Good afternoon from not-so-sunny Brighton. Oli and Tom are our team on the floor in LA, while over here we'll be eating crisps and watching the livestream alongside you all when it kicks off in an hour and forty minutes.
The first big conference of the show is done, and it was something of a corker. There was the expected reveals of Halo 5's campaign, Gears 4 and Forza 6, but the stars of the show were Rare's new IP, Sea of Thieves, Minecraft being shown on HoloLens plus the announcement that early access and backwards compatibility are coming to Xbox One.Watch live video from Xbox on en-gb.twitch.tv
Before all that, though, I have to attend to the important task of getting some snacks to get the Brighton team through the night. Beyond the obvious, such as meth and Doritos, what's going to be keeping you going up to the end of Sony's conference in the small hours of Tuesday?
Just popping off to the kitchen. Can I make anyone a tea?
Yes please! Milk, no sugar and a tab of acid please.
How do you decide who gets to go to LA? Is it a 'you went last year so this year you can sit it out?' or is it down to an arm/Jelly wrestling competition?
It's decided in an epic game of Towerfall. Actually, it's more about rotating between us so no-one gets burnt out - it can be seriously tiring covering the show.
What level of hotel quality does EG pay for? Are we talking Holiday Inn or Intercontinental here?
Airbnb all the way in LA - you'll get sneaky looks at it in some of the video that Aoife and Johnny put up this week. Here in Brighton I'm staying in a no expense spared budget Ibis.
Snack news: Bertie's been given a load of Butterkist after he accidentally tweeted on the official EG account a recipe for homemade popcorn.
Chris Bratt has an appetite for ginger beer, while Donlan has revealed an addiction to the 35p energy drink from Easy Hours downstairs.
We're close to seeing Donlan in the throes of Blue Rat madness tonight.
How long is the conference? 2 hours?
Microsoft tends to log in at the industry standard of 90 minutes, while Sony pushes it a little to two hours. That's not set in stone though!
I spent last night in an Ibis Budget Hotel in deepest, darkest France on my own with a box of wine, watching the amazing Cirque du Soleil Kinect reveal.
It really is a treat. "What if the next object wasn't an object at all. What if the future of humanity was humanity itself?"
I do kind of miss the crazy of 2010 Microsoft. Maybe we'll see a dose of that tonight with Kudo and HoloLens?
Under five minutes. So, what are your predictions?
Gears of War reboot and a new Rare game seem like dead certs, on top of the usual suspects.
Will Metal Gear or Dark Souls make an appearance in Microsoft's conference? SHENMUE 3?
The dub has begun, this is getting real.
Tom Phillips is on the show floor, and says it's pretty much a full house.
Also, he's wearing a light-up 'medallion necklace'. It's not quite the space ponchos of 2010, but I'll take it.
And the lights are down... And we're go.
Kicking straight into some Tomb Raider action - it's part of a montage, which features some Hans Zimmer Man of Steel action.
Marcus Fenix is in there, so looks like Gears is guaranteed to make an appearance.
God I'm a sucker for this stuff. The necklaces have lit up, hailing the appearance of Bonnie ross of 343.
Let's go straight into some Halo 5.
Tom Phillips can see the teleprompt, through the glare of the medallion he's been forced to wear.
What was that sci-fi film where people were made to wear necklaces that exploded if they misbehaved? Well, that.
Sorry, while I've been rifling through IMDB trying to remember we've just got an introduction to Halo 5.
I'm getting a big ODST vibe from this, which is of course A Good Thing. Nathan Fillion's presence helps, as does the presence of squad mates.
Well, it looks like a very glitzy Halo. That's not a bad thing, of course.
Though I'm not really a fan of all this scripted stuff - the beauty of Halo is when you've thrown into the sandbox.
the film is WEDLOCK
You're a hero.
I hate to make lazy comparisons, but I do it all the time and I kind of hate myself - there's a strong Call of Duty vibe to this.
Nice area of effect attack. Reminds me of... Can I say it? The supers in Destiny. (Sorry)
Stealth Destiny livechat.
Well, that looks like a very pretty first person shooter. It does look like it's lost a little of that Halo identity though.
Warzone is being announced, a new bridge between single-player and multiplayer.
It's big player versus environment maps.
A new IP now.
From Keiji Inafune and the makers of Metroid Prime (obviously not Retro - I guess it's Armature?)
It's really hard to tell anything from this CG trailer, other than it's got a woman and a robot in it. Anyway, that was Recore.
It's out next Spring. Don't want to wee on the parade, but be reminded that Comcept was behind the not so great Ninja Gaiden Z.
Anyway, here's Phil. He's hiding his t-shirt, the cad.
What's under the fleece, Phil? Banjo Kazooie? Grabbed by the Ghoulies? SHENMUE 3?
Also we can't see how many watches he's wearing, which takes away some of the fun.
Wow. Xbox One is backwards compatible from today with Xbox 360 games.
That is quite the thing.
Incredibly strong play from Microsoft. You can't play from disc, it seems - about 100 games at the start.
If you have the disc it'll unlock the download.
It makes PS Now look a little second rate with its sky high (placeholder) rental prices.
And of course there's a dig at Sony's PS Now service too - which is fair enough.
Elite controller is the next announce, a pad with swappable components.
Todd Howard, who's already taken to the conference floor last night, is presenting Fallout 4. Any exclusivity deal would be a hell of a boon for Microsoft.
I missed the Bethesda conference last night, so this is my first look at Fallout 4 - and I'm quite impressed. The facial animations are a big step up from Skyrim etc. There's a lot more character in it.
This is new footage too.
This "new footage" looks very familiar - from last night
Whoops, my mistake if so - I haven't caught the whole Bethesda conference yet.
Fallout 4 is certainly looking a lot shootier today.
Can Forza 6 please have a dog that can hang its head out of an open window? We need to complete the set.
Oh yes oh yes oh yes.
'The most ambitious game world we've ever created'. There's something so hollow in that. I wish someone would just hold their hands up and say they didn't try as hard as last time.
Fallout 3 is coming alongside Fallout 4 on Xbox One.
And.... PC mods are coming to Xbox One. That's another corker. Will that be on PS4 too?
Peter Moore onstage now. Interested to see if he goes for a costume change before his own conference tonight.
Let's keep tabs - for now he's wearing a quite dour grey number.
This is primed for Titanfall coming on EA Access.
And there it is.
It's live this week.
And Dragon Age Inquisition follows later in the summer - just in time for them to sell some more DLC for it, as Tom P points out.
hey TITANFALL is awesome and innoativer than cod
It's the innovationest.
Wasn't Garden Warfare 2 announced already? I think I'm confusing myself. Anyway, here's our first look.
Right, that's that, and now we're into Forza Motorsport 6.
The new Ford GT is the cover star of this, hence this fluff.
Is Dan Greenawalt in that car?
Oh god I hope he's not under it.
Ah, here we go. It's Henry Ford III. So another sequel on the Microsoft stage.
I had a peek at this over the weekend while I was at Le Mans, and I'm sad to say I came away underwhelmed (I won't be able to tell you why 'til after the conference).
Anyway, I'm fairly sure that's Brands Hatch in there, so they can just have my money.
Microsoft has Dark Souls 3.
Will it be an exclusive? That'd put the crap among the pigeons.
Miyazaki is onboard for this one, so it's The Real Deal (though I admit I don't understand why Dark Souls 2 gets fo much hate - it's a great game, just not quite as good as Dark Souls).
Also also, is Dark Souls a yearly franchise now?
So strange to see this go the way of Call of Duty. Anyway, this is another CG trailer, so it's hard to care too much about it.
Admittedly, it would be hilarious if films started announcing themselves with completely unrelated snippets of gameplay.
The Division is up next - we'll have a more in-depth look at this on the site later tonight.
The beta for this is coming to Xbox One exclusively.
And it's this December - which suggests the game proper is a while away.
The backwards compatibility is the backbone of this conference - Rainbox Six Vegas 1 and 2 are coming free with Siege later this year.
Ah, it's that game that was announced at GDC that I'd already completely forgotten about.
Er, what's its name again. Anyone?
Gigantic! Yes! How could I forget some of the finest owls I've seen all year.
And I've seen some fine owls this year, let me tell you.
Indie montage time!
Goat Sim, Superhot, Ark, Cuphead. There are some games.
Chris Charla comes onstage, and Ian wonderfully mutters to himself 'this guy's going to get fired'. Not on-stage, I hope.
Tacoma, the new game from Gone Home developers Fullbright, is on-stage. Very excited about this.
'They've remade BioShock *again*'. A little helping of Darkside Donlan there.
speaking of Ian, what were his thoughts on Doom?
I just asked him and his face got all excited and he just bellowed 'PUMPED'.
Christ, I just look back at the livestream and everyone's faces have gone. What fresh nightmare is this?
Ashen, a rather lovely looking indie. Beyond Eyes is next, which I had a look at earlier this year. It's lovely stuff.
Chad and Jared! The cuphead chaps whose names, said together, have a wonderful cadence.
Microsoft is doing well to give these smaller devs some serious on-stage time. Nice one.
It's out next year.
And Early Access is coming to Xbox One, via Xbox Game Preview.
Obviously they trailed this last year with The Master Chief Collection lolololololol.
Elite Dangerous and Day Z are part of this. Will it now come out on Xbox One before PS4 thanks to this?
Elite Dangerous is available this afternoon on Xbox Game Preview.
Microsoft has got Dean Hall, and he's been working with Improbable - you'll be hearing a lot about these people in the future - to make his new IP.
Destiny name drop.
Dude, we're not allowed to talk about that game anymore.
Dean Hall's new game has a space vibe. It's Ion. What a get.
Tomb Raider - the Xbox 'exclusive' - is getting its gameplay reveal.
Is this gameplay or CGI? Not in terms of how good it looks - it's impressive - but I can't see much room for the player in this.
I mean, it looks like someone could feasibly be pushing up in this section.
'It's the last game with a bit of snow on it'. More Darkside Donlan for you.
I'd be more surprised if she actually caught onto a ledge and it didn't crumble at this point.
Well, for how impressive the visuals were it wasn't really that exciting. I was kind of bored.
Here's the Rare collection, coming out to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary.
RC Pro-Am, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie - all the games you'd expect, within reason (no StarFox Adventures or GoldenEye, obviously).
30 games in total, and it's out early this August.
Oh, and no Donkey Kong Country, obv.
Now it's Rare's new IP - a shared world adventure.
It's the most ambitious game they've ever created!
Is this an open world Grabbed by the Ghoulies?
Oh wait, pirates! This looks astounding.
Sea of Thieves, an MMO-esque adventure from Rare. No word on release date, but that's okay. That looks like a whole lot of fun.
Fable's leg ends now.
This is the most ambitious Fable Legends trailer they've ever created.
Haha, it looks that way.
Kudo on stage, sans sunglasses.
He's got lovely eyes. Why hide them all that time?
He does have something of the cuddly techno Jesus about him.
Yet another megatonne - both Valve and Oculus VR have partnered with Xbox.
Minecraft on HoloLens is first up, which is probably the very definition of a killer app.
Hello the future, you're looking fine!
The best VR experiences I've had so far have been with third person things like this - when you're looking into a world rather than looking around it.
Seriously impressive on-screen showing from HoloLens, and not a space poncho in sight.
This will be the Gears of War remaster. And it is. Out on October 25th, in 1080p and 60fps and there's a beta starting today.
Plus, here's a look at the new Gears of War.
Which has flowers in it!
And we're getting proper, legit gameplay. Nice to see something that isn't a CG trailer. Very ambitious - well done.
It has graphics! It has moodiness! It has buildings crumbling!
Almost as windy as The Witcher 3
Surely the new metric by which we must measure all future games.
Press x to prod pustule.
Oh god. 'I'm beginning to think we're not the hunters anymore'. Such chundersome dialogue is then met with the introduction of a frog/dog... thing.
And that's out first look at Gears of Four.
Which looks very serious and moody, with none of the muscly excess of old. For shame.
Phil's on stage wrapping up. He's revealed the t-shirt too - a Rare number.
He's still keeping the number of watches he's got on under the wraps though.
That was pretty rocking.
A steady stream of announcements, some crowd-pleasing surprises.
It will take an awful lot for Sony to best that - and I can't wait to see them try.
Join us at *gulp* 2am for that one.