Xbox E3 2019 Briefing Recap: A Ton Of New Games, xCloud And Project Scarlett Revealed

Some surprises here and there, as well as Keanu Reeves taking the E3 stage.
Xbox at E3 2019
Here's a complete recap of everything announced during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing. Microsoft

Microsoft an Xbox drew first blood at E3, unveiling games, trailers and various announcements for its Xbox E3 2019 Briefing.

There were quite a lot of surprises this year, some good and some great, while I also took the time to see how accurate the rumors were beforehand. Leaks were correct about 90 percent of the time, which is amazing in and of itself. Still, it’s quite refreshing to see new titles drop without a hint beforehand, which makes for the most amazing surprises.

All that said, let’s take a quick look at everything Microsoft and Xbox announced for their E3 stage this year.

The Outer Worlds trailer

To kick things off for the presentation, we get a new look at The Outer Worlds, which releases on October 25, 2019. The newest trailer featured a snippet of the story, which focuses on how mega corporations have taken over alien planets. Your character, a relative newcomer to one of these planets, begins a journey to liberate colonies from the corporations. The trailer also highlighted how you’ll be able to take a heroic or villainous path to achieve your goals. Check it out below.

Bleeding Edge reveal trailer – Ninja Theory’s Newest IP

After weeks of speculation, we finally get to see developer Ninja theory’s newest IP. While technically Bleeding Edge did leak a day before its E3 presentation, its reveal on stage was still very exciting as we got to see exclusive footage for the title. Check it out below.

The game, at a first glance, looks to be a hero shooter like Overwatch, but with more focus on melee combat. Players choose from different characters in a 4v4 setting, and battle it out in a closed arena with some very neat environmental settings that can potentially be used for kills. Ninja Theory also announced a technical alpha which starts on June 27.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps release date trailer

Next up we have a brand-new trailer for Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a much-awaited sequel to Microsoft’s critically-acclaimed indie-style title. This new trailer focuses on some very cool and epic-looking bosses, and finally gives us an exact date for when we will get to see Ori back in action. Be prepared to wait until next year, though, as the release date is on February 11, 2020. Check out the trailer below.

Minecraft Dungeons reveal trailer

It’s not a Microsoft/Xbox conference without anything Minecraft-related, and for this year we finally get to see a gameplay reveal trailer for Minecraft Dungeons. The game is played from a top-down perspective, and unlike Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons focuses on dungeon crawling with RPG elements, which of course takes place in a Minecraft world. Check out the trailer below.

Minecraft Dungeons also allows you to play with up to three people for a four-player co-op adventure. You can utilize various weapons for battle, level up and gain new skills, and solve various puzzles along the way. There’s no set release date yet, but it is expected to launch sometime in Spring 2020.

Phil Spencer Intermission

Xbox head Phil Spencer formally opened the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing with the announcement that 60 games will be announced for the event, 14 of them coming from Xbox Game Studios and 34 of them available at launch on Xbox Game Pass. The announcements also teased what’s next for Xbox Game Studios, a sneak peek at Project xCloud, and details regarding Microsoft’s next-gen console.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay trailer

Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment already debuted 15 minutes of the first gameplay footage for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order back at EA Play on Saturday, although Microsoft showed some new highlights in this E3 trailer debuting on the Xbox E3 stage. Check it out below.

In this trailer, we see Cal Kestis taking on an AT-AT on Kashykk, presumably before the events of the gameplay reveal, since this is the first time in which he and Saw Guerrero meet each other. Aside from some much smoother gameplay, it’s pretty much all taken from the previous gameplay footage. We do get to see a nice moment between Cal and his droid, BD-1, at the end, though.

Blair Witch reveal trailer

As far as surprise titles go, this one was pretty interesting. It would seem that Bloober Team, best known for their work on Observer and the recently released Layers of Fear 2, was secretly working on another horror title, Blair Witch. For horror fans, The Blair Witch Project is one of the quintessential horror movies, and the one that spawned the birth of the found footage genre. Check out the trailer below to see it in full action.

As much as I loved Layers of Fear, I have to admit that adapting Blair Witch to a video game with a tone like the one in the trailer is a bit off-putting. The Blair Witch Project is best-known for its use of tension and unseen horror, and it’s not surprising that the sequels (which relied more on jump scares and giving the horror an actual physical form) ruined the allure. It’s a bit disappointing to see that this Blair Witch video game takes more inspiration from those sequels rather than the original.

That said, if it plays anything like Outlast, then maybe there is some hope for it. If only a little bit. Blair Witch will be released on August 30.

Cyberpunk 2077 cinematic trailer, release date announcement, plus Keanu Reeves

The excitement reached fever pitch when a new trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was shown, this time starring the male V instead of the female one. It seems to be a continuation of the mission that was the focus of the previous gameplay reveal for Cyberpunk 2077, in which your character V and your partner Jackie do a very dangerous job for a person named Dex. Of course, things go awry, and you’re the only one who makes it out alive. Making matters worse is Dex and his goons, who are trying to kill you because your getaway wasn’t exactly clean. Check the trailer out below.

After an intense fight, you find yourself waking up in a scrapyard of sorts, where you are greeted by an unnamed character, played by none other than John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves. Reeves then appeared on stage to hype up the game for its eventual release date, which was announced for April 16, 2020, almost a year away.

The trailer that accompanied the release date announcement was much more interesting in my opinion, as it did show off some brand-new gameplay. Pre-orders for the game are now available as well, which you can do so right here.

Spiritfarer reveal trailer

Microsoft also showed off some very neat-looking new independent titles on its Xbox E3 stage, starting with Spiritfarer, which features building and exploration elements set in a cartoonish world. You play as a young girl aboard a ship, which is also host to a number of anthropomorphic animal characters. You can build up and upgrade your ship to your heart’s content, and travel to new and exciting places. Check out the trailer below.

Battletoads reveal trailer

“Uh, hey, you got Battletoads for the Wii U?” Do people still remember this early relic of trolling on the internet? If not, then too bad, Microsoft is still going to make the actual game, even if it’s more than a decade too late from popular culture.

That said, Battletoads does look promising, featuring colorfully animated sprites and a wacky, irreverent tone. It brings back three-person co-op, as well as the famed and dreaded motorbike level. What’s pretty sad is that they seemed to have toned that level's difficulty down, shifting from the almost impossible breakneck speed in a 2D side-scroller form to a 2D from-the-back view, which means that you can see the obstacles and react accordingly. Check out the trailer below, although it lacks an actual release date.

RPG Time! The Legend of Wright trailer

Next up we have another interesting title, called RPG Time! The Legend of Wright. The gameplay is set within a pen-and-paper adventure-maker, which gives it a lot of soul and personality. What’s really impressive is the hand-drawn animations mixed in with real-time page turning whenever the scenes change. This is definitely one I’m very interested in, purely due to the creativity it exudes. Check out the trailer below.

ID @ Xbox sizzle reel

Next up is a sizzle reel for independent titles that are set to launch on Xbox Game Pass. The lineup is quite diverse and includes a lot of interesting titles, including Dead Static Drive, Pathologic 2, Star Renegades, AfterParty, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, The Good Life, CrossCode, Creature in the Well, Killer Queen Black, Riverbond, Unto the End, Blazing Chrome, Felix the Reaper, UnderMine, Supermarket Shriek, Secret Neighbor, ikenfell, The Lord of the Rings – Living Card Game, Night Call and Totem Teller. Check out the sizzle reel below.

Sarah Bond Intermission

We got another intermission, this time from Xbox Head of Partnerships Sarah Bond. She talked mostly about Xbox Game Pass, along with the confirmation that the ID @ Xbox titles featured in the previous sizzle reel will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. She also debuted a new set of titles coming to Xbox Game Pass on consoles which are now available, including Batman Arkham Knight, Metro Exodus, Hollow Knight, and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.

The discussion also went at length regarding Xbox Game Pass for PC. The lineup of more than a hundred games available at launch include Imperator Rome, Football Manager 2019, and of course, starting with Halo Reach, the entire Halo: Master Chief Collection. A sizzle reel for the games included in Xbox Game Pass for PC was also featured, and can be watched below.

As a side note, it’s very weird to see Metro Exodus on Xbox Game Pass for PC this early, considering that it’s supposed to be locked to the Epic Games Store as an exclusive for the next year. Then again, considering Epic and how there’s no real explanation on how these exclusivity deals really work, we may never really know. Xbox Game Pass for PC is now available in Open Beta, with a full launch expected by August.

For a final surprise, Sarah Bond also shared some details with the upcoming Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The whole package now contains Xbox Game Pass for Consoles, Xbox Live Gold, and as a bonus, even Xbox Game Pass for PC, which means an amazing deal for both Xbox One and PC owners. The pricing is pretty competitive, too, at $14.99 per month. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is now available, and as a special E3 2019 offer, a one-month trial can be bought for just $1.

Microsoft Flight Simulator reveal trailer

One of the most in-depth flight simulators is back, now powered by Microsoft’s own Azure AI technology plus intelligent satellite data. It’s looking very pretty as well, and with any luck, the return of Microsoft Flight Simulator will signal a return of the flight sim genre in general. Check out the incredible trailer below to see just how expansive and immersive it is.

Age of Empires II Definitive Edition gameplay trailer

Up next is another Xbox Game Studios title, this time a remaster of one of the most popular real-time strategy games of all time; Age of Empires II is back, now in luscious 4K and with updated sprites, remastered audio, and an all-new campaign centering on the Khans. Check out the amazing trailer below.

Wasteland 3 reveal trailer

Next up is another Xbox Game Studios title, this time a direct sequel to a recently revived franchise. It would seem that Wasteland 3 is embracing a more light-hearted and comedic tone, although it’s still set in a post-apocalyptic Colorado inhabited by various oddities and deranged inhabitants. Check out the trailer below to see some of the gameplay, which is still from a top-down perspective.

Matt Booty Intermission, plus a surprise Psychonauts 2 trailer

Up next was another intermission, this time presented by Head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty. This is quite possibly one of the biggest surprises of the whole Xbox E3 Briefing this year, as Matt announced a studio acquisition made by Xbox Game Studios that came out of nowhere – no speculations, leaks or rumors heard of whatsoever.

Double Fine Productions, the company best known for its remasters of LucasArts adventure titles and Psychonauts, has been acquired by Xbox Game Studios. The company’s founder and studio head Tim Schafer took to the stage to solidify the partnership, and also to present a brand-new Psychonauts 2 trailer, which you can watch down below.

Double Fine is consistently one of the better studios when it comes to unique, story-driven video games, so an acquisition by Xbox Game Studios can only mean good things for the future of both companies. It’s also important to note that Tim Schafer will also be at this year’s E3 Coliseum along with Jack Black to talk more about Psychonauts 2.

LEGO Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga reveal trailer

Next up we have a surprise reveal for a whole-new LEGO Star Wars game, this time featuring all nine main line Star Wars films. Titled LEGO Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga, we got to see some iconic moments in the franchise’s history, coupled with the humor you’d expect from a LEGO title. It’s set for a 2020 release, and you can check out the trailer below.

Dragon Ball Z Kakarot reveal trailer

Next up was the reveal trailer for that super-secret Dragon Ball Z game, which turns out to be an action RPG title where you play as Goku. Titled Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, the trailer shows off Goku battling Frieza in an epic battle, along with smaller battles between him and Vegeta. It’s set for release in early 2020, and you can watch the trailer down below.

12 Minutes reveal trailer

The next reveal is a game published by Annapurna Interactive, and developed by Luis Antonio, best known for his work on The Witness. It’s billed as an interactive thriller, with a premise that’s somewhat familiar to me lately due to having played – and thoroughly enjoyed – Outer Wilds, another Annapurna Interactive title. The game is called 12 Minutes, and it’s about a man stuck in a time loop. It looks promising, mostly due to how claustrophobia-inducing the top-down perspective is. Check out the very intriguing trailer down below.

Way to the Woods trailer

After being delayed for quite some time now, Anthony Tan’s deer simulator Way to the Woods gave an update trailer of sorts, showing off some new scenes from the game. In Way of the Woods, you play as a mother deer who, along with her young, must traverse an abandoned city, which looks to be in a post-apocalyptic setting of sorts. The trailer did give off an Adventure Time vibe, and the music is so catchy that it certainly caught my attention. Check out the trailer for yourself below, along with a promised release date of 2020.

Gears 5 segment, presented by developer The Coalition’s studio head Rod Ferguson

Up next was a massive segment dedicated to the upcoming Gears 5. Kicking things off was a cinematic teaser featuring the many faces that influenced Kait Diaz, who’s undergoing quite the character shift for Gears 5 after finding out her relation to the Locust Queen Myrrah.

Afterwards, The Coalition’s studio head Rod Ferguson took the stage. The first announcement was a release date, set for September 10, proving that the earlier leak was correct. There will also be a multiplayer tech test for Gears 5 on July 17. The mode set for the test is the newest game type, Arcade.

Gears 5 was also announced for Gamescom on August 19, allowing attendees to have an opportunity for a hands-on demo with the all-new Horde mode. Ferguson introduced the newest multiplayer game mode, called Escape. In it, you play as part of a three-man team that’s tasked with planting a bomb in a specific location before escaping with your lives. Check out the trailer below.

The final announcement made was for a collaboration with the upcoming movie, Terminator: Dark Fate. You’ll get to play as one of the Terminators with a character pack, available for free to everyone who pre-orders or with an Xbox Game Pass. Check out the teaser for it down below.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 reveal

Next up was a surprising hardware reveal, that of a new iteration of the Xbox Elite Wireless controller. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 features adjustable tension thumbsticks for full sensitivity control, redesigned triggers and bumpers with shorter hair trigger locks, a wrap-around rubberized grip, plus a myriad of customizing options. You can change the thumbstick height with different attachments, as well as key-mapping for up to three in-game profiles.

The Bluetooth connectivity has been redesigned as well, allowing for better performance on Windows 10 PCs. Another surprising change comes from a redesigned power source, coming in the form of an internal rechargeable battery. Microsoft will also include in some packages a charging dock. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 boasts up to 40 hours on a single charge, which, if it works, is amazing, all things considered. Check out the full trailer below to see it in action.

Dying Light 2 trailer

Next up was a new trailer for Dying Light 2, which sheds more light on the game’s story. Some gameplay footage was also interspersed in, and we see the protagonist Aiden using a zombie to break his two-story fall, as well as his parkouring prowess.

The trailer also showed a total collapse of society that happened after the outbreak, with the implications being that it’s up to you what choices you will make in the game, regardless of morality. Dying Light 2 is set for release in Spring 2020, and you can check out the trailer below.

Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions Expansion reveal trailer

Up next was the official reveal for the next expansion in Forza Horizon 4, which is themed around LEGOs. LEGO Speed Champions adds LEGO cars, race tracks, environments and even the LEGO drivers to the realistic racing title, which is sure to draw some flak from its fans. I hated it as well, but mostly because the ‘Everything is Awesome’ theme song from The LEGO Movie played in the background the whole time, and I didn’t care much for that song. Either way, check out the trailer below.

The presentation did show off another racecar, this this time a McLaren Senna which was also made of about half a million LEGO bricks. The LEGO Speed Champions expansion will launch later this week, on June 13.

Gears Pop! reveal trailer

The next game was a mobile spinoff of the Gears series, called Gears Pop! It features the characters from Gears of War in a Funko Pop! art design, and the shown gameplay feels like a turn-based strategy title. Check out the trailer below.

State of Decay 2 – Heartland trailer

Up next is another Xbox Game Studios endeavor, an expansion for the zombie survival game State of Decay 2. Titled Heartland, this expansion sees the series return to its roots in Trumbull Valley, which was the setting for the original State of Decay. Heartland allows you to choose between two storylines, although both have the same goals of finding a person important to the characters. Check the trailer out below.

Phantasy Star Online 2 reveal trailer

For the very first time, SEGA’s widely popular and very successful MMO is coming to the West via Xbox One and PC. Phantasy Star Online 2, which was first released back in 2012, will have all the content available for launch and will feature cross-play as well. Of course, it will be all free-to-play, just like the original.

Phantasy Star Online 2 is due out in the West next year, sometime in Spring. Check out the trailer for it below.

Crossfire X reveal trailer, presented by Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer took to the stage once again for this next announcement, which is another acquisition from the East, this time from Korean developer Smilegate. Crossfire, one of the world’s most popular and profitable first-person shooters will be making its way to the west via Xbox One. Check out the trailer below.

Speaking as someone who lives in Southeast Asia, where the game is incredibly popular, it’s amazing to see it get a Western release. I always thought of it more of as a casualized Counter Strike, but the game is incredibly fun, owing to its multiple game modes and the fact that almost every internet café in my country has it, due to it being free-to-play. Here’s hoping it also finds some success for its Western release.

Tales of Arise reveal trailer

The Asian titles don’t stop there; this time around, it’s Bandai Namco’s turn, showing off the unfortunately leaked Tales of Arise in a worldwide premiere trailer. It looks amazing, both gameplay and environment-wise, and of course it’s an entry in a long-running and highly successful JRPG series, so it’s sure to find great success amongst that audience. Check out the trailer below.

Borderlands 3 trailer, plus a big surprise for Borderlands 2

Gearbox’s time at E3 came a bit earlier than expected, as the newest trailer for the upcoming Borderlands 3 debuted on the Xbox E3 2019 stage. It’s more cinematic in nature, and it basically confirms that Lilith, the leader of the Crimson Raiders and one of the six Sirens in the universe, lost her powers. It also shared a quick look at some of the returning characters from other games in the series, including some from Telltale Games’ Tales of the Borderlands. Check out the trailer below.

For those of you who’ve been following Borderlands-related announcements for a while now, some news leaked recently with regards to an upcoming DLC for Borderlands 2. Called Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, this DLC bridges the story between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3. The trailer now confirms this news, and also makes the DLC available now for free to everyone who owns Borderlands 2.

Elden Ring reveal trailer

Microsoft and Xbox saved some of the best for last, with the first full reveal for FromSoftware’s newest title, one which is a collaboration between Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creative genius behind the Souls series, and George R.R. Martin, author of the best-selling and critically-acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire series.

It’s called Elden Ring, and it’s probably my most anticipated title for this year’s E3. As a big fan of FromSoftware games, especially their Souls series, it’s amazing to see the developer back in action with their frequent collaborator Bandai Namco. The leak from a few days ago didn’t even spoil my excitement, mostly due to how epic it looks. Check out the cinematic trailer below for a glimpse into this project that is still shrouded in mystery.

Phil Spencer Intermission for Project xCloud and Project Scarlett, and a new trailer for Halo Infinite

We’re in the endgame now, and Phil Spencer took the stage for a final time to share some information regarding two upcoming projects for Microsoft and Xbox: xCloud, the game streaming service expected to compete with Google Stadia, and of course their next-gen console, Project Scarlett.

First off, Spencer shared more information on Project xCloud. The service was made available to all E3 attendees for Microsoft’s conference, so we should be seeing an influx of first impressions with regards to it soon. However, xCloud isn’t the only streaming service that Microsoft is planning to launch. The next surprise is Console Streaming, a new feature to be added to your Xbox console. By utilizing this, you’re able to turn your Xbox One into a server of sorts, which you can use to stream games through other devices. Both services are expected to launch this October, one month before the Stadia’s launch.

Then, we finally learned about more information regarding Microsoft’s next console, codenamed Project Scarlett. It’s being made by the same engineers behind the Xbox One X, and it’s looking to be a beast on par with Sony’s own PS5. Project Scarlett features Zen 2 architecture chips much like the PlayStation 5. It has GDDR6 bandwidth capability, and, as a pretty bold claim, can run 120 fps, with variable refresh rates available. It’s also said to have 8K capabilities, next-gen ray tracing, and of course SSDs, the technology that is being used as a selling point for consoles when the drives themselves have been available for quite some time now. Microsoft stated that the SSDs themselves were being used as VRAMs for faster memory, which is quite surprising, to say the least. Check out the trailer for Project Scarlett down below.

As an added bonus Microsoft also teased the first ever title that will be launching with Project Scarlett – Master Chief’s sixth outing, Halo Infinite. A short, in-engine teaser was shown, showing the Chief being recovered from his stint in space, and finding the universe at large in chaos. Check out the trailer below.

Both Project Scarlett and Halo Infinite were given release dates as well, which is sometime in Holiday 2020, the prime time to sell new consoles.

And that concludes Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Briefing. I think that for the most part, it was okay, and there were a few surprises here and there that I quite liked. However, most of the big titles that were also new are all for next year, and only featured cinematic trailers, so there’s a bit of underwhelming feelings there. That said, Microsoft was expected to up the ante for this year, seeing as Sony isn’t here, and they definitely delivered. It was undoubtedly a good start to E3 2019 so far.

Check back here with us for more recaps following presentations for E3 2019.

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