What to expect from Microsoft’s E3 conference — From Crackdown 3 to Project Scorpio

Microsoft’s E3 conference is almost here. It’ll get started at 2PM Pacific Time (5PM Eastern) this Sunday, and there’s a few things that are confirmed (or all but confirmed) to show up – plus some titles that we definitely won’t be seeing. Microsoft is going to be pushing Project Scorpio heavily here, so most – if not all – of the games that will appear will be optimized for the system.

Project Scorpio

This one’s pretty obvious. We’ve known for months that E3 2017 will be Project Scorpio’s first full debut after a teaser trailer last year & various shots of development units scattered about the past few months. Scorpio is going to be the first console capable of native 4K and 60FPS, and virtual reality is planned to be one of its exclusive features. This won’t replace the Xbox One as Microsoft’s main console- it’s intended as a higher end version of it instead. Gamers who care about graphical fidelity will definitely opt for this version over the original models, although it’ll carry a higher price tag with it for sure.

We’ll likely find out both the cost and final release date of Project Scorpio during the keynote, although Microsoft might have shown the date off in trailers already. It’s unlikely that VR will make an appearance, though. Microsoft’s own Alex Kipman stated that Microsoft’s focus is currently on Mixed Reality for PCs, so we shouldn’t expect to see it.

Crackdown 3

Crackdown 3 is likely going to be one of the flagship titles shown off on Project Scorpio. We haven’t heard much about the game lately, although the team did confirm on Twitter that it’s still on track to release this year.

If we had to guess, we’d say that one of the reasons we’ve seen so little of Crackdown 3 is because it’s focused on Scorpio. It’s a demanding enough game that Microsoft originally planned to have multiplayer physics enhanced through Azure, and there’s a chance that Scorpio’s beefier specs might bring that to the singleplayer modes as well, among other things.

Forza Motorsport 7

The Forza series has been in a pattern since the release of Forza Motorsport 4 back in 2011. Every year there’s a new Forza game, alternating between the main Motorsport series and the Horizon sub-series. It’s inevitable that Forza Motorsport 7 will appear at E3, and it’ll definitely look stunning on Project Scorpio. Digital Foundry was shown a version of Forza Motorsport 6 Apex running on Scorpio at maximum settings and at both 4K resolution and 60FPS, meaning that the team at Turn 10 can do whatever they please to make the game look even better.

An unknown project from 343 Industries

343 Industries’ community manager mentioned that the company will definitely have something to show at E3 – it just won’t be Halo 6. It also looks like it might not be Halo 3 Anniversary, either- they’ve denied it multiple times recently. It is worth noting that while 343 did officially deny Halo 2 Anniversary, that was in July 2012, and they simply said they weren’t working on it at the time. The Master Chief Collection launched in November 2014, and development likely started somewhere around October 2013- the game went gold a year after that.

The denials of Halo 3 Anniversary have been made pretty clear: as the years go by there’s diminishing returns as you go to remake games that are a decade old. Especially when they’re Halo 3 – a game that’s already playable on the Xbox One at 60FPS thanks to the Master Chief Collection.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft is willing to accept that not every year needs a Halo game anymore. Halo Wars 2 was delayed until February 21st, 2017 – originally intended for 2016. This was done to make sure the game was a higher quality and a much more polished experience, leaving 2016 as the first year without any kind of Halo title of any kind since 2008.

A plethora of third party titles optimized for Project Scorpio

Microsoft has plenty of developers on board with Scorpio support already – from the teams at Ubisoft to Warner Bros and everybody in-between. There’s an almost surprising amount of games already announced that will be taking advantage of Scorpio’s beefy specs, and it almost goes without saying that we’ll see many, many more announced as E3 goes on.

Aside from Microsoft, BioWare is expected to reveal their new franchise. Bethesda is expected to reveal their new game too, called Starfield supposedly. At this point we know Assassin’s Creed Origins exists. From what it seems like, E3 2017 will be quite predictable. Let’s see who can surprise us.

What do you think we’ll see at Microsoft’s E3 conference? Let us know in the comments below!