The Xbox One has already been hit with its fair share of criticism even before it arrives on the shelves, with disgruntled fans unhappy about plans to require online check-ins every day and to introduce charges for playing used games.
But, keen to turn the tide of unfavourable opinion, Microsoft has launched an offensive designed to appeal to serious gamers by unveiling a raft of new games at the E3 expo in Los Angeles.
Initially revealed earlier this month, the Xbox one launch focused on the hardware and Microsoft’s new philosophy of providing “the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system”. As a result, gamers were left wondering what was in it for them.
Well, Microsoft has finally answered that by focusing on making E3 “all about the games”.
First to be announced was Metal Gear Solid V, which brings back series hero Snake, now voiced by Kiefer Sutherland.
Following the popularity of the HBO series Rome, comes a new title from Crytek. Ryse: Son of Rome is a visually-stunning fight game based around the conquests of Rome. You play as a commander with a battalion of hundreds under your control.
Rare’s fighting game Killer Instinct is also making a comeback. Developer Double Helix, which is best known for Silent Hill: Homecoming, is bringing Killer Instinct to the Xbox One, featuring characters which studio head Patrick Gilmore described as using “some of the most advanced technology ever in a fighting game”.
Microsoft has also scored something of a coup with Sunset Overdrive, a vibrant open-world shooter from Resistance developer Insomniac which depicts a world that has transformed into a playground-like environment following a catastrophic event.
Forza Motorsport 5 is a petrol head’s dream, an automotive journey featuring the world’s greatest cars and tracks, which both plays and looks real. It cleverly learns your driving style, delivering near-real human behaviour through the power of the cloud.
And, along with the big blockbuster titles was an independent. Minecraft is coming to the Xbox One, with bigger worlds and multiplayer options. Another subterranean themed indie for the Xbox is Below by Superbrother developer Capy
Also showcased at E3 was Remedy’s Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break, a multi-media experience that is both a game and a TV show, with your decisions in the game influencing what you see in the show.
For murder mystery lovers, there is D4 from Deadly Premonition director Swery65. It’s an episodic affair which allows the hero to go back in time to prevent his wife’s murder from ever happening.
Project Spark, a build-your-own fantasy adventure game shows off Kinect’s abilities, with players co-operating to build worlds and fight off enemies.
Crimson Dragon, an aerial warfare game (with dragons) is an Xbox One exclusive and zombie game Dead Rising 3 should satisfy horror fans. For adrenalin junkies, there’s Battlefield 4, a visually impressive military first-person shooter.
And, a new Halo has also been teased for 2014, although no details were given, along with Titanfall, a gutsy futuristic sci-fi first-person shooter.
So, it seems Microsoft has certainly answered its critics when it comes to gaming on the Xbox One. It wasn’t all about Microsoft’s very latest gizmo though. Yusuf Medhi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing and strategy, also announced a new model of the current generation console Xbox 360 which, for those who just can’t wait, is available immediately.
There are also new games for those who want to stick to the 360, including war game World of Tanks and the cartoon platformer Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood.
Microsoft has also revealed a November release date for the new console, clearly designed so that it appears on those all-important letters to Santa, and a price point of £429.