E3 2013: Xbox One Priced at US$499, Exclusives Revealed
True to their word, Microsoft’s focus was all games at E3 , stuffing their media briefing full of brand new trailers and announcements. Let’s break down all that excitement into something a little more cohesive.
New Xbox 360 and Free Games
No, there isn’t a price cut. You can, however, get a new Xbox 360 that features the same two-tone design of the Xbox One, presumably making them look great together under your TV.
Rather, the real highlight here is the two free games monthly for Xbox Live Gold members, a “thank you gesture” that’ll run until November. This reaffirms Microsoft’s earlier statements that the Xbox One isn’t out to replace the 360, with “hundreds of new games” on the way. These include World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Dark Souls II.
The redesigned Xbox 360 is priced at US$199.99 for the 4GB console and US$299.99 for the 250GB edition.
The Xbox One Exclusives
Time for what you’ve been really waiting for!
- Ryse: Son of Rome
Crytek finally shows off their epic adventure game after its initial announcement in 2011. The cinematic action adventure game shows the player controlling Roman centurion Marius Titus, leading the XIV Legion into a glorious siege against a barbarian stronghold.
- Killer Instinct
Rare revisits their 1994 arcade fighter with all the announcer gusto you’d expect from the title. The trailer shows off Jago and Sabrewulf facing it off, culminating in a satisfying “Ultimate Combo!”
- Sunset Overdrive
The latest from Insomniac Games, Sunset Overdrive looks like a blend of Ratchet & Clank and Resistance, which makes more sense once you take a look at it. Here’s hoping we’ll see a lot more of that zip-line action in the actual game.
- Forza Motorsport 5
I’d just like to point out they brought an actual McLaren P1 to the stage for the Forza 5 reveal. Yup. As for the game, Turn 10 Studios are bringing in a bunch of changes, including cloud-based AI opponents that aim to simulate real drivers. He says that just as one of the other cars attacks another, so I think they nailed it.
- Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
Honestly, I’m not even sure if this counts. They did say that this version will support larger maps and more online players, so it gets the next-gen branding on that merit I suppose. No word if there’ll be cross-platform support with the 360 edition.
- Quantum Break
After the confusing trailer shown at the Xbox One reveal, Remedy clears the air with this gameplay look at the time-altering phenomenon affecting the game’s world. No live-action bits this time, so we’ll assume that it’ll have a TV tie-in arrangement like Defiance.
Describing itself as an “episodic noir mystery”, D4 also delves with time-related powers. This is just one of many indie games being published under the Microsoft Studios label.
- Project Spark
What started out as just another Kinect game quickly evolved into something that caught us all by surprise. Project Spark is another indie offering that brings to mind words like “LittleBigPlanet” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (the TV series, not the movie). The trailers don’t really do justice as compared to the presentation, though.
- Dead Rising 3
Smashing up zombies with improvised weapons? That concept is far from dead, only this time you’ll get a lot more of everything thanks to the power of the Xbox One. It really looks like a infested city now, with a horde waiting at every corner. Luckily, you can do things like attach a saw to a sledgehammer. Because Dead Rising.
You’ll notice in the trailer that this indie has a bunch of award laurels. It certainly looks and sounds like an award-winner, although the tiny on-screen characters have been getting mixed responses from the gaming community so far. This is by Capybara Games, who’ve previously made the excellent Sword and Sorcery.
Catching us by surprise (or maybe just me, come to think of it) is Halo. It’s unclear whether there’ll be a subtitle for now, but all we really know is that the journey “begins” in 2014. Could this be a prequel or is this some point in the future? Everyone’s wondering why Master Chief is wearing a cloak, too. I’ll bet it’s just the sand – that stuff gets everywhere.
Other Games Featured
The non-exclusives featured were just as exciting. In fact, the very first thing we saw when the show started was a lengthy trailer from Kojima Productions! That’s right, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain opened for Microsoft’s E3 press conference, which leaves the obvious question of what Sony plans to show later on. We got to see a good chunk of gameplay footage and characters named, with director Hideo Kojima closing the presentation on stage.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also made an appearance, protagonist Geralt of Rivia on a journey to save his loved ones. There’s never-before-seen in-game footage which looks deliciously enticing, from panoramic open-world environments to teases of challenging combat. As for Battlefield 4? They’ve got single- and multi-player content out, so you might want to look through them all.
Ending it all with a bang was our very first look at Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment’s debut game. A quick refresher: Respawn is the new studio of Jason West and Vince Zampella, former co-founders of Infinity Ward. You’ll notice some Call of Duty similarities with the UI and player perspective, but everything changed when the Titans fell from the sky. This is definitely a system seller considering the Xbox’s large shooter demographic. (Don’t worry PC gamers, you get Titanfall too.)
Xbox One, Available This Holiday
Priced at US$499, this is the most expensive Xbox to date, putting it near Sony’s PS3 launch prices. It’s an expected price point really, considering the new hardware involved and the fact that it comes bundled with the new Kinect. Consoles are notorious for selling at a loss so Microsoft is eager for gamers to purchase the Day One editions. Unfortunately, we hear that Singapore isn’t in the first batch of countries so there’ll be some delay on our end.
They didn’t announce any changes to Xbox Live membership rates, so that’s something potential owners will have to keep in mind as well. What they did announce is that Microsoft Points will (finally) be replaced with real money denominations and that Xbox Live Gold sharing will be introduced.
We’ll share more information once they’re released, but for now it looks like Microsoft has managed to convince more than a couple of people to pick up the console thanks to its games lineup. Just don’t forget that the Xbox One has its quirks too.