Doom is back. The PS4 is the new home for the next version of Call of Duty. And this looks to be the year of Star Wars for Electronics Arts. That's just a taste of the news coming out of the first day of E3 2015, as big names such as Sony and Microsoft held dueling news conferences. Here's what our writers and editors spotted on the scene at the gaming expo in Los Angeles that you might have missed.
Microsoft's XBox Backward Compatibility Wowed
The Xbox One will soon be backward compatible with Xbox 360 games. That hardware-related bomb made waves at Microsoft's news conference, as did news of a new Xbox One Elite Controller. As for games, Gears of War 4 and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition looked intense. The former, which won't arrive until the 2016 holiday season, will be the first original installment for the Xbox One, featuring new protagonists. Microsoft also showed off Rise of the Tomb Raider and Halo 5 gameplay. We got a particularly mouth-watering view of a real Ford GT during the company's preview of Forza Motorsport 6, and we are looking forward to investigating the company's expansive list of indie games as the year progresses.
Minecraft Via HoloLens is Closer to (Virtual) Reality
We've seen Microsoft's HoloLens goggles before. But during the Microsoft news conference, we got another demo — this time, playing Minecraft in 3D. Previously, we'd only seen a teaser of Minecraft on a table. Now, you can beam your virtual world onto a wall, control commands via your voice and join friends in their virtual towns. We can't wait to see how this technology works on some of our other favorite games.
Sony's Lineup May Be the Strongest of the Show
Sony may have held the last news conference of the day, but it was far from the least exciting. For starters, The Last Guardian has been brought back from the brink of extinction, as has a remake of Final Fantasy VII. Street Fighter V will be a PS4 exclusive (not counting PCs). A new Hitman trailer for the PS4, in all of its over-the-top-violence, offers six Sony-exclusive missions. Some new titles — such as Firewatch, Dreams and Shenmue 3 (which reached its Kickstarter goal and then some overnight) — look really intriguing.
Sony also teased some hardware news, announcing that at least a dozen games will work with its Morpheus virtual-reality headset. Plus, PlayStation Vue now offers cablelike TV service in five major cities.
EA Reveals New Mass Effect and 3 Star Wars Games
The Electronic Arts press event opened to cheers as a new Mass Effect game was previewed. But the excitement kept ramping up as EA revealed the multiplayer shooter Star Wars: Battlefront. What more could a fan want than lightsaber battles, AT-ATs and X-Wings? How about an expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Or a Star Wars card game called Galaxy of Heroes? The game maker also revealed some details about big titles such as NBA Live, Madden NFL and Mirror's Edge, among other games.
Bethesda's First E3 Press Conference Dazzled
There didn't appear to be any first-time jitters for game maker Bethesda. The company showed off its first entries into the mobile space, including Fallout Shelter and Elder Scrolls Legends. But our jaws really hit the floor when we got a look at scenes from a new version of Doom; this first-person shooter never looked so good. Also, Fallout 4's revived wasteland and smarter canine companion had us eager to start rebuilding society.
Ubisoft Won't Fix What's Not Broken
While Ubisoft's E3 news conference may not have been revolutionary, we were still fired up to get our hands on the company's newest installments of long-running series, such as Just Dance. The love of Tom Clancy is alive and well, too, as evidenced by the company's three new games that revolve around his work. For instance, Rainbow Six Siege focuses on close-quarters combat and hostage rescues, while The Division is a massive multiplayer in a post-apocalyptic world. Oh, and did we mention Ubisoft is releasing Trials Fusion, where cats ride fire-breathing unicorns while doing death-defying stunts? Yeah, that happened.
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Image Credit: E3