Monday, on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. unveiled the future of gaming on Xbox One through a spectacular lineup of games from the world’s most visionary creators. This holiday season on Xbox One gamers will enjoy the quintessential collection of the most popular game 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, Microsoft’s annual E3 press briefing 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. In addition, beginning today, gamers can choose to buy an all-new Xbox One option for $399.1 Xbox One with Kinect will continue to be available.
“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 catalog 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 favorite 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. The introduction of the new Xbox One console option offers more choice than ever before at a great value.
“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,” 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-favorite 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.”
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 sub centimeter 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 thrilled gamers with the long-awaited return of several popular Xbox franchises, including “Crackdown,” a new iteration of the groundbreaking 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 launching today that lets fans play as past “Dead Rising” heroes or cosplay as their favorite Capcom characters while battling zombie hordes and giant bosses in crazier ways than ever before.
Fueling the 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 the audience 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, gamers 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. In addition, 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 fall. “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 already award-winning “The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt.”
ID@Xbox unleashes new games from independent creators
Unique, creative games continue to burst 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 favorites 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
In addition, 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 this fall, 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. In addition, the return of fan-favorite character T.J. Combo in “Killer Instinct: Season 2,” and cross-platform play for “Happy Wars” across Xbox One and Xbox 360 were announced.
Xbox 360 continues to deliver amazing value for gamers
Underscoring its continued support for Xbox 360, Microsoft has a rich pipeline of games in development for Xbox 360, including “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel” from 2K and Gearbox Software, as well as titles such as “Forza Horizon 2,” “Project Spark,” “Ori and the Blind Forest” and “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, fueled 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.3
The best lineup of games in Xbox history
With incredible games for the adventurer, thrill-seeker and speed demon within us all, Xbox One is poised to deliver a spectacular games lineup, including the following:
· “Assassin’s Creed Unity” (Ubisoft, Ubisoft). “Assassin’s Creed Unity” is the next-gen evolution of the blockbuster franchise powered by an all-new game engine. Play as Arno, an entirely new breed of Assassin, in an epic single-player campaign or team together in four-player co-op and experience the life of a master assassin together with your friends. The French Revolution has turned a once-magnificent city into a place of terror and chaos. Its cobblestone streets run red with the blood of commoners who dared to rise up against the oppressive aristocracy. Embark on an extraordinary journey to expose the true powers behind the revolution.
· “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” (Sledgehammer Games, Activision). Penned by the storytellers at Sledgehammer Games, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” envisions a powerful future, where both technology and tactic have evolved to usher in a new era of combat for the franchise. “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” delivers stunning next-gen visuals and innovative exoskeleton gameplay that fundamentally changes how players experience “Call of Duty” across all modes of play. Harnessing the first three-year development cycle in franchise history, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” represents a new era for the franchise. All add-on content will again be available first, exclusively on Xbox.
· “Crackdown” (Dave Jones, Microsoft Studios). The groundbreaking, hyperpowered world of “Crackdown” is back in stunning fashion with an all-new “Crackdown” experience for Xbox One. Developed by original creator Dave Jones, “Crackdown” on Xbox One will deliver unrivaled verticality, cooperative mayhem and destruction. Whether you’re playing the Campaign with friends or enjoying a revolutionary new multiplayer experience powered by Xbox Live, you’ll never look at an open-world game the same way again.
· “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” (Access Games, Microsoft Studios). From the creators of “Deadly Premonition,” the noir adventure “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” launches later this year exclusively for Xbox One. Follow the story of Detective David Young, who has the curious ability to dive back in time, and use the power of Kinect or your controller to help David solve the mystery of his murdered wife and prevent it from ever occurring.
· “Dance Central Spotlight” (Harmonix Music Systems, Microsoft Studios). “Dance Central Spotlight” is the newest game in the award-winning “Dance Central” series, bringing authentic dance routines, chart-topping music and the characters you love exclusively to the Xbox One. With an all-new soundtrack, more than 50 songs available as add-on content at launch, more routines per song than ever before and a 1- to 2-player dance experience updated for the Xbox One, “Dance Central Spotlight” is the next generation of motion dance games. Step up for your turn in the spotlight.
· “Dragon Age: Inquisition” (BioWare, Electronic Arts). A cataclysmic event plunges the land of Thedas into turmoil. It falls to you and your party of legendary heroes to restore order as you lead the Inquisition, hunting down the agents of chaos. Bonds will form — and some will break — as the campaign for truth takes its toll.
· “Evolve” (Turtle Rock Studios, 2K). From Turtle Rock Studios, creators of “Left 4 Dead,” comes “Evolve,” the next generation of multiplayer shooters where four Hunters face off against a single, player-controlled Monster in adrenaline-pumping four-versus-one matches. Play as one of four Hunter classes (Trapper, Support, Assault and Medic) and team up to take down the beast, or choose to play as the Monster and use savage abilities and an animalistic sense to kill your human enemies on the planet Shear, where flora and fauna act as an adversary to human and monster alike. Level up to unlock new Hunter or Monster characters as well as upgrades, skins and perks. Earn your infamy on the leaderboards and become the apex predator.
· “Fable Legends” (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Studios). “Fable Legends” innovates on the franchise’s well-loved world of magic, humour and high adventure, delivering a unique experience that feels familiar for fans, yet new and vibrant. Featuring stunning visuals brought to life by Xbox One and Unreal Engine 4, “Fable Legends” lets you play cooperatively with your friends as a team of up to four heroes, each with their own play style, or become the Villain and control the reins of battle from on high. Sign up today to register interest in the multiplayer beta, which begins this fall, at FableLegends.com.
· “Forza Horizon 2” (Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios). Arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 30, “Forza Horizon 2” allows you to race through a massive wide-open world featuring dramatic weather and day-to-night cycles. Instantly connect with friends in the ultimate celebration of speed, style and action-packed driving while exploring beautiful and exotic locations in more than 200 of the world’s greatest cars — all created with precise detail in stunning 1080p resolution on Xbox One.
· “Forza Motorsport 5” (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios). “Forza Motorsport 5” is a cinematic automotive journey starring the world’s greatest cars and tracks. Built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox One and the vast power of the cloud, no game better delivers the wide-eyed thrill of racing. Arriving for free to “Forza Motorsport 5” owners this June is the new-generation debut of the Nürburgring track, which has been laser scanned with subcentimeter accuracy, resulting in the most beautiful and realistically exhilarating racing experience yet.5
· “Halo 5: Guardians” Multiplayer Beta (343 Industries, Microsoft Studios). Available this holiday season for “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” owners, the “Halo 5: Guardians” Multiplayer Beta will allow fans to be among the first to experience a new generation of “Halo” multiplayer in “Halo 5: Guardians.” Gear up for the “Halo 5: Guardians” Multiplayer Beta by unlocking exclusive content in “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and “Halo: Nightfall,” which will carry over into “Halo 5: Guardians” when it launches in 2015.4
· “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” (343 Industries, Microsoft Studios). Honoring the iconic hero and his epic journey, the Master Chief’s entire story is brought together as “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.” “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” “Halo 2 Anniversary,” “Halo 3,” and “Halo 4” are all included with Xbox One visual fidelity, 60 fps, a total of 45 campaign missions, and more than 100 multiplayer (including the original “Halo: Combat Evolved”) maps and Spartan Ops maps. Along with new prologue and epilogue cut scenes that foreshadow “Halo 5: Guardians,” this is the collection “Halo” fans have been waiting for, all on Xbox One.4
· “Happy Wars” for Xbox One (Toylogic, Microsoft Studios). “Happy Wars,” the popular free-to-play online multiplayer action game, is coming to Xbox One later this year.2 “Happy Wars” for Xbox One will feature a story-driven campaign mode and action-packed multiplayer modes for up to 30 players. Enter the fray as one of the six player character classes — Warrior, Mage, Cleric, Berserker, Zephyr or Engineer — each with different tactical strengths. Work together as a team to take down the enemy team and conquer its castle.
· “Killer Instinct” (Iron Galaxy, Microsoft Studios). Following a successful first season of the revived fighter series, “Killer Instinct” returns once more and is better than ever. Created by renowned developer Iron Galaxy, Season 2 of “Killer Instinct” will feature a new roster of refreshed characters that longtime fans will know and love with an enhanced combo system and killer gameplay, exclusively for Xbox One.
· “Ori and the Blind Forest” (Moon Studios, Microsoft Studios). Venture with Ori, a young orphan destined for heroics, in this action-packed adventure for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Play through an amazingly beautiful and emotional journey as you help Ori save his dying forest of Nibel.
· “Phantom Dust” (Microsoft Studios). As one of Xbox’s original fan-favorite games, “Phantom Dust” resurfaces with all-new gameplay and beautifully remade graphics. Relive the story of the Espers — a group of humans with the ability to control the dust to create powerful combat arsenals — in this action-strategy game coming exclusively to Xbox One.
· “Project Spark” (Team Dakota, Microsoft Studios). The highly anticipated “Project Spark” brings imagination to life in an open-world digital canvas game, transitioning from current beta to full release on Xbox One and Windows 8 this fall. With a powerful creation engine, downloadable content packs and multiplatform functionality, “Project Spark” gives players the power to create their own worlds, stories and games and then share and play their creations with a dynamic global community of fellow creators.
· “Rise of the Tomb Raider” (Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix). 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. In addition, 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.
· “Scalebound” (Platinum Games, Microsoft Studios). The next great adventure from critically acclaimed developer Platinum Games and renowned game director Hideki Kamiya, “Scalebound” transports you to a distant, hostile world. You’ll come face to face with fearsome creatures, including a formidable dragon — and the bond you forge with this awesome predator will prove crucial to the survival of both worlds.
· “Sunset Overdrive” (Insomniac Games, Microsoft Studios). Launching globally starting in the U.S. on Oct. 28, exclusively on Xbox One, “Sunset Overdrive” is a stylized open-world shooter filled with overpowered weapons, crazed mutants and a sprawling city full of carnage. Experience a deep, action-packed campaign or jump seamlessly into an eight-player online mode called Chaos Squad, powered by Xbox Live. With an arsenal of kickass, overpowered weapons and a knack for traversing the city with hyper-agility, it isn’t the end of days for you — your story is just beginning.
· “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition” (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft). Available for download on Xbox One today, “Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition” adds an all-new, four-player, co-op arcade mode to “Dead Rising 3.” Play as past and present “Dead Rising” heroes or cosplay as your favorite Capcom characters to use their signature attacks and supermoves to save the city from zombie hordes, dangerous shadow bosses and giant superzombies. Compete for the top score, unlock new characters and fight for survival in true Capcom style!
· “Tom Clancy’s The Division” (Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft). A devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City and one by one, basic services fail. In only days without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, The Division agents are trained to operate independently of command, as all else fails. Fighting to prevent the fall of society, the agents will find themselves caught up in an epic conspiracy, forced to combat not only the effects of a manmade virus, but also the rising threat of those behind it.
· “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” (CD Projekt RED). “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” is a unique combination of nonlinear storytelling and open world — a fantasy RPG focused on player choice, tactical combat and an immersive environment. Spinning the tale of Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” aims to attract gamers with a mature and compelling game narrative told as no other has been told before. With more than 100 hours of hand-crafted core and side quest gameplay, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” redefines the genre, shaping the next generation of RPGs.
More details on all the exciting Xbox news and all other exciting E3 news can be found at the Examiner@E3 hub.