game.

On free upgrades to the original for PS4 players…

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered likely has no free upgrade for PS4 owners, since physical media for the former version will play the original via backwards compatibility and it has its own trophy list.

On cross-generational saves…

Insomniac confirmed that there will be no cross-gen saves for the remaster.

On a physical release for the Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition…

The remaster will be digital-only and currently the only way to get your hands on it will be to get the pricier PS5-only Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition for £70. No other route or upgrade for now.

Where you will get a free upgrade…

The yet to be released Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales will allow for a free upgrade to a PS5 version. However, since the Ultimate Edition isn’t available for PS4, there’s currently no way to access Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered without (re)purchasing Spider-Man Miles Morales on PS5.

It’s a fair number of caveats, then, but unlike the Control next-gen version – which will be replicating the existing PC version – the Spider-Man remaster is a more significant endeavour.

“The remaster for the PS5 is no simple up-res,” details the Playstation Blog. “Many of the game’s art assets have been completely updated to take advantage of the PS5 console’s horsepower. You’ll see better-looking characters with improved skin, eyes, hair, and facial animation (including our new, next-generation Peter Parker).”

“You’ll also see ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows, improved lighting, more pedestrians and vehicles stretching further into the distance, and the same optional performance mode offered on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, allowing you to finally play the game at a targeted 60FPS frame rate. We’ll be supporting near-instant loading, 3D audio, and the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback. Lastly, we’re adding three amazing new Spider-Man suits, new photo mode features, and even new trophies for those of you looking to Platinum the game all over again.”

That kind of overhaul does help to justify the lack of a free upgrade. Still, it’s hard to see how Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered isn’t going to spark something similar to Control’s controversy with limited access and the above limitations. It’s just another chapter in the increasingly confusing saga of next-gen upgrade announcements.

Ray-traced reflections, though? That should make for some pretty puddles.


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for further demystification of the next-gen upgrades.

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Save up to 85% in four new Xbox One video game sales

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on video games from Activision.

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Xbox One - Resident Evil 2

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on games from Rockstar and Capcom.

If you didn’t manage to pick up an Xbox Series X pre-order, console yourself with some discounts on a range of excellent Xbox One titles.

This week’s Deals with Gold includes cuts on some recent(ish) AAA games like Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind, and Devil May Cry 4. The remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is also a favourite in the Thumbsticks office.

Publisher Rockstar is also offering decent savings on titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and L.A. Noire. And Capcom has slashed up to 75% off games from the Resident Evil franchise.

A 25% reduction on the bill for Untitled Goose Game is our pick from this week’s Spotlight selection.

This week’s Xbox One deals are available until September 28, 2020. Here’s a quick rundown of the best bargains on offer. Each game is available from the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft web store.

Xbox One Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise – 75% off
  • Almost There: The Platformer – 85% off
  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition – 70% off
  • Devil May Cry 5 – 20% off
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – 50% off
  • GreedFall – 75% off
  • Headspun – 33% off
  • Hover – 67% off
  • Hunt: Showdown – 60% off
  • Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind – 25% off
  • Monster Energy Supercross 2 – Special Edition – 75% off
  • MudRunner – American Wilds Edition – 70% off
  • Othercide – 25% off
  • Romancing SaGa 2 – 50% off
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – 85% off
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane – 65% off
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima – 50% off
  • XenoRaptor – 40% off

Xbox One Spotlight Highlights

  • Crashbots – 60% off
  • Crimson Keep – 75% off
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ – FighterZ Edition – 85% off
  • Ikaruga – 50% off
  • Metaloid: Origin – 30% off
  • Minesweeper Genius – 67% off
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – 40% off
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – 40% off
  • Radiant Silvergun – 50% off
  • SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell – 70% off
  • Storm Boy – 80% off
  • Stranded Sails – Explorers Of The Cursed Islands – 40% off
  • Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition – 80% off
  • Tumblestone – 85% off
  • Uncanny Valley – 80% off
  • Untitled Goose Game – 25% off
  • Yet Another Zombie Defense HD – 75% off

Rockstar Publisher Sale Highlights

  • Bully Scholarship Edition – 60% off
  • Grand Theft Auto IV – 65% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition – 50% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Great White Shark Card Bundle – 35% off
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 33% off
  • L.A. Noire – 50% off
  • Red Dead Redemption – 67% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – 50% off
  • Rockstar Table Tennis – 60% off

Resident Evil Franchise Sale Highlights

  • Resident Evil – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 0 – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 5 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 6 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – 50% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations – 60% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2 Bundle – 60% off

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is still coming

Panic Button Games’ port of id software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming to Nintendo Switch.

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Doom Eternal system requirements
Bethesda / id Software

Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is “very close” according to its developer.

Panic Button Games’ port of id Software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming, and work on it is almost done. The news comes via Digital Foundry’s interview with the game’s executive producer Marty Stratton for PAX x EGX.

“I know people are anxious,” said Stratton.

In an interview with Eurogamer in 2018, the studio expressed their desire to launch alongside all other platforms. This faced complications, not least the global pandemic.

“We’re trying to make it the best version of the game it possibly can be. So we’ve been working with Panic Button, they’re also – like everybody – work from home, so it’s taking a little bit longer to get there…we want it to be everything it possibly can be. It’s very close, and we’re trying to be very uncompromising with what it needs to be, because there’s a high demand for it.”

“We will be talking about it again, in the not-to-distant future. It is close, but I can’t say exactly how close.”

Panic Button are responsible for many high-quality Switch ports including Doom 2016, Rocket League, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Like these, the Doom Eternal port will aim for 30 fps and should hopefully see a return of gyro/motion controls.

It remains to be seen whether the Switch will bundle in DLC as was done for the Doom 2016 port, since the recently revealed first campaign expansion, The Ancient Gods – Part One, is both more substantial and a standalone release.

The expansion is due 20th October, 2020 and it sounds like we aren’t too far off hearing a release date for the Switch port.

Our editor, Tom Baines, wasn’t too enamoured with the sequel, calling it ‘technically solid, blistering in parts, but lacking in soul.’


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Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Here’s a recap of the latest My Nintendo rewards

Looking to spend your earned My Nintendo Gold and Platinum points? Here’s a quick round of the latest rewards on offer.

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Nintendo

Looking to spend your earned My Nintendo Gold and Platinum points? Here’s a quick round of the latest rewards on offer.

With Nintendo officially confirming that production on the Nintendo 3DS ended earlier this year, it’s no surprise to see the latest batch of My Nintendo rewards pivot towards physical goods.

Here’s a quick roundup of what’s newly available in Europe and North America.

My Nintendo Rewards – Europe

Super NES Controller for Nintendo Switch

This super cool replica of the iconic SNES controller is perfect for playing the Switch’s library of retro games. Upcoming additions include Donkey Kong Country 2 and Mario’s Super Picross. This wireless controller comes with a USB charging cable and is exclusively available to My Nintendo members. It’s priced at £26.99.

Splatoon 2 Summer Postcard Set

This set of eight Splatoon 2-themed postcards are available in exchange for 400 Platinum Points, plus postage and packing. The postcards measure 10 x 14.8 cm and are printed on 300g/m² card with a matte finish.

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Keychain Set and Splatfest T-shirts

This range of Splatoon 2 tees and keychains feature Mario’s Super Mushroom and Super Star power-ups, both of which are the subjects of an upcoming Splatfest held in honour of the plumber’s 35th Anniversary. The t-shirts cost at £22.99 in the UK and the keychains are 100 Platinum Points.

The rather nice Animal Crossing: New Horizons Reusable Bag also remains available in exchange for 400 Platinum Points.

My Nintendo - Splatoon 2 postcards

My Nintendo Rewards – North America

Nintendo-themed Lunchable packages

Until Dec. 31, famous Nintendo characters are appearing on packs of Lunchables. Inside each box is a code that can be redeemed online for the chance to win a Nintendo Switch prize pack or 100 My Nintendo Platinum Points.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition rewards

New rewards based on Nintendo’s remastered RPG Xenoblade Chronicles include a Phone Ring Holder based on the Monado and a set of three sticker sheets. They cost 400 and 300 Platinum Points, respectively.

Splatoon 2 Summer Postcard Set

This is the same postcard set issued in Europe, and it’s also priced at 400 Platinum Points.

Super Mario Desktop Wallpapers

A series of four Super Mario Bros-themed wallpapers are available depicting the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros 2, and Super Mario 3D All-Stars. They cost 50 Platinum Points each.


Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders are now open

Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders are open right now, but will there be an excess of units available?

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Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders
Microsoft

Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders are open right now, but will there be an excess of units available?

Good morning everyone. Here’s a public service announcement for our UK readers (at the time of publication) and our North American readers a little later.

Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders open today to 8 am at a variety of online retailers around the globe.

Here’s a list of Xbox Series X and Series S pre-order retailers confirmed by Microsoft, but it won’t hurt to check other stores if it looks like demand is outstripping supply.

Hopefully, the issues experienced with the PlayStation 5 pre-order rollout won’t be repeated. Microsoft has reportedly taken steps to avoid that situation by warning retailers that their allocation of consoles will be reduced if they break the street date and time.

Xbox Series X and Series S pre-orders

UK – 8AM BST

United States – 8AM PT

Canada – 8AM PT

Good luck!


We may receive a small commission on purchases made from online stores.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

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