Connect with us

News

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.

Published

on

biggest announcements 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.

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.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


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

News

This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (April 6-10, 2020)

Final Fantasy VII Remake headlines this week’s lineup of new PS Store releases for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

Published

on

New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Final Fantasy VII Remake headlines this week’s lineup of new PS Store releases for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PS VR.

A classic franchise returns to PlayStation 4 this week. Yup, it’s the long-awaited release of Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories. Granzella’s game has a long, storied history, beginning life as a PS3 title in 2011 before real-world events caused its postponement. The game’s western release comes at an equally difficult time, but patient fans of the series should be satisfied.

Speaking of patience, this week’s actual big release, Final Fantasy VII Remake, seems to be everything that fans have been waiting for. The long-awaited game is officially out on Friday, but is shipping early in some regions.

Meanwhile, PS VR owners might not be able to play Half-Life: Alyx, but they do get to experience the rush and thrill of Sharknado VR: Eye of the Storm. Other new PS4 releases coming this week include Capybara’s BelowNull Drifter, Troubleshooter, and Rush Rover.

Here is the full lineup of new PlayStation Store games for the PS4, PS VR, and PS Vita.

New PlayStation 4 releases – April 6-10, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

  • Below
  • Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories
  • Form
  • Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition
  • Null Drifter
  • Rush Rover (and PS Vita)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

  • Arcade Archives THE TIN STARConvoy: A Tactical Roguelike
  • A Room Where Art Conceals
  • Sharknado VR: Eye of the Storm

Thursday, April 9, 2020

  • AFL Evolution 2
  • Dissection
  • Drunkn Bar Fight
  • Down the Rabbit Hole
  • Troubleshooter

Friday, April 10, 2020

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake

More from Thumbsticks

Bookmark our new releases page for regular updates on the latest PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


Continue Reading

News

Save on classic Zelda with April’s My Nintendo discounts

The latest batch of My Nintendo rewards includes new 3DS game discounts and a seasonal theme.

Published

on

My Nintendo - Link from The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The latest batch of My Nintendo rewards includes new 3DS game discounts and a seasonal theme.

In case you missed it, there’s a new batch of discounts available on the My Nintendo rewards programme. It’s a good month if you want to pick up some older Zelda games. In Europe, the often overlooked Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons are both half-price in exchange for 30 Gold Points. You can also revisit a range of revamped Nintendo classics in the excellent Ultimate NES Remix.

In the US, there are discounts on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Monster Hunter Stories, and a couple of new 3DS themes.

Here’s the full rundown of April’s new rewards. Many of last month’s discounts, including Fire Emblem Warriors, are still available, as well as a seven-day free trial for My Nintendo Online.

New My Nintendo rewards – April 2020

EU Gold Point Rewards

  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages – 50% discount – 30 points
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons – 50% discount – 30 points
  • Ultimate NES Remix – 50% discount – 200 points

EU Platinum Point Rewards

  • Cooking Mama: Bon Appétit! – 30% discount – 220 points

US Gold Point Rewards

  • Fossil Fighters: Frontier – 30% discount – 70 points
  • Mario Party Star Rush – 30% discount – 90 points
  • Mighty Mushrooms Theme – 20 points

US Platinum Point Rewards

  • Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure – 30% discount – 140 points
  • Monster Hunter Stories – 30% discount – 300 points
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – 30% discount – 100 points
  • Pocket Card Jockey – 30% discount – 100 points
  • Yoshi Springtime Siesta Theme – 100 points

Don’t forget, you can also put gold points toward Nintendo Switch games on the eShop. Here’s our roundup of the latest new Switch releases.


More video games from Thumbsticks

Follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle NewsTwitter, and Flipboard for the latest video game news stories.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


Continue Reading

News

New Nintendo Switch releases (April 6-11, 2020)

This week’s new Nintendo Switch eShop releases include brawling animals, massive earthquakes, space-stations, and dragons. Here’s the full lineup of new games.

Published

on

New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

This week’s new Nintendo Switch eShop releases include brawling animals, massive earthquakes, space-stations, and dragons. Here’s the full lineup of new games.

It’s a reasonably quiet week for new Nintendo Switch releases. There are no massive hits to look forward to, but there are a few little gems to enjoy. (Fortunately, we all have Bunny Week to fall back on.)

Pick of the week is Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, the long-in-development earthquake survival adventure from Granzella. Based on the free eShop demo, the series hasn’t changed much, but it does have a tangible sense of place and a quietly chilling tone.

If you watched the recent Nintendo Direct, you would have seen Vigor, the self-proclaimed “free-to-play shoot ‘n’ loot game, where you build the Shelter in post-war Norway.” Interested players might just squeeze into the game’s closed beta which begins on Thursday,

Fans of the Picross series should also check out Depixtion, which gets a European release this week. It’s a colourful twist on a classic puzzle format, and value for money too. Other new Switch games include Towertale, Galaxy of Pen & Paper, Tharsis, and Fight of Animals, the bizarre meme animal brawler from Digital Crafter.

Here’s the full lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases. We’ll keep this post updated with new additions throughout the week.

Nintendo Switch releases – April 6-11, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • No releases, go find an egg.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

  • Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories
  • Grimvalor

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

  • Towertale
  • Galaxy of Pen & Paper
  • Pen and Paper Games Bundle
  • Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike
  • Ubongo

Thursday, April 9, 2020

  • Bridge 3
  • Fight of Animals
  • Gunbrick: Reloaded
  • Vigor – Closed Beta
  • Monster Viator

Friday, April 10, 2020

  • Depixtion
  • RMX Real Motocross
  • Rush Rover

Saturday, April 11, 2020

  • Tharsis

More video game news from Thumbsticks

Ctrl+D the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


Continue Reading

News

New Xbox One releases (April 6-10, 2020)

This week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases includes a classic survival horror, an interactive movie, and a game about delivering parcels that isn’t Death Stranding.

Published

on

New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Next week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One releases includes…some games.

Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t coming to the Xbox One just yet. Instead, players can look forward to Retro Tanks. Yes, folks, it’s a quiet week on Xbox One.

The highlight of the week is probably Null Drifter, the fun and furious twin-stick shooter from Panda Indie Studio. And if you fancy making your own games, BQM – Block Quest Maker is an engaging RPG dungeon-creation tool.

Other new Xbox One releases include console ports of Indietopia’s ageing tactical combat game Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike, and Behold Studios’ ageing RPG, Galaxy of Pen and Paper.

There’s a more comprehensive range of games coming to PlayStation 4. In addition to FFVII Remake, there’s Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories and, erm, Sharknado VR: Eye of the Storm.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the confirmed lineup.

New Xbox One games – April 6-10, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

  • Construction Simulator 3: Console Edition

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

  • Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike
  • Galaxy of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Glaive: Brick Breaker
  • Null Drifter
  • Rush Rover

Thursday, April 9, 2020

  • Beholder 2

Friday, April 10, 2020

  • BQM – Block Quest Maker
  • Braveland Trilogy
  • Obduction
  • Retro Tanks

If none of these games are to your liking, read about April’s Games with Gold lineup.


Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 games. You can also follow on the socials via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


Continue Reading

News

Three nice enough games are free on Xbox this weekend

ICYMI, here’s news of three more games that are currently free to play on Xbox One.

Published

on

Xbox One - Elder Scrolls Online
Bethesda / Microsofts / Thumbsticks

In case you missed it, here’s news of three more games that are currently free to play on Xbox One.

“Nice.”

My English teacher used to say that you should never use the word “nice” to describe something. But sometimes, it just fits. Xbox Live Gold members and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members have three new games to enjoy this weekend as part of the latest Free Play Days promotion. The lineup is unlikely to get anyone truly excited – outside of fans of each series – but free is free.

WWE 2K20 would normally headline the list, but the latest edition of the long-running wrestling franchise is notoriously rough and was widely panned on release. Nonetheless, if you’re stuck at home with family, the game could be a good bet for some local multiplayer. It will likely make you smile, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

Monster Energy Supercross 3 lets players recreate the 2019 AMA Supercross season with a suite of gameplay modes and a robust track creation tool. And if you want to lose yourself in some faraway lands, The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited offers a wealth of adventures to embark on.

WWE 2K20 and Monster Energy Supercross 3 are available to play until midnight on April 5. The Elder Scrolls Online is free to play until April 13.

As always, game progress and achievements can be carried over to purchased copies. And there are some discounts available to tempt you into that purchase.

Free Play Days Discounts

WWE 2K20

  • Standard Edition –  67% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 67% off
  • Originals: Bump in the Night – 35% off
  • Backstage Pass – 35% off

The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited

  • Standard Edition – 60% off

Monster Energy Supercross 3

  • Standard Edition – 30% off
  • Special Edition – 30% off

Nice enough.


For more video game news and offers, follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard..

Thumbsticks needs your help

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended for you


Continue Reading