Everything That Happened at Microsoft's E3 2018 Press Conference

By Laura Kate Dale and Rich Stanton on at

Right, we just watched Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference, and my goodness we had our work cut out for us keeping up. 50 games, 15 world premieres, and 18 exclusives  is a lot to cram in to a couple of hours. Let’s break down everything that happened, in case you missed any of it.

  • Ahead of the conference starting, a backing track played where Microsoft honked the intention, repeatedly, to “make that booty drop.” A Sea of Thieves reference perhaps? Whatever the reason, it gave us a good chuckle.
  • Less charming was Xbox head Phil Spencer coming on stage to an embarrassing cacophony of cheers, shouts of ‘yeah Phil!’ and whoops, a warning about what happens when you over-stack the audience. Why not just add a laugh track next year?
  • That aside there’s no denying that, by the end, Xbox had certainly dropped a booty-sized quantity of games on us.
  • First up was a new Halo game: Halo Infinite. Is this the fruits of the cancelled Halo MMOG project? Has Microsoft finally realised that Bungie might have had the right idea about where the series needs to go next? We honestly have no idea, they told us next to nothing about it. It’s powered by the Slipspace Engine, apparently.

  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was shown off, a new game from Fromsoft and Activision. It’s a samurai / ninja game that looks a little like Bloodborne with sexier movement.

  • Crackdown 3 got a bolshy trailer that seemed designed to cover up the fact it… doesn’t look much like it once did. It does have a new car that climbs walls and then transforms into a tank though, so there’s that.

  • Ori and the Will of the Wisp, a sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, got a beautiful trailer, confirming that the game will not be releasing until 2019.

  • Fallout 76 is set in West Virginia, and apparently features a map four times the size of that found in Fallout 4. It is a prequel to every other Fallout game, so this is the earliest world state we have had a chance to see in the series.

  • On June 26th, there’s a free game being released, set in the Life is Strange universe, called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. It features a young boy who wants to be a superhero in space and save the world, as well as his father trying to nurture his creativity.

  • Kingdom Hearts 3 got a new trailer, which revealed some content from the game’s Frozen themed world. My god that game looks gorgeous, it really does look like an interactive Pixar movie, it’s quite frankly stunning to look at.

  • Forza Horizons 4 looks like the business. It’s set in Britain, features dynamic seasons in a shared open world, and  really looks like someone has finally picked up the Burnout Paradise baton. Horizon 4 is seamless between co-op and ‘singleplayer,’ and should be a treat when it releases on October 2nd.

  • “We embarked on a quest to find creative teams” began Phil Spencer before announcing five new additions to Microsoft Game Studios. The first is the Initiative, a Santa Monica-based studio that is currently forming. Then there was Undead Labs, creators of the State of Decay franchise, Playground Games, developer of the Forza Horizon series and long-rumoured to be working on the new Fable game. “We’ll share more about [that other game] later” said Spencer.” Most shockingly, Xbox has acquired the Cambridge-based Ninja Theory.
  • We Happy Few was announced for October.

  • PUBG got a new trailer that rather pettily led with the claim to be the ‘original’ royale game, before saying there’d be a new war mode where players face off against each other with riot shields and the like. There was also what looked like a glimpse of a fourth map at the end, and all of it’s under the ‘winter 2018’ banner.

  • Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition gets a jolly anime trailer. It’ll hit the west for the first time, has a cel-shaded style and fancy effects, but of course remains a turn-based JRPG. Coming this winter.

  • The Division, ESO Tamriel Unlimited and Fallout 4 are all on Gamepass today, free for owners of that subscription pass. They all feature Xbox One X enhanced 4K support.
  • There was an indie game sizzle reel shown, but it mainly showed off games we already know about, or smaller name games, no major surprises - Fringe Wars, Afterparty, Below, Conquerors Blade, Waking, Raji, Super Meatboy Forever, Islands of Nyne, Sable, Harold Halibut, Bomber Crew, Children of Morta, The Wind Road, Wargroove, GEneration Zero, Dead Cells, Ashen.

  • There was a new Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer shown. The trailer showcased LAra wearing camoflage face paint, and really hammered home the fact that this game is about Lara screwing stuff up and causing all the problems she will then have to fix.

  • A skating game called Session was teased, we thought it was going to be skate 4, but nope, it was not to be.

  • Cuphead is getting a new DLC next year. Titled A Delicious Last Course, the DLC will feature new game content, as well as a new female playable character called Ms Challice. The DLC will release sometime in 2019.

  • There’s a Gears RTS coming! It’s something to do with… Funko Pops?

  • We got another trailer for Tunic, a cute-looking indie game that we first saw last year.

  • Jump Force appears to be a new anime crossover fighting game from Bandai Namco. A gameplay trailer showed off characters from Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and even Death Note, in a hyper realistic style, fighting in Bandai's typical 3D arena fighter style. How is adding Death Note characters fair? Surely Light Yagami simply has to write down Goku’s name and he wins? The game is due out in 2019.

  • A new Battletoads game got announced, but we know next to nothing about it. IT’ll feature 3 player co-op, 4K hand drawn animations, and release in 2019.
  • Just Cause 4 is real, and releasing December 4th. It got a new trailer, and it’s a pretty cool action filled few minutes.

  • Microsoft is developing technology, much like that announced by EA last night, to allow players to play console quality games over a streaming connection on any internet connected device. This sounds like it’s a long way from being a consumer facing announcement.
  • The next Xbox console or consoles are already deep in development. This isn’t surprising, but it’s an official announcement nonetheless.
  • The big finish was a trailer for CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077, which didn’t show off anything of the game itself but gave a great sense of the atmosphere the studio is going for.

Overall? The Xbox team should be patting itself on the back. Over many years of covering E3 you hear one thing from fans and journalists, again and again: ‘Show us the games.’ Xbox certainly did that tonight, and fair play.