Everything Microsoft announced at E3 2016: Xbox One S, software updates, games

E3 2016 is in full swing, and Microsoft just delivered one of the most exciting, feature-laden showcases in recent memory. Microsoft’s dedication to cross-platform play via the new Xbox Play Anywhere initiative stood out among a veritable smorgasbord of trailers and gameplay demos, and the announcement of two powerful new Xbox One console versions reinforced the company’s support for the game development community.

Meanwhile, we were treated to extended looks at a slew of Xbox/Windows exclusives, from pirate adventure Sea of Thieves to zombie survival games State of Decay 2 and Dead Rising 4. Below, we’ve put together a brief overview of everything you might have missed from Microsoft’s E3 press conference.

Hardware and software

Xbox One S

Microsoft opened its conference with a bang, as Xbox head Phil Spencer took to the stage and revealed the Xbox One S. Clad largely in white, the console boasts an integrated power supply and up to 2TB of hard-drive storage while taking up a fraction of the space occupied by the original Xbox One. The S supports HDR gaming and 4K ultra-HD video streaming capabilities, and the updated controller features a textured grip and Bluetooth connectivity. Just $299 will net you one of these babies upon release in August, though it appears there will be multiple models of the S available for purchase.

Pre-Order Now

Read more here

Project Scorpio

If Microsoft opened its showcase with style (the Xbox One S), it most certainly closed with power. Project Scorpio, the code name for next year’s Xbox console, boasts some pretty incredible specifications — in fact, were it to be released today, it would ostensibly be the most powerful gaming console ever created. Powered by a six-teraflop GPU that enables the system to run games in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, the console will launch with native VR compatibility.

Spencer and company were adamant about the idea of “gaming beyond generations,” a tagline that seems to imply that the future of gaming lies in semi-annual hardware updates rather than traditional six-to-eight year console life spans. In layman’s terms, we’re likely to see a future where Microsoft introduces a new Xbox just as often as Apple rolls out a new iPhone. Gamers should be happy, then, that their libraries won’t become instantly obsolete with the release of a new console — though, with a vague “Holiday 2017” release window, we’re not sure exactly when Project Scorpio will actually see daylight.

Read more here

Xbox Design Lab

Starting from $80, gamers can now build their own officially licensed Xbox One controllers. Customizable from the top down, each part of the controller — the joysticks, the triggers, the face buttons — can be a different color, selected from dozens of different hues. Players can even choose to have a short message (or, more likely, their Gamertag) laser engraved on the face of the controller.

Xbox One Software Updates

Along with the forthcoming console updates, the Xbox team announced a few new features that will be added to Xbox Live in the coming months. Microsoft’s Cortana AI will take the place of Xbox’s native voice control system and link with any other Microsoft devices you may have.

Looking For Group is a feature that many gamers should appreciate, giving players an in-house method of finding like-minded teammates for cooperative play.

Xbox Live Clubs allows players to come together and celebrate their mutual interests, and can function as a tool to find friends online as well.

Finally, Xbox Live Arena is a tournament platform that Microsoft and third-party developers will be using to create large-scale gaming competitions and find out who truly is the best of the best. EA Sports was announced to have a partnership with Xbox Live Arena beginning in the fall. We expect many rabid FIFA players to sign up, only to immediately fake an injury and withdraw from the match.

Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for November 2018

Whether you've started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or you just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for November 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.
Gaming

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…
Gaming

For the first time ever, PlayStation will be a no-show at E3

For the first time in the event's history, E3 2019 will not feature Sony or PlayStation. The massive event almost always features a lengthy press conference from Sony, often after all other major companies give theirs.
1 of 4