E3 is the biggest entertainment expo in the United States, and we’re covering the activities of all the major game publishers. Microsoft is behind a lot of it, as you’d expect, so here is our round up for Xbox and Windows 10 gaming for #E3 2017.

The New XBox One X

They opened the show with the announcement of the new Xbox One X console, formerly known as Project Scorpio, at a price point of $499 and dropping the price of the Xbox One S by $50 to $249. The Xbox One X a major leap beyond the original XBox One, being about three times faster overall.

Despite this, it is platform compatible with its immediate predecessor. It’s just faster and stronger. It’s comparable to a mid-range gaming PC and will allow players to play in 4k resolution. Unlike the Sony PS4 Pro, it will be able to play Blu-rays as well, and in the same 4k resoluton.

The Xbox One X’s headlining features, though, are its support for 4K and HDR gaming, and at speeds of up to 60 frames a second.  If a given game happens to supports all of that, it will be sharper, look more realistic, and run more smoothly than it does on other consoles.

If you just want the new features but aren’t enamored of the big price tag, there is still the Xbox One S. That’s what they’re calling the newest generation of plain vanilla Xbox, and it will be a slightly less muscular version of the top of the line, but has many of the same features and most of the power. They’ve dropped the price to $249 on that one. The price drop is supposed to end on June 17, but Microsoft has a habit of making temporary price drops permanent. We think that’s what they’ll do this time too.

Here are the basic stats for the new Xbox One X:

  • 8 custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz
  • 6 teraflops of graphics performance. By comparison, the PS4 Pro has 4.2 teraflops, the standard Xbox One has 1.31 teraflops, and the standard PlayStation 4 has 1.84 teraflops.
  • 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM. By comparison, every other current Xbox and PlayStation console has 8 GB.
  • A 1 TB hard drive for storing all your games. This doesn’t have upgrade potential, but frankly, 1TB for nothing but game data is a lot.
  • Dolby Atmos audio, which wil lend richer sound to compatible games. The Xbox One S supports this too, though.

If you can’t make heads or tales of the above, don’t sweat it. The differences here are mostly in maximum computing power, so the games that looked good on an Xbox One will look and run much better on the Xbox One X. Games made with the extra horsepower of the new box in mind will obviously shine on the new platform, but for the most part things will just run a little better, glitch a little less and load a little faster.

At $500, it’s a lot of power for the price, but we’re wondering who exactly the Xbox One X is designed for. Hardcore gamers usually go the PC route, since you can upgrade those almost indefinitely and usually get stats that outperform any console. The number of people who have the hardware to appreciate the difference between a 2k and a 4k image is probably not large, and the HDR feature is even more rare. So who are they marketing this for? Just being the strongest console in production (and the Xbox One X arguably is, make no mistake) may not be enough for it to do all that well in the marketplace, because a lot of people just won’t understand what the new machine can really do.

For example, 4k supersampling down to 1080p will make 1080p displays look fantastic. It will make games that can take advantage of this ability look fantastic even on older hardware.
The extra horsepower will also help multitasking, including streaming to Mixer, Microsoft’s streaming service (formerly known as beam.pro). Things  in general will just run better, and Microsoft is planning additional services for the Xbox One X to make it nearly as useful as your desktop machine.

The Games

The first game Microsoft showed off is Forza Motorsport 7 alongside a new car, The 2018 Porsche 911 GT2RS, which is the first time it’s ever been featured in a game or shown in public. Check out the trailer below.

Next up on the main screen was Metro Exodus.  This game will be available for Xbox One X and for Windows 10 as well. Here is the trailer.

Next up is something I personally didn’t see coming at all. Dragon Ball Fighter Z. This game is being made by Arc System Works, the same people who made Guilty Gear Xrd. This game is slated to be a 3-on-3 style tag team fighting game similar to Marvel vs Capcom 2 but set in the Dragon Ball universe. Check out this trailer.

Next up is Black Desert, a MMORPG, on Xbox One. This game looks beautiful and should be a great addition to the platform for people who are looking for something to sink their time into. Here is the trailer.

Next is a game with a rather striking aesthetic, The Last Night. It will be available on both Xbox One X and Windows 10. Check out the trailer to see what I mean. This game is gorgeous.

Next up is The Artful Escape. This game also has a rather unique look to it. Check out the trailer.

The developer brazenly states at the end of the trailer as you saw that the game is “Coming When It’s Damn Ready.” After this a new IP by the name of CodeVein was shown off. It reminds me a little bit of Dragon Quest in some ways. Here is the trailer they uploaded to YouTube.

Next up is Sea of Thieves which will be available for Xbox One X and for Windows 10. The game seems to be a online co-op experience where you will search the high seas for treasure together. It looks like it might be fun. Check out the trailer.

Next is a cute game by the name of Super Lucky’s Tale. This game will be available on November 7th of this year on both Xbox One X and Windows 10.

Next we have the sequel of a well known game that hasn’t seen any love since the days of the Xbox 360 when the Halo 3 beta was still kicking around. The Crackdown 3 trailer opens with Terry Crews. Now, go watch the trailer you heathen. 😛

I’m just happy that this game will be available November 7th on both Windows 10 and on Xbox One X. (I’m a little hype about this one..) After this is a montage of several games from the ID@Xbox program where indie developers can get onto the Xbox marketplace and sell their games. Check out this trailer showing off some cool stuff.

Next the trailer for the Xbox One X and Windows 10 game, Ashen. This one has a very spooky, dark theme. Check out the trailer and see what I mean.

Last but by no means least is Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a direct sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest. The trailer had me feeling all of the feels. I can’t wait to try it on Xbox One and Windows 10.

The final things mentioned in the Microsoft briefing this year were backwards compatibility for the original Xbox on Xbox One and graphical upgrades for the following games on Xbox One X: Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Killer Instinct, Halo Wars 2, and Minecraft.

More coverage of #E3 2017 is coming here on SCIFI.radio. Stay tuned!


James G. Kennedy
James G. Kennedy