E3 2013: The Xbox One is a Gaming Console After All

Xbox  A New Generation Revealed   Xbox.com

Microsoft’s big reveal of its new Xbox One didn’t exactly thrill the hardcore gamer crowd, something reflected on message boards across the internet (as well as Microsoft’s stock price). But the company’s come back swinging with an E3 presentation chock full of gameplay footage and practically no mention of the other features so prominently displayed the first time around.

Yes, Virginia, the Xbox One is a gaming console, and a fairly impressive one with some hot launch titles at that. So read on for my by no means exhaustive recap of Microsoft’s E3 presentation.

First Things First:

The Xbox One will be releasing in 21 markets and will have a price of $499 in the United State, €499 uros in Europe, and £429 pounds in the UK. The precise release date wasn’t given, however it will be released in November 2013. As expected, the new Xbox console will be out for the holidays.

Xbox Live purchases will now be made in the currency of the area you use your Xbox One in. So Microsoft Points are a thing of the past. Also, your friend list in Xbox Live is no longer capped at 100. There will no longer be any limit on the number of friends.

THE GAMES

Alright, the housekeeping’s done, let’s get down to business. After the backlash to its first Xbox One press conference, the folks at Microsoft must have realized this event needed to show some gaming content and a lot of it. The event was showing gameplay footage before anyone even spoke! Here’s a rundown of the titles:

Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain. The game follows Solid Snake to Afghanistan in an open world adventure that looks to continue the series’ signature stealth combat and bats**t insane characters and storylines. The in engine footage was really impressive as well. Afterward Xbox Chief, Don Mattrick and Metal Gear creator, Hideo Kojima briefly shared the stage to uproarious applause.

Ryse: Son of Rome. The trailer for this title was also made nearly completely of gameplay footage and showed the combination of hacking and slashing (and thrusting and stabbing and gutting) along with commanding a phalanx of centurions.

 

Killer Instinct. The beloved Rare arcade (and SNES) fighting title returns! It’s going to be an Xbox One exclusive and we got to see it in action, along with the Mad Katz Tournament Edition Fight Stick. The demonstration also showed off the Upload Video and Twitch (live broadcasting) sharing features built into the One.

 

Dead Rising 3. The new zombie survival title will feature Nick Ramos as its protagonist, and be set in an open world city reminiscent of Los Angeles. The developers promise no load times and an outbreak density comparable to the population of a real city. Anything can be used as a weapon and the popular weapon modification system returns.

 

Titan Fall. This new mech fighter / FPS from Respawn looks potentially incredible. It’s got futuristic style in spades and looks capable of delivering the hardcore death matching the Halo set craves. While yet another instance of “big dude in a powersuit”, this looks pretty cool.

Halo Tease. Microsoft teased with a CG trailer for a new Halo. But there was hardly any more info than that. Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries, who took the Halo reigns over from Bungie, said the new Halo would be out in 2014 and run at 60 frames per second.

 

There was a whole lot more and there are more (admittedly not great) screen grabs in the gallery below. The Sword and Sorcery EP crew is working on a new 2D title, Below. DICE braved a near demo fail to show some explosiony footage of Battlefield 4. Microsoft Studios showed off some more buttery smooth Forza 5 footage. Sega’s Panzer Dragoon team showed off a little footage from Crimson Dragon and CD Projekt showed The Witcher 3 running on the Xbox One.

An unexpected high point for me was Microsoft Studios’ unveiling of Project Spark a wide open game creating platform that uses all of Microsoft’s gimmicks (Kinect, Smart Glass, Voice control) to allow the user some pretty amazing game creation tools. Microsoft Studios’ Dan Mccarthey and Claude Jerome created a whole game world in the space of a few minutes. Think of it like Little Big Planet, but fully 3D and with more violence. Interesting stuff.

 

The focus of this event was the games and Microsoft showed them off with gusto. I’d rather MS took this approach from the get go, but at least the company finally busted out the gameplay footage!

Even the 360 Got Some Love:

Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment, briefly talked about Microsoft’s current console, the Xbox 360. The current gen console will get a next gen makeover, making it look like a little Xbox One. I’m perfectly happy with my slim Xbox 360 S, but maybe they’ll drum up some sales with this. Who knows?

Also, the aging console still has some new properties to carry into its twilight years. World of Tanks was shown, From Software’s Dark Souls II will bring some hardcore hack and slash gameplay, and Press Play’s Max: The Curse of Brotherhood looked like a fun  it of indy platforming. Mehdi also mentioned GTA V, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

It certainly wasn’t the focus, but it’s nice to see that they’ll continue to support the 360.

Final Thoughts:

Like a lot of folks, i was pretty nonplussed by the initial reveal of the Xbox One. Microsoft’s gone a long way toward regaining my interest with today’s event, but I’m not going to say they’ve gotten my $499 just yet. The Xbox One’s launch lineup is impressive and few of these titles really got me pumped, but Microsoft’s online and licensing requirements for used games really bother me. Also, while Microsoft has finally brought the games, their focus on TV and being a media center is just something that doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me and I know other gamers feel the same way.

Sony’s event is tonight at 6 PDT and IntoMobile will be covering it as well. Microsoft impressed, no doubt. Now the ball’s in Sony’s court. So stay tuned!

Please let us know what you think about the Xbox one, Microsoft’s event or anything else related in the comments and check out the screen grabs from the event below!

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