On the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft unveiled the future of gaming on Xbox One through a impressive lineup of games from the world’s most visionary creators.
Coming soon on Xbox One gamers will enjoy the quintessential collection of the most popular games in Xbox history with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, as well as highly anticipated exclusives such as Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Fable Legends and Dance Central: Spotlight.
From start to finish we sat through Microsoft’s annual E3 press briefing which featured wall-to-wall games and highlighted the deep passion for gaming that Xbox creators share with their most dedicated fans. Showcasing the power of the cloud and the best multiplayer experience on Xbox Live, Xbox exclusives shared the stage with blockbusters such as Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Evolve and Rise of the Tomb Raider, and independent games such as INSIDE, adding to a growing library of games on Xbox One.
“We are committed to delivering amazing experiences that will help define this generation of games and delight the millions of passionate Xbox fans around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “Xbox will be the only place you can enjoy the most-anticipated blockbusters and new franchises, including exclusives like Sunset Overdrive, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 2 and Dance Central Spotlight. In addition, on Xbox One gamers will be able to play upcoming hits like Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity and a vibrant catalogue of games from independent developers.”
Led by fan feedback, Xbox has delivered new features and updates every month since the launch of Xbox One, setting a new pace for innovation. Only on Xbox One can you instantly switch between your favourite games and entertainment, so you never miss a moment, and easily share your gameplay with others via Upload Studio and Twitch. Xbox Live Gold offers a superior multiplayer experience, with innovative features such as dedicated cloud servers for multiplayer matches, no waiting in lobbies, cloud storage for Game DVR and an advanced reputation system.
Since the launch of Xbox One, the Xbox Live community has spent nearly 1.7 billion hours on games and entertainment, an average of five hours per day per console.
“Today we’re thrilled to offer our fans more choices to play the games they love and to enjoy all of their entertainment with the new Xbox One option for $399 (USD),” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Devices and Studios at Microsoft. “With an amazing lineup of exclusive games and more than 225 entertainment apps available around the world by this holiday, powered by our Xbox Live multiplayer service, we’re committed to making Xbox an incredible place to play.”
Introducing the biggest blockbusters, fan-favourite franchises and new IP
Flanked by some of video gaming’s most celebrated creators, Microsoft unveiled an incredible games lineup, including new iterations of its most popular franchises.
343 Industries lifted the curtain on Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One, which includes the complete story of the Master Chief on one console for the first time ever (Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4), including an entirely remastered version of the iconic classic that revolutionized online console gaming, Halo 2 Anniversary.
A massive collection that lets you experience Halo in an all-new way, at higher visual fidelity running at 60 frames per second (fps) on dedicated servers, Halo: The Master Chief Collection features curated campaign and multiplayer playlists across all four games and features more than 100 multiplayer maps — authentic to their original release. In addition, Halo 2 Anniversary will include six all-new maps built from the ground up for Xbox One.
343 Industries also announced Halo: Nightfall, an original Halo live-action digital series that will debut this fall and will be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Created in collaboration with Xbox Entertainment Studios, executive producer Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President David Zucker and directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Pillars of the Earth, Heroes), the series introduces a pivotal new character in Halo 5: Guardians.
In addition, 343 Industries offered a sneak peek at the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta, which launches in late 2014 and is included as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
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Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games debuted the first gameplay of Forza Horizon 2, highlighting its massive, wide-open world featuring dramatic weather and day-to-night cycles, all in beautiful 1080p resolution on Xbox One. In addition, the Nürburgring track for Forza Motorsport 5 was revealed. The full 16-mile combined circuit has been laser scanned at subcentimeter accuracy, was crafted from the ground up for Xbox One and is available now to all Forza Motorsport 5 owners for free.
Lionhead Studios invited aspiring heroes (and villains) to embark on a new adventure with the first gameplay of Fable Legends, showcasing its stunning Unreal Engine 4 graphics and a brand-new online experience that pits four players against the series’ first-ever playable evil mastermind.
The Fable Legends multiplayer beta begins in fall 2014.
Microsoft also enthralled us gaming journalists with the long-awaited return of several popular Xbox franchises, including Crackdown, a new iteration of the ground-breaking open-world action series that features a whole new campaign — fully playable in co-op — and uses Xbox Live to power a city that isn’t just an exciting place to play, but is a part of your destructive arsenal. In addition, Microsoft unveiled Phantom Dust, a reimagined version of the beloved classic with all-new gameplay and graphics.
Capcom Vancouver reignited the zombie apocalypse with Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition, an all-new, four-player, co-op arcade mode now released that lets fans play as past Dead Rising heroes or cosplay as their favourite Capcom characters while battling zombie hordes and giant bosses in crazier ways than ever before.
Fuelling our excitement, Microsoft also unveiled an exclusive lineup of inventive new intellectual property (IP), led by Sunset Overdrive, a new game from renowned developer Insomniac Games. Sunset Overdrive flips traditional shooter-style game conventions on their head by blending hyperagility and an unconventional arsenal to turn a would-be apocalypse into an off-the-wall adventure. The demo showcased the game’s uniquely fluid gameplay, wild collection of weapons and vibrant art style.
Award-winning developer Platinum Games wowed us with the first look at Scalebound, an action-packed game that lets you battle alongside fearsome dragons and leverages the power of Xbox Live to deliver dynamic and immersive gameplay.
Moon Studios invited players to venture on an amazingly beautiful and emotional journey with Ori and the Blind Forest, a new title for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC that follows a young orphan destined for heroics. In addition, we can look forward to sneak peeks of eagerly anticipated new IP such as Quantum Break in the coming months, as well as future news around the Gears of War franchise from Black Tusk Studios.
Crystal Dynamics took to the stage with the world premiere of Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming to the Xbox platform in 2015.
In her first adventure, Lara Croft was forged into a true survivor, but she glimpsed a deeper, secret world.
In the next chapter of her journey, Lara must use her survival skills and wits, learn to trust new friends, and ultimately accept her destiny as the Tomb Raider.
Featuring epic, high-octane action moments, Rise of the Tomb Raider will take gamers to multiple locations around the world filled with exploration spaces that are some of the most beautifully hostile places on earth. After hearing the cry from fans loud and clear, the game will put the tombs back into Tomb Raider, all in the franchise’s gritty survival-action style.
Legendary developer Harmonix took to the E3 stage to announce Dance Central: Spotlight, the newest game in the award-winning Kinect franchise, available exclusively as a digital download on Xbox One this year.
Dance Central: Spotlight features authentic dance routines, accurate body tracking using Kinect for Xbox One and chart-topping music, with even more variety and player choice than ever before.
Highlighting some of the most anticipated titles coming to the Xbox platform, acclaimed third-party publishers took the stage to showcase their games.
Activision kick-started the show with the world premiere of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and confirmed that all add-on content for the game will debut first, exclusively on Xbox.
Electronic Arts and renowned developer BioWare unveiled a new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition and announced that the first single-player add-on content will arrive first, exclusively on Xbox. 2K and Turtle Rock Studios debuted an all-new playable Monster — Kraken — for Evolve, revealing that the open beta this fall and premier downloadable content will both be available first, exclusively on Xbox One.
Ubisoft premiered Assassin’s Creed: Unity, highlighting the franchise’s new four-player online Shared Experience, in addition to an all-new demo of the hotly anticipated 2015 title Tom Clancy’s The Division.CD Projekt Red returned to the Xbox stage with another exclusive live gameplay demo of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
ID@Xbox unleashes new games from independent creators
Unique, creative games continue to release, some exclusively onto Xbox One via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program for independent developers. In addition to an initial sample of titles revealed in March, E3 brought a slew of new ID@Xbox games, from brand-new IP such as Playdead’s INSIDE, StudioMDHR’s Cuphead and Asteroid Base’s Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime to existing fan favourites including Ndemic Creations’ Plague Inc: Evolved and Sirvo/Hidden Variable’s Threes!
With more than 350 developers with development kits and interest from thousands more, gamers can expect even more innovations from the independent developer community on Xbox One.
Free to Play games offer more ways to enjoy new content
Microsoft reinforced its commitment to delivering innovative experiences to a broadening audience through a diverse lineup of Free to Play games for Xbox Live Gold members, giving gamers easy and quick ways to purchase additional content.
With more than 1 million creators crafting tens of thousands of new games, the Project Spark beta on Xbox One and Windows 8 has delivered an open-world digital canvas that enables anyone to create, play and share. Coming in a few months, developer Team Dakota will deliver new sci-fi content (Galaxies), a co-op campaign (Champions Quest) with Champions that evolve through gameplay, and four-player multiplayer in play and create modes.
The lovable, irreverent squirrel Conker will also return to video games within Project Spark, giving players the power to continue the Conker legacy. Also the return of fan-favourite character T.J. Combo in Killer Instinct: Season 2, and cross-platform play for Happy Wars across Xbox One and Xbox 360 were announced.
And it’s full steam ahead for Xbox 360
Committed to its continued support for Xbox 360, Microsoft also announced a bevvy of games in development for Xbox 360, including Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel from 2K and Gearbox Software, as well as first party titles such as Forza Horizon 2, Project Spark, Ori and the Blind Forest and also Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers that are also coming to Xbox One.
With more than 84 million consoles sold into retail worldwide and $37.7 billion in lifetime game sales to date, Xbox 360 continues to enjoy strong momentum, fuelled by a thriving community of gamers that has logged more than 88 billion hours of gameplay (equivalent to more than 100,000 centuries), while enjoying access to gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership, including Twitch, Upload Studio, Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, YouTube and NFL on Xbox.
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