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It’s a big week for the Xbox Games Store as several of this Fall’s biggest releases are now available for Microsoft consoles.
WB Games has released Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor on the Xbox One and players will once again get to explore that unwritten time between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Microsoft themselves have released the latest game in their Forza racing franchise, Forza Horizon 2, for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
In smaller releases, Atlus has teamed up with Arc System Works once again to bring Persona 4 Arena Ultimax to the Xbox 360. And Focus Interactive has published yet another Sherlock Holmes detective game, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, which is available for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
More information on all of these games (as well as a few more new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)
Phase Two of Nintendo’s plan to dominate the Fall gaming season kicks off this week as Super Smash Bros. For 3DS, the first Smash Bros. game for a handheld system, will be available on Friday, October 3. New friends (Little Mac! The Duck Hunt Dog! Miis! Mega Man! Pac-Man!) and old favorites (Mario! Link! Samus!) give it one of the deepest rosters the franchise has ever seen, making Super Smash Bros. For 3DS even more of a must have.
Also available this week is WB Games’ latest foray into the Lords of the Rings universe, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC, PS4, Xbox One). Set between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, Shadow of Mordor will tell a brand new tale within the franchise with assistance from Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien Enterprises, and the writer of Red Dead Redemption. Less epic (but still pretty epic) is Microsoft’s newest racing game, Forza Horizon 2, which will be released for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Finally this week, Atlus is going back to the arena to bring PS3 and Xbox 360 owners Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Fight!
More new releases (including the return of one of the greatest PC games ever) can be found after the break. (more…)
Both before, and during, their Xbox Media Briefing at Gamescom 2014, Microsoft executives announced a whole host of new features coming soon to the Xbox One.
Firstly, announced during the media briefing itself, the Xbox One Games Store will offer pre-ordering and pre-downloading, which will allow gamers to pay for and download digital copies of games before they release. The first games to feature the pre-loading option will be Forza Horizon 2 and FIFA 15.
But before the show, the Xbox Wire revealed several new features coming to the system, first through the Preview program, and then to the general public. The features are not incredibly groundbreaking, but they either fix some annoying issues or add some niche functionality:
New “Friends” section – The new Friends section has been available for a few early access Preview members and we’re expanding it to everyone enrolled in the Preview program. The new Friends section enables users to see at a glance what’s going on with their friends. They can stay up-to-date with their current activities, the most popular games their friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days.
Snap Center – Some of gamers’ favorite features in the Xbox 360 guide, are coming to Xbox One in a way that’s now truly be side-by-side with games. Messages, friends, parties, and achievements will all be available in the new Snap Center, providing a seamless way to switch back and forth without having to leave a game.
Threaded Messages – Keeping gamers in their games while they multitask has been a huge focus. The new Messages app features threaded messages with the full conversation history – including embedded links to Game DVR clips – that can be viewed without interrupting gameplay.
Media Player – A new app will be available soon that enables users to play media files from either an attached USB device or from a network connected home media server that supports DLNA protocols. The preview version of the Media Player app will initially only support USB devices, with DLNA support coming soon. Xbox One will support more formats than Xbox 360, including support for dozens of new file formats like mpeg 2 TS, animated gifs and mkv which will be added by the end of the year. See below for additional file formKats.
Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Announced last week, this new accessory will enter a limited preview program in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain), in advance of its retail launch beginning in October.
Stream TV to SmartGlass – Launching first in markets receiving the Xbox Digital TV Tuner, Xbox One owners will be able to stream their TV across their home network to their smartphones and tablets using the Xbox SmartGlass app. They can also pause, play and rewind as well as change channels, without interrupting gameplay on the Xbox One. This will work for SmartGlass apps on Windows, iOS, and Android.
Boot to TV – Now Xbox One owners will be able to set their console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
Live TV mini guide – For markets where OneGuide is available, a new mini guide on the bottom of the screen will display details about the TV content that is currently playing. Users can quickly change channels and see what’s on other channels, while still watching TV.
According to Microsoft, these features will be available on your Xbox One in the “coming months”
Microsoft has big plans for this year’s Gamescom convention. The Xbox behemoth has a slew of presentations planned including a major Xbox Briefing on Tuesday, August 12 at 8:00 AM (Eastern Time). A teaser video above gives us a taste of what we can expect to see including Evolve, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Forza Horizon 2, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Project Spark. The video also promises that we will get to see some “big surprises” at the show, one of which is surely Remedy’s Quantum Break.
What else will Microsoft unveil at Gamescom? You’ll have to tune in to see for yourself, but you’ve got plenty of options. The consolemaker will livestream their briefing through your Xbox console and Xbox.com and daily highlights will also appear on YouTube.
Gamescom 2014 officially kicks off on August 13.
MS @ E3 14: Forza Horizon 2 out on September 30
Microsoft has plenty of Forza news for fans of the franchise at their 2014 E3 Press Conference. First, the Forza Motorsport 5 team has announced that the world-famous Nurburgring track will be available as a free download starting today.
After that, the Forza Horizon 2 team revealed that the game will run at a blistering 1080p when its released for the Xbox One on September 30. The Xbox 360 edition, which is being developed by Sumo Digital, will also be available on that date.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the 2014 E3 Expo is right around the corner. The Warp Zoned staff spent a recent night chatting about some of the big pre-E3 announcements during the latest episode of “Continue Countdown.” We pre-pre-judged Mortal Kombat X, Homefront: The Revolution, Forza Horizon 2, BattleCry, Battlefield Hardline, and Hyrule Warriors in the first six segments of the show.
But we also wanted to worry and fret over a trio of delayed games (Batman: Arkham Knight, The Order: 1886, and Quantum Break) as well as speculate about what a Smash Bros.-style Mario Kart game would be like (spoiler alert: it would be AWESOME). And the eternal question (How much would you pay for an E.T. cartridge excavated from a landfill?) was answered.
Finally, we slipped a few E3 predictions in there. We’re probably way off the mark, but it’s that magical pre-E3 time when anything seems possible.
9 Topics… 30 Minutes… And Go!
This is an interesting twist. First revealed this morning on IGN, Microsoft has announced they will be bringing Forza Horizon 2 to the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 this Fall.
Playground Games will handle the development of Forza Horizon 2, just as they did with the first game in the spinoff series. The Forza Motorsport team at Turn 10 Studios will be “collaborating closely” with Playground, including adapting the Forza 5‘s Drivatar system for use in Horizon 2.
Hundreds of cars will be included in Horizon 2, including the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan, which has been chosen as the cover
athlete vehicle for the game. The Huracan will be battered by realistic weather effects (a first for the Hoizon spinoff series) as it drives through the game’s Southern European locales.
Finally, IGN said that music will play an important in Horizon 2, just as it did in the first game: “A music festival will be the central event around which the game’s activities revolve.”