LOS ANGELES — It’s all about the games for Microsoft at E3.
Microsoft focused exclusively on hyping titles coming to its Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles during its presentation Monday ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game industry’s annual trade show.
The new Xbox One games included a fresh installment of the open-world romp “Crackdown”; a reboot of the Xbox action game “Phantom Dust”; the original dragon-centric adventure “Scalebound” from developer Platinum Games; a sequel to the 2013 “Tomb Raider” reboot titled “Rise of the Tomb Raider”; and a “Halo” collection that will bring four installments of the sci-fi shooter.
Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, began the 90-minute presentation by noting that Microsoft changed features of the Xbox One, which launched last November, after listening to consumer feedback.
“You are shaping the future of Xbox, and we are better for it,” Spencer told the crowd. “Today, we are dedicating our entire briefing to games.”
When the company initially unveiled the Xbox One last year at its Redmond, Washington, headquarters, Microsoft billed the $499 console as an “all-in-one” entertainment hub.
Following criticism, Microsoft backtracked on several requirements for the console, including that it must be connected to the Internet every 24 hours and to its motion-detecting Kinect sensor. The company began selling a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One on Monday for $399.
Microsoft Corp. has lagged behind Sony Corp. since last November. Microsoft has sold 5 million Xbox One consoles to Sony’s 7 million PlayStation 4 units. However, both companies have outpaced the sales of their earlier consoles — the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — during the same time period.
Other upcoming games teased during the event included the futuristic “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” driving sequel “Forza Horizon 2,” original cartoony shoot-’em-up “Sunset Overdrive,” cooperative fantasy “Fable Legends,” and downloadable choreography game “Dance Central Spotlight.”
“I wanted to use the 90 minutes we’re on broadcast TV, here in front of thousands of fans and on the Web, so people can see all of the content, all of the great games they’re going to get to play on their Xbox,” he said. “I think that’s why people buy the consoles, and it’s important for us to deliver the goods when we’re on stage here at E3.”
Electronic Arts opens beta test
LOS ANGELES — Electronic Arts is testing out its latest “Battlefield” game at E3.
The video game publisher surprised Electronic Entertainment Expo attendees by announcing it was launching the online beta test for “Battlefield Hardline” on Monday after its presentation at the game industry’s annual trade show.
The upcoming first-person shooter trades the franchise’s war-torn locales and military conflicts for an urban assault featuring cops and robbers in the streets of Los Angeles and Miami.
“Hardline” executive producer Steve Papoutsis said the beta test is available on a “first-come, first-served basis” for PC and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
“We’ve got a lot of work left to do, so your feedback at this early stage is huge as we build toward our release on Oct. 21,” Papoutsis told the crowd inside the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.
Papoutsis also boasted that 32 gamers are streaming the game Monday afternoon from a nearby rooftop on Twitch.tv.