Xbox Scarlett Won’t Be “Out Of Position” On Power Or Price, Says Xbox Boss

Microsoft and Sony are both gearing up to introduce their next generation of consoles, and so far both companies are broadly explaining their visions for the next-gen of hardware. For Microsoft, that means committing to not repeating the mistakes of the Xbox One launch.

“I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price,” Xbox head Phil Spencer told The Verge. “If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and, yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success.”

Spencer went on to say that the company had discussions about whether to do another console generation “years ago,” and added that he personally thinks there will be more generations after that. Because of that calculus, he said, “We’re all-in on Project Scarlett and I want to compete, and I want to compete in the right ways which is why we’re focused on cross-play and backward compatibility.”

Microsoft has provided some information on the specifications of its next console and the Scarlett certainly shaping up to be on equal footing with its competitors. We’ve created a comparison between the Scarlett and PS5 to breakdown what we know about each piece of hardware thus far and how they compare to each other.

from GameSpot – Game News

Final Fantasy XIV Will Come To Xbox One, Phil Spencer Says

With X019 happening, plenty of big announcement have been made for Microsoft’s gaming platforms, including several Japanese games making their way to Xbox. A total of 10 Final Fantasy games will hit Xbox Game Pass, while Sega revealed three Yakuza games will debut on the platform as well. But what wasn’t part of the stage show was Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirming that Square Enix’s MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, will be coming to Xbox One.

In addressing the press at X019, Spencer said, “I wanted you to know, rest assured that we will be bringing that game [Final Fantasy XIV] to Xbox. We have a great relationship with Yoshida-san [FFXIV director] and we’re working through what it means to bring [to Xbox] a cross-platform MMO that they’ve run for years.”

While it may not come as too much of a surprise, since FFXIV director/producer Naoki Yoshida has continually said he hopes to eventually bring the game to other platforms, Spencer’s statement makes it clear that things are actually moving along. No potential release date or launch window was suggested, however.

In a previous interview with Yoshida-san, he told us, “My direction has never changed from the beginning when we started with A Realm Reborn: strive to have as many people play FFXIV on multiple platforms. Secondly, I want to allow people to play with their friends without any cross-platform limitations. I am still in discussion with Microsoft and Nintendo to make this a reality.”

FFXIV and all three of its expansions are playable now on PC and PS4; for more on why the MMORPG is important, be sure to read our FFXIV Shadowbringers review, post-mortem interview with Yoshida-san, and feature on how the latest expansion became one of the best stories told in franchise history. And for more on X019, check out our stories below:

from GameSpot – Game News

Wasteland 3 Release Date Revealed, Coming To Console And PC This May

After acquiring InExile Entertainment last year, Microsoft confirmed during its X019 livestream that the studio’s upcoming RPG, Wasteland 3, will launch on May 19 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Before wrapping up the livestream, InExile boss Brian Fargo announced the game’s release date alongside a brand-new trailer that was incredibly chilling. The “1987” trailer, below, shows survivors battling computerized enemies in a snow-covered Colorado devasted by bombs.

Fargo, who is expected to retire after Wasteland 3 ships, said the game was designed as a standalone experience. He also confirmed that no previous knowledge of the Wasteland series, nor playing Wasteland or Wasteland 2, is necessary to jump into Wasteland 3.

Wasteland 3 was announced three years ago through crowdfunding site Fig. Since then, the project has surpassed $3 million and made an appearance at E3 2019. We were able to go hands-on with Wasteland 3, where we said the game is “shaping up to be a solid follow-up that maintains the level of choice and agency from its predecessor–while also really seeing the stakes with its increased production quality.”

from GameSpot – Game News

Xbox One Flash Sale Live Now For X019–See The Best Game Deals

During its X019 livestream, Microsoft announced a flash sale for quite a few great games, including some of this year’s biggest titles like Borderlands 3 and Gears 5. The sale is only live for the next 36 hours though, so if you want to take advantage of any of the deals, you’ll want to act fast. You can see the entire slate of game deals in the list below.

The majority of what’s on sale are the special editions of each game. Borderlands 3’s Super Deluxe Edition is nearly $40 off and includes all of the game’s upcoming DLC. Mortal Kombat 11 Premium Edition is 50% off and includes the game’s fighter-filled Kombat Pass, which includes the recently released Terminator and the upcoming Spawn and Joker. Both Destiny 2 expansions are also on sale.

While it mostly includes the Ultimate, Special, and Deluxe editions for Xbox One games, the sale does have some deals on the base versions. Control is available for $45, Kingdom Hearts III is now just under $20, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds costs $13.40.

In related news, Microsoft also revealed its entire selection of Black Friday 2019 deals for Xbox One during its X019 livestream. Console bundles for the Xbox One X and Xbox One S are discounted, in addition to controllers, headsets, and more. Plus, be sure to check out our guide to all the best Xbox One deals for Black Friday–some of the below games may be even cheaper in a few weeks, so it’s worth cross-checking these flash sale prices with Black Friday’s Xbox One game deals before pulling the trigger now.

from GameSpot – Game News

Final Fantasy And Kingdom Hearts Coming To Xbox Game Pass

Square Enix joined Microsoft for its X019 livestream to announce that a plethora of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts titles are making their way to Xbox One via Xbox Game Pass next year.

A few classic Final Fantasy RPGs will arrive on Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC starting sometime next year. These include Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XII. Square Enix also confirmed that some newer entries will be available next year, including Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XV.

Additionally, Square Enix said the Kingdom Hearts HD remastered collections are headed to Xbox One sometime in 2020. These include Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. Before wrapping up its announcements, Square Enix stated that demo for Kingdom Hearts III is available now on Xbox One.

from GameSpot – Game News

Halo: Reach Coming To Xbox Game Pass And PC Soon

X019, Microsoft’s big event outlining the future of Xbox games, had several noteworthy announcements today. And Halo fans are getting a bit of a treat before year’s end, because Halo: Reach is coming to Xbox Game Pass next month, rounding out the Master Chief Collection. It’ll be available on December 3 this year for Xbox One and PC (through Steam as well).

Halo: Reach first came out for Xbox 360 in 2010 and was the last Halo game from original series developer Bungie. It’s a prequel that tells the story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans who gave it their all in the lead up to beginning of the original game Halo: Combat Evolved. Reach is regarded as one of the high points for the franchise.

It’s been upgraded visually for this generation with native 4K support. Halo: Reach will be part of the Master Chief Collection for both Xbox One and PC. However, this is the first game in the gradual rollout of Halo titles through the Collection for PC specifically.

For all our coverage on all the things new for Microsoft games and Xbox One, check out the news coming out of X019:

from GameSpot – Game News

Age Of Empires 4 Gets First Gameplay At X019

During Microsoft’s X019 stream, it showed the first gameplay trailer for Age of Empires 4. The trailer showed a variety of units like warriors, knights, cavalry, and catapults in a massive castle siege scene.

The stage presentation also included an interview with Shannon Loftis, who is heading up the newly dubbed studio World’s Edge. She pointed out that the trailer debuts two of the big reveals for this game: it’s set in the medieval era, and the trailer showcased the Mongol and English armies.

Also as part of the Age of Empires announcements, Microsoft announced the release of Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition.

from GameSpot – Game News

Obsidian’s Grounded Is Honey, I Shrunk The Kids meets Rust

You might not expect a game like Grounded to come from Obsidian Entertainment. The studio’s modus operandi tends to be story-heavy RPGs like Pillars of Eternity, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and The Outer Worlds, which makes Grounded a major change of pace. It’s a cooperative survival game about gathering food and water to stay alive and building structures for protection against dangerous creatures–and it’s set in the tiny world of a backyard, in which your character is about the size of an ant.

Obsidian gave media an early look at Grounded at its studio in Irvine, California, ahead of its announcement of the game at Microsoft’s XO19 in London. We got a bit of a sense of the broad strokes of Grounded’s gameplay. You play as one of four teenagers in 1990, all of whom are shrunk down to mere millimeters as part of some kind of experiment. Either alone or playing online with up to three friends, you find yourself trapped in a backyard full of hostile insects and creatures, trying to stay alive. As in other survival games, you’ll need to cook food and find water, construct a base, and craft weapons and items that’ll help you fend off foes.

It might not be a traditional Obsidian game, but Grounded is an Obsidian game, and the small team of 13 developers working on the title is trying to bring things to the survival genre that are specific to the studio. The biggest is a focus on story, something survival games often elide in favor of keeping players in the moment-to-moment experience of just staying alive.

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“Obsidian’s known for building rich stories with memorable characters,” game director Adam Brennecke told GameSpot. “So first of all, one thing that we’re trying to bring to the survival genre are memorable characters that you’ll know and love, having personalities, creating a rich storyline that the player can experience.

“The second thing is just world-building. I think we’re masters at world-building, so we put in a lot of detail on how the world is built to make it feel like a real place. And then I think another thing we’re also known for is letting the player experience the game that they want to play. So having a lot of ways to play through the game, not only in what you equip and personalizing your character in that way, but different ways of approaching problems and going through the game in different ways.”

That story is told through the four teenage player characters, who Brennecke said will converse with each other as you play, as well as through the instructions you receive from the experiment’s director, which guided players through a tutorial during Obsidian’s hands-off demo. You’ll also find story information and clues about what’s going on as you explore the backyard in the form of journals and audio logs, as well as environmental storytelling. Though Brennecke wouldn’t provide any details that might be spoilers, it seems fair to assume that you and your friends are not the first people to venture into the wilderness that is this particular backyard. He also said the narrative might reveal more about the Instructor, the voice on the radio leading you through the experiment.

The world of the backyard is also a huge part of what gives Grounded its identity. You’ll weave your way through blades of grass and past giant mushrooms, encountering creatures such as ants, ladybugs, and spiders. Along the way, you’ll find discarded items from the place’s full-scale human inhabitants, like a He-Man-like action figure, or a slowly leaking juice box. Brennecke said these items can serve multiple purposes–they’re landmarks that help you navigate, and they might also make for good places to build shelters. In the case of the juice box, you can also get juice from the huge item, providing you a useful source of water that also provides you some nourishment if you drink from it.

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Brennecke said the entire world of Grounded has been hand-crafted; nothing in it is added to the world procedurally. It includes multiple biomes to explore, and it’s also apparently teeming with life. The backyard supports its own ecosystems, with the plants growing over time and the various creatures who live there interacting with each other in a natural way. Kill enough of a certain kind of insect, it seems, and you might change the balance in an area of the backyard, adjusting its ecosystem. Those ecosystem changes mean that one playthrough will be different from the next, Brennecke said, with the backyard changing due to your influence and the interactions between its denizens.

In a practical sense, Grounded is about staying alive and traversing the backyard to learn its secrets. During the demo, an Obsidian developer chopped down massive blades of grass to craft planks, which in turn were used to build walls and set up shelter before nightfall. Things get markedly more dangerous at night, Brennecke said, so as in other survival games, you’re going to be looking for a place to hole up and sleep most of the time. You’ll also build tools like throwing axes and spears, which you can use to hunt insects to cook for food, and to fight off the more dangerous inhabitants of the backyard, such as enormous, deadly spiders.

Moving through the narrative will also move you through Grounded’s tech tree, provides the game an RPG feel more akin to Obsidian’s usual fare. You’ll make different armor sets that carry unique properties, forge weapons you can use for various situations, and unlock items that will allow you to reach new areas of the backyard. Advancing through the tech tree is a big part of how you’ll move through Grounded’s story, as it allows you to take on tougher obstacles and reach places you couldn’t otherwise explore. A weedkiller-covered section of the backyard known as the Haze requires you to craft a gas mask in order to enter it, for instance.

You don’t have to unlock the entire tech tree on your own, either, Brennecke said. It’s actually a part of Grounded’s multiplayer, allowing for cooperation between you and your teammates.

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“The tech tree is a cooperative experience,” he explained. “So everyone in the game can build towards certain tech. I can’t think of a game that does that, but it’s a fun experience where everyone on the server playing together can cooperate and build towards certain tech.”

“On the team, we’re all like super hardcore survival game players,” Brennecke said. “So there’s a lot of stuff that we’re trying to bring to the table to make the early game very accessible and approachable, but also have deep mechanics for those players that want a deeper gaming experience. Want to get into the nitty-gritty of stats and how to optimize their character builds and stuff like that.”

Grounded can be played either alone or with friends, but it’s purely a cooperative experience, Brennecke said. It’s also not a shared world game–only the people you invite to your games will appear in your backyard, and vice versa. Obsidian plans to release the game in Game Preview on Xbox One and Early Access on Steam, and it’ll also be part of Xbox Game Pass.

“We have experience doing sort of early access with our backer beta on Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2, and that let us kind of see how people are gelling with the game,” Brennecke said. “So if there’s some aspect of the game that they’re not really liking, it allows us the opportunity to make adjustments and just make the game better.”

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Part of what Obsidian wants feedback on is how Grounded will tell its story, Brennecke said. When the game launches in preview and early access, the story won’t be complete, giving Obsidian a chance to see how players receive its narrative approach. Other elements, like dynamic weather, are things the team wants to implement but which might not be in the game when it first becomes available to players.

Though we saw very little of Grounded–basically just a slice of its early tutorial, along with a little base-building–it already seemed as though the title adds a lot of interesting ideas to the genre. For fans of Obsidian, however, Grounded is a confident step in a new direction, and we’ll need to wait to see whether the things people like about the studio’s games, like storytelling, character development, and player choice, are compatible with the survival genre.

Grounded is expected to hit Xbox One and PC in spring 2020.

from GameSpot – Game News

Yakuza Series Is Coming To Xbox Game Pass

Many announcements have been made during X019, the big Microsoft event to celebrate and show the future of Xbox. And one of the most pleasant surprises was that the Xbox platform will be getting Yakuza games, marking the first time the traditionally Sony-exclusive franchise appears on a Microsoft platform. Next year, through Game Pass, subscribers can play Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2. These are the first three entries in the series’ in-game chronology.

Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio started Yakuza back on the PS2 and have made seven mainline games and a number of spinoffs thus far. Last year, the franchise came to PC for the first time, and now its expanding further with Xbox One versions. For those unfamiliar, the Yakuza series blends open-world and 3D beat-em-up style gameplay, and strikes a balance between gripping melodrama and comedic absurdity that all comes together wonderfully.

You follow the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a man with a heart of gold trying to navigate the Japanese underworld while doing right by those around him. Other great characters come into the mix, like Goro Majima, and add an extra dynamic to the fascinating drama of being in a Japanese gang. Mini-games and side-stories play a huge role in fleshing out Yakuza’s depiction of certain cities in Japan.

These three Yakuza games come to Xbox One in early 2020 through Game Pass, though you can play them on PS4 and PC now. The series is still going with brand-new entry launching in Japan early next year and sometime afterward in the West, and you can read our breakdown of Yakuza: Like A Dragon to catch up. For more on all the announcements coming out of Xbox’s X019 event, be sure to check out all our coverage below:

from GameSpot – Game News

Project xCloud Getting DualShock 4 Support, And A Bunch Of New Games

During its Xbox fan event in London, X019, Microsoft shared more details on its game-streaming service, Project xCloud. One of the biggest new reveals is that Microsoft is adding numerous more games to the service along with support for new controllers, including Sony PlayStation’s DualShock 4.

xCloud already supports Xbox One controllers, but the company said it plans to expand to the DualShock 4 from Sony’s PS4 and other game pads from peripheral company Razer. It’s not exactly clear how DualShock 4 support would work given the button names are completely different.

Microsoft also announced that, in 2020, it plans to add support for xCloud on Windows 10 PCs, as well as devices made by a “broad set of partners.” Currently, xCloud only works on Android phones. Another big piece of news is that Microsoft is expanding the network of public testers to, so if you didn’t receive an invite to the initial beta, check your email again now. The current xCloud public trial continues to be exclusive to the US, UK, and Korea, however.

Another big piece of xCloud news is that game streaming is also coming to Xbox Game Pass, so subscribers can play games in that catalogue via the cloud on compatible devices.

In 2020, the xCloud preview program will expand to Canada, Japan, India, and Western Europe, though there is no word on support for Australia or other major areas around the globe. Microsoft has said it wants xCloud to eventually reach 2 billion gamers across the world, and it appears it will take a while for that dream to become a reality.

Microsoft also announced it’s adding more than 50 additional games to the xCloud preview. These include Madden NFL 20, Tekken 7, Hitman, Just Cause 4, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and Darksiders 3, among many others.

from GameSpot – Game News