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Gamescom 2014: Microsoft Conference Recap

Microsoft took to the stage earlier in Germany at Gamescom in what is fast becoming one of the most important video game events of the year. Growing more every year, many developers are shunning E3 in favor of announcing new games at this show instead, especially those games made by or catered more for the European audience. Microsoft’s conference featured many interesting announcements and new details on upcoming titles so let’s cover the biggest stuff from the show.
What will probably be the biggest news from the entire show is that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the upcoming sequel to the popular reboot, will be an Xbox exclusive. Very surprising news as it was widely talked about that the previous game had undersold expectations, despite being available on multiple platforms. Microsoft must have made an offer Square Enix couldn't refuse to snap up this huge franchise as an exclusive to go with it’s huge array of upcoming exclusives which is really putting Sony to shame right now.

The big Halo news is that the Halo Channel will be launching on Xbox One and PC later this year. It will be where players can view all sorts of Halo related content including the upcoming Halo: Nightfall TV series. New gameplay from The Master Chief Collection was shown off and it looks prettier than ever and news that you’ll be able to earn some cool things in the Halo 5 beta which will carry over to the main game.
Quantum Break finally showed off a full live demo of gameplay and the game looks stunning. Very much the natural progression from Remedy’s previous games, the new mechanics look very interesting while the fundamental mechanics of a third person shooter look solid and I think it’s the best looking game on the Xbox One so far.

Multiple bundles were announced including a special Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare console with a 1TB hard drive, a white Xbox One with Sunset Overdrive and a EU exclusive FIFA 15 bundle, with Xbox continuing to have exclusive access to Legends on FIFA 15 Ultimate Team.

Other smaller news was a new Assassin's Creed Unity trailer, DLC for Evolve will come to Xbox platforms first, confirmation that GTA Online progress from Xbox 360 and PS3 will carry over to Xbox One when the game launches (same as on PS4) and a whole heap of indie titles coming including the infamous Goat Simulator.

Most notably the focus was entirely on games, continuing from where they left off at E3. Kinect was nowhere to be seen and the amount of exclusives coming in the next 18 months might be the most we’ve ever seen for any Xbox platform in that period of time. After the disaster of last year, it seems like Microsoft really are turning things round in the best way possible and Sony will need to start announcing some big exclusives very soon to keep up.


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