Gamescom 2014: All things Microsoft

Gamescom 2014 has seen the latest in announcements for big titles, console bundles, game trailers and exclusives. This year, Microsoft’s press conference showed that the Xbox One is actually going to be a games console with multiple announcements for exclusive content and hardware updates which has pushed a lot of the entertainment aspect to the side.
I’ve put together a list of all the important stuff that has come from Microsoft.

The Big Announcements

I think the biggest thing to come out of Gamescom so far was that the next installment of the Tomb Raider franchise dubbed Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an Xbox exclusive when it launches in 2015. It’s not confirmed whether or not this will be permanent for future games but it’s an excellent pick up for Microsoft. The Tomb Raider reboot in 2013 lead to it being one of the best games of the year and made Xbox owners excited to see what could be coming in the near future. I wish it would have said Microsoft exclusive instead of just Xbox though as this could mean that it won’t be coming to PC. Where will we get those amazing hair physics now?!
Halo 5
It looks like Halo 5: Guardians will be changing it’s multiplayer functionality a little. Don’t get too shocked, it’s still a futuristic FPS but it will be focused on a more competitive style of gameplay that was seen in some of the early Halo games. 343 Industries’ Josh Holmes said, “The focus of the beta is going to be 4v4 arena gameplay.” With the added fair start feature coming back it means the load-outs from previous games will be removed and everyone will start with the same weapons. The Halo 5 Guardians beta will run from December 29 to January 18th and will include 7 maps, 3 modes, 11 weapons and 7 different armor sets to customise all while running on glorious 60fps.
Additionally 343 Industries has revealed The Halo Channel for Xbox One. This channel will be used as a hub for watching highlight videos, Halo: Nightfall, pro player streams and behind-the-scenes videos. The Halo Channel is set to launch at the end of 2014.

Xbox Bundles

Four Xbox One console bundles have been announced at Gamescom showing off the different styles of gaming machine you can have (woo, customisation).
The biggest of the three bundles is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle which is set to be released on November 3rd for $500. While it seems to be lacking the Kinect this beast of a machine will include a whopping 1TB hard drive (amongst other things) and will be encased in a custom Advanced Warfare look. There are also rumours going around that the console will feature custom sound effects also but this has not been confirmed. The console will also contain a code for the digital code for the “Day Zero” edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It is unsure that this bundle will be coming to Australia, but if it is, the “Day Zero” equates to what many PC gamers know as pre-loading because it’s going to take 24hrs to download the game, rendering the “Head Start” null.
Microsoft has also announced that the previous revealed white Xbox One is now going to be released to the public in the form of the Sunset Overdrive bundle. Previously this variation was only available to Microsoft employees, but it seems the console bundle is already available for pre-order from retailers such as Amazon for $400. With the lower price tag it also seems that this version will be without the Kinect sensor. The bundle comes with a digital copy of Sunset Overdrive and will also come with all of the Day One exclusive content planned for the game.
The last two bundle releases are for FIFA and Madden NFL 15 which will be the basic version of the console (sans Kinnect) and will contain download codes for their respective games. These will be available on launch for $400 but it seems that the bundle availability is solely for Europe (FIFA) and America (Madden) with no further announcements for other areas.

The New Stuff!

Zoo Tycoon developers Frontier have announced Screamride, a new IP that depicts roller coaster-filled cities see citizens smashed through skyscrapers. The new IP launches in 2015 exclusively on Xbox.

Microsoft also announced that a few games that will make their debut on the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox initiative. Smite, the 3rd person MOBA featuring mythical gods, will be coming to consoles. Joining Smite are a few other games including the time-bending FPS Superhot, Capybara Games dungeon crawler Below, and a Team 17 published prison break game called The Escapists.
While each of these games are coming to Xbox One it looks like the releases are dubbed as console debuts, meaning they will likely also make their way to PlayStation 4 as well in the near future.
Stay tuned for more content coming out of Gamescom from Sony, EA and more!