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Inside Xbox: E3 2019 news recap

Today’s special E3 edition of Inside Xbox was chock-full of world premiere trailers, developer interviews, exclusive gameplay and general celebration of all things gaming and E3.

We delved deep into the hectic, strategic and violent new game mode for Gears 5, Escape, with Rod Fergusson and showcased the fast and fluid 4v4 competitive gameplay of Ninja Theory’s brand new IP, Bleeding Edge. We welcomed Phil Spencer to the stage to discuss Team Xbox’s vision for gaming, plumbed the depths of Halo Infinite’s moving new trailer with Chris Lee, got details on the incredible partnership with Smilegate to bring Crossfire X to Xbox One, and gave a hearty welcome to Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, the newest member of the Xbox Game Studios Family.

Also highlighted on stage were Sea of Thieves, including their brand new Halo-themed livery – available now until June 15 at 4:00 pm PT – Watch Dogs: Legion, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, State of Decay 2’s new story-focused expansion Heartland (Trumbull Valley lives!), and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, along with world premiere trailers for The Surge 2, Code Vein, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Zombie Army 4, Journey to the Savage Planet, and Phoenix Point.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Inside Xbox if it didn’t break some news along the way.

Backward Compatibility Announcement

Inside Xbox revealed the final wave of backward compatibility announcements for Xbox One, as the engineering team that brought one of the most beloved Xbox One features to life moves on to ensure your Xbox One library is backward compatible on Project Scarlett.

The team announced eight new original Xbox game entries into the backward compatibility catalogue: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, Armed and Dangerous, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, and Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.

The newly announced Xbox 360 backward compatibility titles are Asura’s Wrath, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, Enchanted Arms, Far Cry Classic, Far Cry Instinct Predator, Infinite Discovery, Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Movie of the Game, Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, Skate, Star Ocean, Super Puzzle Fighter Turbo, The Syndicate, Unreal Tournament 3, and Too Human, which is available right now for free in the Microsoft Store.

Finally, eight Rare classics have received the Xbox One X Enhanced treatment: Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Kameo: Elements of Power, Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero.

For all the details on this backward compatibility wave, check out our full blog post here.

Gamertag Updates

The team also announced some exciting new updates coming to Gamertags! First, you’ll now be able to use character scripts to represent over 200 languages, with even more support coming in the future. This means you can use characters native to your own language in your Gamertag.

You’ll also be able to now select any name you like for your Gamertag. If someone else has selected the same Gamertag, you’ll be assigned a 3-4 digit ID suffix separate you from those that have chosen the same Gamertag.

Finally, if you like your current Gamertag, nothing changes. Yours will always be the original version of that Gamertag and will not include a numerical suffix. For all the details on the coming updates to Gamertags, check out the blog post here.

X019

Phil Spencer announced the return of our global celebration of all things Xbox, with X019 slated for November 2019 in London. The event will be filled with news, first looks and plenty of surprises, all kicking off with the biggest Inside Xbox episode of the year. Thousands of fans will join in person, and we’ll have more details on how to participate in X019 at gamescom in August.

Inside Xbox may be done, but the there’s plenty more left in store during E3 week. Keep your eyes peeled on Mixer.com/Mixer for wall-to-wall E3 coverage throughout the week, and don’t forget to check out the full episode of Inside Xbox.

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Xbox showcases 60 anticipated games, including 34 to premiere in Xbox Game Pass

Xbox E3 Briefing spotlights 14 games from Xbox Game Studios, unveils what’s next for Xbox Game Pass, and offers a first look at Project Scarlett

LOS ANGELES — JUNE 9, 2019 — Xbox showcased a blockbuster lineup of 60 anticipated games for both console and PC in its Xbox E3 Briefing and shared a glimpse of the future with Project Scarlett, which launches alongside “Halo Infinite” in 2020. Headlined by the biggest game of 2019, “Gears 5,” along with 34 games premiering in Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox E3 Briefing delivered 11 world premieres and a record 14 games from Xbox Game Studios, which will soon include legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions.

“It’s great to celebrate with our incredible fans and show how we are delivering against our vision to empower gamers to play the games they want, with the friends they want, wherever they want,” said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. “With thousands of Xbox games in development, we curated our show around our players, with new titles premiering in Xbox Game Pass across console and PC, and game streaming that enables them to play their favorite games, with their friends, wherever they go.”

THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER GREAT GAMES ON CONSOLE AND PC

PC gamers around the world can now join the Xbox Game Pass for PC beta through the new Xbox app, which is available today on Windows 10. Xbox Game Pass for PC is designed specifically for PC gamers with a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games from over 75 developers and publishers including fan-favorite PC titles like “Football Manager 2019,” “Imperator: Rome” and “Metro Exodus.”

Xbox also announced the launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a new plan combining the curated games library for console and PC with Xbox Live Gold.

In addition, Xbox announced a variety of new blockbuster games that are available with Xbox Game Pass for Console starting today, including “Metro Exodus,” “Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition,” “Borderlands: The Handsome Collection” and “Batman: Arkham Knight.”

The Xbox E3 Briefing also showcased new Xbox Game Studios titles that will premiere in Xbox Game Pass, including “Gears 5,” “Battletoads,” “Bleeding Edge,” “The Outer Worlds,” “Ori and the Will of the Wisps,” and 25 games from the ID@Xbox program.

WELCOMING DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS TO XBOX GAME STUDIOS

Xbox announced today the intent to acquire legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions, which will bring the total number of development studios under Xbox Game Studios to 15. Led by industry veteran Tim Schafer, the addition of this boundlessly creative studio will reinforce the Xbox team’s commitment to developing original content with memorable characters and unexpected stories. Double Fine showcased the long-awaited “Psychonauts 2” today on the Xbox E3 stage:

  • “PSYCHONAUTS 2” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, MAC, LINUX, PLAYSTATION 4). Razputin Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn’t been the same since he was kidnapped, and what’s worse, there’s a mole hiding in their headquarters. Raz must use his powers to stop the mole before they execute their secret plan—to bring the murderous psychic villain, Maligula, back from the dead! “Psychonauts 2” launches worldwide in 2020.

THE FUTURE OF CONSOLE GAMING

During its briefing, Xbox demonstrated its commitment to console gaming as a critical choice for players who want a device designed, built and optimized for gaming.

Project Scarlett will set a new bar for console power, speed, and performance, arriving Holiday 2020 alongside “Halo Infinite.” With a custom-designed AMD processor, high bandwidth GDDR6 memory, and a next-generation solid state drive (SSD), Project Scarlett will give developers the power they need to bring their creative visions to life. Thousands of games across four console generations will look and play best on Project Scarlett.

BRINGING XBOX TO THE CLOUD

In addition to delivering players the games they want, with the people they want, across console and PC, Xbox is also empowering people to play wherever they want by bringing Xbox to the cloud.

First, Xbox announced the ability to stream games from your Xbox One console, starting in preview this October. With console streaming, gamers will have access to their Xbox One game library and Xbox Game Pass titles on the go, streamed directly from an Xbox One console to a mobile device.

The Xbox E3 Briefing also marked a new milestone for “Project xCloud,” with E3 2019 attendees being among the first in the world to play Xbox One games like “Halo 5: Guardians” and “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” streaming on smartphones and tablets. With Project xCloud, Xbox is investing to ensure players have the choice and freedom to play the games they want, with the friends they want, how and where they want.

THE WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED CONTROLLER

In addition, Xbox unveiled the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. Inspired by fan feedback, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the world’s most advanced controller, designed with the most passionate gamers in mind.

The Elite Series 2 is the second iteration of the fan-favorite Xbox Elite Wireless Controller and is re-engineered for ultimate performance, customization, and durability, and includes 30 new and improved features such as adjustable-tension thumbsticks, wraparound rubberized grip, shorter hair-trigger locks, and up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life.

The Elite Series 2 will launch in 24 markets on Nov. 4 for $179.99 USD/£159.99 GPB/€179.99 EUR and is available for preorder now.

THE SINGLE LARGEST SHOWCASE OF GAMES ON STAGE THIS YEAR

Xbox includes every player in its vision for gaming, which starts with unmissable content made for players wherever they are. With thousands of Xbox games in development, Xbox offered glimpses at 60 different games from all over the globe, including blockbusters like “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” and “Elden Ring.” Xbox fans were also invited to venture into the action-fueled world of “CrossfireX,” coming first to console on Xbox One in 2020 with special content for Xbox Game Pass members, and into the blocky depths of “Minecraft Dungeons,” coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.

The Xbox E3 Briefing also marked a celebration of 37 PC games, including “Microsoft Flight Simulator” and “Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition,” both of which will premiere in Xbox Game Pass for PC. Fans also took their first steps into the next worlds being created by Xbox Game Studios, such as “Gears 5” and “Wasteland 3,” and discovered the unexpected with 25 new and wild ID@Xbox titles.

All forthcoming titles from Xbox Game Studios will premiere in Xbox Game Pass.

Games shown during the Xbox E3 Briefing include:

  • “AGE OF EMPIRES: DEFINITIVE EDITION” (WINDOWS 10 PC). “Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition” celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular strategy games ever with stunning 4K Ultra HD graphics, a new and fully remastered soundtrack, and brand-new content, “The Last Khans,” with three new campaigns and four new civilizations. Head online to challenge other players with 35 different civilizations in your quest for world domination throughout the ages. Choose your path to greatness with this definitive remaster to one of the most beloved strategy games of all time. “Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition” will be released this fall on Windows 10 PC, available on the Microsoft Store, Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC.
  • “BATTLETOADS” (XBOX ONE). “Battletoads” is back! Rare and Dlala Studios are bringing the beloved brawler to Xbox with a unique animation style, wild side-scrolling action and team-focused gameplay that’s perfect for couch co-op. Players take control of Rash, Zitz and Pimple as they smash, stomp and slam their way through hordes of enemies and unleash choreographed chaos to defeat their greatest enemy yet. Fans can look forward to an all-new adventure packed with wild locations, unforgettable characters and surprising gameplay challenges, all with a huge emphasis on co-operative play.
  • “BLAIR WITCH” (BLOOBER TEAM, XBOX GAME PASS). From the creative minds behind the critically acclaimed Layers of Fear, experience firsthand the toll that fear can take on the mind in an original story based on the legend of Blair Witch. The upcoming title is a first-person psychological horror game that studies your reactions to danger and stress. Your darkest fears will awaken on Aug. 30, 2019.
  • “BLEEDING EDGE” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). As an all-new game from Ninja Theory, “Bleeding Edge” offers a one-of-a-kind experience that fuses third-person action combat with competitive online team gaming. The 4×4 team-fighter game provides a fast-paced yet strategic combat system that rewards technique, timing and teamwork in vibrant cyberpunk arenas. In “Bleeding Edge,” each fighter can be modded to suit individual playstyles and exploit team synergies. The game is in development for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Xbox Game Pass as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • “BORDERLANDS 2: COMMANDER LILITH & THE FIGHT FOR SANCTUARY” (2K). Return to the award-winning shooter-looter “Borderlands 2” for an all-new campaign DLC that sets the stage for the upcoming “Borderlands 3.” Battle new bosses, explore new areas, collect new loot, and join up with Lilith and the Crimson Raiders to take on a deranged villain hell-bent on ruling the planet. Instantly boost your level to jump right in or pursue a level cap increase to 80! Free to download until July 8 for all owners of “Borderlands: The Handsome Collection,” which is now available with Xbox Game Pass.
  • “BORDERLANDS 3” (2K). The original shooter-looter returns, packing bazillions of guns and an all-new mayhem-fueled adventure! Blast through new worlds and enemies as one of four brand new Vault Hunters — the ultimate treasure-seeking badasses of the Borderlands, each with deep skill trees, abilities and customization. Play solo or join with friends to take on insane enemies, collect loads of loot, and save your home from the most ruthless cult leaders in the galaxy.
  • “CROSSFIREX” (FIRST TO CONSOLE ON XBOX ONE, XBOX GAME PASS). Crossfire, a free-to-play first-person shooter and one of the most-played PC games in the world with 650M players LTD, announced that it will come to console for the first time on Xbox One in 2020 as “CrossfireX,” with all-new content for console players. Developed by the team at Smilegate Entertainment in Seoul, South Korea, Xbox players can look forward to a platform of rich experiences, including a single player campaign developed in partnership with Remedy Entertainment, battle royale, competitive multiplayer and unique content for Xbox Game Pass members.
  • “CYBERPUNK 2077” (CD PROJEKT RED). An open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.
  • “DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT(BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.). Relive the story of Goku in “DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT!” Beyond the epic battles, experience life in the DRAGON BALL Z world as you fight, fish, eat and train with Goku. Explore the new areas and adventures as you advance through the story and form powerful bonds with other heroes from the DRAGON BALL Z
  • “DYING LIGHT 2” (TECHLAND). The last great human settlement exists within an unforgiving, zombie-infested world, plunged into the dark ages. During the day bandits, factions and starving survivors roam the streets scavenging for scraps — or someone to take them from. At night the infected roam free, evacuating their hideouts to prey on the living. Exceptional agility and brutal combat skills make you a powerful ally and a valuable commodity. You can achieve things no one else can. Enter places no one else dares. With your unique abilities you have the power to be an agent of change within this decaying metropolis.
  • “ELDEN RING” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). Developed by FromSoftware Inc. and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., “ELDEN RING” is a fantasy action-RPG adventure set within a world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki — creator of the influential “DARK SOULS” video game series; and George R.R. Martin — author of The New York Times best-selling fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Danger and discovery lurk around every corner in FromSoftware’s largest game to-date.
  • “FORZA HORIZON 4” LEGO® SPEED CHAMPIONS EXPANSION (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). “Forza Horizon 4” LEGO Speed Champions, the newest expansion for the award-winning “Forza Horizon 4,” invites you to experience the ultimate LEGO Speed Champions fantasy brought to life at the Horizon Festival. Explore a LEGO-themed world, discover LEGO Brick Challenges such as building a Master Builder’s house as your Brick Collection grows, and collect and race amazing new LEGO Speed Champions cars, including the McLaren Senna, Ferrari F40 Competizione and the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally. “Forza Horizon 4” LEGO Speed Champions will launch worldwide on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on June 13, 2019, as an Xbox Play Anywhere expansion and be available at a 10% discount for Xbox Game Pass members.
  • “GEARS 5” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, STEAM). “Gears 5” features five thrilling modes, including Escape, an aggressive, high-stakes, three-player co-op mode featuring a suicide squad that must work together to take out enemy hives from within. “Gears 5” will be released on Sept. 10, 2019, and will be available in early access for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Plan members and “Gears 5 Ultimate Edition” owners on Sept. 6. Preorder or play with Xbox Game Pass by Sept. 16, 2019, to get The Terminator Dark Fate Character Pack, which adds the Terminator T-800 Endoskeleton and Sarah Connor from the upcoming film “Terminator Dark Fate” as playable multiplayer characters.
  • “GEARS POP!” (iOS, ANDROID). “Gears POP!” brings together iconic Gears characters in a cute Funko Pop! style. The game is being developed in partnership with Funko (Nasdaq “FNKO”) and inspired by the Gears of War vinyl collectible figures. It’s the perfect slice of mobile mayhem. Fans can look for more information about “Gears POP!” on @gearspop and can preorder on iOS and Android ahead of launch later this summer.
  • “HALO INFINITE” (PROJECT SCARLETT, XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). The Master Chief returns in 2020 when “Halo Infinite” releases globally with Project Scarlett. This next chapter in 343 Industries’ legendary Halo franchise invites players to join the venerable Master Chief on an all-new adventure as he uncovers the mysteries surrounding the appearance of “The Pilot” and the desolate remains of a Halo ring. “Halo Infinite” is powered by the studio’s next-generation Slipspace Engine.
  • “LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE SKYWALKER SAGA” (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT). Play through all nine Star Wars™ saga films in a brand-new LEGO video game unlike any other. Players will experience fun-filled adventures, whimsical humor, and the freedom to fully immerse themselves in the LEGO Star Wars universe like never before. With hundreds of characters and vehicles from across the galaxy, players can dive into their favorite Star Wars moments in an all new way, complete with the hilarious LEGO brand of fun that’s sure to delight players of all ages.
  • “MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). The next generation of our longest-running franchise, “Microsoft Flight Simulator,” is coming to Windows 10 with Xbox Game Pass in 2020, and coming to Xbox One at a later date. “Microsoft Flight Simulator” is specifically designed to celebrate flight simulation fans through a focus on the authenticity of flying and visually stunning environments. By revamping our tech, working in close collaboration with the community and pursuing the best partnerships across the industry, we intend to deliver the best-in-class flight simulation experience.
  • “MINECRAFT DUNGEONS” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, NINTENDO SWITCH, PLAYSTATION 4). An all-new action-adventure game set in the Minecraft universe coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4! Created in the classic dungeon crawler style, “Minecraft Dungeons” takes players on an epic quest full of new characters and environments to discover with single player or in co-op multiplayer for up to four players — including couch co-op on Xbox One. “Minecraft Dungeons” will also be available with Xbox Game Pass the same day of its global release in spring 2020.
  • “ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, STEAM). “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is the highly anticipated sequel to “Ori and the Blind Forest,” the acclaimed action platformer with more than 50 awards and nominations, and will be released Feb. 11, 2020. Brought to you by Xbox Game Studios and Moon Studios, the game will be available to buy on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Steam, and premiere in Xbox Game Pass for PC and Console. At E3 we showed off new, never-before-seen gameplay and provided a deeper look at the game’s intense all-new combat system with Ori fighting the different towering bosses in the game’s vast and exotic world.
  • “PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2” (SEGA). Japan’s greatest F2P online RPG comes to North America for the first time for Xbox One! “Phantasy Star Online 2” strives for bringing a “never-ending quest.” Randomized fields, Interrupt Events, and Multiparty Areas where up to 12 players can play together never make your quest stale and keep it always fresh and surprising. While keeping the easy character control system of the series, more stylish and customizable combat actions are enabled for ideal heroes of players that are given life for the quest through the revolutionized character creation system that brings ultimate designability.
  • “RPG TIME: THE LEGEND OF WRIGHT” (DESKWORKS). School’s out! Meet us in an empty classroom for a grand adventure with a young aspiring game developer and his very own RPG. You’re sure to be dazzled by his hand-drawn creations as you journey into the surprising and magical world of imagination! Forget about homework! Come play “RPG Time: The Legend of Wright” with us!
  • “SEA OF THIEVES” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). “Sea of Thieves” continues to grow and evolve with the on-demand competition of The Arena and story-driven quests of Tall Tales, all included as a part of the free Anniversary Update, the game’s biggest content update to date. As we teased at E3, players on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Xbox Game Pass can expect more ways to play and new shared world storytelling coming to the game in the future.
  • “SPIRITFARER” (THUNDER LOTUS, XBOX GAME PASS). Creators of hand-drawn indie experiences Thunder Lotus return with their unique third production: “Spiritfarer,” a cozy management game about dying. You play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased. Build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends, and finally release them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook and craft your way across mystical seas, as you learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.
  • STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER” (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Order 66 has been executed. As a young Padawan on the run, you’ve long kept your abilities hidden to stay alive. Now, you must embrace them. In a brand-new gameplay trailer debuted at the Xbox E3 briefing, see how you will use the Force to explore your environment, master lightsaber combat, and remain one step ahead of the Empire.
  • “STATE OF DECAY 2: HEARTLAND” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). “State of Decay 2: Heartland” features a return to Trumbull Valley in a new story-based adventure. Once the iconic site of the original “State of Decay” game, the towns of Spencer’s Mill and Marshall are now overrun with an advanced form of blood plague: a more aggressive and far deadlier version than exists anywhere else. Though it may be familiar territory to those who homesteaded here years ago, Trumbull Valley is packed with new dangers — and unspeakable horrors. Heartland launches for all “State of Decay 2” players on June 9, 2019, for $9.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and is included with Xbox Game Pass.
  • “TALES OF ARISE” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). The Tales of series returns with “Tales of Arise,” a story driven RPG following the journey of two people, born on opposing sister planets, each looking to change their fate and create a new future. Featuring a new cast of characters, intense action based combat and classic Tales of gameplay mechanics, experience a tale of duality, justice and the fight for freedom.
  • “THE OUTER WORLDS” (OBSIDIAN ENTERTAINMENT AND PRIVATE DIVISION, XBOX GAME PASS). Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later than you expected only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
  • “TWELVE MINUTES” (ANNAPURNA INTERACTIVE). A romantic evening takes a wrong turn when a police detective breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder, and knocks you unconscious. In a heartbeat, you are immediately returned to the start of the evening, before it all happens again and again. A real-time, interactive thriller, where you will need to use the knowledge of what’s about to happen, to change the outcome and break the twelve-minutes loop.
  • “WASTELAND 3” (DEEP SILVER, XBOX GAME PASS). “Wasteland 3” is a post-apocalyptic RPG from inXile entertainment, set in the perpetual nuclear winter of the Colorado Nation. Players will face challenging tactical combat, explore an interactive world, and engage in a deep story full of brutal ethical decisions. Create and customize a squad in single player or co-op, and whether you go in guns blazing or try to smooth over a situation through peaceful negotiation, your choices will mean life or death for those trying to survive in this harsh and unforgiving world.
  • “WAY TO THE WOODS” (ONE PIXEL DOG). A Deer and Fawn must embark on a journey through an abandoned world of the unknown to get home. A third person adventure game solo developed by Anthony Tan, featuring music from Aivi&Surasshu, composers for the show Steven Universe. Unravel the mystery of Cat Town, evade a hounding pack of wolves, and find your light to explore a world filled with the relics of the old gods: humanity.

 WATCH E3 LIVE STREAMING ON MIXER

Mixer, Microsoft’s live streaming service, is the home for additional news, highlights, exclusive reveals and a behind-the-scenes look at some of your favorite games throughout the week of E3. Mixer continues to see strong growth with monthly viewership surpassing 30 million earlier this year, with the majority of recent growth coming from viewers on mobile and PC. Be sure to watch Inside Xbox: Live @ E3 on Monday, June 10, at 3 p.m. PDT and tune in to live streaming on Mixer on Tuesday, June 11, Wednesday, June 12, and Thursday, June 13.

PREORDER NOW AT YOUR MICROSOFT STORE OR LOCAL RETAILER 

At retail locations across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia, and through microsoft.com, fans can begin preordering their favorite games and select accessories and hardware from this year’s Xbox E3 Briefing right now. To find a Microsoft Store near you, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/find-a-store.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only: xboxpress@assemblyinc.com

More details about Xbox One, Xbox One games and the latest Xbox news at the Xbox E3 Briefing can be found at https://news.xbox.com.

Press releases and media assets can be found at https://news.xbox.com/media (and relevant content can be found by clicking on “Select Category”).

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at https://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Where to watch this Sunday’s Xbox E3 2019 Briefing

With E3 coming up on Sunday, we’ve got some final details on what Xbox has got going on for the biggest gaming event of the year!

We’ll be kicking things off with our annual Xbox E3 2019 Briefing, which you can watch live beginning on Sunday, June 9 at 1:00 p.m. PDT. During the briefing, you’ll have a chance to check out everything from trailers for unannounced titles coming in 2019 and beyond to in-depth looks at previously announced games. You can watch the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing live beginning at 1 p.m. PDT on June 9 on the official Xbox Channel on Mixer, or on the Mixer app for Xbox One and mobile. Once again, we will plan to have a MixPot (the Mixer feature that drops free content for logged-in viewers on certain streams) for our briefing, so be sure to log in to Mixer to get your free MixPot content!

As with last year, the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing on Mixer will be offered in six languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish (LATAM), Portuguese (LATAM), and includes support for English Closed Captions. To select an alternate language, click the “cog” button within Mixer to view the available list. We’re excited for fans all around the world to join in on the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing festivities.

You’ll also be able to catch a live stream of the briefing on the Xbox Twitch ChannelYouTubeTwitterFacebook Live or on the big screen at select Microsoft Stores.

We’re also very happy to announce that we’re partnering with Fuse Media to bring the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing to Fuse viewers at 1:00 p.m. PDT (or 4:00 p.m. EDT for you east coast dwellers!). Encore presentations will air on Fuse at 3 p.m. PDT (6:00 p.m. EDT) and be available on the Fuse VOD platforms the week of 6/10. Be sure to hit up Fuse.tv to find out where you can watch Fuse.

As we announced a few weeks ago, we’re also bringing Inside Xbox back to E3 this year! Inside Xbox will air Monday, June 10 at 3 p.m. PDT and will feature a livestream full of exclusive announcements, game demos, interviews, giveaways and more.

Be sure to head on over to the Xbox E3 Online Experience for more information and details on what we’ve got going on for the week.

Here’s to a great E3!

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Biggest Xbox deals of the year coming June 7 as E3 approaches

The big week is nearly upon us: E3 is almost here and we can’t wait to share a look at the future of Xbox with our fans. We’re also excited because E3 also marks the start of our greatest Xbox deals of the year, when gamers can upgrade their console, accessories, and games at deep discounts.

If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to buy an Xbox – that moment is now. In addition to great discounts on the Xbox One consoles you know and love, we’re happy to announce that there’s a new bundle joining the family. The new Xbox One S Fortnite Battle Royale Special Edition bundle includes a Special Edition purple 1TB Xbox One S, the Dark Vertex cosmetic set featuring Legendary Outfit, Epic Glider, and Rare Pickaxe (available in free Battle Royale and Creative modes only), 2000 v-bucks, and one month Xbox Live Gold subscription and Xbox Game Pass trial.

Xbox One X Fortnite Bundle

Xbox One X Fortnite Bundle

Starting on June 7, you’ll find discounts on hundreds of games, accessories, and console bundles. Offers include:

  • $100 off Xbox One X
  • $50 off the Xbox One S Fortnite Battle Royale Special Edition Bundle
  • $50 off Xbox One S bundles and the new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
  • Up to 75% off select games including discounts on newly released titles such as Mortal Kombat 11, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  • $10 off controllers

And this is just a sample of the savings! Whether you’re shopping in a physical store, online or through your Xbox console, make sure to check xbox.comMicrosoft Store, and participating retailers nationwide for more details on dates, availability, and pricing as deals may vary.

Xbox One Bundles

Xbox One Bundles

Up to $100 off select Xbox One bundles at Microsoft Store and participating retailers. If you haven’t upgraded to an Xbox One X yet now is the time, with $100 off from June 7 – June 17. Get deals on Xbox One X Enhanced titles like Sea of Thieves, FIFA 18, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Forza Motorsport 7, and immerse yourself in stunning 4K ultra HD gaming with HDR. For the best value in games and entertainment, pickup our new Xbox One S Al- Digital Edition starting at $199 from June 7 – June 17.

Xbox One Games

Xbox One Games

Great savings on hundreds of titles. Get amazing deals on hundreds of games including those blockbusters you’ve been meaning to pick up like Mortal Kombat 11, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Forza Horizon 4, World War Z, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Sea of Thieves, NBA 2K19, Anthem, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Spectre Rising Edition. Full games are starting as low as $19.99, making it easy to add to your collection.

Xbox One Feature Controllers

Xbox One Feature Controllers

Accessorize with a new controller. Save $10 on black, white, special edition and limited-edition Xbox Wireless Controllers, all featuring a sleek, streamlined design and textured or rubberized grips, custom button-mapping and Windows 10-compatibility. Or, design your own controller by choosing from over a billion color combinations available with Xbox Design Lab, starting at $64.99 for a limited time only.

Upgrade your gaming PC. This year, we’ve also got some exciting sales from a wide range of PC gaming partners, including Asus, Razer, and MSI. You’ll be able to get up to $500 off a new gaming PC or gaming laptop, as well as FreeSync displays. If you’ve already got your gaming setup, we’ve got PC games galore on sale, including Forza Motorsport 7 Ultimate, Gears of War 4, Deep Rock Galactic, and more.

Plus save on officially licensed console and PC accessories from Astro, Seagate, Turtle Beach and Hyperkin.

Level up your look with Xbox Official Gear. Finally, it’s never been a better time to fly your Xbox colors with up to 60% off on Xbox Official Gear. From bomber jackets and hats to t-shirts and patches, there’s something for everyone.

Check with xbox.comMicrosoft Store and participating retailers nationwide for more details on availability and pricing as deals will vary between retailers.

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‘Crackdown 3’ updates available for free now

It’s been an exciting few months since we first saw Agents band together to take on the cruel and corrupt TerraNova Corporation in Crackdown 3 with Xbox Game Pass and on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and today we’re excited to release, for free, the Crackdown 3 Extra Edition with boomtastic updates to Campaign and Wrecking Zone!

First up: Keys to the City, a deep menu of Campaign tools and cheats that gives you control of the world and access to a wide variety of overpowered abilities. Throw down with Elemental Fists, become invincible with God Mode or hit the jets with Super Speed! But why stop there? On your quest to reclaim New Providence, invite a co-op friend and create your own Faction Retaliations, or Lockdown the city and fight your way out with unlimited ammo and gadgets. Get creative by spawning enemies, vehicles, explosive barrels and other props wherever you’d like. When you have Keys to the City, the possibilities are endless!

But that’s not all… It wouldn’t be extra unless we talked about Wrecking Zone, Crackdown 3’s fully-destructible multiplayer battle arena. Today’s update brings a new vanity progression system to Wrecking Zone, with 100 tiers of items to customize your Agent! Earn Agency Points during matches to unlock holographic ‘LENS’ adornments, helmets, weapon skins—and more! We’ve also given the overall experience a fresh coat of paint, adding Agent customization screens, six different types of ‘Overdrive’ Skill boosts, and a host of other user interface updates. There’s never been a better time to jump into the cloud-powered destruction of Wrecking Zone!

On behalf of the whole Crackdown 3 team, thank you for playing, and we hope you enjoy this free Extra Edition update. You can read the complete list of update features here. Crackdown 3 is available now with Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. For the latest news stay tuned to Xbox Wire.

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May 2019 Xbox Update includes improvements to your friends list, messaging and better sorting

Team Xbox is hard at work preparing for E3 and beyond, but we have a few new features that are rolling out broadly beginning today! The May 2019 Xbox Update includes improvements to your friends list, messaging, and better sorting in My Games & Apps. Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

  

Friends list now shows where your friends are playing
We know that your friends play games across many different devices, including Xbox One, Windows 10, and mobile. To make it easier for you to know what, and where, your friends are playing we are making an update to your friends list! With this feature, we are adding unique Xbox One, PC, or mobile icons next to each of your friends in your friends list showing you which device they are currently playing on.

Message Requests
Your messages are getting smarter. Xbox is adding a new Message Requests feature which will prioritize messages from your friends and anyone you want to communicate with while separating out messages from people you don’t know into a secondary message requests tab.

As part of this update, unfortunately all previous group messages will be lost in the transition and will require manual action to archive. If you want to back up any previous group messages, you can copy/paste them from Xbox.com for a limited time. Your messages with individual users will not be impacted. Please go here if you wish to review your messages.

Better Sorting in My Games & Apps
Our team has made it even easier to find the content you’re looking for in My Games & Apps. Articles such as “a,” “an” and “the” will no longer be used to sort titles when using the “Sort A-Z” and “Group by letter” views. For example, “The Witcher” will now be found under “W” instead of “T.” Thanks so much to our Xbox community for helping prioritize this change by voting in our recent “My Games & Apps” Idea Drive, and don’t forget to check the Xbox Idea Hub for other topics to which you can contribute.

These updates are available based on the input from our Xbox Insiders who have helped shape these features. Thank you to all of you for your valuable input and continued participation. If you’d like to help define the future of Xbox and get access to early features, download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC today and share your ideas at the Xbox Ideas Hub. You can also visit the Xbox Insider Blog here for the latest release notes and to learn more. Enjoy the May Update and happy gaming!

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Xbox’s ‘Game of Thrones’ giveaway reveals new Iron Throne console

Last week, we announced a new Game of Thrones sweepstakes featuring custom House Targaryen and Night King designed consoles, and you didn’t think we’d just stop there, did you? We’re thrilled to unveil this giveaway will also include a third prize – an Iron Throne designed custom console! The fight to rule from the Iron Throne started nearly a decade ago and launched countless wars, battles and betrayals. It’s almost time to see who will reign victorious over the Seven Kingdoms, and it’s only right we made an epic custom console to honor this moment in television history.

Just like the Iron Throne that sits in King’s Landing, the console features the swords of enemies that surrendered to Aegon the Conqueror. This is only the third custom design created for the newest member of the Xbox One family – the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Built for disc-free gaming and entertainment, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition comes bundled with Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3. This Iron Throne console is truly fitting of the king or queen of Westeros!

Open until May 22, fans just need to RT our official Twitter post or “like” the official Facebook post announcing the giveaway. At the end of the giveaway, only three fans will be able to game with House Targaryen, the Night King or the Iron Throne at their side. What new heights will your gaming reach with “Game of Thrones” at your side? For full giveaway rules, see here.

Fans can also pre-order Season 8 of Game of Thrones on Xbox with Microsoft Movies & TV and receive an exclusive Iron Throne avatar with their purchase. For those who pre-order the “Game of Thrones” Seasons 1-8 Complete Series digital bundle, you’ll get the Iron Throne avatar plus two additional avatars. Full details here.

Don’t forget to tune in to the “Game of Thrones” series finale on May 19 to see what prophecies come to life, which characters will give their lives to their cause, or whom – if anyone – is left as the new ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Your favorite characters have killed, schemed, risen back from the dead and much more in their quest to ascend onto the Iron Throne. Don’t miss out, these custom consoles are the ultimate prize for gamers and “Game of Thrones” fans around the world!

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ID@Xbox Game Fest brings a month of games for everyone

We’re excited to kick off the fourth annual ID@Xbox Game Fest this week, where we celebrate the diverse range of games and experiences offered by independent developers on Xbox One.

From May 7-27, we’ll be unearthing some of the ID@Xbox program’s hidden gems for players to discover. Beginning this week until May 20, we will focus on Gaming for Everyone and feature diverse stories, voices, creators, and characters across 31 participating titles. We’ll wrap up the month (May 21-27) with an ID@Xbox Super Sale highlighting even more games that have released through the ID@Xbox program.

As a Game Fest tradition, we talked with the developers behind some of these games to learn more about what Gaming for Everyone means to them as well as how their own personal stories have impacted the experience and creative processes for their games.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday – “Diversity of experience is one facet of the Gaming for Everyone ethos, and an interactive drama set against the turbulent backdrop of Middle Eastern politics and civil unrest certainly isn’t your typical video game. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday not only demonstrates the medium as a unique platform for powerful story-telling, but also how it can be used as an engaging and entertaining means to inform and educate on a complex, real-world subject that, normally, would fall beyond the interests and/or awareness of many people.” – Matt Cundy, Digerati community manager

Our goal was to breathe life into a piece of history that few understand intimately. By engaging with a diverse cast of characters and engaging with narrative choices, we were able to blend the forms of gaming and documentary to capture a digital recreation of Iran in 1979 for a whole new generation to discover.” – Navid Khonsari, creator of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and iNK Stories co-founder

Dandara – “Even after many rewrites and inspirations, I think Dandara is always going to be a statement about Brazilian culture and history. It’s an outsider’s scream telling you that inspiration can be found by looking out of your own window, or even closer, on your own story. Better yet if it is able to touch you through those inspirations, with stories and people you have not stopped to think about.” – Luke Icenhower, marketing manager

FirewatchFirewatch is single player, first-person mystery. We love games that transport you to a faraway, unusual place and tell you a gripping story, but we don’t so much love games that trap you in impossible combat scenarios or esoteric puzzles along the way. So, we made Firewatch a mystery for everybody – where the game design isn’t about how good you are with a gun but what it feels like to be alone in the woods with (almost) no one to trust.” – Sean Vanaman, writer/designer

In Between In Between started out as part of my bachelor’s thesis back in university dealing with with the taboo topics of death and dying within a video game. In the end, our mission with In Between was to tell a story, that follows along a specific theme but that would still allow players their own interpretations and provide different possibilities for self-identification. We hope to try and give an insight into/make it easier for other people to relate to the thoughts and emotions of family members, friends or anyone else who finds him-/herself in these seemingly hopeless situations.” – Daniel, art director, co-founder

Night in the WoodsNight in the Woods was an interesting project to write code and music for because, while we had an overall outline in mind, we left a lot of things open for ‘improvisation.’ I had to stay on my toes to make sure we could adapt the code to whatever new ideas might come up. It’s really cool that Night in the Woods has meant a lot to a bunch of folks, because it originated from this very odd and personal process.” – Alec Holowka, programmer, composer and game designer

The Path of Motus“I think the game deals with issues that most people face daily. I know many people that had big dreams as a kid, but as they get older society beats those ideas out of their head and they settle for less than what they want in life. I hope this game speaks to those people and shows them that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams in life. I know some people are stuck in their situation due to monetary problems, so I also released a free educational video series showing people how to program games on our website (pathofmotus.com) to help folks that are interested in game development. I hope The Path of Motus can have some type of positive impact on everyone that plays.” – Michael Hicks, designer

Where the Bees Make Honey“I make games to express myself and to communicate with others. Through the power of interactivity, games offer experiences from different cultures and communities.” – Brian Wilson, developer

See below for the rest of the games included in Game Fest this week:

39 Days to Mars

Aritana and the Harpy’s Feather

Blackwood Crossing

Celeste

Fragments of Him

Gone Home: Console Edition

I, Hope

Monica e a Guarda dos Coelhos

Mulaka

Never Alone Arctic Collection

Nippon Marathon

Old Man’s Journey

Perception

SOMA

Storm Boy

Tacoma

The First Tree

The King’s Bird

The Mooseman

The Town of Light

Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition

What Remains of Edith Finch

Wheels of Aurelia

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

This is just a taste of all the great games included in ID@Xbox Game Fest. The Gaming for Everyone theme will run from May 2 through to May 20, so jump in and start discovering the games behind these exceptional stories.

To see all titles included in the first week of Game Fest visit Xbox.com.

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Coming soon to Xbox Game Pass: ‘Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus,’ ‘Wargroove’ and more

*Alarm blares*

*Yawns*

Whoa, you would not believe the dream I just had! I was driving along the countryside when I took a wrong turn, hit a random turbo boost, flew into the sky, and ended up on Mars! That seemed normal, but the weird part came when knights and pirates started flying toward me from out of nowhere. Oh, and did I mention that everyone was block-shaped? This hasn’t been the first time I’ve had this dream either. Maybe I should stop having strawberry milkshakes before bed. Or maybe I’ve just been thinking about all the games coming to Xbox Game Pass.

I should point out, if you’re looking for less random dreams and more actual memes, check out our Xbox Game Pass Instagram and Twitter accounts. Also, be sure to check out our Xbox Game Pass mobile app so you can discover and download new games immediately when they become available. Consider it a helpful tip from a well-rested gamer. Either way, there’s a lot of thoughts to process here, so let me tell you all about them:

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus(May 2)

Play as war-hero BJ Blazkowicz and lead the second American Revolution by recruiting a band of resistance fighters to hunt down the evil Frau Engel and dismantle her Nazi war machine. Armed with powerful weapons and dynamic combat abilities, fight your way across an American landscape twisted by Nazi occupation. Only you have the guns, guts, and gumption to liberate America.

Wargroove (May 2)

When war breaks out in the Kingdom of Cherrystone, the young Queen Mercia must flee her home. Pursued by her foes, the only way to save her kingdom is travel to new lands in search of allies. But who will she meet along the way, and what sinister challenges will she face?

Descenders 1.0 (May 7)

Descenders is extreme downhill mountain biking with real consequences. Power down a variety of increasingly treacherous slopes and mountains, including icy peaks, dusty canyons, and dense jungles, in more than half a billion levels across nine different environments. Head out into the world either on your own, with a set of friends, or with a band of strangers who are ready to ride alongside you. Will you be King of the Hill?

Surviving Mars (May 9)

You must construct a self-sustaining colony capable of supporting human life on Mars. This is no walk in the park thanks to the Red Planet’s hostile environment, limited access to resources, and lack of breathable air – all not exactly human friendly. To ensure your colony’s survival, you’ll need to balance everything from life support to resource management and more. But all is not lost! There are things you can do to help your budding colony along the way such as researching new technologies and uncovering the secrets of Mars to make sure your colonists are happy and healthy.

Tacoma (May 9)

The Venturis Corporation wants its AI back. That’s where you come in. At the heart of Tacoma is the facility’s digital surveillance system, which has captured 3D recordings of pivotal moments in the crew’s life on the station. As you explore, echoes of these captured moments surround you. You’ll use your ability to rewind, fast-forward, and move through the physical space of these complex, interwoven scenes to examine events from every angle and reconstruct the multi-layered narrative.

Black Desert (May 9)

Experience fast-paced combat and an immersive story within an expansive world just waiting to be explored. Black Desert chronicles a conflict between two rival nations, the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia. During your action-packed journey you are accompanied by a Black Spirit – a companion whose destiny is intertwined with your own – as you discover the secret of the Black Stones and the history of their corrupting effects in this massive MMORPG on Xbox One.

For the King (May 10)

Embark on a perilous adventure in this strategic RPG that blends tabletop and roguelike elements in a challenging journey spanning the realms. Set off on a single player experience or play cooperatively both online and locally as you attempt to discover the mystery surrounding the King’s death and bring order back to the realms. And as an added member benefit, Xbox Game Pass members can play the game three days before its launch, starting on May 7!

The Surge (May 16)

Welcome to CREO, the megacorporation saving our world! You’re knocked out by a catastrophic event during your first day on the job and wake up in a destroyed section of the complex. From robots gone haywire, out of control augmented co-workers, and rogue AI – everything wants you dead. Equipped with a heavy-grade exoskeleton, you must defy deadly enemies and huge bosses in tight, visceral melee combat. Slice limbs off your foes to take advantage of the next-gen loot system, where you loot what you dismember and craft new weapons and armors from the spoils!

LEGO Batman 3 (May 16)

The Caped Crusader joins forces with the superheroes of the DC Comics universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Using the power of the Lantern Rings, Brainiac shrinks worlds to add to his twisted collection of miniature cities from across the universe. Now the greatest superheroes and the most cunning villains must unite and journey to different Lantern Worlds to collect the Lantern Rings and stop Brainiac before it’s too late.

Enjoy these content updates with Xbox Game Pass:

Oh, and did we mention that we have a present for you, since we love you so much (and you read down this far)?  Soccer meets driving in Rocket League, an award-winning, physics-based multiplayer-focused mash-up! Choose from a variety of high-flying vehicles and show off your Xbox fandom with the Xbox Customization Pack. This pack includes: Wheels, Boost, Octane Decal, and Player Banner and is free to all Xbox Game Pass members. The pack is available first to Xbox Game Pass members ‪until July 15*, when it becomes available to all Xbox players.

And don’t sleep on these awesome free updates to games already available with Xbox Game Pass:

  • Minecraft Village & Pillage update- Discover the most adventurous update yet! Defend against new threats, build with new blocks, and experience life in all-new villages.
  • Sea of Thieves is celebrating a year of adventures! Now that’s a lot of gold and bananas. In their Anniversary Update, they’ll be introducing Tall Tales – Shores of Gold, The Arena, and The Hunter’s Call starting today! State of Decay 2 came out with their Create Your Own Apocalypse content update, expect to see deadlier zombies, a faster-acting blood plague, and hostile humans capable of scoring lethal headshots. Not the kind of dream we expected.
  • Human: Fall Flat gets dark with their new Dark Level Update. It’s the biggest and most graphically stunning level yet! Play now with your friends.

You know, describing my dreams to you has been so helpful. Way more helpful than staring at inkblots and trying to guess if I see a butterfly or a goblin or something.

Join Xbox Game Pass Today

With over 100 high-quality games and new games added all the time, Xbox Game Pass is the new way to discover your next favorite game. If you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass, join today and get your first 3 months for $1.

Editor’s Note: We have updated the post to include one more title coming to Xbox Game Pass in May.

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Anniversary update for ‘Sea of Thieves’ available for free April 30

The Anniversary Update for Sea of Thieves is available for free on April 30 with Xbox Game Pass or on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, and our biggest update yet is packed with content we know will appeal to players of all kinds. From the glory and gunfire of competitive multiplayer in The Arena to the serenity of fishing up your latest catch for the Hunter’s Call Trading Company, the Anniversary Update brings something for everyone. If you’re the adventurous kind of pirate, though, it’s likely Shores of Gold – our first set of narrative-driven Tall Tales – that caught your eye when we unveiled the update back in March.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at what it means to bring story-focused adventures to a shared-world game, and some of the new gameplay features players can expect as they seek out the mythical Shroudbreaker relic.

Shores of Gold is made up of nine distinct Tall Tales, each of which can be tackled as part of a pirate crew or by a solo player. Although each Tale is part of a larger saga that spans the Sea of Thieves, they can be enjoyed individually and you’re able to replay Tales you’ve completed previously. In fact, each Tale has been structured to be played repeatedly, meaning you won’t always find secrets and solutions in the places you might have been expecting them.

Your quest to reach the Shores of Gold, a legendary location filled with untold riches that lies within the deadly Devil’s Shroud, begins with the hunt for an ancient relic that can clear a path through the fog – a relic once sought by the Pirate Lord himself. All of this takes place upon the same shared seas as always, so other pirate crews may have their part to play in your adventure.

This perilous endeavour is just the start of an epic journey that will lead players across the Sea of Thieves. There’ll be ancient parchments to decipher, puzzles to solve, traps to dodge, and battles with fearsome enemies that stand between you and your ultimate destination – the massive, mysterious island known as the Shores of Gold.

Along the way you’ll meet a rag-tag cast of heroes and villains, some of whom are familiar faces from the game and the Sea of Thieves expanded universe, along with an all new assortment of warmongers, cursed rogues, star-crossed lovers and more. Every tale features professional voice acting to help advance the story, not to mention secret lore books and commendations to work towards as you play.

If all of this has you itching to take the wheel and weigh anchor, you haven’t got long to wait before the Tall Tales – Shores of Gold arrives as part of the Anniversary Update on April 30. Until then, more clues await in the official trailer.

Key Features

  • Tall Tales – Shores of Gold brings nine story-driven adventures to the shared world of Sea of Thieves.
  • Players can enjoy each adventure as part of a crew or alone, and Tales are designed to be replayed and enjoyed again and again.
  • New types of gameplay, including enchanted tools and artefacts to master and new locations to explore.
  • Decipher long-lost journals and ancient puzzles, battle against fearsome new foes and dodge deadly traps in underground labyrinths.
  • Tales designed to imbue excitement, fear, sadness and joy, with characters voiced by professional actors.
  • Available to all players for free as part of the Sea of Thieves Anniversary Update.

New to Sea of Thieves? Join the adventure with Xbox Game Pass or on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. If you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass yet, join today to get your first month for $1 and get access to over 100 great games, with new titles being added all of the time. Prospective pirates can learn more at xbox.com/seaofthieves or visit the Sea of Thieves website at SeaofThieves.com to embark on an epic journey with one of gaming’s most welcoming communities.