Head of Xbox Phil Spencer opened Microsoft's E3 Xbox briefing to talk about nothing but games. Microsoft avoided talking about sales numbers, upcoming Xbox Live features, and entertainment; focusing exclusively on all the games coming out by year's end and 2015 and beyond. The company spent its 90 minutes talking about and showing games through sizzle reels and live action demos. The company also focused on many of its core franchises coming out this year.
To start the show, developer Sledgehammer Games showed a live action demo of some cooperative play in Call of Duty: Advance Warfare. The demo showed a future Tokyo being overrun by tanks, mechs, drones and hi-tech soldiers. The game will be released on Xbox One (and other platforms) on November 4, but all add-on content released for the game will be made available first on Xbox One. How long of an exclusivity window Microsoft has was not detailed.
Turn Ten Studios Creative Director Dan Greenawalt showed off a video of Forza Horizon 2 and announced that the Nurburgring track for Forza 5 is available for download on Xbox Live for free today.
Turtle Rock and 2K Games showed off a clip from Evolve, and detailed how cooperative multiplayer will work, allowing players of this sci-fi shooter to choose one of several classes or play as the monster. The game will be out on Sept. 30 and will run at a resolution of 1080p.
Vincent Ponmtriband from Ubisoft showed off the new four-player coop mode for Assassin's Creed Unity, in a live action demo. The play through featured four assassins helping the Paris rabble during the French Revolution (1789).
A clip of EA and BioWare's Dragon Age Inquisition was shown - it's set for an October 7 release.
Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price introduced a clip of world running shooter Sunset Overdrive, followed by a play through of an amusement park overrun by two factions and a bunch of brawny mutants. The game is an Xbox One exclusive and will feature an 8-player Chaos squad coop mode.
A video was shown of the freshly released Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 Arcade edition from Capcom. The game features lots of Capcom-inspired cosplay, arcade style combat and more. The game is available now on Xbox One.
Harmonix took the stage to talk about Dance Central games, including the October 21 release of Disney Fantasia Music Revolution and the Sept. digital-only release of Dance Central Spotlight. Harmonix promised new tracks at a faster pace for this particular game, though it did not detail how it would be able to do this...
Lionhead's David Eckelberry showed off how Fable Legends will take advantage of cooperative play with a live demo. The live demo featured four heroes working together to take down various bad guys. The twist came when Lionhead showed off a new Dungeon Keeper real-time mode that lets one player be the Villain for the area, directing NPCs, traps, tricks and even boss monsters. A multiplayer beta for this new mode will launch in December. Those interested can sign up at www.fablelegends.com.
A new clip for the world building game Project Spark was shown off. The video promised Conker exclusive content, new galaxies, multiplayer and coop.
A lovely clip of moon Studios' Ori and the Blind Forest, which is coming out this fall, was shown off.
Next up was clip from 343 Studios' Halo The Master Chief Collection, which features Halo 1 - 4 in one pack. Players can enjoy all the games and their multiplayer modes in their original format or in 1080p, according to studio head Bonnie Ross.
Executive producer Dan Atoub showed off how Halo 2 multiplayer remains the same with a live demo. The game collection will feature 100 maps that have been released for the series over the years and will also include 4000 Gamerscore points, Halo Nightfall for free and access to a December multiplayer beta test for Halo 5 Guardians.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox returned to the stage to say that all the games shown so far are coming out this year, and then introduced games coming in 2015 and beyond. A clip of Playdead's Inside was shown as a lead-in to Chris Charla, id@Xbox director, talking about how self publishing on Xbox is working and that hundreds of developers both big and small are working on games. A sizzle reel was played featuring brief clips of a bunch of interesting looking indie titles.
A clip of the new Tomb Raider game from Eidos was shown off, followed by a live action demo from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. During the demo, the protagonist of the series tracks and kills a pissed off Griffin, making a brief stop to kill a gaggle of ruffians along the way.
Ken Lobb, Creative Director of Microsoft Studios, intros a trailer revealing Phantom Dust.
Ryan Barnard, Game Director on Ubisoft's much-delayed The Division intros a four-player live action demo of the game in its current state. New content will show up from the game on Xbox One first. It's set for release for sometime in 2015 - as of this writing at least.
PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamyida showed off a clip from the fantasy action game Scalebound, likely one of the most interesting third-party games shown so far that wasn't owned by Microsoft.
Crackdown creator David Jones introduced a clip of the next Smackdown game, which is apparently called "Crackdown." The clip shows off what looks to be some cooperative play. Further details on the game were not revealed but we expect to hear more about it when E3 officially opens tomorrow.
All in all, Microsoft highlighted its most popular franchises, and some of the big third-party titles that will be available on the platform in 2014 and beyond. How all of these games will be received by the community is anyone's guess, but in a year where you are not announcing a new console and you are lagging behind the competition it's a smart move to highlight the franchises that will sell systems like Halo and Call of Duty...