It seems bizarre when you think about it, but Microsoft will be the only first-party publisher hosting a traditional press conference at E3 2019. Sony has backed out of the show completely, and Nintendo will once again be presenting a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct show to reveal its latest games. This means, however, that Microsoft has the chance to establish itself as the big player at E3 2019, and you will not want to miss the show. Here’s how to watch the Xbox E3 briefing, and what to expect in terms of both games and hardware announcements.
How to watch the Xbox E3 press conference
Microsoft will hold its Xbox E3 Briefing on Sunday, June 9 at 4 p.m. ET. This is later than the company’s shows have often been in the past, but with the impending launch of Project xCloud and new systems on the horizon, you can expect a lengthy presentation.
The press conference will be available on several different platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook.
Alternatively, you can watch the press conference on Microsoft’s live streaming platform Mixer, either through your browser, Xbox One app, or the iOS and Android apps. The Mixer stream will be available in 4K resolution, and just like last year, there will be a MixPot. A MixPot is a digital bundle containing goodies that is awarded to all those who log into Mixer through their Xbox-associated Microsoft account and watch the press conference.
In the past, add-on content for various games have been awarded through the MixPot feature, and viewers were even given the game Rare Replay for free. Once you’ve watched the conference, you should receive your rewards automatically.
What to expect at the Xbox E3 press conference
Microsoft has several announced games in the works for Xbox One and PC, along with potentially whatever comes next. We expect to see the majority of those games at E3 2019. We could also get more news on hardware, such as the new Xbox One S All-Digital console, and more Project xCloud news.
One of the biggest upcoming games for Xbox One is Gears 5, which was given the spotlight at last year’s event with a look at the story from Kait’s perspective. With the game reportedly releasing on September 10, we expect there to be plenty of gameplay shown during the presentation. This will likely include multiplayer, which is still a relative unknown, as well as more information on the interpersonal drama shown thus far.
The PC-exclusive Gears Tactics will also likely appear during the show. Differing from the main third-person shooter series with turn-based combat, it has not been announced for Xbox systems at all, despite the Halo Wars series releasing on console.
343 Industries has already confirmed that the upcoming game Halo Infinite will appear during the Xbox E3 press conference, but it remains to be seen how much of the game will actually be ready for primetime. Last year’s reveal was primarily designed to show off the new Slipspace Engine powering the shooter, and it gave us a look at Master Chief’s armor as it appears with the game’s updated visual style.
Halo Infinite is confirmed for Xbox One and PC, which means it will likely release within the next few years. If this is the case, a campaign mission or even just a story-focused cutscene could be shown during the event, but we wouldn’t count on much more than that.
Just like the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, Microsoft publishes a new Forza game every single year. Last year saw the release of Forza Horizon 4, which means it’s almost certainly going to be Forza Motorsport 8 releasing this year. These announcements are typically made during the Xbox E3 press conferences accompanied by whatever car is on the cover this year, and with an increased focus on Xbox One X compatibility and 4K resolution, expect it to be one of the prettiest games of the show.
Microsoft is planning to hold public trials for its Project xCloud game-streaming service later this year, and the company has already shown a game running on its servers. During E3 2019, expect more features for Project xCloud to be announced as Microsoft attempts to differentiate it from Google Stadia.
E3 2019 will also be the perfect place to reveal its final name, and to give us pricing and release window information. We would also be interested in knowing how Project xCloud will interact with Xbox Game Pass, and if there will be a discount to those subscribed to the latter program.
Playground Games’ New Project
More than two years ago, Playground Games opened a second studio, separate from the Forza Horizon team, to work on an unannounced project. The company was acquired by Microsoft before E3 2018, and as work continues on that project, rumors have swirled that it could be a new entry in the Fable series. This has not been confirmed by Microsoft or Playground Games, but given the time spent since the second studio opened, it seems likely that it will be revealed this June.
What we want Microsoft to announce at E3 2019
Alongside the games we fully expect Microsoft to show or announce during E3 2019, there are also some titles – and hardware – that is up in the air. Below are the games, systems, accessories, and news announcements that we want to see from the Xbox E3 Briefing.
Minecraft cross-play with PlayStation 4
Sony finally allowed cross-platform play for Rocket League and Fortnite, letting PS4 players enjoy the game alongside Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players. We’d love to see this come to Minecraft as well, and if such an announcement was to be made, it would likely be from Minecraft publisher Microsoft. Making it available “right now” wouldn’t hurt, either.
New studio acquisitions
During E3 2018, Microsoft announced that it had acquired big-name studios such as Ninja Theory and Playground Games, and it had founded new studio The Initiative. Later down the road, it also acquired Obsidian Entertainment. It’s unlikely that an announcement quite that huge will be revealed this year, but one or two new acquisitions would go a long way toward letting Xbox fans know that Microsoft is putting games above all else.
Next-Gen Xbox Reveal
It’s likely that the next-gen Xbox reportedly codenamed “Scarlett” or “Lockhart” and “Anaconda” will launch in 2020, meaning that a full console reveal isn’t in the cards for E3 2019. However, as Sony has already shared the first details on the next PlayStation system, we could see a response from Microsoft at E3 2019. Even just a few technical specifications would suffice, as would information on exclusive features to expect from the system.
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition sale
Microsoft just launched the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition console, and it received a mixed reception right out of the gate for its price. At $250, it’s only a slight discount over the standard Xbox One S. As we prepare for an increasingly digital future, we’d love to see Microsoft knock the price down slightly more, either permanently or as part of an E3 sale.
Xbox Game Pass on Nintendo Switch
It seems like a crazy dream, but with Microsoft’s continued support for cross-play with Nintendo Switch and even certain features from Xbox Live coming to the console, we have our fingers crossed that Xbox Game Pass will eventually come to the platform. Given the power constraints of the Switch, this would likely mean only select games could run on it, but this is something Project xCloud could easily solve.
Mixed-reality, and by extension, virtual reality and augmented reality, aren’t part of Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox system. Regardless, the advances it has made with its HoloLens 2 headset, and its potential use in games like Minecraft, are extremely impressive. Because HoloLens 2 remains an extremely expensive option not meant for casual players, don’t expect it to take up too much of the show, but a look at how the technology will shape gaming in the future would be welcome.
- E3 2019 press conference schedule
- Xbox-exclusive games could find a second home on Nintendo Switch
- Xbox One S All Digital Edition design, price reportedly revealed by leak
- The history of the Xbox
- Microsoft wants Xbox Game Pass on PS4. Cross-platform news expected at GDC 2019