E3 2019 Microsoft Press Conference Recap: Team Xbox Unveils Project Scarlett and a Whole Lot of Game Pass
Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference just wrapped after nearly two hours of new trailers for games like Gears 5 and Halo Infinite, world premieres for games like Miyazaki and Martin's collaborative Elden Ring, and more than a little bit of info on the next Xbox, which is now officially being referred to as "Project Scarlett," after rumors have long suggested so.
If you missed the whole show — or maybe just bits and pieces of it in your excitement — we've recapped every moment, every reveal, and every trailer into this handy round-up. Of course, if you'd rather watch it all from start to finish yourself, that's fine too. Check that out below!
If you want to take it bit by bit with us, here's literally everything Microsoft announced at E3 2019.
The Outer Worlds
The Xbox presser kicked off with the next game from one of their new first-party studios, Obsidian Entertainment. While the space RPG The Outer Worlds isn't being published by Microsoft — it was already in development from 2K's Private Division label before the 2018 acquisition — it will still be premiering in Xbox Game Pass at launch, the same as so many more games to come in this roundup, as you'll see.
The trailer avoids the game's cynical humor for the most part and depicts a more serious version of the capitalist hellhole the game was made famous for when it debuted last December. You can look forward to playing the game on October 25.
Following quickly from The Outer Worlds, two of Ninja Theory's developers came to the stage to introduce their next game, Bleeding Edge. If you think of a melee-focused Overwatch, you're not far off. The game was in development before Microsoft came calling with big wads of cash, so the June 27 technical alpha may seem like a quick turnaround, but really this has been their project for a few years already.
Bleeding Edge pits two teams of four into maps that seem conducive to many playstyles, which should benefit players no matter which of the many teased heroes from the new trailer above. Like The Outer Worlds, it'll launch directly into Game Pass at an unannounced date.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Before we had even seen Phil Spencer hit the stage, a third Xbox Game Studios project came to the stage. The Ori sequel delivered a new trailer that showed off a ton of new environments and several enemy types that are hopefully bosses — otherwise, Ori may be vastly unprepared if these behemoths are to be commonplace.
It launches on February 11, 2020 -- and yes, directly into Game Pass too.
One of two new games in the Minecraft universe coming soon (though the only one shown on stage at the presser), Minecraft Dungeons' trailer highlighted brand new gameplay moments, including character loadouts, combat, and four-player co-op, which can be played either locally or online. It didn't get a firm release date but it did get a window of spring 2020.
I bet you can guess whether it's coming to Game Pass day and date with retail. If you're really stuck, here's a spoiler: it is.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
As promised, Jedi: Fallen Order made its second appearance in as many days on a pre-E3 stage. This time, new gameplay segments were shown off in the trailer on Xbox's stage, including more interaction with a familiar character from the film's universe. Remember, the game is officially canon now. Take that, Force Unleashed!
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order arrives this year on November 15.
After the power fantasy of Star Wars concluded, it was time to flip game mechanics on their head with a horror game that leaves you almost completely helpless.
What looked a bit like Outlast 3 at first was soon revealed to be Blair Witch, a first-person horror adventure from Bloober Team, the same studio behind recent horror games Observer and Layers of Fear.
Though it's not a first-party title, Blair Witch will be coming directly to Xbox Game Pass on August 30.
After last year's exciting stinger, CD Projekt Red returned to the Xbox stage and they brought John Wick with them. Well, sort of. Revealed at the end of the trailer above, Keanu Reeves is portraying a character in the much-anticipated cyberpunk title.
He took to the stage to reveal the game's release date too. Despite what we heard about the game being too powerful for current generation consoles, Cyberpunk 2077 hits next spring, April 16, 2020, on all the platforms you'd expect.
Yet another Game Pass-at-launch title is this indie, Spiritfarer, which bills itself as a "cozy management game about dying." Well, okay then. Seems like a strange, almost contradictory setup, but I bet that's the point. get comfy with losing your loved ones, folks. This is going to be cathartic.
No release date was given yet, but the trailer does offer some cool gameplay detailing how you can customize your boathouse together with your everpresent cat companion.
"Do you have Battletoads?" Yes, and so will Game Pass at launch. The revived brawler from yesteryear only got a teaser last year and didn't show us any gameplay, so this cartoony melee combat is our very first look at what the hokey series can be in a contemporary setting. It feels like a game that knows it's absurd and that's exactly how you'd want it to be.
No release date was given just yet, so maybe keep calling your local game retailer for now.
The Legend of Wright
One of the cool things Microsoft has done a lot lately is make time on their massive stage for some tiny games. Hand-drawn indie The Legend of Wright is another example of that. The shifting aesthetics of the game are glorious and confusing at once. What's going on in this one?
We can't be sure yet, but we'll find out when it launches in 2020.
ID@Xbox Sizzle Reel
Speaking of indies, the annual ID@Xbox sizzle reel was up next and showed off over a dozen games, all of which will be — you guessed it — coming to Xbox Game Pass on their respective launch dates.
One of them, Riverbond, is even out today. I know because my wife and I spent all of our morning before the show playing it. It's fun! Check out the trailer for the rest of the games.
20+ Game Pass Titles Added Today
I don't know if you've heard by now, but Microsoft has this service called Game Pass...
Yeah, even more Xbox Game Pass titles were announced, all of which came to the service today. Big hitters like Batman: Arkham Knight and Metro Exodus were supplemented by indies like Hollow Knight and Old Man's Journey. Here's the full list of what's new to Game Pass today:
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battle Chasers: Nightwar
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
- Bridge Constructor Portal
- Guacamelee! 2
- Hollow Knight
- Lightspeed: Double Speer Edition
- Metal Slug X
- Metro Exodus
- Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
- Neon Chrome
- Old Man’s Journey
- Riptide GP: Renegade
- Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
- Shenmue 1&2
- Silence – The Whispered World 2
- Smoke and Sacrifice
- SteamWorld Dig 2
- Supermarket Shriek
- Thimbleweed Park
- The Turing Test
- Wizard of Legend
Xbox Game Pass Comes to PC Today, Included in Game Pass Ultimate
As the company revealed last week, Game Pass is coming to PC. In fact, you can join the open beta today. The PC version will feature its own list of "over 100 games by August" including all Xbox Game Studios titles on day one just like its console counterpart.
Subscribers to Game Pass Ultimate (Game Pass and Games with Gold combined) now also get Game Pass PC included with their $14.99/month subscription. You can also sign up for your first month of Game Pass Ultimate right now for $1.
MS Flight Sim
Coming directly to Game Pass PC, and seemingly consoles for the first time, is the latest edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The ever-popular sim has been a PC staple for years, and the trailer implied it'll be coming to Xbox One as well.
In the time since the trailer was shown, some are saying that's inaccurate, though Microsoft has said no such thing themselves yet.
Age of Empires II Definitive Edition
More surely coming just to PC is Age of Empires II Definitive Edition. You can see the remastered classic in action in this brand new trailer.
I probably don't need to say it again, but lest we forget, it's coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one next year. Who would've guessed it?
Another title from a newly acquired studio, Wasteland 3 continues Inxile's tradition of keeping CRPGs alive. This time it's to the cold Rocky Mountains of Colorado, giving an aesthetic makeover to the series.
Tonally, it's probably right where fans want it to be, with a similar humorous cynicism as The Outer Worlds from Obsidian and the previous Wasteland games.
Microsoft Acquires Double Fine Productions
Matt Booty twerked to the stage to reveal yet another Microsoft studio buyout. This time it was Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions.
The studio famous for games such as Psychonauts and Brutal Legend got to celebrate their new parent company with the first-ever gameplay trailer for the long-awaited Psychonauts 2.
LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga
It was a bit weird when The Force Awakens got a LEGO game but The Last Jedi didn't. Well, now it has, along with every other mainline story in the Star Wars universe.
The Skywalker Saga depicts all nine films, including the yet to be released Rise of Skywalker in brick and minifig form. It arrives next year, after the final movie in the Abrams run has made a billion dollars.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
Once known as Dragon Ball Project Z, the action RPG based on the hugely popular anime series is now Dragon Ball Z Kakarot.
The combat of Kakarot resembled something closer to the past games in the series rather than last year's 2D fighter, though the label of "action RPG" should mean it's ultimately quite different from anything else in the franchise. It arrives in 2020.
If I'm allowed to editorialize here (if you're reading this, I am!) 12 Minutes was one of the coolest reveals on stage during the Xbox show. Presented in top-down format, the entire game seems to take place in a small apartment where players control a man stuck in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, only it's one that tends to end much more tragically.
I won't say anything else on it, as it's so stylish and well done, you should really see it for yourself.
Way to the Woods
Up next was Way to the Woods, an indie about a pair of deer, father and fawn, exploring a world, presumably to return to the woods. It has the air of a game that will be at different times uplifting and tragic, and it has me wondering which note it will end on.
Stay safe, little deer!
The stage presence for Gears 5 was rumored to be heavy before the show, and it turns out that was correct. It got the longest time on screen of any game, featuring multiple trailers. The first, above, depicts the psychological tormet of new protagonist Kait Diaz.
The game will be coming to Game Pass at launch on September 10, but you can access it four days early with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription or if you buy the game's Ultimate Edition.
The versus technical test will go live on July 19 during which time players can take part in a new arcade mode. Later this summer, beginning in August, players can regroup for an early look at the game's Horde mode.
Rod Fergusson also hit the stage to unveil a brand new mode called Escape, which has players infiltrate an enemy encampment, plant a bomb, and escape amid the chaos.
Anyone who pre-orders the game or plays within the first week via purchase or Game Pass will also gain access to a character pack featuring a T-2000 robot from Terminator Dark Fate.
Xbox Elite Controller Series 2
Rumors of a new controller were loud for weeks and they were proven right on stage. Microsoft unveiled the Elite Series 2 controller, featuring "over 30" new ways to customize your experience, including new trigger sensitivity settings, new wraparound rubberized grip, and game profile settings that you can set for up to three games so each plays how you like it.
You can see all that and more in the tech-heavy trailer above.
Dying Light 2
Following the news that it's going to be published by Square Enix, Dying Light 2 got a new trailer during Microsoft's show which included a release date and some more pondering on how player choice affects the world.
You can play nice, be the bad guy, or (a gaming favorite) exist somewhere in the gray area when it hits stores next spring.
Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions
Another one that was heavily rumored was the Forza DLC featuring LEGO. Right again! An all-brick McLaren Senna was this year's token on-stage vehicle and helped introduce players to Forza Horizon 4's second expansion: LEGO Speed Champions.
If you're a fan of both the game and the toys, it seems likely this partnership will extend to physical playsets in the near future just as it has when Forza teamed up with Hot Wheels.
Returning to the stage after last year's reveal was Gears POP!, a mobile strategy game which brings together an unlikely pair of properties.
Pre-orders go live "soon" and players can pre-register (pre-pre-order?) the game starting today.
State of Decay 2
We already knew State of Decay 2 was getting a Return to Trumbull Valley DLC. What we didn't know was it had been reworked or just expanded into the Heartland story DLC, which is out today for $9.99 and a 10% discount if you have Game Pass.
The DLC offers two parallel storylines featuring new characters in both cases. It seems likely their stories will converge, but thankfully we haven't been spoiled yet.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Japan's premiere online MMORPG is coming to Xbox as a free to play title next year. A new trailer highlighted a lot of the tropes we've come to expect from the genre like big hair and bigger swords, so even if you're new to the series, it may feel familiar.
If you're going to go and get Japan's premiere MMO, why not snag China's premiere shooter too? That's what Team Xbox did with Crossfire X, a rebranding of China's most popular FPS. It's coming to Xbox next year and will launch directly into Game Pass.
They didn't reference it in the show, but this is also the game for which Remedy wrote the story content, so fans of their games may want to take a closer look when it arrives in 2020.
Tales of Arise
A new Tales game is coming, and that would've been a huge reveal if it wasn't for the fact that Bandai's site was scraped earlier this weekend and all their news were leaked.
Still, fans got the full trailer on all its glory. Watch it above if you're ready for another adventure.
A new stylish as ever trailer was shown for Gearbox's Borderlands 3 and it introduces the four primary character classes on offer in the third go-around.
What's even better is Gearbox confirmed the leaked Fight for Sanctuary DLC is real, out today, and free in Borderlands 2. The DLC is meant to bridge the gap between the last game and this September's so if you're one of the few in it for the story, this one is for you.
Perhaps no game would've received bigger applause than this one if it weren't for the aforementioned Bandai Namco leak. The Miyazaki-George RR Martin collaboration, Elden Ring, is real.
No release date was mentioned, but the trailer definitely feels like something spun up from precisely these two creators, which makes for an extremely exciting prospect for fans of either and perhaps a literal dream come true for many who admire both men's work.
Project Scarlett Revealed
Phil Spencer then returned to the stage to discuss the future of Xbox. In the near term, your Xbox One will be updated this October to allow you to stream games completely for the first time ever.
Speaking farther down the line, Spencer also introduced Project Scarlett, the next-gen Xbox project being built by the same team that created fan favorites such as the Xbox One X, the Elite controller, and more. He stressed it will be a games machine first and foremost, obviously still trying to clear away the smears left by Don Mattrick's failed vision.
Together with AMD, his team has created a custom processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X. Many of the project leaders are seen in the above trailer mentioning things like 8K resolution and near-total removal of loading screens.
The console will launch at the end of 2020. They chose to not yet confirm if there will really be two versions of the console as other rumors have stated, but we image a reveal event next spring may eventually tell us what's true or false in that regard.
Though it's almost a year and a half away from launch, Project Scarlett has already been given its first launch title reveal, and what else would it be?
Halo Infinite closed out the Microsoft E3 2019 press conference with an extended cinematic trailer featuring our hero, Master Chief, who awakens from near-death and immediately straps in for the fight. He doesn't waste any time, does he?
That's everything from Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference. What was your favorite announcement?
Be sure to check out our other E3 2019 coverage below: