Microsoft didn’t present at last year’s Gamescom but this year the company’s changed its tune. With a new console coming out, it’s not surprising that Microsoft made across the pond for this year’s event. Since we weren’t able to watch the conference live, we’ve summarized the pertinent news for you. The 2 biggest revelations from the event seem to be good and bad.
Good: FIFA 14 will be free with Xbox One pre orders! I’m guessing this is an offer in Europe and not in North America. There’s certainly an audience for FIFA in the states, but it’s absolutely massive in Europe.
Bad: Still no release date for the Xbox One.
That last bit seems kind of surprising, a lot of folks were expecting a release date from Microsoft today. But now that Sony’s cards are on the table, Microsoft has the opportunity to play the situation to its benefit. If Microsoft could drop the Xbox One a week before Sony’s Nov. 15th (in the U.S.) release of the PS4, it could get a critical jump-start on the Holiday season. But recent launch delays point to potential supply line issues for Microsoft’s newest console. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft plays this.
Microsoft underlined its commitment to bringing more social aspects to Xbox One gaming. At its event Microsoft presenters touted new features such as trending games, recommendations, editor picks, special achievements and challenges. Also, Xbox users will be able to simply share gameplay footage online.
Also focused on was Xbox Live Cloud processing which will take some of the processing burden off of the console. Games like Call Of Duty: Ghost even quicker and smoother on Xbox One. There will be dedicated servers for Xbox One COD players.
Microsoft showed off some incredible Ryse: Son of Rome footage at its E3 event and it dropped the multiplayer at today’s Gamescom presentation. It looks like a bloody good time. Multi platform Tom Clancy title, The Division will launch on the Xbox One with exclusive content. Fable: Legend was announced, and the word around the interwebs is that it looks amazing. The launch lineup is shaping up to be very impressive.
After much criticism of its closed policies for Indy development, Microsoft recently pulled a 180 with a renewed focus on nurturing independent development on the Xbox One. At its event today, Microsoft detailed the ID@Xbox program will support and showcase Indy Xbox One developers. All registered developers will be given two free Xbox One development kits, full access to all features – such as Kinect compatibility, and the entire Xbox Live toolset including: Xbox SmartGlass, multiplayer support, Achievements and Gamerscore. This is a great move by Microsoft and could usher in a new renaissance of Indy content for the Xbox One.
By far the biggest news of the relatively low-key event was Microsoft’s announcement that FIFA 14 will be coming free with pre orders of the Xbox One. With the slogan, “Football has a new home on the Xbox.” Microsoft announced the freebie as well as exclusive FIFA content on the Xbox One, allowing you to play with the “Sporting Legends of Yesterday.”
So there you have it. Like Sony, Microsoft was mostly just showcasing games it had already announced. The ID@Xbox program is very promising and huge step in the right direction from the Xbox team. Otherwise, without any more concrete information about the Xbox One’s release, FIFA was the hero of the day!