E3: Microsoft Press Conference round-up

xbox-oneAfter annoying many in the gaming community with talk of DRM and 24-hour online requirement ahead of E3, we weren’t sure how Microsoft’s press conference would go down on Monday.

However, they wisely opted to focus on games and offered enough eye candy to enable us to forget their recent bad press, albeit temporarily.

The show started with Hideo Kojima showing off Metal Gear Solid 5, we saw a glimpse of Dark Souls 2 and were treated to gameplay footage of Ryse: Son Of Rome, although the abundance of quicktime events weren’t popular.

News that the classic combo-heavy 2D fighter Killer Instinct is returning to Xbox One received cheers and applause, as did the appearance of a McLaren sports car on the stage for the Forza Motorsport 5 announcement. The game’s new driveatar feature does away with the old AI system and allows it to learn your driving style and behaviour and mimicking it for others to race against even when you’re not playing yourself.

XBox Live is set for improvement, with Smart Glass and Smart Match shown off and news that there will no longer be a 100-friend limit, Microsoft Points will become a thing of the past and XBox Live Gold sharing for households.

E3 wouldn’t be the same without Master Chief and Microsoft didn’t disappoint, offering a reveal trailer for Halo 5 and claims that the new game “will take you on a new journey in the Halo universe beginning in 2014.”

“When can we get our hands on an XBox One?” I hear you ask. It’ll be available for $499/£429 in November. That’s a 34% markup for the UK – not popular, but not surprising either.

The conference closed with the first look at Titanfall, a futuristic, multiplayer-only shooter, coming in 2014. Oh and it’s another XBox exclusive, as Microsoft look to go head to head against Sony with new consoles for the first time. We’re looking forward to seeing what the PS4 has to offer later today…

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