May 21 was an important day for Microsoft, as they revealed the Xbox One—an all-new console, complete with a refined controller and Kinect. Today, Microsoft’s E3 briefing at the Galen Center in Los Angeles focused on the next-generation of games coming to the all-encompassing entertainment and games console.
Starting off the briefing was the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The trailer highlighted an all-new gameplay and characters. Microsoft’s President of Interactive Business Don Mattrick took center stage, with Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima in tow. Kojima appeared to be a man a few words, and the following quote proves just that: “Xbox One will make Metal Gear shine.” Mattrick concluded his presentation by saying Microsoft would be offering a lineup of titles for the Xbox One.
Next on stage was Yusuf Mehdi, the senior vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Business. Mehdi’s presentation was dedicated to the Xbox 360, as Mehdi says the console would receive a physical update (a design similar to the Xbox One). This new Xbox 360, Mehdi says, would be available today. Also, Xbox Live Gold members would receive free game downloads after July 1. Xbox Live Gold members would get two free games per month—the starting games would be Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3.
Mehdi said the Xbox 360 isn’t quite obsolete, as he presented three new games coming to the console: Wargaming’s World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition, Denmark-based Press Play’s Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and Namco Bandai’s Dark Souls 2 (released March 2014).
Microsoft Studios’ head Phil Spencer turned the briefing around to focus on the games lined up for the Xbox One. First up was Microsoft Studios and Crytek’s third-person action game, Ryse: Sons of Rome. A live-action gameplay of Ryse introduced a Roman general rallying up his troops and cleaning house against a barrage of enemies. Crytek CEO Cervat Yerli delved more into Ryse: Sons of Rome. The game would run on CryEngine, and is an Xbox One-exclusive launch game.
Amidst the games coming to the Xbox One was an all-too-familiar game that arguably stole the show: Microsoft announced brawler classic Killer Instinct would come to the Xbox One. Killer Instinct is developed by Rare and Double Helix.
Other games that were spotlighted for Xbox One’s launch were: Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive; Turn Ten Studio’s Forza Motorsport 5; an Xbox One version of Minecraft; Remedy’s Quantum Break; Microsoft Studios’ creation-driven game Project Spark, and D4, which is from the creators of Deadly Premonition.
Marc Whitten, corporative vice president of Xbox Live, discussed the next generation of Xbox Live, as well as discussing the Smartglass tablet and Game DVR. Whitten says the Smartglass tablet could be used to start up single-player games or multiplayer matches. This ability was demonstrated through calling up leaderboards, achievements or player information via the Smartglass component for Ryse: Sons of Rome.
Whitten also went on to say players would no longer be limited to 100 friends, and that Microsoft Points would be out. Anyone in one’s household could use Xbox Live Gold features, and outstanding memberships would roll over to Xbox One.
Towards the end of the briefing, attendees also got to look at first-hand gameplays and trailers for the following: Crimson Dragon, a Kinect-based game from Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futasugi; Capcom’s Dead Rising 3; CdProjekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; EA and DICE’s much-anticipated Battlefield 4: Second Assault. There were some technical difficulties at the start of Battlefield 4’s gameplay debut. Spencer also introduced gameplay for developer Capy and Jim Guthrie’s Below, as well as small glimpse of the upcoming game, Black Tusk.
“We are investing in five brand new studios to create next-gen projects,” Spencer says.
343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross retouched on Halo for Xbox One, Spartan Assault for Windows 8, and the Halo TV show.
But the best was saved for the last. Microsoft announced the Xbox One would launch this November for the retail price of $500 in North America. Europe would get the Xbox One for €500, and the United Kingdom would receive theirs for £430. To sign off Microsoft’s E3 briefing, Respawn Entertainment’s CEO Vince Zampella left attendees with Titanfall.