Microsoft fired the first shot of E3 Monday morning, showcasing a steady stream of new games and features coming to its Xbox One and, as predicted, avoiding details on the potential pitfalls of the always-online, Big Brother-like policies everyone is speculating about. Most notably, the company announced a November launch and a price point of $499, skirting rumors for now of a subscription-based subsidized package and opening the door for preorders with its “Day One Edition.”
Xbox 360 got a spotlight moment as well, shown off with a third redesign, more compact and similar to its new brother. Microsoft also promises continued support for the 360 for the foreseeable future.
The company continues to promote its attention toward smart device integration via its SmartGlass app, and will use an integrated Twitch app to compete with the Playstation 4′s video sharing feature.
Speaking of Playstation features, Xbox SVP Yusuf Medhi announced a free-game feature for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, kicking off July 1. Sony’s Playstation Plus service has offered a similar feature since last year, set up as a Netflix-like library of games to download on demand for no additional charge called Instant Game Collection. Microsoft aims to release two games per month moving forward, among them Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3.
In addition to hardware details and new online features, several new IPs (green) were announced alongside a few AAA sequels (red):
- Forza Motorsport 5
- Dead Rising 3
- Untitled Halo Sequel (Presumably Halo 5)
- Battlefield 4
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Quantum Break
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Project Spark
- Sunset Overdrive
- Crimson Dragon
- Untitled Project from Black Tusk
Also announced were an updated version of Minecraft, a Windows-exclusive Halo title and a consolized version of World of Tanks.
Details are still unclear about online connectivity and the requirement of the Kinect 2.0, and with Microsoft canceling its media roundtable and individual interviews with the press, chances are the company itself is still evaluating the final execution of these features or at the very least wants Sony to show its hand in regard to similar features.
Stay tuned to Fate of the Game for more breaking info on E3.