Attendees await the start of Microsoft's Xbox E3 2013 media briefing in Los Angeles on Monday. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)Link
Microsoft Vice President Phil Harrison speaks about the Xbox One console during the company's media presentation ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Michael Nelson / EPA)Link
Phil Spencer, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, speaks during the company's media presentation on Monday, ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)Link
Bonnie Ross, general manager and studio head of 343 Industries, introduces the upcoming "Halo" game during Microsoft's Xbox media briefing on Monday ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)Link
A scene from an upcoming "Halo" video game, shown during Microsoft's media briefing on Monday. ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)Link
Attendees of Microsoft's news presentation watch a demonstration of the upcoming Xbox One game "Ryse: Son of Rome" on Monday ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Michael Nelson / EPA)Link
Attendees of Microsoft's media briefing watch a presentation of "Battlefield 4" on Monday, ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)Link
Phil Spencer, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, speaks during the company's media press presentation on Monday ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)Link
Yusuf Mehdi, a senior vice president at Microsoft, speaks during the company's Xbox media briefing on June 10, 2013, ahead of the E3 expo in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)Link
Dan Greenawalt, developer of the video game Forza Motorsport, speaks during Microsoft's news presentation on June 10, 2013, ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)Link
Attendees of Microsoft's media briefing watch a presentation on "Dead Rising 3" on June 10, 2013, ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)Link
Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi introduces the next installment of "World of Tanks" for the Xbox 360 during the Microsoft's media presentation ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Michael Nelson / EPA)Link
Attendees listen to Microsoft's media presentation on June 10, 2013 ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)Link
Attendees exit Microsoft's news presentation on Monday, ahead of E3 in Los Angeles. (Jonathan Alcorn / Bloomberg)Link
Microsoft on Monday pulled back the curtain on its games coming for the Xbox One, giving glimpses of a number of titles destined for its successor to the popular Xbox 360, including “Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain” as well revealing that a new “Halo” title is coming in 2014.
Xbox One will be released in November and retail for $499. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005 and different editions were priced at $299 and $399 at launch.
As if to temper the sticker shock – the price reveal was the one time Microsoft wasn’t met with cheers at this morning’s news conference – the company sandwiched the news between a brief glimpse of a new, snowy “Halo” scene and the official confirmation of “Titanfall,” the first game from the “Call of Duty” veterans who head Respawn Entertainment.
The retail figure came near the end of a 90-minute news conference held at USC’s Galen Center, one in which Microsoft emphasized action titles, the system’s voice-command interaction and how the Xbox One can play with the company’s Smartglass technology, which integrates mobile phones and tablets into the experience.
A new supposedly precision point Kinect wasn’t detailed Monday.
Microsoft made clear its E3 message when the news event began at 9:30 a.m. “As we’ve been promising,” said Microsoft’s interactive entertainment president Don Mattrick, “it’s all about the games.”
Microsoft announced its Xbox One in late May at an event at Redmond, Wash., campus, at the time emphasizing the system’s new Kinect and cloud-based entertainment features.
“Metal Gear Solid 5” opened the conference with rousing applause from the assembled media and industry types at a packed Galen Center. It also set the tone, as throughout the morning Microsoft emphasized action and sports titles, even bringing out a sports car for “Forza Motorsport 5” to show how closely the Xbox One mimics the look of a real-life vehicle.
Zombies, dragons and Roman Empire sword fights were given next-gen makeovers, as titles such as “Dead Rising 3,” “Crimson Dragon” and “Ryse: Son of Rome” were confirmed for the Xbox One.
“Ryse,” the crowd was told by Microsoft Studios vice president Phil Spencer, is a “visually stunning” game that showed off Xbox One’s new graphical capabilities. Moments later the crowd watched as a sword pierced a torso and brought forth a fountain of blood and multi-toned fireballs drenched the digital landscape.
The long-awaited war game “Battlefield 4” was introduced as a title with exclusive material for Xbox Live. A hectic scene aboard an air craft carrier illustrated its fast-moving land-to-sea combat.
Microsoft showcased some new brands as well, including more of the previously announced “Quantum Break,” which melds filmed action with digital game play. Sam Lake, the creative director for the game’s studio Remedy, said the choices a player makes in the game will create a “personalized view” of a TV show. It wasn’t clear whether the more cinematic aspects would be separate from the game or whether it was one experience.
Microsoft also brought out Insomniac Game, a studio long-associated with Sony titles such as the “Ratchet & Clank” and “Spyro” games. Insomniac is developing an action title called “Sunset Overdrive” for the Xbox One.
While it was more cartoonish than others on display, “Sunset Overdrive” was no less violent. The game included a gun that seemed to behead monsters by firing vinyl records and a weapons-wielding, soda-sipping main protagonist who looks as if he’d rather be surfing.
Studio head Ted Price described it as a “stylized open-world shooter in which the experience can change every day.” The game will rely heavily on Xbox One’s cloud computing capabilities, said Price, as landscapes and gameplay can change based on data analyzed from those who game around the globe.
Fighting title “Killer Instinct 3” was brought out to showcase how Xbox One plays nice with mobile devices. Those utilizing Smartglass could use their tablets as a controller in the combo-heavy game. The arcade-style fighter also illustrated Xbox One’s ability to record gameplay via the system’s DVR and immediately integrate it with services such as Twitch.
Overall this was a pro-Xbox crowd, as this wasn’t the place to answer questions about how the new finger-precision Kinect will work or address concerns over the Xbox One requiring regular online connections to authorize users to play purchased games.
Those looking for less-intense gaming experiences were treated to a few snapshots of indie titles in development. Popular sandbox game “Minecraft” is getting an Xbox One makeover, and perhaps more surprising for indie game fans was the news that “Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery” developers Capybara Games will be bringing a game titled “Below” to Xbox One.
Not much was said about the game, other than it features a soundtrack from composer Jim Guthrie. Microsoft’s Spencer described it as possessing “rogue-like gameplay” and it appears to feature the studio’s trademark retro styling.
For those not yet convinced on upgrading to the Xbox One, Microsoft also promised that its Xbox 360 will continue to have the company’s support, as Microsoft today made available a new edition of the 360 modeled after the Xbox One.
“Hundreds” of new games will be coming to the Xbox 360, pledged Microsoft Interactive senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi. Additionally, beginning July 1, Xbox Live “gold members” will receive two free games per month.
Sony will present its PS4 on Monday evening and throughout the coming week the companies will show off software for its new systems in heavily controlled settings. In the weeks leading up to E3, software publishers sent invite after invite to “unannounced” game demos, asking for coverage but refusing to say for what.
The event unofficially marked the beginning of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, the largest video game trade show in the world. While the E3 doors at the Los Angeles Convention Center won’t open until early Tuesday, heavy hitters such as Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft were holding arena-sized conferences on Monday to get ahead of – and control — the media cycle.
– Todd Martens
Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex
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