E3 2013: Join Our Liveblog of Microsoft’s Xbox Press Conference
By Dan Casey on June 10, 2013
It’s here! It’s finally here! The spirits did it all in one night! Although E3 2013 doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, today there’s a slew of pre-show press conferences, a/k/a. the preemptive strikes of the gaming world. First up is Microsoft, who, with the brand new console in tow, will be focusing on their wide array of next-gen game offerings after we were treated to an in-depth look at the hardware during last month’s Xbox One reveal. You can watch the live stream along with us here.
We’re trying a brand new experiment to give you guys the most up to the minute information possible, so please bear with us and give us your reactions in the comments below or use the #NerdistE3 hashtag on Twitter to let us know your thoughts!
In the meantime, maybe pour yourself a cold beverage of your choice and play the Microsoft E3 press conference drinking game, courtesy of the evil geniuses over at OutsideXbox.com.
So, without further ado, let’s unlock this liveblogging achievement….
9:14 AM – Nerdist News’ editor-in-chief Brian Walton and I just took our seats! This place is packed and the wi-fi is slower than dial-up, so please bear with us.
9:15 AM: God help you if you’re attending this event and you suffer from color blindness, vertigo or a deadly cocktail of both.
9:24 AM: Apparently, a developer for Rare revealed on Spike’s E3 pre-show that the Xbox One will be available in November, so prepare for Black Friday to look like the Red Wedding this holiday season.
9:26 AM: T-minus 5 minutes until it kicks off.
9:35 AM: Things are kicking off with a Konami splash screen…and Snake riding on horseback with a gruff stranger in Afghanistan! Hello, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain!
9:37 AM: Metal Gear Solid is going open world. Snake can hide off the side of his horse. Real time weather effects like sandstorms will roll in. This is “a whole new breed of stealth.” Different vehicles – including a tank.
9:39 AM: Will a cardboard box look out of place in the wilds of Afghanistan? CQC makes a return too, so get ready to choke and shake prizes out of unsuspecting guards.
9:40: New supporting cast includes Kazuhira Miller (revolutionary you’re sent to rescure), a Lara Croft-looking sniper named Quiet, a Final Fantasy-esque character, Emmerich is back (Otcon), Ocelot, Code Talker (looks like The End from MGS3)
9:41: Punished Snake is now our hero’s pseudonym Holy shit does this trailer look rad as hell. The graphics and Kiefer Sutherland’s voice look and sound terrific.
9:42: Hideo Kojima and Don Mattrick have taken the stage. 13 exclusive Xbox One titles to be revealed. But first, Xbox 360 titles. Yusuf Mehdi takes the stage…
9:44 AM: Sleek, slim new Xbox 360 model is rolling out starting today.
9:45 AM: Existing Xbox Live Gold members will receive 2 free game downloads per month. First titles include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3.
9:46 AM: New Xbox 360 title – never before available on consoles – Wargaming’s World of Tanks is making the leap to consoles.
9:47 AM: Victor Kislyi is talking about bringing the massively multiplayer F2p game to Xbox Live’s 48 million members.
9:49 AM: This summer, World of Tanks: Xbox 360 edition is free to play for Xbox Live Gold members.
9:50 AM: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, a new sidescrolling adventure, has a very Jimmy Neutron/Dreamworks vibe to it.
9:51 AM: And now, the polar opposite, a seriously brutal trailer for a seriously brutal RPG: Dark Souls II.
9:52 AM: From what I saw at Namco Bandai’s preview, Dark Souls II improves on the original in nearly every way.
9:52 AM: Phil Spencer has taken the stage. Everything from this point forward is for Xbox One.
9:54 AM: A trailer for a new game with marble statues floating in space. “A son of Rome will Rise.” It’s called Ryse: Son of Rome and sounded like Benedict Cumberbatch was narrating.
9:56 AM: Hordes of legionairres do battle against barbarian hordes. They’re storming a beachhead like the ancient version of Normandy. Forget an arrow in the knee; some guy just took an arrow to the eye.
9:57 AM: Battle is up close and visceral. QTE appeared on the screen and went in for a dynamic kill once you do enough damage. Quite a bit of stylized, slow-mo murdering.
9:58 AM: Moving in a phalanz, you have to shield against the rain of arrows upon your heads as you slowly advance on an enemy tower. Aaaand there’s the “This is Sparta!” kick.
9:59 AM: Crytek has once again made a visually stunning game. There’s quite a bit happening on screen at any given moment – from soldiers to catapults raining down terror.
10:01 AM: Puts you in the role of Marius Titus, a Roman warrior. Their new engine allows Crytek finally enabled them to make the game. It will be an Xbox One exclusive launch title.
10:01 AM: KILLER! INSTINCT! It’s a brand new Killer Instinct. Oh my god, you guys.
10:02 AM: Clearly, everyone here is most excited about Killer Instinct. Now, Ted Price from Insomniac (Ratchet & Clank) is here to talk about Sunset Overdrive, a “stylized open world shooter where the experience can change every day thanks to community-driven, cloud-stored content.”
10:05 AM: It looks like Jet Grind Radio meets Mirror’s Edge as you parkour your way through hordes of weird mole people/zombie creatures. The cartoonish violence is over the top, but in a fun way.
10:06: And now a mini documentary about automobile empire McLaren. Is this more about Forza?
10:07 AM: Hahahaha – a McLaren P1 just came out of the floor. There are only a few on the planet apparently. Forza Motorspot 5 is running on a demo in the background on Xbox One. It looks quite gorgeous, suicide doors and all.
10:08 AM: The A.I., a system called the “Driveatar“, learns based on your gameplay style and continues learning by playing against opponents online. It’s “not about creating better racing A.I.. It’s about creating a human experience.” The singularity is upon us.
10:09 AM: The real question: can we plug our Driveatar into Google’s driverless cars? And is road rage supported?
10:12 AM: Xbox One’s full processing power will be brought to bear on…Minecraft? Dozens of pixels!
10:13 AM: Sam Lake, creative director of Remedy, is here to talk more about Quantum Break. They want to “blur the lines between gaming and television.” Your in-game choice personalize the gaming experience. Looks like it might just be a choose-your-own-adventure after all.
10:15 AM: The protagonists have a sort of bullet time that lets them pluck people from an otherwise static event. It looks like they can pluck folks from the time stream. Only for sixty seconds though. Seems very J.J. Abrams.
10:17 AM: Another brand new game from Deadly Premonition mastermind Swery called D4 is on the way. He’s one of the coolest guys in the biz, so I’m excited to see what’s next.
10:18 AM: Microsoft Studios’ Dave McCarthy now takes the stage. They want to “put the ability to create in the hands of everyone” and the result is Project Spark.
10:19 AM: Using simple vocal commands lets your create a map seamlessly from nothingness, altering terrain type, weather, etc. You can get in deeper and put in more personal, minute touches using SmartGlass.
10:20 AM: So far, it looks like LittleBigPlanet and Black & White. You can even have a pet rock. And now you can turn your pet rock into a battlin’ murder golem? All right. I’m listening.
10:22 AM: You can even build turn your little rock buddy into a giant steampunky mech. From goblins to zeppelins to villages, it offers a robust array of creative tools. How much was pre-programmed though and how much was live? It looked live.
10:24 AM: Marc Whitten takes the stage to talk about Xbox Live, SmartGlass, Game DVR, Smart Match’s matchmaking service and more.
10:25 AM: SmartGlass will let you use Timeline to see where you and your friends are in a game like Ryse: Son of Rome, so you can compare stats and progress on any device.
10:26 AM: You can have another multiplayer match forming in the background while your singleplayer game continues. For example, one woman was playing Ryse when her Killer Instinct game loaded.
10:27 AM: Game DVR automatically records gameplay, which you can then use to upload, share and publish gaming videos in Upload Studio. Finally, a way to brag online.
10:28 AM: Thanks to a new partnership with Twitch TV, you can instantly broadcast gameplay with simple Kinect voice commands. Okay, this is actually kind of rad.
10:29 AM: Microsoft Points will transition to real money. Goodbye having 499 points for a 500 point purchase! Also, you can add more than 100 friends, which is all well and good if you have 100 friends…
10:30 AM: Crimson Dragon, from Yukio Futasagi and Panzer Dragoon makers is playing. There’s no sound, so the crowd is supplying their own sound effects. Pretty incredible. Pew pew pew!
10:32 AM: Capcom is here with “the ultimate open world zombie game – Dead Rising 3.” New hero Nick Ramos must survive in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. It picks up 3 days after the fact.
10:33 AM: Dead Rising 3 retains the “use anything as a weapon” functionality of the series, which is even more exciting given the game’s open-world nature.
10:34 AM: In-game crafting lets you tape a flashlight to a handgun to create a tactical flashlight so fighting in the dark is a little less scary. Zombies are attracted to your movement, which can easily overwhelm you. Fortunately, a distraction like shooting a flare can help keep you safe.
10:35: You can create hundreds of improvised weapons, including the Sledge Saw which is a chainsaw attached to a sledgehammer. You can drive cars around too. The blood spray is pretty absurd.
10:38 AM: Mother of maneating monsters! You can call in an artillery strike? Dead Rising 3 looks out of control. It comes out holiday 2013 exlusively for Xbox One.
10:39 AM: John Mamais of CD Projekt Red is here to talk to us about the Polish developer’s latest offering, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be coming to Xbox One. It will be open world, free-roaming for the first time ever.
10:40 AM: Next-gen graphics make The Witcher protagonist look even more like Old Josh Holloway than before. The environments look incredible. Combat has a visceral feel to it. Also there’s mermaids.
10:41 AM: Patrick Soderlund from EA and DICE is here to talk about the Frostbite 3 engine and, of course, Battlefield 4. We’re about to see actual, uncut gameplay at 60 FPS.
10:43 AM: After some minor technical difficulties (drink!), the demo is finally playing. 2013-2014 will be the year that leaning returned to first-person shooters. Predictably, it looks quite impressive. They’re taking us through a campaign mission on a tanker. It just split apart, so it looks like we’re going to have to jump.
10:46 AM: If your chief complaint about Battlefield 3 was that there weren’t enough explosions per capita, then don’t worry. At all. Everything is constantly exploding.
10:48 AM: Second Assault, the first DLC map pack, will launch on Xbox One before anywhere else.
10:50 AM: Below, a super stylized indie game, finds you traversing through gorgeously illustrated maps and environments. This looks like their attempt at creating a Journey-esque title with a artful dungeon crawler.
10:51 AM: Black Tusk, a Canadian studio, is developing a new AAA title for Microsoft Studios. So far, we see a 30-something white guy in kevlar rappelling down the side of a building and taking out a guard.
10:52 AM: Another new in-house title being shown now. A man in rags wanders through a desert. Is this the gritty reboot of LittleBigPlanet‘s Sackboy?
10:53 AM: Out of the sand, a giant spacecraft/mech emerges. It looks like a steel falcon. AND IT’s MASTER CHIEF. Oh god, Cortana, what happened. That’s right – a new Halo is coming in 2014.
10:55 AM: 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross tells us that Spartan Assault will be playable on show floor, but today is all about Halo on Xbox One.
10:56 AM: For the first time ever, Halo will run on a console at “a blistering 60 frames per second.” Think of all that teabagging in real time!
10:57 AM: Xbox One launches in November in 21 markets for a price point of $499 USD/$499 Euro. What do you think?
10:58 AM: One last exclusive from Respawn Entertainment. A soldier reflecting at a makeshift memorial, a cairn of skulls.
10:59 AM: You’re a gritty future soldier. You can hop in giant mechs and do battle with other mechs and soldiers. You can even scale other mechs and disable them from the outside. And you can go invisible? I’m listening. It’s called Titanfall.
11:00 AM: Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella treats us to a live action demo. The loading screen for your match has you about to jump into a hot LZ from an aircraft.
11:02 AM: You have mild jetpack capabilities, which gives the game a Mechwarrior-meets-Tribes sensibility.
11:04 AM: The maps seem pretty sprawling, which really helps give the sense that you’re in a dynamic combat zone. To be fair, crawling into an armored death machine helps too.
11:05 AM: Titanfall ships spring 2014 exclusively on Xbox One. This game has some serious wow factor.
11:06 AM: That’s all, folks! Thanks for tuning in. We’ll be back in action for EA’s press conference later today. In the meantime, let us know what you thought in the comments below!
Additional reporting by Brian Walton.