Tagged: Xbox

MS Gamescom 2015 Predictions Review



Following the conclusion of Gamescom 2015 its time to review my predictions for the show, it wasn’t just about the conference so anything else Xbox showed or announced at the Daily Shows or some other capacity will be including in this. Generally I think I did pretty well really:

  • Quantum Break = March 2016 release date, Alan Wake Remastered pre-order bonus available in 2015
    • April release date. No Alan Wake Remastered
  • Scalebound has 4 player co-op, Spring 2016 release date
    • 4 player co-op, holiday 16
  • Crackdown gameplay demo, cloud tech destruction detailed, Holiday 2016
    • Yep, yep and nope, the game is scheduled for Summer 2016
  • Halo 5 LE console, Fifa 16, Tomb Raider and Fallout 4 bundles
    • Halo 5 and Fifa 16 bundles
  • New Halo 5 trailer featuring Master Chief + TR, Forza 6 trailers
    • Trailers for all, although not a Master Chief one
  • Brand new Halo game announced, not made by 343 Industries, begins in 2016
    • Halo Wars 2 made by Creative Assembly, 2016
  • Halo Spartan Strike (finally) announced for Xbox consoles
    • Nope
  • Halo MCC PC port announced
    • Nope


Microsoft’s Gamescom 2015 Predictions


Microsoft’s Gamescom 2015 conference is less than two weeks away, here are my predictions for that and all of Xbox’s other things going on such as Xbox Daily:

I’ll start by detailing what we know will not be present at Gamescom and work from there (per Phil Spencer):

  • Sea of Thieves [Too soon after E3]
  • ReCore [Too soon after E3]
  • Gears of War [Franchise doesn’t release in Germany]
  • Phantom Dust [No developer]

With that in mind, here are my predictions: (more…)

Gears of War 4 E3 Demo thoughts


At E3 2015 Microsoft and The Coalition lifted the lid on Gears of War 4 with a live gameplay demo by studio head Rod Fergusson.

The important take out for me was moving away from their traditional teaser trailers to announce games with and do a gameplay demo on-stage which I think was good move. People told Microsoft they wanted less CGI trailers after Crackdown, Scalebound and Phantom Dust at last years E3 so they showed gameplay and then people complain about what they see when it’s quite early, hilarious.

Black Tusk Studios as they were known when they took over the Gears of War franchise back in January 2014 have worked hard on the game and at E3 represented 17 months worth of development time (if the demo was finished in June) and if it launches in November 2016, it will have another 17 months left in development, so whichever way you look at it we’re pretty much dead on the halfway stage in development, The Coalition have also been working with Splash Damage on Gears of War Ultimate Edition which launches next month. (more…)

Microsoft 2015 E3 Conference Review

A very interesting show for Microsoft that focused mainly on their 2015 releases and the same for their 3rd party partners with a few exceptions. Xbox has by far the best first party line-up for the latter part of the year and this showed in their conference, where it was light was in showing their 2016 line-up with the exception of Gears of Wars 4 and ReCore.


For me the conference was pretty good but a tale of two sections really, Microsoft had a fantastic start with new gameplay for Halo 5 Guardians, a new IP in ReCore and then two big announcements in Backwards Compatibility and the Elite controller then moved on to 3rd party and indie games, and then back to first party games, Hololens and the Gears of War finale. The first half an hour was always going to be hard to match but the second hour didn’t quite get going as much for me although there were some definite highlights.

In terms of actual new announcements of first-party games I was a bit disappointed, we got two brand new games both of which are new IPs: ReCore (Comcept/Armature) and Sea of Thieves (Rare), ReCore was my favourite game of the show so far, the concept is interesting and I’m all about new IPs so it hit the spot perfectly for me I can’t wait to see more which will almost assuredly be Gamescom as its due out in Spring 2016 and the developers said to IGN that we would see more in the next couple of months. (more…)

Black Tusk Studios cancelled new IP: new information and studio timeline


This post has been difficult for me to come up with a suitable title for so I hope the one I have chosen isn’t misleading. I stumbled upon this information and with what I found I have used it to collate a background on The Coalition from start to the most recent announcement of their second name change along with some questioning of Phil Spencer’s statements of what the project was back when the Gears of War acquisition was announced.

Game Designer Alexander Rohn has Black Tusk’s cancelled new IP listed on his website under professional projects, he worked on the game back in at least 2013 but possibly before too given he refers to them as Microsoft Vancouver. There is nothing to specific like plot and gameplay mechanics but it does mention a few things that given us a small clue about the work Black Tusk did on the now cancelled project.

Quite a coincidence to find this information the same week (via a retweet on twitter) as Black Tusk announce a name change to The Coalition and with Rod’s comment on twitter ending pretty much any possibility that they would be working on non-Gears of War projects, if that wasn’t obvious enough already. (more…)

Xvox Podcast Episode 91: Looking Good


Episode 91 of Xvox Podcast with Dustin, Vern, Michael, Tim and me!

Discussion topics:

  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Forza Horizon 2 DLC
  • Xbox One getting TV DVR functionality?
  • Destiny
  • Minecraft
  • Yooka-Laylee
  • Gamescom

and more! (more…)

In-depth look at Xbox One exclusives for 2015 and beyond

Looking at the Xbox One line-up from Microsoft Studios for 2015 and beyond, here is my list of every game both announced and unannounced (within reason) that represent the future of what we will be playing. The first part of the list is what we know and the second part is a big analysis of first-party studios, second-party partners and anything else worth mentioning:

Released/announced 2015 titles:

  • Screamride (Frontier Developments) – 03/03/15
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios) – 11/03/15
  • State of Decay Year One Survival Edition (Undead Labs) – 28/04/15
  • Halo 3 ODST (Unknown) – Spring 2015
  • Unannounced game #1 -> post-Spring pre-Fall 2015
  • Unannounced game #2 -> post-Spring pre-Fall 2015 
  • Fable Legends (Lionhead) – Holiday 2015
  • Gigantic (Motiga) – Holiday 2015
  • Halo 5 Guardians (343 Industries) – 27/10/15
  • Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn10 Studios) – Holiday 2015
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics) – Holiday 2015

Unknown/2016 titles:

  • Phantom Dust (Unknown) – TBC
  • Scalebound (Platinum Games) – TBC
  • Crackdown (Cloudgine) – TBC
  • Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment) – 2016
  • Gears of War (Black Tusk Studios) – TBC


October27fest: Halo 5 Guardians – 343s time to shine


Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries announced on Sunday (29th March) that Halo 5 Guardians will be launching worldwide on 27th October 2015, for the first time a Halo game will be shipping in October and will form part of Microsoft’s blockbuster line-up for Xbox One this holiday.

Having already played Halo 5 Guardians beta we know what to expect in the arena multiplayer style with the bigger maps and game modes featuring large-scale battles involving vehicles still under wraps but I enjoyed my taste so far. After the issues that Halo The Master Chief Collection has had, there are people obviously sceptical about whether Halo 5 will work as intended when it releases, now I’m no mystic meg but I think given what we have played so far of Halo 5 it worked as you would expect and I don’t really have any major concerns for it when it releases in 7 months, I think there are other things I am somewhat concerned about.

343 Industries I do feel are under pressure, not necessarily from Microsoft but from the long time fans of the franchise and gaming community in general to produce a game worthy of the name and its place as Xbox’s première franchise, without Halo’s success I really have no idea where Xbox would be but I don’t think it would be very far. (more…)

Alan Wake franchise sells 4.5m units, time to bring it back!


Matias Myllyrinne, CEO of Remedy Entertainment tweeted today to announce that the Alan Wake Franchise has sold 4.5 million units since its release on Xbox 360 in May 2010, since we’ve had two DLC episodes, a PC port which was successful and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare which released in February 2012 on XBLA (May ’12 for PC), unfortunately the initial sales weren’t enough for Microsoft to fund a sequel and instead after American Nightmare Remedy began work on Quantum Break which is currently due for release this year although may get delayed. (more…)

Fable Legends: Windows 10, Free-to-Play and Lionhead’s future

At the Windows 10 event in January Phil Spencer announced something I believed was long-coming: Fable Legends the latest game from Lionhead Studios will be free-to-play when it launches this year and will also be available day one on PC with cross-play and cross-buy support.

This is a very smart decision and makes a lot of sense.

Despite always launching first on Xbox consoles, Fable is somehow seen by some as a PC franchise too, I’m not sure exactly why considering half of the series hasn’t come to PC: Fable 2, Fable Heroes and Fable The Journey and the other 3 games to hit PC were all 6 months late (Fable 1, 3 and Anniversary) but I suppose it doesn’t really matter, there is a market on PC of players who will buy it and that is what matters to Microsoft and Lionhead.

Fable Legends is a very different beast though, continuing to shed the successful RPG style it’s a 4 vs 1 multiplayer game set before the original Fable, very different to the RPGs that become so big the Xbox and Xbox 360. It does however fit in with the current trends of online and multiplayer PC gaming and Microsoft’s new “Games-as-a-Service” thing, the PC market has adapted well to playing games like this for free and buying extra content with a massive uptake and I think it would struggle to have that success just on Xbox One. (more…)

Microsoft stealth announce new studios (LXP, [Fun]ction, SOTA)

I’ve done multiple pieces on this information via Linkedin and job listings and we’ve finally come full circle as Microsoft have what amounts to officially announcing the new studios, given they don’t seem to want to talk about publicly. My earlier posts:

The news comes via the Microsoft Studios blog which recently (in the last few days, I think) has had a facelift with more information. Whilst we can see on Linkedin and Microsoft Careers that these studios exist, despite that recent leak Microsoft themselves haven’t officially acknowledged the studios, it doesn’t get much more official than your own website, though.

What is strange though is that Decisive Games, the new studio mentioned by Kudo Tsunoda is not on the list. Looking at the list, they have their 4 big franchises and most important studios at the top – Halo, Gears, Minecraft and Forza, these are the ones that during the recent re-organisation are still reporting directly to Phil Spencer, the rest of them are then listed in alphabetical order. (more…)

The rise of digital stores provide big benefits

This generation the availability every title from day one at both retail and on the console stores will mean that the regular methods of checking NPDs, Media Create and PAL charts is not the entire story for sales of games in a way that is great for consumers, publishers and developers.

The benefits of digital distribution are obvious for both consumers and publishers: pre-loading means the game is ready to go the second its unlocked, non-refundable pre-orders before launch and reviews for publisher, patches will be installed in the background so you won’t even notice, games that become rare at retail are always available on the store, obviously you don’t need to go scrounging around for your disc, lack of reselling available and you don’t need to leave the house to buy them! Whilst these aren’t mind-blowing benefits they are nice extras for both parties.

Pricing has always been seen as a major reason for using digital distribution, no packaging for boxes or manuals etc, no brick and mortar retailer taking their cut should mean a cheaper game?! Well, no that didn’t happen although the reason for that is obvious: publishers get a much bigger cut of that $60 pie on the digital stores than they do the traditional retail outlet which means that they should theoretically need lower sales to break-even and make more profit. (more…)

Xvox Podcast Episode 83: A New Microsoft

Podcast Picture

I was a guest again this week on the Xvox Podcast with Dustin and Vern. This week we discussed a range of subjects including:

and much more!

Runtime is 2 hours and 43 minutes!

Xvox Podcast Episode 82: GDC

Podcast Picture

Last week I joined my friends Dustin, Vern, Tim and others on Xbox Uncut (for the second time) on their podcast, Xvox.

Its a great weekly podcast they do focused on the Xbox platform discussing news, answering letters and talking what they’ve been playing from latest releases to other favourites. I think the guys have great discussion about all the latest Xbox happenings with differing opinions and insight into various things its certainly worth listening to if you’re an Xbox fan.

For the latest episode (number 82!) we discussed all the news from GDC in a massive episode with 6 people on the show and plenty to discuss. There is a big library of shows to listen to as well.

Ive put up a page about the podcast with links on the toolbar at the top as well.