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E3: Microsoft Sets June 13 Date for Xbox Presentation

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, speaking at an earlier E3 event.

(Image: AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN)

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, speaking at an earlier E3 event. (Image: AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN)

Two months out from one of the year's biggest annual video game events, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and Xbox has started outlining its plans for the show.

The Xbox presentation at E3 2016 will take place at 9:30am PST (4:30pm UTC) on June 13, with "Gears of War 4," "Crackdown 3" and a new "Halo" game expected to headline.

Two months out from one of the year's biggest annual video game events, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and Xbox has started outlining its plans for the show.

Those plans, at this stage, are outlined in the briefest of manners -- a day, a time -- but a look at 2016's release calendar reveals what might be in store.

Tentpole release "Gears of War 4" now has its own date, the latest entry to a distinctive, action-oriented franchise closely associated to the Xbox consoles for ten years, since "Gears of War" arrived on Xbox 360 in 2006.

That doesn't mean there's an anniversary edition on the way, as was the case with "Halo: Combat Evolved," because 2015's "Gears of War: Ultimate Edition" already packed in downloadable, original versions of the series' four previous releases along with the first game's Xbox One remaster.

But it does mean that, in 2016, "Gears of War 4" is the first original "Gears" title for Xbox One, and sure to receive a significant push.

There are two more major action franchise possibilities for this year.

The "Halo" series has been crucially important in selling the Xbox consoles as a home for fans of action games, and an initial schedule of post-release content for 2015's "Halo 5: Guardians" was designed to last up until June.

Next up is a return to 2009's franchise spin-off in a sequel for strategy variant "Halo Wars," a title which was well received, despite the genre not achieving system-selling status before or since, and has since developed something of a cult following.

While "Halo Wars 2" has been projected for release sometime between July and December on Xbox One (and Windows 10), sci-fi law enforcement title "Crackdown 3" had been given an April to September window.

Like "Gears of War 4," it's a third-person action game, but it shouldn't be too close for comfort, if still on track for a 2016 release.

Previous installments have emphasized agility rather than gravity, and with this one adding ambitious, city-razing destructibility into the mix, a dovetailing of the "Crackdown 3" and "Gears 4" releases could yet happen.