It's been a year since Microsoft first announced its Project Scorpio console, and in that time the company has shown virtually nothing of the purported "most powerful console ever." That changed today, as the company announced a release date, price, and final name for the hardware.
Beyond that, the focus was almost entirely on games, as Microsoft packed dozens of new titles into an hour-and-45-minute briefing where virtually nothing overstayed its welcome (even if some titles probably deserved a little more time in the spotlight). Here's our rundown of some of the bigger announcements.
Scorpio is now Xbox One X
- Scorpio is now officially called Xbox One X, and it will launch November 7 worldwide for $499.
- Xbox One X will be backward compatible with all Xbox One accessories and games at launch, with enhanced visual fidelity and faster load times.
- Beefier specs don't have to mean a beefier system. Xbox One X is the smallest Xbox ever, as well as the most powerful.
- When Xbox One launches, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Killer instinct will get 4K updates on Xbox One X for free. More than 30 third-party titles (Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil 7, and Rocket League among them) will also get free 4K updates.
- The Xbox One backward compatibility program has hit 385 titles, and will soon have a lot more as it expands to cover some titles from the original Xbox, including Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. Original Xbox titles will start being supported on Xbox One later this year.
Xbox One X launch software
- Microsoft didn't make a big deal about a launch lineup for the Xbox One X, but it did feature a number of games either meant to take advantage of the system's power, or launching on the same day.
- Forza Motorsport 7 was the first game showed off for Xbox One X. It ships October 3, and will run in true 4K at 60 frames per second.
- The bright and cute action platformer Super Lucky's Tale (a VR-less version of the Oculus exclusive) is coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One on November 7.
- Crackdown 3 returned with a commercial starring Terry Crews. The cel-shaded action game is now being credited just to Microsoft Studios and Sumo Digital, which may call into question the contributions from previous partners Reagent and Cloudgine. Regardless, the game looks to bring all the havoc and chaos the series is known for, and launches November 7.
- Of the 42 games shown at Microsoft's E3 briefing, they boasted that 22 games are at least temporarily console-exclusive to Xbox One.
- Electronic Arts closed the show with BioWare's new IP, Anthem. Teased at EA's pre-E3 briefing, Anthem. Director Jon Warner showed off a gameplay demo and fleshed out some of the world, which has players cooperatively exploring a hostile sci-fi open-world in exo-suits as "Freelancers" to protect humanity from external threats. Anthem is set for 2018.
- We got an extended look at Rare's Sea of Thieves cooperative shared world pirate adventure. It started with exploring a shipwreck for sunken treasure, then moved to exploring a jungle island for buried treasure. It wasn't all treasure; there was also combat against skeletal pirates (to help a shipmate steal their treasure), and a look at ship-to-ship combat. The game launches early next year.
- Mojang's Lydia Winters took the stage to talk about uniting the global Minecraft community across VR, mobile, consoles, and PC with community-run servers so fans on all platforms can play with each other. Additionally, there will be a 4K graphics update this fall that will leave the graphics blocky, but at least they'll be crisp and beautifully lit.
- The Metro series will return next year with Metro: Exodus, which debuted with a lengthy gameplay trailer.
- Assassin's Creed: Origins was featured with a trailer followed by an edited in-game demo. As expected, it is set in Egypt, and will tell the story of how the Brotherhood of Assassins began.
- Michael De Plater of Monolith Productions showed off the sequel to Shadow of Mordor, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. He demonstrated the game's new Nemesis system by recruiting an army of orcs and use them to storm the fortress of a two-headed troll.
- A beautiful teaser trailer announced Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest. Phil Spencer said the title affirmed his belief in the beauty and art of games.
- Pixel art meets a Blade Runner-like setting in The Last Night.
- Annapurna Interactive showed off the timed-console-exclusive musical adventure game The Artful Escape, as well as an Xbox One console-exclusive called Ashen.
- Fulbright will follow up Gone Home with Tacoma, a timed console exclusive launching August 2 on Xbox One.
- Microsoft E3 staple Cuphead received another trailer, and the old-timey cartoon action game has a new release date of September 29.
Even more games
- The show also saw the world premiere of Life is Strange: Before the Storm, the first episode of which arrives August 31.
- Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene was on hand to announce the PC hit (3 million players and counting) PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will arrive on Xbox One as a console exclusive late this year.
- Microsoft beefed up its apocalyptic fiction lineup with the zombie survival third-person shooter State of Decay 2, exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10. It's set for a spring 2018 release.
- The Darwin Project looks to be a more eSports-focused take on PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds with a bit of Mixer integration.
- MMORPG Black Desert is coming to Xbox in early 2018.