Trailers. You love them, Microsoft’s got them. According to the company, there were a ridiculous 60 games trotted out onstage at today’s big E3 kickoff. Looks like the Xbox got a little extra love at the event since Sony’s MIA this year. Along with more information on its streaming service Project XCloud, a sneak peek at its next console and a very special appearance by Keanu, the company had a LOT of games to show off.
Cloud gaming is one of the big topics of excitement ahead of E3. The market is very niche but the technology feels exciting, allowing users to play graphically-complex titles on a bunch of low-powered devices thanks to server farms and fast internet connections.
Ahead of the Xbox E3 keynote this afternoon, Microsoft has dropped the pricing for their Xbox Game Pass plan which gives PC users access to a library of top games. The Service will be launching at a very reasonable $4.99 per month (though they note that’s an “introductory price”).
This year’s E3 is already off to an interesting start. Sony’s nowhere to be seen, and Nintendo, per usual, has opted to go online only. That leaves Microsoft as the only member of the big three with its own, honest to goodness press conference.
E3 doesn’t technically start until Tuesday, but the leaks are already arriving fast and furious. Now that winter has come from HBO’s Game of Thrones, creator George R.R. Martin’s got several other projects in the works, including, reportedly, a new video game.
Bungie aims to fortify the popular but flagging Destiny 2 with an expanded free-to-play plan and universal cross-platform saving, the company announced today. It’s an interesting and player-friendly evolution of the “games as a service” model, and other companies should take note.
For the last two decades, Sony and Microsoft’s gaming divisions have been locked in all-out war against one another: on price, on hardware, on franchises, on exclusives… you name it. But it seems they’ve set their enmity aside temporarily that they might better prevent that filthy casual, Google, from joining the fray.
Microsoft has been leaning into accessibility in gaming lately, most visibly with its amazing Adaptive Controller, and a new patent suggests another way the company may be accommodating disabled gamers: an Xbox controller with a built-in Braille display.
As Amazon reportedly gears up to offer its own hi-fi music streaming service, Spotify has posted its Q1 figures. One significant milestone: the world’s currently biggest music streaming service reported that it now has 100 million paying users (up 32 percent on a year ago) and 217 million subscribers overall in 79 markets, picking up 2 million users in India since launching there in February.
E3’s just over a month away, and per usual, the news in the lead up has offered more insight into what we won’t be hearing about at the big gaming show. Late last year, Sony announced that it would be skipping its big annual press conference at the event. The move marks a key absence for the gaming giant for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, as the company will instead be “exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019.”