The big announcements so far from Microsoft’s annual gaming expo
Microsoft has announced a raft of updates to its subscription services and a host of new exclusive Xbox titles at its X019 trade show.
The annual event, which kicked off yesterday evening at the Copper Box Arena in London, has so far seen Microsoft confirm more details about its Project xCloud video game streaming service, as well as updates to the ever-growing Xbox Game Pass subscription scheme.
A number of game announcements were made, too, including a new title from Banjo-Kazooie developer Rare and the inclusion of Halo: Reach in the all-encompassing Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
X019 runs until 16 November and more gaming news is expected over the coming days. In the meantime, here are all the big reveals so far:
Project xCloud gets a major update
Arguably the biggest announcement yesterday was that Project xCloud, Microsoft’s answer to Google Stadia, will be getting 50 new titles ahead of its release next year.
The service, currently available to a select few through Microsoft’s Preview programme, launched in October with five titles that could be streamed over a Wi-Fi connection to a player’s Android smartphone. The service doesn’t require users to own a console or any of the games bundled into the subscription plan.
But in a bid to get a leg up on Google Stadia, which officially launches on 19 November with 44 games, Microsoft has upped xCloud’s title count tenfold, The Verge reports. The list now includes hit titles such as Madden NFL 20, Devil May Cry 5, Tekken 7, and Forza Horizon 4.
Microsoft also confirmed that the pre-release version of xCloud will expand to Windows 10 users next year, while implying that Apple’s iPhones may support the service further down the line, according to Metro.
Those who are invited to take part in the Project xCloud preview can access the games for free for the time being, though Microsoft will charge a monthly fee for the service – which has yet to be determined – when the service eventually goes live.
Xbox Game Pass also gets 50 new titles
Xbox Game Pass, the subscription service that allows players to access a vast library of games for a monthly fee, will soon be boosted by an additional 50 titles, too.
As reported by GamesRadar, Microsoft will be adding “some high-profile Japanese games” to the service, including a number of titles from the Final Fantasy and Yakuza titles.
Tekken 7 will also join the roster, as will Rage 2 and Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, bringing the service’s game count to more than 200 titles.
Unlike Project xCloud, an Xbox console or Windows 10 PC is required to take advantage of the service – which starts at £7.99 per month, with the first three months costing just £1.
More first-party games in the works
Microsoft has struggled to keep up with the amount of high quality first-party games launched by its rivals Sony and Nintendo. To bring itself back into contention, the company is pushing to bring more exclusive titles to its console and PC.
Among the new titles revealed at X019 were Tell Me Why. Developed by Life is Strange creator Dontnod Entertainment, Tell Me Why is a “narrative adventure” game that features “the first playable video game hero from a major studio and publisher who is also transgender”, notes TechRadar.
Rare, meanwhile, unveiled Everwild. Little is known about the game, but the trailer suggests it will feature a “band of adventurers” and “some very cute” fictional animals, says PC Gamer.
Microsoft has also confirmed that Halo: Reach will be joining The Master Chief Collection on 3 December, Eurogamer reports. It’s the final major game in the Halo series to join the anthology, and will be available on both Xbox One and PC.