In case you missed it yesterday, Microsoft came out of the next-generation gates swinging with its next video game system Xbox One. The company showed off a first glimpse of the console during the 60 minute presentation, including the controller, the newly designed Kinect unit and the large, black main unit that'll be sitting in your entertainment center. The company didn't stop there, as it also unveiled bits and pieces of upcoming games and services that will connect users in a number of new ways.
Even though not everything about the system has been unveiled yet (some of the games and services are being saved for E3 in just under three weeks' time), there are more than enough features to keep you on edge as the system makes its way to the market this holiday season. So to keep you informed on everything that's been unveiled (as if our news coverage hasn't done that enough already), we've got several reasons why you should be excited…
Let the Microsoft mania commence!
Forza Motorsport 5
The first four Forza games have done a splendid job turning Microsoft from a racing wannabe to the stuff of legend, thanks in part to the talented development team at Turn 10 Studios. But it looks like it's been saving its best stuff for the next generation, as the teaser trailer for the game looks absolutely stunning. Featuring a pair of McLaren streetcars making their way through a quiet little town, the game shows unprecedented quality in the car design and lighting in a frenetic dash for the finish line in addition to an impressive surrounding environment that you're racing through. Just think, this is only a small fraction of what the final game will offer. We can't wait to see what other terrain we can race through or the return of Forzavista, which is sure to involve you in racing events even more than the previous chapters did. (Watch the trailer here.)
Call of Duty: Ghosts
We knew that Activision would have something up its sleeve in terms of a Call of Duty reveal, but we had no idea that what we would see could be this…insane. Ghosts, a collaboration with Academy Award winning screenwriter Stephen Gagnan (Syriana, Traffic), features a dramatic new take on the series loaded with a new level of tense realism. (Tell us you weren't intrigued when you saw soldiers dealing with a sudden flood from a nearby dam or a quick rappel down the side of a building.) In addition to sharp graphics, the game will introduce a new companion to help you out in the form of a loyal dog who's been painstakingly detailed (and the subject of a humorous Twitter account – be sure to follow @collarduty!). Let's not forget the multiplayer, which will be unprecedented this time around. If you missed out on the trailer, don't worry – you can watch it here.
Remedy Entertainment's Next Game – And It's Not Alan Wake 2
The next project from the creators of Alan Wake and Max Payne was unveiled during the Xbox event, intertwined with live-action footage involving a little girl. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't the Alan Wake sequel that a bunch of folks were betting on. Instead it's an intriguing new project called Quantum Break, one that looks to involve a new hero as he faces all sorts of chaos with enough chaos to show a ship destroying a bridge on its way into port? There's more where that came from and we'll see it at E3. In the meantime, enjoy the game's trailer here…
EA Sports Goes Next Level With Ignite Engine
EA Sports announced its full support for the Xbox One, with four big titles in development for the next fiscal year: UFC, NBA Live 14, Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14. All of these titles use the new Ignite Engine, which lets players move and react more realistically than ever before. Though we've only seen bits and pieces of these games in action, there's no question that it's well worth getting excited over. Soccer fans will be happy with the exclusive Ultimate Team features coming to Xbox One over the next year. You can check out the trailer here and look for a better breakdown of these soon-to-be sports hits at E3 in just a few weeks.
Halo's Getting a TV Series – and Spielberg's On Board!
With the success of the live-action movie Forward Unto Dawn, we figured that Microsoft would introduce some sort of entertainment aspect for Halo as part of its Xbox One services. However, we had no idea that 343 Industries would be collaborating with someone as influential as Steven Spielberg (who previously worked on Falling Skies over on TNT). His part in storytelling, as well as several folks with 343, should no doubt introduce a powerhouse series that Xbox fans won't get enough of. You can check out the announcement here.
Snap Mode and Skype Let You Multitask
Finally, Xbox One will be offering some services that make it easy to keep in touch with people and services through the UI. Microsoft is building Skype right in, so you can host live video chat and phone calls through your system instead of needing to turn on your computer. With Snap Mode you can do two things at once with the system, whether it's buying tickets or looking up actor details while watching a movie (and doing away with the "where have I seen that guy?" inquiries) or checking fantasy sports stats while you're watching the game. We have yet to see it in action, but it sounds quite promising.
There's still a lot to see with Xbox One in the next few weeks, including a hands-on test, a look at the announced and upcoming games, and a look at the services that lie ahead. We're impressed with what we've seen so far.
Look for more Xbox One coverage in the months ahead!