E3 wrapped up its annual, over-the-top gaming show in L.A., so let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this year’s show. Up first, we check in on the big three hardware/software companies.
Microsoft announced two new consoles. The first is an update to the Xbox One, called the Xbox One S. The S is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One, features a white finish, and does away with the bulky power supply brick that Xbox has always had. Under the hood, the S will include 4K Ultra HD video support (including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) and HDR capabilities for both gaming and video. The Xbox One S also comes with an upgraded controller with textured grips, and Bluetooth.
A special, limited edition Xbox One S will be available in August with a 2TB hard drive for $399. A 500GB edition for $299, and 1TB for $349 will be available soon after.
Less is known about Microsoft’s other new console, which is currently codenamed, “Project Scorpio.” The company says Scorpio will be a more powerful Xbox console, and is scheduled for a 2017 release.
Xbox fans can also design their own controllers using the newly announced Xbox Design Lab. Gamers can select from multiple colors for every aspect of their controller to create and buy a truly customized controller.
Although Nintendo showed two upcoming Pokémon games—Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon (due this November)—the company’s main focus was on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Based on hands-on time with the game at the show, it’s already being called one of the best Zelda games of all time, and the perfect game to launch Nintendo’s new console, the NX (which was not shown at E3). Nintendo also featured new amiibo figures at the show, including three for Breath of the Wild – Archer Link, Guardian amiibo, and Rider Link.
While we will have to wait until 2017 for the Breath of the Wild game and amiibo figures, there are a few new Super Mario amiibo figures coming out this year, including Wario, Waluigi, Daisy, Rosalina, Boo, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong.
The news from Sony included new games, such as an all-new Spider-Man game, and a new God of War. The company also announced a release date for its virtual reality system, the PlayStation VR. The VR Headset will be released on October 13th, with 50 games planned to support the system, including Star Wars Battlefront VR and Batman: Arkham VR.
On the games front, Activision partnered with Sony to reveal that Crash Bandicoot is joining Skylanders. The classic character, Crash, will be a fully playable Sensei character with a brand new toy when this year’s Skylanders Imaginators arrives.
Two big titles took the lead at Bandai Namco, TEKKEN 7 and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. We will have to wait until 2017 for TEKKEN, but Xenoverse 2 will be available in 2016.
Electronic Arts revealed Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, and provided an in-depth look at its continuing plans for Star Wars. Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes will continue to receive new content and updates. We can also expect more story-driven content and new features in Star Wars: The Old Republic. EA also touched on long-range plans, which include two brand-new Star Wars action adventure games.
Ubisoft unveiled its virtual reality (VR) game, Star Trek: Bridge Crew. This four-player VR game puts players on the bridge of a starship, and utilizes a VR headset and handheld controllers to deliver a 360-degree experience. Bridge Crew arrives later this year for Oculus, Vive, and PS VR.
At WB, LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered a new trailer. The game allows players to experience the movie in classic LEGO video game style. The company also announced continued support for Lego Dimensions in its second year. We can expect new franchises and the introduction of Battle Arenas to the game.