After Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement event made it seem like the focus of the next generation of Microsoft consoles would be all about television, sports and “Call of Duty,” the company held its E3 2013 media briefing and promised that the Xbox One will be “all about the games.” The pre-E3 press conference unveiled a slew of new titles for both the Xbox and, to a lesser extent, the Xbox 360, as well as revealing some major details about the new hardware that will be introduced.
Without a doubt, the biggest games news of the conference was the fact that a new “Halo” title will premiere on the Xbox One in 2014. Microsoft also revealed that the Xbox One will cost $499 in the United States, �429 in the United Kingdom and �499 in Europe when it debuts in November.
Here’s a breakdown of the new games and perks that were announced for the Xbox One and the information revealed about the new version of the Xbox 360.
Other than a gorgeous teaser trailer, few details were actually revealed about the new “Halo” first person shooter. A title wasn’t announced, but it was promised that the game will premiere on the Xbox One and run at 60 fps. “In 2014, halo combat will truly evolve,” 343 Industries promised.
Though a name of the game wasn’t given, a teaser of a stealth title being developed by Black Tusk studio was unveiled. It was touted as one of Microsoft’s new blockbuster franchises that will follow in the wake of staples like “Halo.”
Respawn Entertainment unveiled what looks to be one of the Xbox One’s big blockbuster titles: a new mech shooter called “Titanfall.” The demo footage shown offered up a look at the type of shooter that Microsoft has excelled at so well in the past.
Ryse: Son of Rome
The new Crytek game “Ryse: Son of Rome” got to show off the Kinect 2.0, which is supposed to be a major update from the first version of the motion control gaming. Here the integration of both body movements and controller controls were shown, though it remains to be seen how seamlessly that works in reality. Visually the game looks impressive, and the latest CryEngine allows gamers to utilize Roman warfare styles like protective shield formations. “Ryse: Son of Rome” is available at Xbox One launch. SmartGlass will allow players to compare different friends’ games on timeline, jump into games at any point and have timeline updates with new details being shared. Players can also have a match set up while current game is being played.
Though few details were revealed, Microsoft announced that a new version of “Killer Instinct” is coming out on the Xbox One. A new MadCatz fightstick was used to play a demo of the game, and it was revealed that players can upload their fights to the “Upload Studio,” edit them and release them to the world. It was also shown that, through a partnership with Twitch, games can be broadcast to the world.
Insomnia Gamesc, the team behind the “Ratchet & Clank” series, premiered an open world shooter called “Sunset Overdrive.” Called a “living world game” because it can be constantly updated through the Cloud, the new title features parkour style running and some aerial flight abilities similar to those in “Bioshock Infinite,” and has mutant, alien creatures as enemies. The guns in this game look as fun as the others in Insomniac Games’ arsenal, with one seen shooting records at enemies.
Forza Motorsport 5
The most pomp and circumstance of the presentation came with the reveal of a McLaren P1 car as part of the “Forza Motorsport 5” reveal. In addition to hyping how sleek and “human” the cars in the game will look now, the inclusion of a “Drivatar,” an avatar that learns a player’s driving style, was also introduced. In an effort to get rid of AI, these “Drivatars” will play against other players and earn a gamer credits even when the user isn’t actively playing.
Though no updates or additions were announced during the conference, it was revealed that “Minecraft” will be getting a new Xbox One version.
After already making an appearance at the Xbox One announcement event, “Quantum Break” reappeared and some footage from the game was premiered. In what seemed to be an event sequence, the story-heavy scene gave a taste of the style of gameplay.
An episodic murder mystery called “D4,” which features a cell-shaded design and seems to be at least partially set on a train, was premiered during the media briefing, though little additional information was given about it.
With the promise that making a game can be a fun game in and of itself, Microsoft Studios’ Dave McCarthy premiered “Project Spark,” in which players can build their own game from the ground up and share it with others on the Xbox One. Using voice commands and the SmartGlass tablet, everything from the landscape, time of day and personality of playable characters can be altered. “Everything in ‘Project Spark’ has a game that can be changed,” McCarthy promised.
“Crimson Dragon,” an aerial flight game where you play as a dragon, had its trailer premiere, although what seemed like a technical difficulty meant that there wasn’t any audio. This game will also take advantage of the Kinect 2.0.
Dead Rising 3
The world premiere of “Dead Rising 3” took place during the press conference, with gameplay showing off the new setting of Los Perdidos, Calif. and the new hero Nick. The footage shows a new open world game, this sequence set three days after a massive breakout, and the Xbox One promises no load times. Everything that is found in the game can be used as a weapon, while upgrades based on materials acquired can also make more advanced guns and other weaponry.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Like many other games during the the press conference, CD Projekt Red announced that “The Witcher 3” would also be set in an open world. The combat system will reportedly be redesigned from the ground up, while the third installment in the franchise will still feature a non-linear story. There will be over 100 hours of gameplay, as well as optional voice commands with Kinect and the ability to port UI to SmartGlass.
In addition to the 60 fps footage of “Battlefield 4” played from its demo, the folks at Electronic Arts announced that the “Battlefield 4: Second Assault” map pack will be made available on the Xbox One before other consoles.
From the creators of “Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP,” a new Xbox One game made in a similar style and RPG theme is going to be released called “Below.” The website for the game is whatliesbelow.com.
Sure, the Xbox One is going to be all about the games, but that means it’s going to need a new and improved version of Xbox Live. The newest generation of the online aspect of the Xbox will include features like smart match and games DVR. Instead of Microsoft Points, Xbox Live will be featuring prices based on each country’s currencies. Users wll be allowed to have unlimited friends, and anyone who lives in a gamer’s home can use their online capabilities even when they’re not logged into the Xbox Live user’s account.
Even with the focus on the Xbox One, Microsoft made a point to say that the Xbox 360 isn’t in its rearview mirror. A new, slimmer version of the 360 is in stores starting today. Current Xbox Gold members will get the perk of two free game downloads a month starting in July up through the release of the Xbox One. Two of such games that will be made available are “Assassin’s Creed 2” and “Halo 3.”
A trailer for “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” opened up the media briefing, offering up a look at the new open-world style of the beloved franchise. Set at least partially Afghanistan, the updated format of the game is said to offer new opportunities for stealth and other forms of transportation like tanks and horses. After the announcement that Keifer Sutherland is replacing David Hayter as the voice of Solid Snake, this was the first time people got to hear Sutherland’s take on the classic character.
There are “hundreds” of new games that will be come out on the 360 even with the focus on next-gen consoles. Three of them are an Xbox version of “World of Tanks,” the adventure game “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and the upcoming “Dark Souls 2,” which is due in stores in March 2014.