When the Xbox One was revealed about a month ago, the internet erupted in unison saying “where are the games?”. Microsoft had announced that all games would be shown off at E3, and boy have they come good on their promise. A huge number of games were announced for the Xbox One, as well as a couple of new games for the good ol’ Xbox 360 which also gets a redesign and new life. Though most of the focus was on games, there was also information about Xbox Live, Smartglass and of course, the all important price and release date of the Xbox One. Here’s our recap of Microsoft’s E3 2013 Press Conference!
Microsoft E3 2013 Press Conference Recap
Xbox 360 redesigned and given new life
The old warhorse, Xbox 360 isn’t going to be forgotten just yet. It’s getting a makeover that makes it smaller, sleeker and more quiet and is available to buy now. Even though the new Xbox will hit stores by the end of this year, the Xbox 360 is still getting a couple of exclusive games. First up, is the hugely popular online game World Of Tanks, which will be available for free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. World of Tanks is a multiplayer game that puts you in control of some of the world’s most powerful tanks and pits you against other players in upto 15 vs. 15 player battles. It’s been completely redesigned and optimized for the Xbox 360.
Second, is a platformer called Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, which looks a lot like a Pixar movie. It follows a boy named Max, who goes to another world after his wish for his little brother to go away comes true. Other than these exclusives, a couple of great games are still up for release, which include Dark Souls II, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and the much awaited Grand Theft Auto V.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V is the tenth entry into the critically acclaimed Metal Gear series and will hit the Xbox One in addition to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PC. The long running and often extremely hard to understand Japanese franchise’s debut on the next generation will be the first time it adopts an open world style of gameplay, and is set in 1984. Though not an exclusive, it is a pretty big announcement considering how big the franchise is.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Back in E3 2011, Crytek, developer of the Crysis series announced a new game powered by Kinect called Ryse. It looked very promising, and was supposed to be one of Xbox 360’s exclusive titles, but never saw the light of day. Fast forward to E3 2013, and we got a proper glimpse at what is now called Ryse: Son of Rome, an Xbox One exclusive launch title. Following more or the less the same concept, Ryse: Son of Rome is a third person action game that follows a famous Roman General fighting against barbarians. The footage shown was very impressive and really felt next gen.
Long time Microsoft collaborator Rare Ltd., makers of classics such as Battletoads, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark and more announced that one of their most famous games, Killer Instinct, would be rebooted for the Xbox One. The first Killer Instinct was released for SNES back in 1995 and was a smash hit. Not much was revealed about the release date, but it’s sure to be an exclusive, which is great news for fighting game fans.
The Upload Studio and Sharing Capabilities of the Xbox One
Since it’s been billed as a social and connected console, it just wouldn’t do if the Xbox One didn’t have some kind of editing studio, would it? A tool called Upload Studio was unveiled, which allows players to capture and edit their game montages with templates, then share them with friends in a matter of minutes. The Game DVR on the Xbox One would always capture game footage, so you can jump into the Upload Studio to share anytime. Also included is Twitch integration, which allows players to livestream their game as well as allow viewers to comment and discuss about it.
Insomniac Games has always been in the Sony camp, and made great games from the Resistance, Ratchet & Clank and Spyro series. This time around, the CEO of Insomniac Games announced that it is developing a new exclusive IP for the Xbox One called Sunset Overdrive. The short trailer showed off a very cartoonish open world shooter with parkour, zombies, crazy weapons and huge explosions embellished with onomatopoeia. In short, it looks very interesting and fun, and should be a worthy addition to the roster of exclusive Xbox One games. It’s also powered by the cloud and called a “living world game”, although it’s not been made clear in what way.
Forza Motorsport 5
Although it was already shown off at the Xbox One reveal event, Forza Motorsport 5 made another appearance at the press conference, and even included a gorgeous McLaren P1 on the stage. This time around not only was gameplay footage shown, which is stunning, but the new drivatar was detailed and branded the “end of AI”. This unique new feature powered by the cloud learns your driving style, understands and adapts it when you are offline so that the virtual you can still be available to race with friends and family. Your drivatar also earns points which count towards your stash, and makes it possible for every opponent to be unique and replicas of real people’s driving style, instead of plain old static AI. In summary it’s like an evolving AI that adapts to the player. Pretty neat!
Minecraft: Xbox One Edition and Below
Perhaps the most addictive yet least demanding game of this generation, Minecraft is making its way to Microsoft’s new console and will feature more multiplayer options and bigger worlds. It’s almost the flagship of indie game developers, and Microsoft is trying to bring them to the forefront by releasing it. Along with Minecraft, a new indie game called Below will also be an Xbox One exclusive. Apart from a short teaser, nothing much was shown though.
A really interesting part of the conference was the announcement of Project Spark, a game cum game development tool that lets you create worlds and games with the game within a matter of minutes. In the demonstration, the Kinect and Smartglass was used in unison to create a small village being attacked by goblins. The interesting part is that the Kinect accepted voice input for major terrain changes, while the Smartglass enabled device was used to fine tune it via touch. It allows you near total control of the environment and AI, and lets you even add behaviors to a rock. A nearby rock was made a simple pet, then a battle companion, and finally into a rock giant to aid in battle. The world itself was changed on the fly and AI adapted to it. Finally, a couple of very different looking demoes were shown which were made by people given time with Project Spark. It looks really very interesting and should really thrive with community content.
Another exclusive title that was just teased at the Xbox One reveal was shown running in real time and looked really good. Quantum Break, from Remedy Entertainment, makers of Max Payne and Alan Wake, is a unique third person action game that deals with time manipulation and integrates a TV show with the game. Your decisions in the game will affect how the story and the show will pan out, so that probably explains the live action part at the reveal last month. The TV show concept isn’t very clear, but it does sound fascinating, and we reckon it’s a bunch of live action scenes shot specifically for the games that will be shown to players interspersed with the game depending on their decisions.
Xbox Live redesign and changes
Since the Xbox One is more connected to the internet and is supposed to be an all in one entertainment device, it was announced that a single Xbox Live Gold membership can be used by multiple people, which is good news for a family with multiple gamers. Plus, Microsoft Points are finally being done away with and replaced with local currencies, a long awaited change. Much of the Xbox Live experience will be changed to bring it in sync with Xbox One’s features and the best part for Xbox 360 owners is that from July 1st until the Xbox One release, every new and existing Xbox Live Gold member will get 2 games (decided by Microsoft) for free every month, to keep.
Battlefield 4 and Crimson Dragon
Also not particularly a surprise, Battlefield 4 was shown off and an ingame demo looked pretty good, running on the new Frostbite 3 engine. Technical difficulties aside, Battlefield 4 looks promising and it won’t be an Xbox One exclusive, but a DLC called Second Assault will make its way to the Xbox One before any other platform.
The oft delayed spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series, Crimson Dragon made a brief appearance in a soundless demo too. Fans of the series will be happy to know that it will finally release on the Xbox One and you can control dragons using the Kinect sensor.
Dead Rising 3
Capcom’s frantic and fun zombie slaying third person action game was announced as an Xbox One exclusive along with a fairly long gameplay demo. It didn’t look particularly impressive, but there was a huge number of zombies on screen getting annihilated in many trademark Dead Rising fashion, so that’s probably what you’d care about. The ability to combine items and weapons into stronger weapons makes a return here, but otherwise there’s isn’t much else to write home about. Let’s hope that something truly next gen is included by the time it releases.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher series is one of the truly mature games on the market today. CD Projeckt Red’s epic roleplaying saga was announced for the Xbox One with completely open world gameplay as well as Kinect and Smartglass integration. Apart from looking better than its predecessors, The Witcher 3 is said to support voice commands to cast spells or use items, and Smartglass enabled devices can be used to gain vital information and tips while playing. This series was always known as something of a system killer on PC, so it will be interesting to see how it performs on the Xbox One.
The trailer started out without being named, a hooded figure walked across a desert and stopped at a precipice. Suddenly the ground started shaking and a massive flying vessel rose out of the sand, while the figure held out a battered dog tag and the hood came off, revealing the one and only Master Chief. The teaser closed with just the name “Halo”, without any number attached and a prospective release of 2014. Bonnie Ross, the head of 343 Industries took the stage and announced the next generation Halo, running at a full 60 fps, which will hit stores sometime next year but didn’t clear up the confusion of the naming convention. This Halo fan is certainly waiting for more information about the new Halo game.
The last game to be shown at the Microsoft E3 2013 Press Conference was the earlier leaked Titanfall, from Respawn Entertainment, a new studio made up of former Call of Duty developers. It’s a first person shooter in which you get to fight both on foot, as well as in huge MechWarrior like robots called Titans. The gameplay trailer looked interesting, but gave off a very Call of Duty vibe, which is understandable given the studio’s history. Our only gripe is that it didn’t look or feel very next gen, but considering it’s aiming for a Spring 2014 release, there will probably be a whole load of changes and improvements.
Price and release
The Xbox One is priced at 499$ and will launch in 21 countries this November, just in time for the holiday season. It’s 100$ more expensive than what the Xbox 360 launched at and is equal to the price PlayStation 3 was launched at. People who preorder it can get a “Day One Edition” of the console for the same price for a limited time from select retailers that will come with special all black packaging, a limited edition controller and a Day One achievement.
So we finally got to see a whole bunch of games at the Microsoft E3 2013 Press Conference, and the only thing that might leave a bitter taste is the price. Apart from that we think that Microsoft did a great job and there are some really interesting games coming out. Do let us know what you thought of our recap of the Microsoft E3 2013 press conference, does this change your opinion of the Xbox One?