Xbox's controversial exclusivity deal for Rise of the Tomb Raider may not be as ominous as PlayStation and PC gamers feared, with Microsoft admitting that the agreement is time-limited. Microsoft announced yesterday at its Gamescon opening presentation that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox exclusive when it arrived in time for the holiday 2015 sales, but according to Xbox chief Phil Spencer, things are a little more complicated.
Microsoft may have conspicuously ignored Kinect in its Gamescon event today, going as far as to leave the motion sensor out of all three of its new Xbox One bundles, but that doesn't mean the rest of the company is giving up on clever camera tech. Microsoft Research has been working on turning a regular smartphone into a depth-camera, delivering Kinect and Google Project Tango style scanning and tracking but with a fraction of the complexity.
This morning Xbox One was put in the spotlight with not only a collection of fantastic AAA games and exclusives, but with a set of "indy" games as well. I suggest we put quotation marks around the word "indy" at this point not because of the size of the production studios behind the games, but because of their high quality. These are the AAA indy games, that is to say.
Changes are coming, and Microsoft has begun detailing some of the updates and tweaks that Xbox One owners can expect over the coming months. DLNA streaming, threaded messages and a new "Friends" section, and a new media player are all in the pipeline, with some consoles getting access as soon as September.
Bad news, PlayStation gamers: if you were hoping to play Rise of the Tomb Raider then you'll need to pick up an Xbox One, too, since it's confirmed today that the game will be exclusive to the console. Set to arrive in holiday 2015, the new installment in the long-running series will see Lara Croft return to the sort of tombs that she explored in the earliest games. However, PS4 owners are already angry.
Microsoft has confirmed its white Xbox One console, which will come as part of a Sunset Overdrive bundle, as well as two other bundles for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and FIFA 15. The three sets were announced at Gamescon this week, and of the three it's probably the new color option which will have gamers most intrigued, being the first time the Xbox One has swayed from its black aesthetic.
The path of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to your Xbox One, PS4, or PC hasn't been short on interest over the past few months, but today Activision detailed one of the most anticipated features: multiplayer gaming. Featured on a special Xbox stream with Microsoft's Major Nelson, the game mode's highlights all got their official reveal, including how players will pick their teams and gear, and how the new exo-suits will feature.
Microsoft has begun teasing its next smartphone launch, bringing a new model to IFA 2014 which could be the previously-rumored "selfie" Windows Phone. "Ready for more?" the Microsoft invitation asks, going on to suggest that press "join us for more face time" at an event on September 4th.