Did you happen to miss Microsoft’s big press conference this week during Gamescom? If you’re like me, you’d be forgiven due to the time differences. But fear not dear reader, that’s why you have me in these situations. I’ve done the leg work to bring you their big announcements from the show.
Reaction after the event was pretty positive from what I could see on social media sites like Twitter. As they were at E3, Microsoft came out firing, laser focused on presenting a good argument for why you’ll want to play games on their system. When you cut out the fat and stick to what matters (games), then you’re definitely on to something good.
So lets have a look at some of their bigger announcements. Full recap is yours after the jump…
Quantum Break – As promised by Sam Lake and Remedy prior to E3, Gamescom is where we got our first actual look at their next game, Quantum Break in an almost nine minute game demo. My first though was how the lead character looks like a young Max Payne (he’s not, just a similar look) with expanded time manipulation powers. Quantum Break remains a third person action thrill ride, but the real twist is that you can now pause time, sprint like the flash, and even create these time pockets around objects allowing you to rapid fire at it. These abilities look like they’ll open up a lot of tactical options for players. Still, the meter looked like it regenerated extremely fast, so I hope it doesn’t make the game too easy. We shall see.
Halo – Of course, you know this would be a big focus. While we did see a glimpse of Halo V Guardians through a beta first look trailer (Beta goes from Dec 29 – Jan 18), the focus rested squarely on other aspects of the franchise. The Master Chief Collection showed off a brand new map for multiple which fans should be familiar with. Sanctuary has been reimagined and rebuilt from it’s Halo 2 days. We were also treated to a quick skirmish on the map and I think fans will be very happy. The Halo Channel was also revealed taking over for Halo Waypoint. It takes everything up another level, giving fans everything from Halo news, original Halo programming, entertainment, live events, and social elements in addition to housing your profile and ways to unlock in-game content.
ScreamRide – This one absolutely came out of left field for me. First coming off as a 3D rollercoaster creation game, you then learn that you can destroy your creations by messing with physics and creativity. It’s kind of like Rollercoaster Tycoon meets Angry Birds or Boom Blox. The cherry on top is that you can share your work and experience other people’s rides as well.
New Bundles – It’s scientific fact that consumers love choices and to that end, Microsoft is giving everyone more to pick from. They announced a brand new white Xbox One which comes with Sunset Overdrive and also a Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Limited Edition Xbox One with a huge 1TB hard drive and a custom design. European fans will also have a special FIFA 15 Xbox One bundle as well. It makes me almost wish I hadn’t already picked up a system.
New Features – Microsoft also details new updates it has planned for the console including finally being able to pre-load and digital pre-order games right from the Xbox Marketplace similar to a platform like Steam. Not only that, they’re redesigning the friends section, adding a Gamerscore leaderboard, support for USB/DLNA media streaming to the Xbox One, and the ability to stream TV programs from the Xbox to the SmartGlass app setting up functionality like the WiiU where one person can use the hand held to watch TV while another plays games on the console.
Lara Croft Goes Xbox – In a move that created a firestorm of activity, Microsoft announced that “Rise of the Tomb Raider” will be an Xbox One exclusive. I’ve heard a lot of back and forth on whether or not is meant complete or timed exclusive, but Phil Spencer has since confirmed that this deal is just a temporary one. Either way, this sets up a pretty interesting show down between Uncharted and Tomb Raider next year.
Trailers! – Of course, what press conference would be complete without new trailers showing off the future. We saw a host of footage from games like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Fable Legends, FIFA 15, and more. I’ve done my best to grab them all for you for this week’s Saturday Video Round UP, so make sure to check that out.