Xbox at E3: Almost live

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Over in the city of fallen angels, Microsoft is holding its E3 press conference. And it’s making some big announcements about consoles old and new. Things have just kicked off with the unveiling of a new, open world Metal Gear game – remember when that was a Sony exclusive? There’s also something PC gamers will appreciate – MMO World of Tanks is coming to the Xbox 360.

world of tanks


There’s also been an announcement that there’s new hardware for the Xbox 360 (pics here), a flatter and boxier redesign that brings it in line with the look of the One, and anyone who has an Xbox Live membership will be able to download two games a month as part of it. First games available? Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3.


Update 18.56 Most of the videofeeds died and it looks like doesn’t like Linux. You can try watching the live feed here though. We’re busy watching something with swords and stuff.

swords and stuff

Ah – it’s Ryse: Son of Rome. From Crytek. Or Saving Private Flavious, as Deon quips.

Up next, a brand new game for the Xbox One from Ratchet and Clank devs, Insomniac Games. It’s called Sunset Overdrive and looks a bit like like an ultra-violent Mirror’s Edge.

sunset overdriveUpdate 19.07 More Xbox One, it’s Forza 5. Not only prettier, but cleverer too. Introducing the ‘drivertar’, which is introduced as ‘the end of AI’ because it’s so much more realistic than previous attempts at AI. Apparently it learns how you drive, and will play the game for you while you’re not at your console. Literally. You go to work, come home, and a ‘drivertar’ which mimics your style has taken part in races for you. Then it eats your tea and watches Game of Thrones on your behalf too.

forza 5Update 19.11 Phil Harrison up on stage next. He’s a corporate VC. More than 200 indie devs able to eat thanks to Xbox marketplace, apparently, and they can do more with Xbox One. Then its over to Minecraft, which is described as an Xbox 360 game. Harumph. Still, it’ll be on Xbox One, so there you go. Making use of all its cloud-y features.

Quantum Break next, more info on Remedy’s up and coming medium-bending title. It’s a game, and it’s a TV show, and the choices you make in the game affect the show you see.

quantum breakAND there’s a time travelling experiment gone wrong, and there’s bullet time. It looks a bit like Max Payne meets 24’s Jack Bauer meets Back to the Future. Weird and great.

Update 19.17 The “gift of games” is coming to everybody, according to MS Studio’s David McCarthy. Project Spark is a game making kit that’s completely voice controlled via Kinect. So you can ask Xbox One to generate arctic mountain terrain, and it will. Then sculpt the landscape with a Smartglass screen.

project sparkYou can create simple AI scripts for just about any object in a game world, apparently, and populate it with NPCs and archetypal enemies (like goblins). There’s a cool sequence in which McCarthy demos a spin on the game world he’s just created on screen which the rest of the team built using his demo world. Again, for references,  this is Sackboy on steroids – build entire games and share them. Plus, it has mechs in it.

Update 19.23 Marc Whitten is talking about all the extra features of Xbox One. Smartglass is demoed running the menu screen of Ryse: Sone of Rome. There’s a neat Timeline feature in Ryse, which lets you see how friends are doing in the same level you’re stuck in. So you’re no longer frustrated, you’re really frustrated and just a bit jealous too.

We know that games are automatically recorded DVR style for uploading highlights to share with friends, now we’re getting an insight into the Studio feature, which lets you edit clips and add title sequences too.

News here – Microsoft has a partnership with for live streaming Xbox games to anyone who wants to watch on Xbox Live. There’s a suggestion it’s a two way thing too – Whitten says you can influence and take part in the game while watching.

Update 19.29 There’s the update on Xbox points being withdrawn in favour of real money, in your local currency.

World premier of Dead Rising 3. Are we excited about this? More Zombies in Los Perdidos with all new hero Nick Ramos (chk sp). It’s a long time until the next season of Walking Dead we suppose.

dead rising 3


The horror, the horror. And customisable weapons to eradicate the undead in ever more inventive ways. Smartglass is weapon too – you can use it to call in artillery support.

Update 19.38 The Witcher 3 is coming, completely open world Stalker style, with 100 hours or more of gameplay. Remember when The Witcher was almost a commercial failure? How far it has come. “Truly next gen” apparently. And known as Wild Hunt.

witcher 3

Update 19.42 It’s Battlefield time. 4032 – that’s the sequel number, not the year. And the sound is broken. Oh dear. Re-running VT. The crowd is getting unruly.

Ok, it’s Battlefield 4 really.  Looks very Battlefield-y. Interesting scenery destruction stuff though – the demo is set on an apparently sinking ship.

battlefield 4


Wow. That was a long demo. And the gist is that the first DLC will be an Xbox One exclusive. Hold me back. Below, on the other hand, looks awesome. Very simple, very slick.

Update 19.52 OK, the Black Tusk tech demo of potentially a ‘platform defining character’ a la Master Chief looks awesome. Really stupidly good looking, and we missed the print screen button. So this is the best we can do.

black tusk


Now a new Halo… that we do like the look of. And the trailer looks good too. No name confirmed, but it’s running natively at 60fps, apparently. And coming next year. And yes, we missed screenshots of that too.

And the big news – $499/£425 (R5 00 to 6 200 ish) and out November. In 21 countries. And we’re not one of them. Probably 2014 for South Africa then.

Update 19.58 And the one more thing – another brand new game. This time with jetpacks and mechs. It’s called Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment.



Reminds me a bit of that sequence in Wreck it Ralph where the 8bit character gets caught up in a Starship Troopers type game. It’s actually a sort of Battlefield does sci-fi. A Battlefield Troopers if you will. The titans are the mechs, and they fall from dropships – see. Titanfall. Clever. Coming autumn 2014.

Must be time for bed. Good night.

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.