The weeks leading up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) are always rife with rumors, and that remains true this year. That’s because many of the year’s biggest video game companies are gearing up to unveil their major announcements, and struggling to keep everything under wraps. That’s bad news for them, because it might take the air out of their announcements. But it’s good news for gamers, who want to know everything that’s coming their way as soon as possible.
In recent months we’ve heard a lot of rumors and speculation about Nintendo and Sony’s plans for the coming year. Now it’s Microsoft’s turn, because a number of the rumors this week hinge on the company’s major announcements for E3. To see what the rumor-mongers got right and wrong, check back after Microsoft’s E3 press conference, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, June 13.
1. Will a more powerful Xbox One launch next year?
Sources have told both Kotaku and Polygon that, much like the heavily rumored PlayStation 4.5, Microsoft is preparing a new, more powerful version of the Xbox One console. Code named Scorpio, this device will apparently launch in the fall of 2017, and — if rumors are to be believed — will be about four times as powerful as the current Xbox One. That’s a whole heap of power.
If true, that would make the Xbox One Scorpio significantly more powerful than the PlayStation 4.5 — assuming all of the spec leaks are true, which is a big assumption. Still, it’s exciting news for gamers, though one that comes with a fair share of drawbacks. I look at the pros and cons of the Xbox One Scorpio here.
2. Will the Xbox One Scorpio support VR?
One of the details cited by multiple sources was that the Xbox One would be powerful enough to support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Rumor has it that discussions are ongoing between the two companies to bring the headset to Xbox One Scorpio, but nothing is set in stone yet. Lending credence to this rumor is Microsoft’s current partnership with Oculus: Every Oculus Rift comes with an Xbox One controller.
Even if no specific VR plans are in place for Xbox One Scorpio, it would seem that some people haven’t gotten the memo. Gaming insider ZhugeEX tweeted a screenshot showing that the E3 website now has a category tag for virtual reality on Xbox One. Also, Ars Technica reports a developer says it’s working on a new virtual reality game for Xbox One, set to release in 2017, and that it will be unveiled at E3. One way or another, it looks like VR is coming to Xbox One Scorpio.
3. Will Microsoft release a “slim” Xbox One soon?
In other Xbox One news, rumors have surfaced that Microsoft will announce a new model of Xbox One that’s about 40% smaller than the current one. Aside from the size and a possible storage boost, it will function exactly like the current Xbox One, with no new features or extra power.
This rumor makes a lot of sense, seeing as the console is about three years old, which is often the time console makers release a redesign. Redesigned consoles generally spark new interest from gamers who’ve held off previously, and tend to cost the makers less to produce. That would make an “Xbox One Slim” model an obvious move for Microsoft.
It’s also a good idea because the current Xbox One is roughly the size of a Honda Civic.
4. Is a new Quake game in the works?
Publisher Bethesda owns Id Software, the developer behind classic first-person shooters like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Over the past few years, the two companies have resurrected the first two series with the decidedly excellent games Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) and Doom (2016). Based on a job listing at Id, it seems as if Quake might be the next series to get a modern reboot.
The listing is for a senior physics programmer to work on “legendary Id game properties like Doom and Quake. That makes it sound pretty clear that Id is at least in the early stages of a game related to Quake. That doesn’t mean it will necessarily come out, but there seems to be interest.
The original Quake launched in 1996 and had players exploring gritty dungeons filled with jagged, polygonal monsters. The reason the series was so popular, however, was because of its online death matches, which struck a cord with gamers just as online connectivity was becoming more widespread.
5. Will Titanfall 2 feature a grappling hook?
According to a Reddit post that’s since been deleted, Titanfall 2 will feature a grappling hook. The first installment of the shooter franchise was known for the mobility of the heroes, who could easily climb through environments and even run on walls, something many other shooters have since copied. Adding a grappling hook to the proceedings would further empower players, letting them grapple into their mech suits and pull enemies out of the air.
The source also said Titanfall 2 would release in October, which falls in line with a recent announcement from Electronic Arts that said it would launch in the company’s third fiscal quarter, which spans from October 1 to December 31.
If the grappling hook rumor is true, it would add to the number of high-profile games that have added grappling hooks to their heroes’ arsenals in recent installments, including Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Batman: Arkham Knight, and Uncharted 4. When in doubt, it would seem, give the hero grappling hook.