As expected, Microsoft packed its E3 2014 Media Briefing, not with talk about being the all-in-entertainment system for every member of the family, but with timed exclusive content, games coming only to Xbox and games coming to the Xbox One as part of the ID @ Xbox Program.
In addition to Halo 5: The Guardians, a mashup of Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4, today Microsoftformally announced a ton of titles and exclusives coming to its consoles this year and next year.
As far as games with timed exclusive content there’s the content coming to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Evolve and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Users who purchase these games on either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 can expect roughly the same experiences, it’s just that Xbox users will get the opportunity to purchase add-on DLC before anyone else.
Then there were the exclusives. Lately Microsoft has been talking about nothing else but Sunset Overdrive, the Sonic-like game that drops users in a city overrun by zombies. That continued during today’s event, but Microsoft also talked heavily about Forza Horizon 2, its upcoming arcade racer for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 alike. On the Xbox One users can expect Forza Horizon 2 to run at 1080p feature day and night cycles, include a whooping 200 cars and allow them to create their own online driving clubs. Of course, the Drivatar system that first debuted in Forza 5 will reappear in this title too. Forza Horizon 2 will arrive on store shelves on September 30th.
Fable Legends for Xbox One is getting a multiplayer beta sometime this fall. None of the footage Lionhead Studios showed off during today’s press event looked all that new, but Fable is a franchise that’s had some pull with console buyers in the past.
Microsoft even showed Kinect 2 users some love with new footage for Disney Fantasia and Dance Central Spotlight. Both games will début later this year and developer Harmonix insists that it’ll be able to provide new songs regularly to Dance Central Spotlight buyers. Dance Central Spotlight won’t be coming to Xbox One owners on disc. Instead it will be a download only title.
Later on in the media briefing Microsoft focused on titles coming in the future. It was the first to show off Rise of Tomb Raider, which won’t arrive for Xbox One and other console owners until 2015. It also announced that the Xbox One would get downloadable content for The Division before anyone else. Again, that’s not coming until Holiday 2015.
Independent developers got their chance to shine too. Besides the mobile blockbuster Threes coming to the Xbox One, Microsoft also showed a sizzle reel filled with coming independently developed titles. They included Playdead Azez, Knight Squad, White Night, EarchLock, Cuphead, Lifelless Planet, Slash Dash, FRU, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Might Number 9, Grave, Threes, Woolfe, IDARB, Hellraid and Below.
It close the entire with two games. First was Scalebound, a fighting game that apparently heavily features dragons and humans teaming up to defeat enemies. The company closed the show with a CGI trailer for a new rendition of Crackdown, but provided very little information about the game on stage.
All told, it wasn’t a bad showing from Microsoft. The company kept is word in delivering wall-to-wall games coverage. That being said the question becomes what other tricks Microsoft must have up its sleeve. it didn’t announce a single thing related to the Xbox One’s software aside from an Achievements that’ll track users progress in real-time. As such, it looks like we’re going into the holiday season completely blind about new features that are on the way.