Microsoft aren't messing about when it comes to Xbox One exclusives, and they've got an early foot in the door. Following a strong start last Christmas, they've secured a fearsome suite of big games from shooters to racers, platformers, dancing games, Kinect showcases, insane open worlds and even a radical new editing suite powered by user-generated content.
Though we'll have to wait and see whether they actually live up to the hype, here are the hottest exclusives slated for 2014 along with the European release dates for your calendar.
"Gone are the artificial walls and fences of the first game, with barriers placed far more realistically this time around. If you want to fashion yourself a shortcut in a race, the chances are that you can. If you want to veer off the beaten track and tear up a vineyard, you absolutely can. Wooden fences are there to be smashed in the name of curiosity, the European countryside a canvas on which you can paint a petrol masterpiece. But the roads themselves real natural rather than purposefully crafted , and it's clear that Playground have done their research." - Forza Horizon 2 hands-on previewClick here to read more...
CDKeys are currently selling 12 months of Xbox LIVE Gold Membership for £22.99, but if you go over to their Facebook page and give them a "Like" you can get that price dropped even further down to £21.84.
Nice spot Eden0032!
Last time GC had the controller this cheap it sold out fast, so be sure to get on this if you missed out last time. Sure, only the most hardcore Titanfall fan could call this anything other than hideous, but at least it's easier to pick out as your own pad at a glance during a local multiplayer session. This is just a paint-job, underneath is still the excellent official Xbox One controller. GC's recent deal is over a tenner cheaper than anywhere else on the net too. Note: you can get the original black controller for £34.85 at Amazon.
Thanks to darioredkin at HotUkDeals.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has spent the last few months reforming the Xbox One's image through a series of high-profile U-turns. Or, to put it another way, scraping the last slimy traces of Don Mattrick off the Redmond office walls. Kinect became optional, Xbox Live Gold dropped its entertainment paywall and the focus shifted from nebulous entertainment content to being "all about the games."
Today brings us the news that this cycle is almost complete as Microsoft plans to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios, sadly as part of the largest round of layoffs in company history.Click here to read more...
A decade ago I'd have laughed in your face if you suggested that thousands of gamers would willingly pay to play unfinished games, but here we are. Alpha funding is now a big deal and a very good thing too in the main, allowing small studios to get investment, community and publicity while letting us into the development cycle first-hand. Huge advantages for everyone involved, despite the increasingly hefty drawbacks of a system that enables unscrupulous liars to make bank and buries quality Steam software under a mountain of utter crap.
It's clear that Early Access (alpha funding by any other name) is still undergoing some growing pains on PC, but developers and hardware manufacturers are now calling for a similar system to be implemented on home consoles. To be perfectly honest, I'm not convinced they're entirely ready yet.Click here to read more...
Only the most hardcore Titanfall fan could call this anything other than hideous, but at least it's easier to pick out as your own pad at a glance during a local multiplayer session. This is just a paint-job, underneath is still the excellent official Xbox One controller. Game Collection's recent deal is a tenner cheaper than anywhere else on the net too. Note: you can get the original black controller for £34.85 at Amazon.
Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.
Because this is actually happening.Click here to read more...
Today's hot-button controversy didn't take long to emerge, courtesy of eagle-eyed gamers who alleged that Xbox One demos for FIFA 14 and UFC now carry a £3.99 price tag.
Surely that could't be true? Eager to find out and discovering nothing untoward on the browser marketplace, I fired up my Xbox One and...
Oh. Cue some fairly understandable accusations of gaming's emergent bogeyman getting up to their old tricks in new ways... though this time, they're probably on the level about falling victim to an Xbox Live error beyond their control.
And, erm, I also need to find my DSLR.Click here to read more...
Base are a few quid cheaper for a spare official Xbox One controller. Yes, it's still bloody expensive, but at least they're cheaper than the PS4 pads which are £40. Admittedly, there aren't many games that feature local multiplayer, so you may be better off buying a play and charge kit kit instead. But if you've got some mates coming round you'll need one of these to play multiplayer for the likes of Killer Instinct, Lego Hobbit, FIFA 14 or maybe even Tekken X Street Fighter in the distant future.
Kinect may now be optional, but its voice commands and automatic user recognition really do bring a huge amount to the Xbox One user experience. Better yet, you can get an Xbox One console and its depth sensor for less than you'd now pay for just the base unit itself. Thanks to levy @ HUKD!
If you're looking to pick up a spare Xbox One controller, or perhaps plug one into your PC via any regular Micro USB cable, Base.com are shifting them at a very reasonable £33.00. We've only seen it this cheap once before courtesy of Tesco's new customer voucher code. You'll even get a pack of four batteries, which is nice. Thanks to Poch @ HUKD!
For those of you who really don't want a Kinect with your Xbox One, GameSeek are the cheapest around for the solus model of the console. The price will surely drop (or we'll see some nice bundles) at select retailers around Xmas, but if you're after a new console for the summer, this might be the best price we'll see. With exclusives like the Halo Collection and Sunset Overdrive coming later this year, you won't want to be left out.
Platform: Xbox One (£7.99)
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
I see what you did there, Capcom. After years of releasing 'super' and 'arcade' editions of games we already own, not to mention bucketloads of deeply questionable DLC, it's time to poke a little fun at yourselves while making amends for Dead Rising 3's calamitous season pass. Half fan service brawler, half 80s retro reference and all slightly-too-forced self parody, this colourful slice of content turns the game into a four-player hack and slasher. A bit like Streets Of Rage or Final Fight, perhaps, only with hundreds of zombies and an M. Bison boss the size of an office block.
It's galling that Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha is still technically "on-disc DLC," mind, since the files are included in the latest mandatory 4GB title update. You've just swapped a physical CD for the hard drive, Capcom; making everyone who owns the game download the content then charging to unlock it. An improvement, except that we've only got 500GB to play with and you should ask our permission before taking up valuable space with stuff we might not want.
Never mind though, because I just dressed Frank West up as Mayor Haggar, teamed up with Nick Ramos in a sexy Felicia outfit and made lots of dead things even deader. Arcade Remix may not be subtle or particularly deep, but it sure is fun when you get some mates involved.Click here to read more...
We've been talking a lot about this ridiculous notion of "who won E3?" as if there's some objective way of determining a victor from a series of press conferences. We could say that Microsoft's was the tightest, EA had nothing really to show and Hardline unfortunately leaked, Ubisoft gave us another year of the Aisha Tyler experience, Sony bookend a superfluous hour of fluff with some really good reveals, and Nintendo brought the whimsical charm in a way that only Nintendo can.
Seriously, that Nintendo Direct was pure fan service.
But trying to analyse these things objectively is super boring, and we have to talk about things like "the mechanics of the perfect presentation" and waffle on about pacing and procedure and there are line graphs (not even brightly coloured pies FFS!) and it's like sitting through that EA presser all over again. "Who won E3?" is not a question that should or even can be answered objectively. We're all different people with different tastes in games, looking for different things from this carnival of interactive entertainment.
My outlook going into E3 was simple: I wanted things to be excited for this year. I wanted Microsoft and Nintendo to give me reasons for investing in their consoles this year. I wanted EA and Ubisoft to make me hyped for October, November, and December, and I wanted Sony to capitalise on their start to this generation with a strong end of year line up. To be honest, all of those happened to a certain extent, but on the basis of my criteria going in, my own personal winner of E3 this year is a no-brainer.
It's Microsoft.Click here to read more...
Well the press conferences (and one pre-recorded Nintendo Direct) have come and gone, and in this special edition of Game Buzz, we pick apart the showing from all five big cheeses at this year's E3, and give a little insight into some of our personal highlights of the show thus far.
We'll nominate our winners and losers of the show thus far, before dropping the answer to the biggest and most redundant question of them all -- who won E3 2014?
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
The Xbox Media Briefing for this year is done and dusted, and we'll be bringing you some detailed looks at some of the games announced over the next few days. We'll have a jam-packed Game Buzz for you tomorrow, dealing with all of the reveals from today, but here are some immediate reactions from the team and the community on Microsoft's presser...
I'm buying an Xbox One.
Back in Saturday's Game Buzz, I basically said that all I needed to be sold on Microsoft's console this year would be a Christmas Halo experience that at worst provided a legacy collection of old maps, wrapped up in the rumoured Master Chief Collection, or a Halo 5 beta that might give us a glimpse of things to come. As it turns out, we're getting both. For $59.99.
This was the best press conference that Microsoft had conducted in years, helmed by a humble-yet-effusive Phil Spencer who promised 90 minutes of games, games, games, and then stepped aside after a quick thank you to the Xbox faithful to deliver on that promise. You could argue that Microsoft played it fairly safe, but I'd posit that Spencer and his team know the Xbox audience, and how they want to expand that. I can't criticise MS for opening with Call of Duty because, frankly, a vast majority of those tuning in will have been dying to know which platform will see the COD treats first this year. That it's still the Xbox One is important to all parties.
But what impressed me was the variety. Sunset Overdrive injected some real energy into things, and you could see Ted Price was visibly hyped. I still believe that Fuse was a blip rather than the road ahead for Insomniac, and every time I see more Sunset Overdrive that feeling is reinforced. There were a few too many multiplatform titles for my liking in all honesty, but the indie montage held some absolute crackers, the Tomb Raider reveal was excellent, and The Division is looking pretty special too.
Bringing the house down with Platinum's Scalebound and Crackdown, though, was a brilliant finish. Microsoft have always been unfortunate in that they have to kick things off. Everyoine's a bit looser, a bit more relaxed and settled and possibly hyped by the time Sony rolls around. But this was an emphatic showing across 90 minutes. Simple, straightforward, and yes, fairly safe...but it packed a punch and delivered in a way Microsoft's media briefings have frequently failed to do.
And it made me want an Xbox One. Badly.Click here to read more...
We wanted games last year, and we got...well...we got a few. But this is the consolidation show -- it's time for those exclusives and big hitters, Microsoft. We're expecting Halo and Forza, but we're looking out for the surprises too. Microsoft have been snapping up third-party partnerships, now it's time to see them pay dividends. With a new man at the helm, a man of the gamers it would seem, with Kinect dropped and last year's sins forgiven, can Microsoft smash it out of the park as the first to step up to the plate this year?
Let's hope so.Click here for to watch the Microsoft E3 2014 presser live >>
If you're looking to get a second player involved with Killer Instinct or LEGO Marvel Super Heroes... or fancy a new PC controller now that Microsoft has released the drivers... Tesco are currently the cheapest around with their TDX-HQ9T voucher code. The Xbox One controller a lovely piece of kit, though the repositioned bumpers and surprisingly loud impulse trigger motors take a little getting used to.
Remember that you'll need to set up a 'new' account for the voucher code to work - you can just use all the same details but with a new email address. Thanks to Chanchi32 @ HUKD!
Having a cheeky pre-E3 holiday was a great idea. Well, aside from the lack of internet, being awake for the last 36 hours, still having sand from the Aegean in my hair and suffering from regular twitchy lucid flashbacks of that spider that invaded my apartment one night.
But it’s the day before the biggest day in any gamers’ calendar and now that I’m no longer at the mercy of Wi-Fi powered by stray cats on a treadmill, I thought I better chuck in my Day zero predictions as the rest of the team have done for Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft at E3 2014. Enjoy! I’m off to check my bed for spiders as big as my face.
I’m fully expecting God of War and Uncharted to smash my socks off tomorrow night with on-stage gameplay demos. If these massive names don’t appear, I think many PS4 owners are going to join me in feeling pretty damn pissed. It’s high time Sony stopped going on about how nice they are bringing indie games to PS4 and started showing gamers something that really pushes their hardware to the limit.
Naturally, I’d like to see some innovative titles announced for the Project Morpheus VR headset, along with a list of third-party developers that are working on specific games or adding compatibility for it. Some solid details on pricing or a release date would be nice too.
I share a concern with some of my colleagues though, in that it’s looking like more and more of Sony’s killer games are bound for 2015. We really need something big for the Xmas rush instead of leaving it up to the usual suspects of FIFA, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty – not that I can’t wait to play all of them too.
I can see the Vita barely getting a shout to be honest, aside from a new bundle with the PS4, or maybe we’ll see a western release of the Vita TV hardware. We’ve been saying it for years though, where are the system-selling games for this incredibly powerful machine? I’ve been crossing my fingers for another Uncharted game on the Vita for so long that my hands are starting to resemble pretzels.
Anticipated Highlight – Kevin Butler marking a return by tearing onto the stage on a motorbike to announce Road Rash for the PS4.
Want to hear more of my thoughts about Sony at E3? Then check out my feature, The Sunday Seven: Ways for Sony to Win E3 2014.Click here to read my predictions for Microsoft, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft.
E3 is almost upon us. Across Monday and Tuesday we'll be bombarded with sublime rhetoric and a dazzling array of shiny images as the biggest names in the business wheel out their biggest guns.
Naturally, we're asking the
least most important question of all: Who's going to win?
That's right, folks. We weigh up the chances of Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo and chat about what we reckon we'll be seeing from all five, and what each of them need to do to blow us away. Then we transform into tentacular psychic octopuses and whip out our crystal balls and shit gets real.
Let's do this!
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.