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Microsoft senses Sony weakness with exclusive-heavy Gamescom Xbox event

Seth Barton
4 Aug 2015
Xbox lineup from Gamescom
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The way back for Xbox One starts here by exploiting Sony's poor exclusive lineup

Microsoft took to the stage at Gamescom 2015 and presented game after game with the words ‘Xbox Exclusive’ plastered across the big screen. Its line ups for both 2015 and 2016 look promising, with a mix of established names, Halo and Gears of War, and newcomers, such as Scalebound and Quantum Break.

Traditionally, big exclusive titles have sold games consoles, but it seems that Sony has ripped up the rulebook on that one. Its exclusives to date has been thin on quantity and quality, with many big titles being delayed, such as Uncharted 4, not living up to the hype, The Order: 1886, or both, yes it’s Driveclub.

Despite this it’s Sony that’s ahead in terms of hardware sales and its more powerful hardware continues to get our nod, though it’s a close run thing. Microsoft is now attacking back on two fronts, Windows 10 integration and an arsenal of exclusive titles that look designed to target this chink in Sony’s armour.

For 2015 Microsoft is giving games a number of tantalising gaming treats. Its big coup has been to secure a one-year exclusivity window on Rise of the Tomb Raider, the follow-up to the well-received and big-selling 2013 series reboot. We all loved the last game, which was initally designed for last-gen consoles before getting a makoever for the current crop. The new game looks to make far more of the new hardware though, and has a three times larger playable area and more options for both stealth and action.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The there’s also Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6 and Gears of War Ultimate Edition to come from Microsoft alongside all the Third-party releases common to both consoles.

And thing are already looking impressive for the 2016 line-up too. Microsoft showed gameplay of Scalebound for the first time, which looks a bit like Monster Hunter except that you have a monster of your own to help out. The demo included some epic battles against giant nasties and revealed the game will include 4-player co-op against even more titanic enemies.

Scalebound

We also got to see a new demo of Quantum Break. The time-bending shooter looks to have drawn its DNA from Max Payne’s bullet time but amped to levels that would impress the Matrix’s Neo. In amongst the delectable effects is some impressive story-telling as the game packs hours, days and months into a single scene, with time blurring away in front of your eyes.

Quantum Break Xbox One

Crackdown 3 is also looking to be shaping up nicely. The demo concentrated on the entirely destructible environments, from blasting through walls, up to entire skyscrapers coming crashing down in a dense neon-lit cityscape. Behind all this will be complex web of interconnected criminals, which lets you choose where to strike first and how to go about weakening the biggest marks.

Crackdown 3

Gear of Wars 4 is also coming in 2016, but we didn’t see anything new from that today.

It’s an impressive play by Microsoft and one helped by Sony moving its own Gamescom event back to Paris games week in October. The Xbox got to take the stage alone today and plaudits to Microsoft for filling that stage solo.

 

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