Microsoft's Xbox E3 2017: The Liveblog

Image: Twitter (Xbox)

It's finally time. If you've wanted to know how powerful and how much Project Scorpio can be, or you just want to see some cool games, Microsoft's conference is a good place to be. Let's get our liveblogging boots on.

5:45 AM: It's a misty, but not quite proper winter morning in Sydney. Mist always makes for a nice photographic backdrop, and it adds a bit of allure and mystery to the morning.

Appropriate for Project Scorpio, then. Grab a coffee, grab your breakfast. 0700 AEST is the starting time (or 0500 AWST for Perth).

5:50 AM: So first predictions for the morning - What will Microsoft actually call Project Scorpio?

My money would be a suffix or something around the original Xbox One name, in the same vein as the PS4 Pro but with a little more style. Xbox One X or something like that, perhaps. It's special, but it's still the Xbox One.

6:00 AM: While we're at it, what did everyone think of EA's conference? It delivered on the occasional cringe and Battlefront 2 looked mint, which is more or less what I expected. Didn't think I'd get Prison Break: The Co-op Game though.

6:15 AM: Right, I think it's time for some coffee on my end.

A small note: after the 90 minute (unless it runs overtime) conference, Microsoft will be streaming new gameplay of Sea of Thieves through Mixer:

If you want to watch the streams, by the way, you can do that below.

Watch Microsoft's Xbox E3 2017 Conference Here

Sneaking in before Sony, but after EA's pre-show, uh, show, is big ol' Redmond. Those Xbox guys. Or just Microsoft. It'll have a few announcements to get through at E3 this year and you'll be able to see them all, right here.

Read more

6:30 AM: Xbox are handing out fairly gaudy t-shirts as part of the press conference, with slogans like "I just witnessed the most powerful console ever".

Naturally, the internet has taken that and ran with it. Ethan's covered it beautifully below:

Project Scorpio Hasn't Even Been Unveiled And It's Already A Meme

Speaking of t-shirts, Microsoft is handing out its own ahead of the press briefing later this afternoon. They read "I witnessed the most powerful console ever" and naturally the Internet is having a field day.

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And then come back here for the real Project Scorpio memes, obviously. But I hear a noise from the kitchen: my five shots of coffee are ready.

6:35 AM: When I said five shots of coffee, I wasn't kidding.

In that red cup, I can fit four shots of "short coffee". The fifth then comes as part of a flat white, with the milk frother turned up to Milkshake Mode. Consider it the official Kotaku Australia(TM) E3-approved routine.

Or morning routine, in my case.

6:43 AM: So let's catch up with the biggest rumour so far - and possible leak - being Scorpio's price. Geoff Keighley, who is busy hosting a live show ahead of Microsoft's console, was fairly confident the console would be $US499 this morning:

In Australian prices that would make the console $662 after conversion, so you'd be looking at around $700 in practical terms. Really pricing it well and beyond people who were considering an Xbox One S.

6:45 AM: Quick stat check: there are just over 31,000 viewers watching the Xbox stream through Twitch right now, over 44,000 on YouTube, and just over 24,000 on Mixer.

Not a bad result for Mixer.

6:55 AM: Five minutes to go now.

Small shower thought, even though I'm showered and in the office: if I was Xbox, how good a move would it be to leak $US499 as the price only to announce $US399 in the middle of the conference?

Here's a shot of the conference, from Cam at Gizmodo:

Image: Kotaku

6:59 AM: One minute to go. Odds on a delay of a few minutes?

7:00 AM: Nope, right on time.

7:01 AM: Lots of flow lines, futuristic technology. I'm fairly sure The One Ring just appeared. And so did Halo, and Forza:

The actor seems a little underwhelmed by 4K, if we're being cheeky.

7:03 AM: Only one USB port on the front:

7:04 AM: CALLED IT. (Scroll up if you don't believe me.)

7:06 AM: Lots of specs:

People really clapping for that 4K Blu-Ray players. Righto, then.

The Xbox One X will support all Xbox One accessories and games. No surprise there. Promising faster load times and better AA on Xbox One X for existing Xbox titles. It'll have supersampling as well, where games are rendered at 4K but output at 1080p. For those who don't have a 4K TV, basically.

7:09 AM: The Xbox One X will be the smallest console as well. But it's gameplay time now - and this looks a lot like Forza:

Image: Kotaku

And as you'd expect, an actual car is involved.

7:15 AM: So, Forza 7 is a pretty looking game. Running at 60fps in "true" or "native 4K". The game drops on October 3.

But Phil Spencer is back. What's he got this time?

7:17 AM: It's time for a big montage. 42 games are being shown off this conference, with 22 games with "console exclusivity".

7:18 AM: It's 4A Games' turn. It's time for a new Metro game?

There's an underground sequence with some jump scares and lots of angsty, over-sized feral animals eating shit. Including the player (although not in this demo):

GIF: Kotaku

Metro: Exodus is the official name, by the way.

And now it's time for, probably, Assassin's Creed: Origins:

7:27 AM: Time for Origins running at 4K, with a bit of fake Oracle assassination to boot. First shot of Ubi adjusting their logo too.

Seems like Origins will use an eagle, much in the same way you can use the drone in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, for scouting.

7:30 AM: The UI looks pretty slick:

And the sound has *completely* turned to shit for me on the stream. That's fun. Time to switch to YouTube.

Funny how the sound dies while I'm watching on Mixer just as Mixer gets a callout during the conference. But now it's time for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. It's coming to Xbox One. Brendan Greene steps on stage.

Battlegrounds won't get Xbox One X enhancements until the game ships, however - and that could be a fair while off. It'll probably go nuts on Xbox One anyway though, if the Steam launch is anything to be believed.

7:37 AM: And time for something very ... low-poly at points. Looks co-op, and it's called Deep Rock Galactic.

7:39 AM: Zombie time, and by that I mean State of Decay 2:

7:43 AM: And for a completely different tack, someone pulls an axe out of a dead body in the snow:

Looks like another Battle Royale-style game:

The Darwin Project is the name of that ... game. Guess Battle Royale games are going to be the flavour on consoles for the next few years. But it's Minecraft time, and apparently all platforms are being merged now (including VR). Neat.

7:47 AM: Oh, Minecraft is getting a new look this spring apparently. Dynamic lighting seems to be the name of the game now:

Followed up by that is a new Dragon Ball game:

That's followed by another Japanese games that seems a little Final Fantasy 14-esque.

But it's actually Black Desert, which isn't Japanese at all. Korean, I believe.

Another console indie exclusive - and it looks very intriguing:

7:55 AM: It's an Australian game - The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti:

And Sea of Thieves finally shows up:

You can swim underwater and pick a fight with sharks, if you'd like. But mostly it's just to pick up crates in the water so you can swim back to your boat.

All this gameplay footage is reminding me that I get weekly emails from Rare that don't tell me when the public beta for Sea of Thieves kicks off, and that royally annoys me. You can launch players from your ship, apparently:

8:05 AM: Here's the full trailer for the only Australian game at Microsoft's conference so far:

Sea of Thieves meanwhile ... is underwhelming a little bit. A lot of the things you do don't seem quite as fun as I'd wanted them to be. The time to kill on the pistol action is pretty long, too.

This looks cute though. It's a little fox.

Super Lucky's Tale, apparently. Looks like a modern collectathon platformer. Not my thing, but there's plenty of fans for these sorts of games.

8:10 AM: FINALLY. Cuphead appears again. September 29 is the release date.

And now it seems like Crackdown 3 with Terry Crews screaming an awful lot.

8:13 AM: Definitely Crackdown 3. Stylised look this time.'

Lot of games being announced in quick succession. Strange Brigade, Riverbond, Hello Neighbor, Shift, a whole ton at once. Conan Exiles too. It's the [email protected] montage, basically.

Phil Spencer steps up to highlight a game, calling out its aesthetic. It's a console exclusive, not platform exclusive.

And then Ashen and Life is Strange 2 appear:

Shadow of War follows, and you can apparently get orc leaders to battle each other now:

Orc leaders get fairly chatty and jovial when they've been dominated, apparently:

You can choose followers before you go into a siege. Bruce is the name of the Orc shown off in this gameplay trailer as well, hilariously:

Gareth Coker gets on stage and plays some haunting music, which brings us to the Ori and the Blind Forest sequel:

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the official name. Very pretty.

8:30 AM: Spencer returns to the stage to spruik backward compatibility. Around half of users have played a BC game, he repeats.

And original Xbox games are now backward compatible as well:

Crimson Skies is mentioned, but no word on a release.

8:36 AM: The Xbox One X will cost $649 when it launches in Australia later this year.

The Xbox One X Will Cost $649 In Australia

The Xbox One X will cost $649 in Australia when it launches later this year, Kotaku Australia can confirm.

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It's time for Bioware's new IP though: Anthem.

The exosuits are called javelins, apparently. "This is a vast open-world you explore with friends," the on-stage announcer says. Cue Andromeda flashbacks.

Seems like a blend of Mass Effect and Destiny, really:

It's another montage, so the conference is probably close to wrapping up. Gone for almost two hours now.

8:45 AM: So that's it, everything has come to a close now. What'd you think?

It felt like the conference dragged on a little in terms of what was being shown, but Microsoft did good by at least not having too many developer interviews throughout. It was just straight gameplay or cinematics for the most part, and that was nice. (A lot harder if you're liveblogging and capping photos, but as a gamer that's the style I prefer.)

A few games stood out, like Anthem and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Was great to see Artful Escape on stage and I think Battlegrounds on console is a very savvy move. But what are your thoughts on the platform - and what do you think of the price at $649? Let us know.

8:55 AM: Here's some segments of gameplay as well from the various trailers:

9:00 AM: In case you had any doubt, and you shouldn't have, here's even more confirmation on the price from Xbox Australia's Jeremy Hinton:

9:20 AM: And that'll be it for the liveblog. We'll leave you with some peaceful thoughts from Hideo Kojima, whose assistant is enjoying anything but video games apparently:

And to get back to E3, here's what the Xbox One X looks like up close:

Image: Kotaku
Image: Kotaku

Thanks for staying along. We'll be back just before 2:00 AEST to do it all again for Bethesda's conference.

Catch Bethesda's E3 Live Stream Here Tomorrow

A few hours after Microsoft's E3 conference tomorrow, Bethesda will show off its own share of goodies. We can all hope for a new instalment in the Elder Scrolls franchise, but it's more likely to be a showcase of other products under parent ZeniMax's umbrella.

Read more


Comments

    Most interested in seeing Anthem showed off. Hope there's some gameplay and a decent chunk of information and not just a longer trailer than the one we've already seen.

      It is looking very slick, seems like a much more fleshed out Destiny.

    I think somehow Bioware will still be able to put romance and sex in Anthem

    I'm just saying, but Bruz the Orc is very obviously an Aussie. Which explains a lot if they're our ancestors lol

      He is the hero we deserve and I for one am ok with the ocker ogre.

    pretty poor conference but anthem was awesome

    Does anyone know what songs were playing during the [email protected] montage and the final montage? I can't get shazam to recognise them

      Did you find the song names, I need the one at the end

    $700 for a revised console... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      I mean it is 4k and does seem like an upgrade over the Pro, but it will all boil down to how many developers support it.

      All about the specs on this one. If you bought a PC with the same specs, you'd essentially blow that total just on the GPU.

      And $650, not $700.

        Which is why I would like to be able to run Windows software on the XboneX.

        I rarely need a PC.

        Would love to be able to use my Xbox console as a PC for the rare occasion I need to.

        I'm honestly very surprised M$ didn't see this and market the XboneX as such. I mean if you look at it like a PC replacement for the average person but is also a console......$649 is chump change.

        And sure I could just buy a PC again and have it plug into my TV.....then play all Xbox games on it. But the XboneX package is so sleek...

          I can actually see this happening in the near future, with the restriction being you can only use UWP apps.

    Mildly less whelmed than by the EA conference, unfortunately. Might give Shadow of War 2 a go, but I'm not exactly amped for anything here.

    I'm completely baffled by the haters of this conference ... I switched to the IGN post-show and the chat, my god, the chat. Whinging about the price, calling it Xbox's worse E3 ever ... perhaps that's more indicative of IGN's audience?

    Shows the gamer mindset still thinks of Xbox as a console and not a service, despite Satya Nadella making that his big focus when he took over (see also: Office 365, Azure, etc.). Repeat after me, haters: PC games can now be Xbox games.

    Insert not-so-subtle reminder here about how much Steam was hated ... HATED ... when it launched.

    Despite nearly two hours of games showed with a fat Xbox label plastered across them, the beefiest console, OG Xbox back compat, the failure to produce something with the psychological equivalent of Horizon Zero Dawn makes Xbox the failure.

    I stand by my oft-peddled line that Microsoft could give out blowjobs and lollipops with every Xbox sold, and people would still bitch that they didn't get one that was strawberry flavoured.

    I enjoyed the show, and I'll be getting the 1X, if not on launch then certainly in the new year.

      Blinded fanboy gets mad because people don't like what he likes. Back with more news at 11.

        The question mark will be the longevity on the water cooling inside the console. If that fails, the $1 billion spent on Red Ring dramas is gonna look like chump change.

          Also matters whether it becomes like the Pro, where it gets a little attention, but is largely ignored by developers.

          The 'water cooling' is all vapor chamber stuff, not actual loops. These have been on graphics cards since at least the Sapphire 3870, and all since OG Titan Nvidia reference coolers. No higher chance of failure here than a normal heatsink.

            True, but vapour chamber heatsinks have failed in the past. They can bend and warp as well, which could be a real problem in such a small, closed unit like a console.

        Well that was an inevitable comment I suppose but that's not it at all ...

        Bethesda is copping it now for having a half hour press conference but, again, I think they did a good job just doing a 30 min summary of what's going on in their circle.

        I'm either more pragmatic, or my expectations are just so rock bottom at this point that as long as the companies (any of them) don't cock things up Mattrick style then I think they've had a win.

    Given the pretty crap support offered to the ps4pro to date. I'm thinking the Scorpio is dead on arrival.

    Was contemplating getting the new xbox if the price was right and they had exciting new AAA exclusives to justify the price, failed on both fronts.

    I'm cautiously optimistic, provided the X lives up to its promises of visual fidelity. If it maintains 4K then it's an excellent price - but I doubt it will. They still have to play catch up with the PS4. That said, if multiplat games end up being significantly better on the X, that might be enough to tip the scales.

      I'm a bit dubious as to how many existing owners will be willing to fork out for the upgrade, though - especially at that price. PS4 owners haven't exactly been falling all over themselves to trade up to the Pro, and that's a fair bit cheaper.

      Both of these consoles seem to be niche products.

    Keen to play Playerunknowns Battlegrounds

      If it's not cross platform then the game will be dead. Fracturing the player base is never a good idea.

    The big thing is they will need to drop that price if they want a take up in Australia. Which I suspect they'll do within a year

    I'll be upgrading. I think. But then I'm a bit silly. Bit underwhelmed by the game reveals tbh (crackdown aside!) but if the performance in the machine means better/on-par multiplats then it's still enough to keep me invested on the xbox platform. Just.

    Worrying from an exclusives front that as someone who leans towards the MS machine from a bias pov though that I haven't turned it on for a few months. After Andromeda it's been all switch/ps4 for me. Nothing shown is screaming 'come back', let's hope there's more to come later in the year but it'll take more than Forza, Gears & Halo (why oh why did they can Lionhead?)

    I think the big selling point Microsoft will have with the XB1 is that all titles get upscaled to 4k, and it can play 4k video, unlike the PS4 Pro which needs games developed to hit 4k, and doesn't play 4k video.

    That'll be worth the $50 over the price of admission of a PS4 Pro.

    That being said, I do feel that Microsoft could deal with a small performance bump on the Xbox One S just to bring it up to performance parity with the OG PS4, whilst keeping it as a low cost option.

      Problem is that not many people have 4K TV's, so 4K isn't really a major selling point.

      The Pro is about $100 cheaper (assuming it doesn't get a price cut at Sony's conference tomorrow) and it isn't exactly setting the world on fire. I just don't really see where the mass market demand for either of these machines is going to come from. Not when people can get the base PS4 / XB1 for hundreds of dollars less and really not miss out on anything significant.

        I might move in different groups, but every new TV I see being bought is 4k. If your already buying a new TV, a new thing to drive it isn't out of scope.

        The PS4 Pro was Sony half committing once again. Doesn't play 4k bluray, doesn't do native upscaling (unless the game gets coded for it), and most devs outside of Sony themselves don't give a shit.

        All else fails, if your on 1080p, you get supersamping from 4k back to 1080p.

        Last edited 12/06/17 10:52 am

          Yeah, most of the TV's you see in shops are 4K. But most TV's in people's homes are not. People generally do their gaming at home, not in shops, so there's not much point to these devices at the moment. And by the time it does become relevant, Pro and X will both have been superseded by proper next gen consoles, not these mid-generation half-measures.

          Last edited 12/06/17 12:09 pm

    I am not sure why there is so much outrage at the price. It is more powerful than the ps4 pro, it was never going to be less than $600. The 360 was $650 when it was released, the ps3 was a grand!
    The real issue facing Xbox is exclusive titles. Unless they curb that issue, they will continue to fail in the sales race against Sony.

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