It's officially underway - The 2014 Xbox Media Briefing just happened earlier this morning as a part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s lineup for Monday, June 9, and this time around it's all about the games. All throughout the conference, there were videos that featured key gaming icon's favorite games as well as tweets for any presenter’s favorites. What exactly does Microsoft have up their sleeves, especially after the long string of announcements leading up to E3? Hopefully there is plenty of new information left to spill and they haven't run out yet. Take a look now at this year’s play-by-play recap of the entire Xbox World Media Briefing.
The conference launched with Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) giving a speech about how great it's been for the gaming community and made a nice nod to both Sony and Nintendo citing their achievements and proceeded to thank Xbox gamers for their involvement in shaping Xbox into what it is today. He then announced that this conference will focus entirely on games and nothing else. The mission: To make Xbox the best place to play games this generation.
A trailer for "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" starts playing and the announcement is made that, once again, all content will come to Xbox first. A drop-pod with multiple troops in it crashes out of the sky and into a skyscraper, showcasing the incredible visuals. The trailer also demonstrated the new exoskeleton suit soldiers will wear to help them traverse the battlefield more efficiently and all the crazy new weapons, including grenades with propellers attached to them.
Dan Greenwalt, the Creative Director at Turn 10, takes the stage to talk about "Forza 5". The Nurburgring has been recreated with extreme detail - down to the millimeter - and is now available free for "Forza 5" owners to download. He then passes the stage off to Ralph Fulton, Playground Game's Creative Director to talk about Forza Horizon 2. Read more about that here.
A trailer for "Evolve" starts playing showcasing the incredible graphics. As expected, you'll be able to fight with a class-based system with traditional classes such as assault or medic. However, you can also play as the monster against a team of 4 as well. Finally, the Beta will be available exclusively on Xbox One and all DLC will arrive first.
Vincent Pontbriand, the Senior Producer at Ubisoft, debuts a trailer for "Assassin's Creed: Unity." Players will be Marquis De Bullion and will fight alongside the French Revolution. It will features 100's of quests and secrets to find. For the first time ever, you can create your own brotherhood and play with up to three others cooperatively.
A world premier trailer for "Dragon Age Inquisition" is shown, with an announcement of a release on October 7. Also, as probably expected by now, all DLC will be available first on Xbox One.
"Sunset Overdrive" takes the stage with a trailer that showcases the ridiculous game play, colorful visuals, and over-the-top humor which the game has become known for. The trailer gives a little of the back story, explaining how contaminated energy drinks have led to people becoming mutants and caused a war to erupt. Out walks Ted Price, the Founder and CEO & Insomniac Games. He provides a little more knowledge and a game play demo showing off the unconventional weaponry and arcade-like design, reminiscent of "Lollipop Chainsaw." He also explains that players will be able to fully customize their own in-game characters and proceeded to announce Chaos Squad, and 8 player cooperative mode.
Falling right in line with the wackiness comes the funniest trailer of the conference, the announcement of “Super Ultra Deadrising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX α.” This brand new DLC for “Deadrising 3” is a nod to Capcom’s “31th” Anniversary and features four player cooperative gameplay and tons of Capcom-themed costumes for players to choose from. Best of all, it’s available right now.
Alex Rigopolous, the Creative Director from Harmonix, comes to the stage to talk a little bit about the upcoming game “Fantasia: Music Evolved.” He then proceeds to make the exciting announcement that the insanely popular “Dance Central” franchise will be making its return very soon in the form of a digital-only Xbox exclusive called “Dance Central Spotlight.” The game features an all original soundtrack and brand-new technology which is going to allow them to deliver new songs to the game faster than ever before. It will be available sometime this fall.
Also making its return soon is “Fable Legends” as announced by Lionhead’s Game Director, David Eckelberry. A small gameplay demo was shown displaying a very familiar gameplay style with cranked up visuals and a slight twist. Now, you have the ability to play as the villain. This turns the game into more of a top-down RTS tower-defense game where you set up and control every trap you want to make for the players. The beta for “Fable Legends” will be available this fall exclusively on Xbox One.
A playful trailer for “Project Spark” (currently available as a free Beta on Xbox One) is shown, centralizing around the immense creative power the game allows. It debuts two big announcements. Their will now be new galaxies for players to create and play in, adding to the list of themes already available. As the logo flashes on the screen, and all-to-familiar squirrel comes out with a chainsaw in hand and slices the logo in half. He then says “Almost 10 years without a game, guess we’ll have to make our own!” Available exclusively on Xbox One this fall will be a Conker pack courtesy of Rare.
A brief trailer for a new game and exclusive is shown. “Ori and the Blind Forrest” is a very pretty side-scrolling platformer out of Moon Studios. No word on release date yet.
Suddenly the Halo theme fills the air and a trailer for “Halo 5: Guardians” begins. It continues on right from where he was left in the previous trailer, floating around in space with a giant mine. A closer look is taken at the all-new character featured in the promotional art for “Halo 5: Guardians”. The trailer ends with the words “Your Journey Begins” as 343’s Studio Head Bonnie Ross takes the stage. She explains that “Halo 5: Guardians” will focus on a self-reflective journey for Masterchief as he tries to discover who he really is. Ross then makes a big announcement and passes the stage off to Dan Ayoub, the Executive Producer behind the next game in the Halo franchise.
“Halo: The Masterchief Collection” has 4 games packed into one. “Halo CE,” “Halo 2,” “Halo 3,” and “Halo 4” will all be available in one place on the Xbox One sometime this fall. It will feature one seamless interface in which the entirety of the Masterchief campaign will be unlocked and available. You can pick any of your favorite levels to play and they’ll all feature both HD visuals and the original graphics which can be toggled at the push of a button. The best part about having all of them unlocked and in one place is that players can put together a custom playlist of levels featuring all of their favorite moments in the Halo series and play them back-to-back, crafting their own unique cut of the Halo story. For the ten year anniversary of “Halo 2,” it’s getting the full anniversary treatment. All of the original multiplayer will be available exactly as it shipped ten years ago. On top of that, 6 of the iconic maps will be updated with HD visuals, including fan-favorite Ascension. “Halo: The Masterchief Collection” will also come with over 100 multiplayer levels out of the box, featuring every single map that has ever been released across all four of the games. This will be in 1080p and 60 FPS. The game will also tote 4000 potential Gamerscore because of its size. Also included in the package is the “Halo Nightfall” live action series produced by Ridley Scott. Last, those who purchase “Halo: The Masterchief Collection” will gain access to the “Halo 5: Guardians” multiplayer beta this fall.
From this point on, the conference focused solely on titles in the 2015 and beyond portfolio and was rather rapid-fire.
Playdead Studios is back after four years of development with their new side-scrolling platformer “INSIDE.” It’s a very artsy game, similar to Limbo. This one will be available early 2015.
Chris Charla, the Director for ID@Xbox, took the stage with a very long trailer showcasing the massive number of indie games currently being worked on for the Xbox One.
A brief teaser-trailer announced the return of Lara Croft in “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” Much like “Halo 5: Guardians,” this looks to be a very self-reflective journey for Lara, albeit not much is revealed beyond the Holiday 2015 release window.
John Mamais, Executive Producer on “The Witcher 3” takes the stage with a brief gameplay demo. The game looks great, no other information is given.
Ken Lobb, creative director behind the Xbox One exclusive reboot “Killer Instinct” takes the stage with the announcement that he’s ready to reboot another favorite and cult-classic from the original Xbox. “Phantom Dust” is getting fully remastered with all new gameplay and visuals.
Ryan Barnard, the Game Director for “Tom Clancy’s The Division” shows off an all new gameplay video to give a peak at the new direction of the game. The graphics look fantastic and the squad-based combat is very smooth as expected from a Tom Clancy game.
Platinumgames Inc. Creative Director Hideki Kamiya comes to the stage with an announcement for an all new Xbox Exclusive out of the company that made Bayonetta, MadWorld, and Anarchy Reigns. “Scalebound” will be a fantasy game in which players take on dragons and other creatures using magical powers.
Last, David Jones, the Creative Director at CloudGine announced the return of “Crackdown.” Not many details were given, but much of the original team is working on it and it promises a revolutionary multiplayer experience thanks to an army of dedicated servers. If the game winds up being anything close to the teaser shown, it will stick close to the crazy, over-the-top gameplay the series is known for.
To cap off the conference, Phil Spencer took the stage one last time to thank everyone for coming and voice his excitement for the future of Xbox One. To continue the evolution that Xbox has made over the last year, he announced “Xbox Feedback,” a one-stop shop for users to voice concerns, input ideas, and vote on what they want the future of Xbox to be. Last but not least, the Xbox One without Kinect is available today for $399.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the Xbox World Media Briefing, it is available now to watch on demand here.