E3 2014: Microsoft news roundup – Master Chief calls on the faithful

Considering the pressure Microsoft faced to banish the demons of last year’s show, the platform holder can probably consider this year’s event a success.

The bumper Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be music to the ears of the Xbox faithful, bundling Halos 1, 2, 3 and 4 into one mammoth HD package including all of the multiplayer content, as well as the single player campaigns. Even those left nonplussed by the Chief will surely be tempted with a release offering such plenties.

New triple-A IP may have been relatively thin on the ground, but an exclusive Platinum game, Scalebound, will please the hardcore – and perhaps sadden those who thought the Bayonetta 2 studio had perhaps nailed its colours to the Wii U mast.

If there was a negative it was probably that there was little here to broaden Xbox’s appeal. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and The Division and very standard fare for the platform, but there’s arguably no harm in that. Microsoft’s big mistake last year was forgetting to service its audience, and those games will definitely do that.

Conker’s odd Project Spark appearance and token Dance Central appearance aside, this was very much about Microsoft trying to tempt back the fans that made Xbox and Xbox 360 the powerhouse platforms they were in the first place.

Crackdown 3 was a highlight, while Fable Legends certainly has the visuals and Sunset Overdrive the personality. Phantom Dust fell short of the hype that led to its reveal – the original was never even released in Europe and the IP is far from cherished.

Microsoft is also sticking with what it clearly believes is a solid strategy in grabbing timed exclusivity on a host of DLC, such as Dragon Age: Origins and COD. And don’t underestimate the strength of that indie game line-up. Sony gets plenty of credit for its indie work but Microsoft presented a great selection from its ID@Xbox program tonight.

The presentation was ended with Phil Spencer vowing that the company would continue to listen to fans and do all it can to deliver the machine they demand. In reality, that is the lesson the company has learned this past year, and if it stays true to that pledge bright times should lay ahead for Xbox One.

The spotlight now turns to Sony at 2am tomorrow morning (which you can watch here). How that pans out will ultimately be the deciding factor in how Microsoft’s performance is measured.

Here’s a roundup of all the news from tonight’s show:

Smartphone hit Threes coming to Xbox One – link
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC to hit Xbox One first – link
Forza Horizon 2 gets release date – link
Four player co-op primed for Assassin’s Creed: Unity – link
Dance Central Spotlight dated for exclusive Xbox launch – link
Sunset Overdrive release date announced – link
Microsoft reveals new title Ori and The Blind Forest – link
Fable Legends and Spoof Capcom Dead Rising 3 DLC get E3 airing – link
Halo: The Master Chief Edition revealed for Xbox One – link
Rise of the Tomb Raider unveiled – link
Limbo dev’s Inside leads Xbox One 2015 indie line-up – link
Phantom Dust returns as Xbox One exclusive – link
Platinum Games shows off new IP Scalebound – link
Crackdown 3 confirmed – link
Dragon Age: Inquisition ‘premier content’ to hit Xbox One first – link

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