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Recent stories from Xbox Wire

Royal Artillery comes to World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition - Tue, 23 Sep 2014 11:10:00 Z
The latest update for World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition arrives today with some of the heaviest hitters rolling onto the field of battle! Get 9 new British SPGs including the iconic Crusader, ConquerorGC, Bishop and Sexton II. Also being introduced to the game is a host of German medium tanks, including the Leopard PTA, Leopard 1, and the VVK 30.02 D. Two new maps will join the play rotation – Redshire and Siegfried Line.

If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try the new in-match operations feature that will task you with various in-game objectives. You’ll earn rewards like experience bonuses, silver and consumables as you pull off each operation and fully test your skills in the heat of battle!

The update, now live globally, will be available as a free download for all Xbox Live Gold members, with a free seven-day trial for all other Xbox Live account holders. For more information, check out

Cancel Your Plans: Comedy Central's Now on Xbox One - Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:15:00 Z
Want Comedy Central full episodes? Here you go. With Comedy Central on Xbox One, Xbox Live members in the U.S. can watch current shows the day after they air, including the latest from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report,” “Tosh.0,” “@midnight” and more. As if that weren't enough, you can check out hours of stand-up specials, digital shorts and extras.

Binge-Watching Is Delicious
If you're anything like us, you're psyched that ”South Park” and “Key & Peele” are returning with new episodes on Wednesday, Sept. 24 (tune in, starting at 10/9c). There's no better way to celebrate than by starting a “South Park” marathon and watching all of last season. You can also get caught up with all three seasons of “Key & Peele” -- nooice. Don't stop there, though, as there are full seasons of other returning shows and curated playlists to keep your eyes happy.  

Gone, But Not Forgotten
Toss those DVDs. This is the best way to watch the classic shows that continue to define comedy, like the complete “Chappelle's Show.” Who knows, you may just discover an old new favorite.

Go On, You High Achiever
Be rewarded for something worthwhile: watching TV. The more time you spend tuning in, the more you can achieve. Getting started is easy -- just download the app to unlock your first achievement. Want more? Sign in with your TV provider to get the most content (and another achievement). It's free with your TV subscription.

There's so much to watch. What are you waiting for?

Fueled by Car Passion: A Young Racer’s Epic Road Trip - Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:00:00 Z
Mario Bonfante Jr. is always up for a challenge. So when Turn 10 Studios invited him on a road trip to check out Forza Horizon 2 at their studio in Redmond, WA, Mario suited up. He slid into a modified 1998 BMW M3 E36, gripped his custom shifters and hit the open road to chase down his favorite racing franchise.

A fiercely competitive race driver who refused to give up his dreams when his career was cut short in a tragic accident eight years ago, Mario’s story is the kind that inspires Turn 10 Studios to create groundbreaking and passion-fueled 
Forza experiences.

Join Mario on his journey as he goes off-roading in his BMW, meets the Turn 10 team, shares how 
Forza helped him re-acclimate to driving after his accident, and gets an exciting first-hand look at the fun, freedom and action-packed driving that define Forza Horizon 2.

Featuring all-new 
Forza Horizon 2 gameplay, this video highlights the myriad of exciting new features fans will enjoy starting on Sept. 30, including the game’s massive, living open world, endless free-roaming fun, deep online social experiences and diverse collection of more than 200 of the world’s greatest cars. 

To see part 1 of Mario’s story, visit:

Can’t wait to hit the open road in Forza Horizon 2? Be sure to check out the Xbox One demo available now on Xbox Live! In addition, the game is now available for pre-order at your local retailer and for pre-order/pre-download in the Xbox Store.

No Humans Were Harmed in the Making of Sunset Overdrive’s Live Action Trailer - Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:00:00 Z
Some of you may have heard that Insomniac Games and Xbox have been filming a live action trailer to promote the upcoming Xbox One exclusive, Sunset Overdrive. Over the past several months, the team put together an extensive production crew, drafted an array of storyboards and scripts, and created realistic costumes, props and backdrops to replicate the colorful scenery from the game.

Insomniac Games and Xbox’s end-goal was to bring the humorous and over-the-top elements of 
Sunset Overdrive’s Awesomepocalypse to life, showcasing the games’ unconventional weapons, ferocious mutants and tongue-in-cheek satire. However, Sunset Overdrive proved to be too crazy and insane for anything real-life.

Also, check out the interactive version of the behind-the-scenes video (complete with additional content, surprises and Easter Eggs), and learn why creating a live action trailer for a game as crazy and action-packed as Sunset Overdrive may not have been the best idea. Some games are just too big for that.

Forza Horizon 2 Comes to Life in the #ForzaFuel Road Trip - Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:00:00 Z
Racing helicopters, Twitch streaming live from Cannes, road tripping across the French Alps and racing cars on one of the world’s most secluded and secret mountain race tracks. Xbox has been turning the incredible roads featured in Forza Horizon 2 into a four-day, real-life road trip through Southern Europe.

#ForzaFuel was a social campaign that brought together the best of
Forza Horizon 2 and the passion of fans at home. Pitting eight teams of gaming and motorsports personalities head-to-head in a series of epic challenges inspired by the game, the teams and their fans competed to be crowned #ForzaFuel champions.

Check out each of the four challenges below!

Day 1 – Get to the Choppa

Setting off from Genoa, Italy, the teams turned up the heat with a head-to-head race against a helicopter in Bologna, with racing legend Tanner Foust setting the bar high. Watch the video to see which team came out on top. The fans also got involved, sharing their selfies with the hashtag #SupercarSelfies to earn #ForzaFuel for their teams.

Day 2 – Slip Streaming

After an incredible Alpine ascent, we put the gamers to the test, taking the Lamborghini Huracán on the Amalfi Coast in the
Forza Horizon 2 demo, aiming to get the best time. Check out the Twitch stream to see which gamer posted the best time. Fans at home contributed to the team score by downloading the demo and sharing their speed laps.

Day 3 – Speed Dating

The teams drove their supercars through the historic streets of Monte Carlo and Cannes in an epic convoy on the way to the third challenge – Speed Dating. Putting their chemistry to the test, the teams aimed to get their fastest combined time of a real-life lap on a track in Grand Sambuc by the drivers and an in-game lap on the
Forza Horizon 2 demo. The team members at home provided the soundtrack, sharing the tunes to keep their team captain’s pedal to the floor.


Hearts were racing in the final challenge, which saw the teams ride shotgun in a rally track outside Barcelona, aiming to keep their heart rate slow whilst flying around a high-speed dirt track. Team members at home earned their #ForzaFuel by sharing the in-game cars that they’d like the keys for.

After a week of earning #ForzaFuel, our teams were neck and neck at the top of the leaderboard. But it was #TeamFear – FearCrads and Tom Onslow-Colewatch in the Aston Martin Vantage S – and their supporters at home who snatched both the pole position and the ultimate prize cache for fans at home.

Fans who participated will receive one exclusive #ForzaFuel livery each for both
Forza Motorsport 5 and Forza Horizon 2 and be entered for a chance to receive prizes such as an Xbox One, a copy of Forza Horizon 2, a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, a GoPro and other prizes.

Visit to relive the ultimate real-life
Forza road trip. Now it's time to leave your limits and take on the stunning roads featured in #ForzaFuel. Forza Horizon 2 releases starting Sept. 30.

A Closer Look at Titanfall’s Third Downloadable Map Pack - Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:03:00 Z
Good news, Titanfall fans! Full details on the third downloadable map pack – IMC Rising – are now available, and your pilots and Titans will have three very different maps to choose from. Developer Respawn Entertainment may have saved the best for last with these. Check out where you’ll be blowing each other up next!

Zone 18 – The Robotics Lab

Zone 18 is a unique addition to Titanfall. You’ll notice that most of the roofs are the same height, forcing players to deviate from the strategy of getting to the highest ground. The decommissioned Hammond robotics factory is designed to force players into meeting each other; it’s more open and spacious than most other maps, making it the perfect field for Titans.

Backwater – The Bootlegging Colony

When you hear these moonshiners, you might think of the Appalachian Mountains, but the rice paddies of Backwater give the map more of an Asian feel. Expect a lot of elevation changes on this map, meaning lots of high points to gain the upper ground. But watch out for the large underground grain storage facilities, where pilots can escape and move between hardpoints. Hardcore Titanfall fans will recognize the map as part of the first concept art shown for the game!

Sand Trap – Desert Wasteland

The rolling dunes of Sand Trap are a playground for Titans, giving them ample space to wage battle. And buried in the sand in the center of the map is an old bunker, where pilots can take refuge from the Titans above, and fight each other. Trenches along the sides of the map provide quick wall-running pathways for pilots to move around on. But watch out: All that unrefined oil at the bottom of the trenches means instant death for anyone who misses a jump.

The IMC Rising DLC pack arrives later this year for Titanfall on Xbox One and Xbox 360. Get ready to call for a drop, Titanfall fans!

Leave Your Limits with Forza Horizon 2’s New Live Action Trailer - Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:00:00 Z
For the launch of Forza Horizon 2, Xbox and twofifteenmccann developed a live-action trailer titled “Leave Your Limits,” which truly embodies the spirit of the game.

The trailer begins in the playfully nostalgic world of an electric slot car track. The all-new 2014 Lamborghini Huracán – which will appear exclusively in Forza Horizon 2 this fall – leads the charge of cars breaking free from the track and driving hard through the coastline, vineyards, and towns of southern Europe. The Italian song featured in the spot, Adriano Celentano’s “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” helps to bring the fun and freedom of the game to life.

twofifteenmccann partnered with director Adam Berg of Smuggler and MPC to lead the production which was filmed on location on of the some of the world’s most famous driving roads.

“I loved setting up these two worlds for Forza,” said Berg. “We started in the narrow slot car landscape with its tilt/shift look, then we broke free from the expected boundaries in an explosion of dust and concrete, and drove through Italy with a 2014 Lamborghini Huracán. Not a bad way to spend a few days.”

Can't wait to hit the open road? Be sure to check out the Xbox One demo available now on Xbox Live. Forza Horizon 2 arrives beginning Sept. 30 and is available now for pre-order at your local retailer and for pre-order and pre-download from the Xbox Store.

Buy Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for Xbox One and Get the Final Fantasy XV Demo - Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:45:00 Z
Square-Enix is going all in with Final Fantasy at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. For starters: It’s just been announced that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, which North American Xbox One gamers will be able to get their hands on for the first time ever, is set for a March 17, 2015 release date, in a $59.95 retail package.

But, just in case the allure of a brand-new (well, to North America, anyway) Final Fantasy game in glorious HD isn’t enough for you, Type-0 comes with a voucher code for a playable demo of the highly-anticipated Final Fantasy XV.

Titled Final Fantasy XV -EPISODE DUSCAE-, the demo will get players acquainted with the game’s opening areas, though the story flow is a bit different than the final product, so as to create a unique demo experience (something that Square-Enix is, incidentally, very good at).

And if, for some reason, you’re just not hyped enough for Final Fantasy XV yet, check out the brand-new trailer above that debuted at Tokyo Game Show.  It sure does it look pretty!

Pre-Download Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor & Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Starting Today - Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:00:00 Z
As we continue to roll out our digital pre-order and pre-download program, we are excited to announce that two more titles are available for pre-load starting today. First, there’s the action-packed original story set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings saga, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which puts player in the boots of a ranger named Talion who must use his wraith-like powers to avenge the death of his family. The second game, the gritty undercover cop drama Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, brings 2012’s sleeper hit into this generation with gorgeous upgraded visuals, gameplay improvements and rebuilt audio, plus the inclusion of all extra downloadable content. 

To celebrate the launch of these games, the following Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition game bundles are available for pre-order globally, starting today, through the Xbox Store on the console or online at

  • Xbox One Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Pre-Order, available starting today for $59.99, includes the standard game, plus Dark Ranger Skin and “Test of Power” Challenge Mode.
  • Xbox One Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Pre-Order, available starting today for $59.99.

Here’s how it works. When a title becomes available for digital pre-order in the Xbox Store, select “Pre-purchase” to buy and download the game. You will be charged the full amount upon transaction and may use any supported payment method, including an existing Microsoft account balance or credit card. The game will download, along with any updates issued before the release date, so the game is up-to-date and ready to play. Then, when the game is officially released to the Xbox Store, timed with local launch availability, simply go to the game in My Games & Apps, go to your pre-pinned tile, or say “Xbox, go to Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition” or “Xbox, go to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” to start playing. Titles will be available after midnight local time on the release date in your corresponding country, though some countries with multiple time zones will align to one release time. For example, in the United States, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition will be available for play at 12:01 a.m. PT on its release day.

Similar to other digital downloads, you will need a consistent Internet connection to download a pre-ordered game and your Xbox One will need to be turned on or in connected standby (Instant On) mode. Of course, you can check the download progress at any time in your download queue, My Games & Apps, or on the game details page. And if you have multiple games loading simultaneously, you can prioritize titles, pause, and resume downloads in your queue.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Gets a New Co-op Trailer - Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:01:00 Z
Yes, Assassin’s Creed: Unity – the next chapter in Ubisoft’s acclaimed action-adventure saga – is coming to Xbox One on November 11. And this time out, new protagonist Arno Dorian can draft some assistance on his quest for vengeance in French Revolution-era Paris. Up to four players can band together to tackle many of Unity’s story-based missions as a team, as this brand-new trailer beautifully demonstrates.

Now, as you’ll see, these guys aren’t exactly subtle – they seem to favor the “kick in the door and skewer everyone” approach. Nevertheless, you and your online friends can opt for a wide range of approaches in Unity’s multiplayer, whether you prefer to stick to the shadows or go right for the face. Either way, it looks like a bloody good time. But enough from us; check out the new Assassin’s Creed: Unity trailer for yourself!

A Closer Look at Ori and the Blind Forest’s Emotional Prologue - Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:00:00 Z
Ever since it was unveiled at E3 earlier this year, Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest has been one the most talked-about Xbox One games of 2014. Fans have been eager to learn more, so the team unveiled the “Prologue” and “Sunken Glades” levels of Ori and the Blind Forest at the Tokyo Games Show and took us deeper into the powerful narrative woven throughout the game.

In the prologue to
Ori and the Blind Forest, we learn Ori was separated from the Spirit Tree during a great storm.  The gentle and nurturing Naru finds and rescues the orphan, and we quickly see a parent/child bond develop as the pair spend sunny days in the Forest of Nibel and feast on the bounty of nature’s harvest.  Late one night, Ori awakes to a great sound echoing through the forest. It is the Spirit Tree calling out to Ori, but when Ori does not answer, the tree erupts with light and its power soon fades. Without the life energy of the great tree, the forest soon begins to die.

We won’t spoil the rest of the powerful prologue here, as you can watch the video above for yourself. Ultimately, our unlikely hero must journey to find his courage, and confront a dark nemesis to save his home. 

Coming to Xbox One and PC later this year
, Ori and the Blind Forest is a visually stunning action-platformer that features intensely challenging gameplay through a vast non-linear world. Above all, it’s a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all. If the prologue is any indication, this is going to be one memorable experience.

Meet Killer Instinct Season 2’s Maya and Her Deadly Daggers - Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
At Tokyo Game Show this week, Killer Instinct fans will get hands-on for the first time with Season 2’s Maya, the badass monster hunter wielding the ancient daggers “Temperance” and “Vengeance.” Maya is the second character to be revealed for Season 2, with TJ Combo from the original Killer Instinct confirmed at E3 last June.  You can check out Maya in action and a tease of the next character in the video above. 

First seen back in the day in
Killer Instinct 2, Maya’s fast-paced “blade juggling” combat style lets her power up her daggers the more they’re blocked, leading to increasingly devastating attacks and mixups against her opponents.  You’ll need to be careful when playing her though -- if she loses a blade, her powers are diminished until she can recover it.

Of course, if you don’t just happen to be at TGS in Japan this week, you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on
Killer Instinct: Season 2 for Xbox One.  The game officially launches on Oct. 15, but Microsoft Studios and Iron Galaxy are giving fans a special way to get in on the action early. 

Here’s the rundown: On September 23, the same day that
Killer Instinct: Season 1 arrives on retail disc ($19.99/£16.99/€19.99), we’re also opening up pre-purchase of the Killer Instinct: Season 2 Ultra Edition for fans who can’t wait to get their fight on. Pre-purchasing the Season 2 Ultra Edition gets you instant access to TJ Combo, plus the full version of Killer Instinct 2 Classic, 3 weeks before the official launch of Season 2.

Once October 15
arrives, Season 2 will officially launch with a completely revamped interface and eight new fighters, starting with TJ Combo and Maya at launch and a character per month after that. As always, the base game is a free download via Xbox Live. Additional Season 2 fighters will roll out on a monthly basis and can be purchased individually for $4.99/£3.99/€4.99.

In the same manner as
Season 1, Killer Instinct: Season 2 for Xbox One will feature two value bundles for purchase:

Killer Instinct: Season 2 – Ultra Edition
  • Eight fighters, starting with TJ Combo and Maya on October 15,, with a new fighter arriving each month.
  • Alternate costumes and accessory packs for the Season 2 characters, featuring costumes designed by Kevin Bayliss, Art Director for the original Killer Instinct arcade games
  • Killer Instinct 2 Classic, a perfect port of the 1996 arcade game with full multiplayer support over Xbox Live and 1000 Gamerscore to earn
  • Ultra Edition buyers this season will get early access to characters and customization items before the Combo Breaker Pack or individual purchasers

Killer Instinct: Season 2 – Combo Breaker Pack (
  • Eight fighters, starting with TJ Combo and Maya on October 15, with a new fighter arriving each month.

For more info on the game, its characters, regional tournaments, and basically everything
Killer Instinct-related, you can always visit the Official Killer Instinct Forums. See you in the arena!

D4 and the Evolution of the Noir Adventure Game - Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:00:00 Z
Japanese mystery games tend to sit somewhere on a rather vast spectrum, ranging from the profoundly serious to the patently absurd. The work of Hidetaka Suehiro – known to his fans as Swery65 – occupies a very specific part of that spectrum, with a smart, surrealist tone all his own. Swery65 is directing the upcoming Xbox One title D4, which launches on September 19 as a $14.99 digital download for Xbox One. And don’t worry: Swery65’s signature sense of humor (as seen in 2010 cult classic Deadly Premonition) is on full display here. We had the chance to chat with the director before he spends the coming days showing off D4 at the Tokyo Game Show.

stars the young, eccentric, and hip David Young, whose wife was killed two years prior, and whose killer hasn't yet been brought to justice. David, for his part, possesses the special ability to re-experience moments from the past, simply by touching mementos – such as, say, a strappy, summery high-heeled shoe. When David's crazy roommate attacks him (with a live mouse inside her mouth) in one of the game’s early scenes, David starts to reminisce about the time when she “suddenly” moved in, and wisps nostalgic about how she would often bring him dinner.

can be played using either a controller or Kinect – and the Kinect integration fits in very nicely with the game’s tone. When you choose this control method, looking around the room is handled with wide swipe gestures; if you want to examine an object, you merely perform a grabbing gesture with your hand. When facing off against the crazy roommate, you use quick hand movements to dodge and deflect various kitchenware that she hurls your way. At one point, when she climbs onto the kitchen table, you can grab her shoulders quickly and pull her down. It’s weird stuff, made all the weirder by the fact that you’re doing it yourself.

With Tokyo Game Show going on this week, we had a chance to sit down with Swery65 to chat about

Xbox Wire: How would you say the tone of D4 differs from that of your previous work?

D4 stands out as the game with the most refined art style, when compared with the other games I have worked on in the past. However, the overarching “dreamy” atmosphere is pretty much as-expected, and that has been kept unchanged on purpose, since I presume there are many people out there who are expecting that from me.

Xbox Wire: You're using the Kinect in very creative ways with D4. What's been most exciting about this technology, and what aspects have worked best with the game?

“Replicating senses” and “Empathy” have been key themes to the project since its beginning, and the Kinect has been very useful in realizing those. The player is able to move his or her hands around as if they are actually touching the in-game world, and can effortlessly get immersed in the world. Of course, the game can be played from beginning to end with the standard controller – but if you own an Xbox One, I implore you to give the Kinect experience a shot.

Xbox Wire: D4 has a very specific cel-shaded visual style. Why did you choose this visual direction?

D4 has an episodic structure, so if the fans really like what they see, the series could continue for a pretty long time. If that happens, when a new player wants to start from the very first episode, I wanted to make sure they didn’t feel like they were getting into something old or outdated. Those were the points I had in mind while I was iterating on the development of the style we have today.

Xbox Wire: The episodic approach to content has been becoming more common for games in recent years. Were you inspired by other successful titles, such as Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead?

I do, of course, play the games from Telltale Games. But at the beginning, I was purely enjoying them from the point-of-view of a player. However, after the various things happened that resulted in our decision to go episodic with D4, I went back to revisit the games from the beginning, this time from a game designer’s point-of-view. At that point, I discovered a lot of clever hooks and techniques being used that I didn’t notice when I had my regular “gamer” hat on. I took in and digested those different points, and have applied them to D4 as a “Swery take” on the ideas.

Xbox Wire: How would you describe D4's protagonist? Does he remind you of anyone you know, in particular?

David Young, is, in a nutshell, a “man of humanity.” He has a bright past and a family he cared about, overshadowed by a tragedy. He has strengths and weaknesses, as well as likes and dislikes. He has common sense, but isn’t the perfect embodiment of good.

He can laugh, he can get upset, and he can cry – all during the pursuit of his “life goal.”

His approach toward this “life goal” is indeed very unique – but his struggle with life, his longing for happiness, and the way he is struck down by the harsh realities of life are all representative of who I am, and is also a reflection of all of you who will play the game. I wanted to create a personality that embodies all of those characteristics, and turn David Young into not an idol to adore, but a person to sympathize with.

Xbox Wire: What inspirations did you look to for the game, including its time travel aspects?

The initial inspiration was really simple. I’m sure everyone has, at some point in their lives, thought about that one day in the past. “If I didn’t make that one decision on that one day, would I have turned out differently? Would I be the same person that I am now?” I believe that these kinds of imaginative explorations – starting from a point in the past and stretching out into the present – is something that only humans are capable of. Nobody taught us to do that, but it’s something everyone has experienced. Tackling themes like this, that are so close to the core, is very challenging and natural at the same time, for me.

Xbox Wire: Does the title reference Kenji Eno's D series at all? Were you friends with Mr. Eno?

Unfortunately, D4 has nothing to do with the D series. I apologize to everyone who was expecting something interesting there. However, as the third Swery original, D4 was created from scratch and loaded with hot passion. I’m sure you’ll like it, so please try it out. I Love You All!

As one can gather from the title (which stands for “Dark Dreams Don't Die” and also serves as a reference to the fourth dimension),
D4 is far from a “normal” adventure game. The game’s cel-shaded graphics would seem more at home in nearly any other genre, and the game is full of bizarre moments – such as hitting a baseball into an enemy while aboard an airplane, using a leg belonging to a mannequin named Sukey, for instance – that make it a far cry from more mainstream adventure mystery fare like L.A. Noire and Fables: The Wolf Among Us Another cult classic for Swery65? We wouldn’t bet against it.

Happy Wars Hits 8 Million Downloads on Xbox 360; Shares X1 Updates - Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:00:00 Z
At TGS this week, we’re showing off a new build of Happy Wars for Xbox One, the hit free-to-play online multiplayer action game created by Tokyo-based indie developer Toylogic, Inc. More than 8 million players have downloaded Happy Wars on Xbox 360, and we’re excited to bring the same gameplay fans love to the new Xbox One version later this year, along with some cool new updates.

Happy Wars
for Xbox One takes advantage of the next generation console’s power to enhance the graphic fidelity and introduces a new split-screen feature that allows four players to battle together on a single console. One important update is that, unfortunately, cross-platform functionality will no longer be a supported feature for the game, as previously announced. While it was a tough decision, the studio team re-prioritized engineering efforts to deliver the best possible Happy Wars experience on Xbox One – and we think fans will be very happy with the end result. 

Happy Wars
for Xbox One will feature a story-driven campaign mode and action-packed multiplayer battles for up to 30 players. Enter the fray as one of the six player character classes – Warrior, Mage, Cleric, Berserker, Zephyr, or Engineer, each with different tactical strengths. Work together as a team to take down your enemies and conquer their castle.

Happy Wars
is a free-to-play title, but there are various items you can purchase using in-game currency called Happy Tickets, including accessories and equipment for your characters. Additionally, with Xbox Live, it’s easy to bring your existing Xbox 360 progress over to your Xbox One.

Happy Wars
will launch later this year as a digital download through the Xbox One Marketplace. Xbox Live members can enjoy the single player mode without an Xbox Live Gold membership. However, to experience the Happy Wars Xbox One multiplayer features an Xbox Live Gold membership is required. Just like the 360 version of Happy Wars, we’ll be updating the Xbox One version and providing lots of new events and items even after launch.

We’ll see you on the battlefield later this year!

Age of Empires: Castle Siege Launches today! - Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:00:00 Z
Are you an Empire-Building Prodigy? A Siege Genius? A Tactical Mastermind? Then Join the Siege. New to Windows 8.1 for PC and tablets and Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a free to play game that brings all the strategy and combat Age of Empires is known for to touch based screens. Choose from one of several civilizations, expand your castle into a massive city, and defend your walls against marauding empires and, when your newly trained army is ready, lay siege to other castles built by online opponents. If you have multiple Windows 8 devices, no problem! Your game progress is always saved to your gamertag. Download today and battle friends across platforms – any Windows 8.1 PC, tablet or Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 can join the siege.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Game You Never Knew Existed - Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:47:00 Z
Faithful “Guardians of the Galaxy” fans, disappointed that their favorite summer blockbuster didn’t get a dedicated tie-in console game, will want to take a closer look at the upcoming Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition). In addition to launching with Avengers- and Spider-Man-themed Play Sets, the toys-to-life follow-up also support a standalone “Guardians of the Galaxy” adventure on day one.

Bundled with sweet-looking Star-Lord and Gamora sculpts, the six-to-eight hour, story-driven campaign can be tackled with the capable pair of cosmic antiheroes or their sold-separately pals Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer. The film’s setting, storyline, and secondary characters figure prominently into the Play Set (Cosmo the dog is a freaking mission-giver!), but our recent demo – featuring all five characters – was squarely focused on showcasing the Sakaaran-slaying quintet’s superpowers and special abilities.

Beginning in an arena-like outdoor environment, our presentation started with Star-Lord – decked out in his trademark flowing trench coat, and clutching dual-pistols – taking on bad guys and enemy turrets. Coupled with the mobility afforded by his afterburner boots, Star-Lord’s ranged sharpshooting skills made quick work of the on-foot foes. The entrenched cannons, however, posed more of a problem... until the player running our demo swapped Star-Lord out for the melee-focused Gamora. Sporting her signature sword and the agility of an Olympic gymnast, the green-skinned brawler bounced from one turret to the next, leaving little more than smoking scrap and twisted metal in her wake.

While we would have been perfectly content to follow Gamora through the entire game, there was still a trio of Guardians to unleash on Ronan the Accuser’s minions. With Groot taking his spot on the
Disney Infinity base, we witnessed another skilled melee fighter in action. Where Gamora was perfect for up-close encounters, though, the tree-limbed hero could use his bare hands... errr, branches to beat up baddies from afar. From enemy soldiers to flying drop ships, it seemed that nothing was beyond his reach. His coolest ability, though, was one that saw his lethal limbs target distant enemies before snaking underground and popping up beneath them for surprise attacks.

After literally uprooting much of the landscape from behind Groot’s special ability, the player placed fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon on the base. Sporting two machine guns – and plenty of personality – the half-pint hero unleashed hot lead and snarky attitude in equal measure. The adorable ass-kicker was doing just fine on his own, but the player decided to steal some of his spotlight by showing off one of the title’s team-up discs. Placed on the base like any other power disc, the plastic wafer temporarily spawned Yondu into the scene. Armed with his death-dealing homing arrow, the computer-controlled blue baddie helped Rocket clear the area before disappearing into thin air (a cooldown meter in the top left corner of the screen let us know when he was ready for round two).

Thanks to Rocket’s enthusiasm for eliminating every enemy onscreen, there was little for Drax to do when he stepped up to the portal-like peripheral. Despite the lack of dagger fodder, however, the tattooed muscleman still had some tricks to perform. Upon entering the more vertical living quarters of planet Knowhere, the bulging behemoth began displaying his awesome ability to scale buildings. Working much like the Hulk’s fists in the
Avengers Play Set, Drax’s twin blades can be used to ascend flat, vertical surfaces. Of course, we’re guessing he’s also pretty damn good at doing other things with those dual daggers when not driving them into concrete.

That same sentiment applies to the other four characters, too, as we only got a teasing taste of what they’re capable of individually and as co-op teams. Thanks to power discs, special abilities, character-specific attacks, and a new skill tree system, the Guardians are armed to the teeth with moves, gear, and other goodies that fans of the film will surely appreciate. In fact, one such surprise – hinted at by Senior Producer John Vignocchi – is a special move that will see Groot and Raccoon teaming up, just as they did in the film, to form a living turret of sorts.

When not letting the Guardians loose in their standalone Play Set, they can be unleashed into the creativity-fueled Toy Box or assembled to tackle “Escape from the Kyln,” a dedicated dungeon-crawler accessed via the bundled game disc. Toss in the fact that the five detail-drenched figures are some of the prettiest to ever set foot on the base, and it looks like gamers and toy collectors alike will have plenty of reasons to get down like baby Groot when
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 23.

Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows Brings the Console Experience to PC - Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:25:00 Z
We have good news for all of the controller-loving PC gamers out there: Soon, you’ll have a new option for bringing the comfort and precision of a controller to your computer with the Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows.

Arriving in November 2014, the Windows 7 and Windows 8-compatible controller brings the feel of the Xbox One to your PC. The Xbox One Controller + Cable is the culmination of over 200 prototypes; featuring over 40 awesome innovations, it’s the best PC controller Microsoft has ever produced.

The Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows is simple to use, plugging into any available USB slot and updating automatically. Want to switch it over to your Xbox One for some console gaming? No problem! The controller works on your Xbox One as well, either wirelessly or with the cable, making it more versatile than third-party PC controllers.

You can grab the Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows this holiday season, at most major retailers or your local Microsoft Store.

6 Great Features of Xbox Live Rewards - Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:00:00 Z
The Xbox Live Rewards program has gotten even better, offering Xbox gamers the chance to turn their passion into profit. Longtime Xbox gamers may have used and enjoyed the service during the Xbox 360 days, but we’d love to get all of our fans – old and new – in on the action. Check out the breakdown on just what makes the program so darned cool.

1) It’s easy to use (you’re practically doing it already!)

One of the nice things about the Xbox Live Rewards Program is that it rewards you for doing the stuff you’re already doing on your Xbox One and Xbox 360. Namely: playing games, watching movies, and using apps. It’s the easiest and most fun way to earn credit for games!

2) Payouts are automatic

When your Xbox Live Rewards account reaches 5,000 Rewards Credits, they’ll be converted to your local currency, and added to your Xbox Live account. No hassle! You can request a payout earlier, too – but you never have to worry about whether you’ll get your credit.

3) You can spend your rewards on anything in the Xbox Store

Rewards Credits are converted to local currency that can be spent on anything in the Xbox Store. You’re not limited to a catalog of knickknacks that you don’t want, either: You can spend your funds on anything, including the newest hottest games.

4) There are always new ways to get Rewards Credits

As new features, new games, and new apps come out, the ways you can earn Rewards Credits can change and evolve, too. Get rewarded for trying out the cool new Xbox features you’d already want to test drive! You can currently earn 1,000 Rewards Credits for playing a featured Games with Gold title for 10 hours or more, or 2,000 Rewards Credits for purchasing an eligible game add-on for participating Games with Gold titles. And we’ll keep finding new ways for you to rack up those Rewards Credits!

5) Double down with MyVIP

Every dollar you spend in the Xbox Store counts towards VIP Stars. The higher your VIP Stars rank, the more Rewards Credits you’ll earn. And Xbox Live Gold members get double the kickback, earning up to 10 percent back on Xbox Store purchases. More gaming, more rewards!

6) You can get full stats for your personal XBL Rewards progress

The My Rewards page features updates on your Punch cards, your stats, and how many credits you need to reach the next tier level. It’s an awesome tool for keeping tabs on your progress, and seeing how close you are to reaching that next level.

You don’t even need Xbox Live Gold to get started (though it’s one of the easy ways to earn Rewards Credits!). Anyone can participate – just head over to our Xbox Live Rewards website  to get started today!

Eight Free Downloadable Cars Coming to Forza Horizon 2 at Launch - Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:00:00 Z
Forza Horizon 2 is just weeks away and, soon, Forza fans the world over will be exploring the wide-open high-speed highways and breakneck back roads of southern Europe. By now, you’re probably aware that Forza Horizon 2 will ship with more than 200 amazing cars, all built from the ground up on Xbox One. Forza has always been about bringing fans the best content, whether that’s world debut cars like Roll-Royce Wraith or track add-ons like Long Beach, Road America, and the Nürburgring.

As is the case with all Forza games, we’ll constantly be updating Forza Horizon 2 with fresh new content. Beginning on Sept. 30 to coincide with the release of Forza Horizon 2, we’ll be launching a brand new pack for the game: the Forza Horizon 2 Launch Bonus Car Pack. This car pack will feature eight cars representing the awesome variety that can be found in the Forza Horizon 2 car roster – from rough-and-tumble trucks like the 1956 Ford F-100 to the raw power represented by the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The Launch Bonus Pack will include three never-before-seen vehicles in the Forza franchise: the 2003 Ford Focus RS, the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, and the 1993 Clio Williams. Best of all, all eight of the cars featured in the Launch Bonus Car Pack will be available to all Forza Horizon 2 players at launch for no additional cost.

Here’s the full list of cars in the Launch Bonus Car Pack:

  • 2003 Ford Focus RS
  • 1997 Land Rover Defender 90
  • 1993 Clio Williams
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT
  • 1987 Buick Regal GNX
  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse
  • 1956 Ford F-100

In addition to the Launch Bonus Car Pack, today we’re also announcing the details for Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership (discounted for current Forza Motorpsort 5 VIPs) and the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass. As in Forza Motorsport 5, each purchased add-on car can be added to your in-game garage one time for free – without additional in-game credits.

VIP Membership

Forza Horizon 2
VIP Membership (regular $19.99; 50 percent off or $9.99 for Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members) is like a backstage pass at the Horizon Festival, giving you access to cool content you can only get here. VIP members will receive exclusive benefits in Forza Horizon 2, including the VIP Car Pack, featuring five cars (four of which are brand new to the Forza franchise). These five cars include the 2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO. VIP membership also awards with 2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition. Current Forza Motorsport 5 VIPs receive a $10 discount on digital purchases of Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership or any Forza Horizon 2 digital offer that includes VIP membership. (Note that this discount only applies to digital offers of Forza Horizon 2.)

Car Pass
The Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass ($24.99) gets you access to six monthly pack add-ons beginning in October, with each pack featuring five amazing cars. That’s six monthly car packs for the price of five! Plus, Car Pass owners will receive an exclusive bonus car for free: the 2010 Noble M600. That’s 31 cars to collect, race, and customize in Forza Horizon 2! Look for more details on the first monthly car pack for Forza Horizon 2 coming soon!

Demo/Pre-Download Available Now
We’ve saved the best for last: the Forza Horizon 2 demo for Xbox One is here! Starting today you can download the demo for the game on Xbox Live and get a tantalizing taste for the game we’ll all be playing starting on Sept. 30. In addition the game is now available for pre-order at your local retailer and for pre-order/pre-download in the Xbox Store.


Minecraft to Join Microsoft - Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
Today is an incredibly exciting day for our team as Mojang and the Minecraft franchise join MicrosoftMinecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, from players since its launch in 2009. Minecraft inspires millions to create together, connects people across the globe, and is a community that is among the most active and passionate in the world.

Our relationship with Mojang began when we initially talked to the team about bringing Minecraft to the console. Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years. That working relationship set the ground work for other opportunities. We’ve long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft.

At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.

The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward. Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community.

We’re excited to confirm that MINECON will continue next year. We’ll look to create even more ways for the vibrant community of YouTuber’s, innovators, bloggers and players to connect with each other – both in person and online. We will have much more to share in the coming months.

The Minecraft team’s unique vision, creative energy and innovative mindset make them a perfect fit alongside our other global studios. Microsoft Studios includes 343 Industries, Turn 10 Studios, and Lionhead Studios just to name a few. These industry-leading game studios within Microsoft that have had great success with beloved games and massively popular franchises like Halo, Forza, and Fable. We’re excited to welcome Mojang to the Microsoft family and we are thrilled to support the success and longevity of Minecraft for years to come.



Destiny's Endgame Is Just the Beginning - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:00:00 Z
Bungie’s brand-new Destiny includes quite a bit of content beyond its multi-planet campaign. To wit: Raids are six-player missions that open up when players hit level 20. There are no waypoints to tell you where to go and what to do; they're also friends-only, with no matchmaking, meaning that you’ll need to gather five friends who own the game, and sync your schedules in order to play them. They’ll have you struggling your way through the most challenging dungeons, fighting the biggest bosses – and they reward you with the best loot and upgrades the game has to offer. They are very challenging, and demand communication and cooperation from the entire team.

This endgame content fits into a sequence of experiences that Bungie orchestrated from the start. It begins as players see the end of the game’s story, which serves to align the motivations of the players with the motivations of their characters. “I think what players will find is that the game unfolds and transforms over time,” said Executive Producer Patrick O’Kelley. “In the first hour, it might feel like a familiar shooter. Then, players will start to see other players in the world. They will undertake cooperative and competitive activities without really worrying about it. Or they might keep on a solo journey but partake in public events. Eventually, they’ll go to the Tower and learn some of the mechanics to improve their character. They’ll make decisions about character customization and ability customization.”

Players are encouraged to log in every day to see what's happening in Destiny’s Featured Activities pane, and then head to the tower to get their bounties for the day. Bounties allow players to create a parallel progression for what they’re doing for a day. Nightfall activities come both daily and weekly, and provide extremely exotic rewards for those who are capable of making their way through them.

"Twenty hours in, I think that players will find that they’ve evolved to playing a whole different kind of game than the shooter that started them off,” O’Kelley continued. “They’ll find that they’re immersed in a different world, and are deep into the history of their characters. They’ll have built a community of other players. And, without realizing it, they’ll have learned some sophisticated mechanics that enable them to gear up and dive into a six-player cooperative raid, in pursuit of high-level exotic weapons and armor.”

So remember: When you hit the end of Destiny’s campaign, you’ve only just gotten warmed up. So pick up your copy on Xbox One or Xbox 360, and get cracking, because there’s a lot to do here!

All the Ways to Kill your Enemies in Destiny... Without a Gun - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:00:00 Z
The variety of guns in Destiny is ridiculous, providing more ways to fill an enemy with bullets than you could ever realistically need (but, hey, we’ll take it!). But here’s the thing: Guns are just one way you can destroy foes in Destiny. Check out these other awesome ways to bring the pain.

Grenades: Think Fast!

Aside from your trusty gun, every class in Destiny comes with a variety of grenades. There are some traditional grenades and incendiary grenades, and even sticky grenades. But that’s just scratching the surface; many of the grenades in Destiny are far beyond the normal scope of handheld explosives.

The Voidwalker subclass comes with a Vortex grenade, which does what you might expect: It creates a big energy tornado that pulls in nearby enemies, damaging everyone caught up in it.

The swarm grenade – a specialty of the Gunslinger subclass – sends out a burst of drones that hone in on enemies, and unload. Your co-op buddy can follow up with a lightning grenade, sticking it to any surface and watching as everyone in the room gets zapped with 10,000 volts!

Use Your Fists

Melee means a lot more in Destiny than simply cracking someone’s skull open with the butt of your rifle. Each subclass has its own unique melee move.

For the traditionalist, the Striker subclass lets you punch bad guys right in the face, while the Bladedancer can slice and dice his foes with his blade. For those that prefer more style, the Gunslinger comes with a handy throwing knife... which can of course be upgraded to deal incendiary damage. Ouch!

Speaking of burning, Scorch – the go-to move for the Sunsinger subclass – toasts enemies with a blast of fire. And finally, the Defender’s Disintegrate move does exactly what it says it’s going to do, and gives you a shield boost in the process.

Super Abilities

Not every subclass’ super ability in Destiny can destroy foes. Some subclasses, like the Sunsinger and Defender, have support abilities. But for most players, your super ability will be a devastating force that wrecks fools.

The Voidwalker’s Nova Bomb move is one of the standout ways to turn enemies into dust. Hurl a bolt of void energy, and it explodes in a blast that disintegrates any unfortunate souls caught in its radius.

Arc Blade charges the Bladedancer’s sword with Arc Light, letting you obliterate enemies around you with the awesome might of a lightning charged super death sword. Or, if you’re more into the bombastic approach, the Striker’s Fist of Havoc might be more to your taste. Punch the ground, and send everyone nearby blasting back with deadly force.

Run ‘em Down

Destiny features a number of vehicles you can hop into that will not only let you traverse the planets faster, but can also be used for some vehicular alien-slaughter.

The first time you jump into a Sparrow, you’re going to want to just run into every idiot who gets in your way. Go for it! Skidding around a turn and wasting one of the Fallen is a special kind of satisfying.

But if you like your rides beefier, Destiny features two larger assault vehicles. The Interceptor is a hefty, cannon-firing all-terrain vehicle with a wicked boost. Try boosting into a turret or a group of enemies, and watch them fly.

Still not big enough? Fine – hop into the Goliath, a big ol’ tank that does all the things you’d want from a tank, including running over everyone who is dumb enough to stand in front of it.

Destiny is about you making your own story and saving the universe your way. Pick up your copy today for Xbox One or Xbox 360, and discover your own favorite ways to put evil alien marauders in their place.

Introducing the Xbox 360 Holiday Lineup - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:00:00 Z
Just when you thought the Xbox 360 couldn’t get any better, we’ve got a holiday lineup that features new low prices, amazing bundles, a hard drive upgrade and even a special edition console. Xbox 360 is the best value in games and entertainment this holiday season. Now’s a great time to get an Xbox 360 for yourself or give one as a gift to that special gamer in your life.

“Coming into its ninth holiday shopping season, Xbox 360 continues to deliver amazing games and entertainment experiences to consumers,” noted Mike Nichols, CVP of Marketing for Xbox. “These new bundles for holiday shoppers, new lower price points and new special edition blue console are sure to delight gamers young and old this holiday.”

Starting next week, you’ll have access to some of our best holiday bundles ever. For starters, our 500GB Holiday Value Bundle comes with two of the best first-person shooters on the platform, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. You also get one month of Xbox Live Gold access, and a newly upgraded 500GB hard drive. All for $50 less, just $249!

In addition, as you may have seen, if you decide to buy your Xbox 360 at Walmart in the U.S., we’ve got a special edition version of this amazing bundle. The Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle also includes an iconic blue console and controller, decked out with arctic blue accents. It includes everything mentioned in the bundle above, for the same low price of $249. This will be available at Walmart starting on October 7.

Or, if you’re in the mood or something a bit more physical, you can get your whole body in the game! Our 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle showcases three games – Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, and Forza Horizon – along with one month of Xbox Live Gold access. This bundle also starts at $249, and will be available at Target in the U.S.

Many of these offerings are shipping outside the US as well. Please check your local retailer for pricing and availability.

And there’s more! To add to our current library of over 5,200 Xbox 360 titles, this year’s biggest blockbuster franchises are also headed to Xbox 360.

As you can see, there has never been a better time to buy an Xbox 360. So pay a visit your local retailer or head to our online retail portal to get one for yourself!

Destiny: You Got Your MMO in My FPS! - Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:00:00 Z
Destiny is something new. Developer Bungie has infused the fast-paced console first-person-shooter action it helped to make famous with elements traditionally reserved for role-playing games, especially the massively multiplayer online variety. It's a neat trick.

But don't panic, shooter fans! These MMORPG elements are nothing to be afraid of. In fact, you just might find that they make the FPS experience that much more interesting. To help ease the transition, we've put together a primer on Destiny's MMO-ish qualities, and how they impact gameplay. For example:

Character Creation

The first thing you'll need to do when booting up Destiny is create your character. You pick a race (Human, the ethereal Awoken, or the robotic Exo) and a gender, then customize your character's appearance as much – or as little – as you desire. But if that sort of thing isn't your bag, don't worry; the choices here are purely cosmetic.

Less cosmetic is the choice of class – Hunter, Titan, or Warlock – but even here, the differences are subtle. Remember, Destiny is indeed a shooter at its core, which means that every class is going to be doing a lot of shooting. You can check out our class guide from the beta to see exactly what each class does, but if you're a shooter fan who wants to get on with it already, just choose the Titan class and move on.

Experience Points and Leveling

Shortly after you begin your enemy-slaying career, you'll notice another RPG-like development: You've gone up a level! But hold up there, champ; don't worry that you're going to have to allocate points to your charisma trait or anything. Leveling in Destiny generally just means that you're now more of a badass. Your core abilities are better, meaning you can take on tougher enemies. You also get access to better gear that makes you even more of a badass. And you'll find yourself able to enter areas you couldn't get to before – at least, not without getting slaughtered the minute you wandered in. So, it's all good.

Now, as you reach higher levels, you get the opportunity to pick a different subclass (read: specialty), and you can then take on certain types of missions that you couldn't before. By this time, you'll have enough experience with the game to know whether those are the sorts of things you'd like to pursue. If not, that's totally cool. Destiny is all about playing the way you want to play.

Custom Equipment

In that vein, you also get way more flexibility when it comes to your gear than in your standard shooter. Not only do you get to choose from a staggering array of base weapons; you can also customize and upgrade them to suit your particular playing style. You also have your choice of armor, which not only offers protection, but can also boost other abilities. Plus, as you swap out your duds, you'll see those changes immediately reflected in your character (most of the game takes place behind the barrel of a gun, but when you visit the Tower – Destiny's hub – you get a third-person view of your customized character).

The process of procuring new gear and upgrading it is one of the central draws in RPGs, and it's just as powerful here. And how do you go about procuring such things? You can find some new gear (and gear upgrades) in the game maps, which encourages exploration. Other pieces of equipment are only found at vendors in the Tower, and can be purchased with Glimmer (Destiny’s currency) collected from fallen enemies and awarded for completing missions.

Don't feel like tweaking every little detail about your appearance? Then don't! You can just check out whether a new bit of gear is better with the handy Compare function, equip it if so, and move on.


And as for those missions: Sure, they can be considered "quests," and you even occasionally get them from non-player characters in the game world. But when it comes right down to it, these missions are simply tweaks on familiar shooter formulas.

Consider Strike missions, which are often described as "dungeons." These are really just co-op missions where you team up with friends to clear out specific areas. Then we have Raids, six-player missions which appear late in the game and require serious planning and strategy. These bear resemblances to co-op campaign levels in more traditional shooters. You'll also find Bounties and Nightfall Missions, both of which are akin to the sorts of challenges we've seen for years in FPS games.

Sure, some missions you'll come across in Patrol mode might have you hunting down specific items or something – but hey, you were going to check that cave out anyway, right?


Destiny is an always-connected multiplayer experience. To that end, you're given a small suite of actions to help you communicate with other players. These are called "emotes" in MMORPG-land, and here they allow your character to point, wave, sit... or, uh, dance.

But look, this isn't the Bizarro-world version of Footloose or anything; no one's going to force you to dance. Just keep your thumb off the D-pad and you'll be fine. You can get your own dance on (or not – it's up to you!) right now: Destiny is currently available for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Start Forza Horizon 2 with Several Exciting Cars Earned through Forza Rewards - Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
As a way of saying “thank you” to all the passionate fans who have continued to be a part of the Forza experience over the years, Turn 10 Studios today announced that fans will be eligible to receive several Forza Horizon 2 cars through Forza Rewards, the loyalty program where players can earn in-game content just for playing Forza games.

Whether they’re an experienced Forza Faithful or a first time driver, all Forza players have a chance to add up to five in-game cars to their Forza Horizon 2 garage the first time they log in to the game. These five in-game (not DLC) cars include the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe, the 2013 Viper GTS, the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, the 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter, and the 2013 McLaren P1.

Players start earning Forza Rewards practically the moment they start playing a Forza game. Whether it’s new cars to add to their garage, or a stack of in-game credits for players to spend how they like, each month Forza fans will always receive something new.

Starting from Forza Motorsport 2 on the Xbox 360, through Forza Motorsport 5 and now Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One, players automatically earn points by doing specific things in a game. In Forza Motorsport 5, for example, players earn points based on the number of cars they own, the number of miles they’ve driven in the game, and so on.

The more points players earn, the higher their Rewards Tier Level will be. Your Rewards Tier Level determines what awards are available to players at the start of each month. The higher the Rewards Tier Level, the bigger the reward they’ll receive each month.

Earning free in-game content each month is great but it’s just the start of the story. The first time players log in to Forza Horizon 2, they’ll earn a special one-time gift via Forza Rewards. This gift-car reward will depend on their current Forza Rewards Tier Level, and they’ll have to be at least Tier 2 to earn a reward.

Here’s how the rewards break down by Rewards Tier Level:

  • Tier Level 2 – 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
  • Tier Level 3 2013 Viper GTS
  • Tier Level 4 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
  • Tier Level 5 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
  • Tier Level 6 2013 McLaren P1

Once you have logged in to the game, you will receive a special message in Forza Horizon 2 and be able to add these awesome cars to your Forza Horizon 2 garage. Note that these Tier Rewards are cumulative. For example, if you are Rewards Tier Level 3 the first time you log in to Horizon 2, you will earn both the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe and the 2013 Viper GTS. If you have maxed out your Rewards Tier Level at Tier 6, you will receive all five of the bonus cars.

With just a few weeks to go before the launch of Forza Horizon 2, there’s still time for fans to increase their Rewards Tier Level to ensure that they get the best reward they can. To get a full breakdown of how players have been progressing in all participating Forza games and to learn more details on Forza Rewards, visit

Forza Horizon 2 Launch Trailer Now Available

In addition to sharing details on Forza Rewards, Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games today also premiered a heart-pounding launch trailer showcasing the game’s massive wide-open world racing experience and ultimate celebration of speed, style and action-packed driving.

The Forza Horizon 2 launch trailer highlights the game’s beautiful southern European setting and thrilling, action-packed racing. Featuring many of the more than 200 cars that are available at launch, the trailer brings to life the freedom and fun that defines Forza Horizon 2:

Inside the Design of Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle - Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:00:00 Z
A few weeks ago, as one of our gamescom announcements, we revealed the upcoming Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle. In addition to getting one of the year’s hottest games, fans who get the bundle will receive a beautiful limited edition Xbox One console. Featuring a massive 1TB hard drive, the console is emblazoned with Sentinel Task Force iconography inspired directly from the game. As you’ll see in the video above, the wireless controller looks like an artifact from the technologically-advanced battlegrounds of the future.

The version of the game you’ll get with Limited Edition Bundle is special, too. The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition will give you early access to the game and double XP on November 3 (which happens to be the day the bundle is available), as well as two in-game weapons. Finally, the bundle will also include the Digital Edition Personalization Pack, a Limited Edition in-game exoskeleton and the Advanced Arsenal, which includes a bullet brass exoskeleton and the EM1 Quantum directed energy custom weapon.

It’s always nice to take a closer look at the design process behind these types of bundles, so check out the video to see what went into the creation of the Xbox Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle!  


FIFA 15 Available for Pre-Order and Pre-Download on Xbox One - Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:20:00 Z
After crying tears of joy or defeat while watching their favorite teams hit the pitch in Brazil last June, football (or, depending on where you hail from, soccer, futbol, futebol, le foot, or footy) fans around the world are looking for their next football fix. Now they can once again feel the emotion and intensity of the world’s greatest sport by playing FIFA 15, which is available for digital pre-order and pre-download starting today.

FIFA 15 brings football to life in stunning detail so you can experience the excitement of the sport like never before. You can witness the intensity of crowds chanting and cheering like on match day, and listen to commentators guide you through the story of the game with dynamic match presentation. For the first time ever, all 22 players on the pitch are connected with emotional intelligence – now players will react to opponents and teammates within the context, and relative to the narrative of the match. Next generation visuals put you on living pitches with grass that wears and tears as the match progresses. Authentic player visuals make players lean, athletic, and true to their real-life appearance. Player control heightens the responsiveness of movement, giving athletes more control and personality on the ball, and making man-to-man battles more rewarding than ever before.

To celebrate the launch of the game, the following two FIFA 15 game bundles are available for pre-order globally, starting today, through the Xbox Store on the console or online at

  • Xbox One FIFA 15 Pre-Order Edition, available starting today for $59.99, includes the standard game, plus 1 FUT gold pack per week, for 15 weeks.
  • Xbox One FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Edition, available starting today for $69.99, includes the standard game, plus 1 FUT gold pack per week, for 40 weeks.

As an added bonus, you can get 10 percent off your purchase and an exclusive trial five days before the release date, if you sign up for EA Access before you pre-order
FIFA 15.

Here’s how it works. When a title becomes available for digital pre-order in the Xbox Store, select “Pre-purchase” to buy and download the game. You will be charged the full amount upon transaction and may use any supported payment method, including an existing Microsoft account balance or credit card. The game will download, along with any updates issued before the release date, so the game is up-to-date and ready to play. Then, when the game is officially released to the Xbox Store, timed with local launch availability, simply go to the game in My Games & Apps, go to your pre-pinned tile, or say “Xbox, go to
FIFA 15” to start playing. Titles will be available after midnight local time on the release date in your corresponding country, though some countries with multiple time zones will align to one release time. For example, in the United States, FIFA 15 will be available for play at 12:01 AM PT on its release day.

Similar to other digital downloads, you will need a consistent Internet connection to download a pre-ordered game and your Xbox One will need to be turned on or in connected standby (Instant On) mode. Of course, you can check the download progress at any time in your download queue, My Games & Apps, or on the game details page. And if you have multiple games loading simultaneously, you can prioritize titles, pause, and resume downloads in your queue. 

Humanity's Last Stand: The Mythic World of Destiny - Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:29:35 Z
Not much of mankind remains – on Earth or anywhere else – at the outset of Bungie’s epic role-playing game/first-person shooter Destiny. But it wasn’t always that way; before the events of the game, humanity was ensconced in a Golden Age. Great cities spanned the surfaces of the moon and Mars, and even the inhospitable Venus was terraformed and made into a biological wonderland.

But man’s success was not entirely his own accomplishment. An ineffable entity called the Traveler was responsible for the terraforming of the formerly lifeless planets, and for some of the technological progress that allowed humans to travel to and colonize them. The Traveler wasn’t well understood – and isn’t at the outset of Destiny, either. What humanity does know about the Traveler is that it was benevolent and helpful... but also had enemies.

Those enemies brought humanity’s Golden Age to a crashing halt sometime before Destiny begins, obliterating the entire populations of Mars, Venus, and even the moon. Then this hostile force, known to humans only as “the darkness,” descended on Earth, too. It ravaged the whole of the planetary surface. Nearly everyone was wiped out.

But the Traveler assisted humanity one final time. People believe that it used the last of its power to put a stop to the invasion, hovering low over the surface of Earth and providing a safe haven in one small area, while the rest of the surface was devastated. In this small area, the last remnants of mankind came together and built a settlement. This settlement eventually grew into the City – the last place on Earth where people could live in safety.

It’s in the City that Destiny’s story begins. You play a Guardian, one of the City’s protectors, but also an adventurer into the great wilderness that surrounds it. That wilderness is populated with all manner of unknown nasties – forces outside of human knowledge, and powerful enough to drive the Traveler into its current state. But you won’t just be carving out more land for mankind on Earth. Your missions will eventually take you to the stars, to humanity’s old strongholds on the moon, back to Mars, and even to Venus, where torrential rains caused flooding that swallowed up many of the great structures that people built there.

But it’s not all bad news: The Traveler lends the Guardians – you included – some of its power. Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks (the three core character classes of Destiny) each represent a different aspect of the Traveler’s power. You’ll be able to use this power, and some advanced technology, to pull off some amazing feats in combat. Most importantly, you’ll discover, through exploration and teamwork, what led to the collapse of the Golden Age... and who the enemy you’re facing really is.

Sound like a good time? Pick up Bungie’s Destiny – available now on Xbox One and Xbox 360 – and join humanity’s epic struggle!

Sunset Overdrive Season Pass Unleashes New Gameplay, Weapons and Exclusive Content - Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:00:00 Z
Microsoft and Insomniac Games are excited to announce even more explosive action and mutant-infested mayhem for fans with the Sunset Overdrive Season Pass, available for purchase on Xbox Live and participating retailers at release.

Packed with exclusive content, the Sunset Overdrive Season Pass includes the first three complete Game Add-ons for Sunset Overdrive, as well as six character outfits, two Amps and two Traps available exclusively to Season Pass purchasers as soon as the game is released.

The Sunset Overdrive Season Pass grants you:

  • Two campaign Game Add-ons that each deliver new locations to explore, stories to experience, and bosses to battle. Each of these Add-ons also includes new weapons, new Amps, a new Trap, new character outfits as well as new challenges and Chaos Squad* objectives!
  • The Weapons Pack Game Add-on, which includes four deadly new weapons to augment your arsenal!
  • BONUS - six character outfits, two Amps and two Traps to use as soon as the game is released

In total, the Season Pass delivers a massive amount of adventure and destruction: eight new devastating weapons, four deadly traps to deploy in Chaos Squad, four new Amps to unleash over-the-top mayhem, and 10 unique outfits for your character – all for $19.99 U.S. ERP, a savings of more than 20 percent compared to purchasing the three Game Add-ons individually.

*Sunset Overdrive game required, sold separately.  Chaos Squad objectives and Traps require Xbox Live Gold membership, sold separately.  Retail prices may vary. 







Final Forza Horizon 2 Car Reveal – Check Out the Full List and Final Car Poster - Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:00:00 Z
This week we’re excited to reveal the final additions to the full car list of Forza Horizon 2 that will be available at launch. This final reveal brings us to a total of 210 cars that have been built specifically for the next generation in Forza Horizon 2 – all of which you can see in the final car poster, showcasing the breadth and depth of cars in the game. All of the cars announced this week exude their own sense of style and charisma. The Land Rover Defender 90 is as rugged it gets. The form of the 2015 Mustang GT was designed for global appeal. The Lamborghini Veneno practically redefines extreme car design.

There is not much longer to wait until all these rides will be at your fingertips to leave your mark on the roads and countryside of
Forza Horizon 2, available starting Sept. 30. Let’s dive in to this week’s reveals:

1968 Lancia Fulvia Coupé Rallye 1.6 HF
Sophistication and deliberately understated styling are the hallmarks of this highly desirable special version of the Lancia Fulvia. Lancia brought this homologated version — the Fanalone, referencing the Fulvia’s large driving lights—to enable Lancia’s entry into the World Rally Championship. Front-wheel drive and a healthy punch of more than 100 hp gave the Fulvia excellent performance. Sharp steering and excellent braking made it a natural candidate for rally competition. Under the direction of Cesare Fiorio, Lancia came to dominate rally in the late 1960s and early 1970s. You can tell a Rallye edition from its lesser brethren by its fiberglass fender flares and Campagnolo rims. If you look at the dash you will also see an oil temp gauge and adjustable redline on the tachometer. The Fulvia’s light weight gave it an advantage and this special model was further lightened by replacing the back seat with a shelf and installing lightweight bucket seats. Among Lancia Fulvia aficionados, the Rallye 1.6 is the crown jewel.

1993 Renault Clio Williams
Among hot hatches, the Renault Clio Williams holds accreditation by many motor journalists as one of the very best ever built. To accommodate homologation requirements, 2,500 Clio Williams needed to be produced. They were so popular 1,300 more were built and quickly sold out. More is better when it comes to the availability of this little hot hatch and Renault followed with the Williams 2 and 3 getting more than 12,000 models on the road before production finally ceased. Despite these numbers, finding an original street version is a rare thing, since many were used to replace damaged rally cars and others were broken for parts to keep rally versions in competition. The punch this tike packs is from a 2.0-liter straight four, stuffed under the diminutive bonnet with a bespoke four-into-one manifold, a stroked crank and other internal goodies. The Clio Williams is a car that will get a lot of looks from those who know it, and those who don’t will snap their necks when they hear it buzz past them. 

1997 Land Rover Defender 90
Few vehicles are built with the ruggedness in mind of the Land Rover Defender. For decades, a Land Rover might have been the only vehicle that some people ever saw. That’s because for decades the Land Rover Series I and Series II were the only vehicles that dared to access the interiors of certain countries whose roads are little more than trails. Over the years not much has changed in the design of the Land Rover. Its mission is simple: devour any terrain thrown at it and keep the occupants reliably safe. The biggest change for the 1997 model was the introduction of the name Defender. Under the chassis, two live axles and full-time four-wheel drive give the Defender rock-crawling, river-fording, and mountain climbing abilities that are unmatched. For 1997, the last year the Defender was available in the U.S., you will find a potent V8 under the hood, accompanied by a four-speed automatic transmission. On the streets the Defender is no sprinter, but toss this Rover in the weeds and it will always come out on top.

2015 Ford Mustang GT
It’s been fifty years since this American automotive icon was introduced and effectively changed the domestic car market. The Mustang has been many things to many people and, through its many evolutions, it has been many things unto itself. Since the introduction of the more classically shaped Mustang in 2005, a rebirth of the Mustang took place. Now, ten years later, with a search for global-viability factoring in to the Mustang’s redesign, we still see the classic form but with some tweaks that distinguish this ‘Stang as something new. Under this new skin nearly every inch of the 2015 Mustang has been reengineered for efficiency, reliability, and performance. Under its aluminum hood, in between aluminum fenders that together offer 200 pounds of weight savings, the new V8 (in GT models) brings more than 400 ponies under the command of your right foot. Rear-wheel drive is a precious commodity the Mustang has always cornered the market with, and the new Mustang is happy as ever to light up the rear wheels, get tail-happy, or just delight you with its tendency for oversteer. Most of all though, this is a Mustang, and the passion that lights in the soul of Mustang lovers is reason enough to make it a favorite.

1984 Honda Civic CRX Mugen
The partnership between Honda and Mugen began with the CRX. It was an inevitable collaboration given that Mugen was formed by Hirotoshi Honda – the son of Honda founder Soichiro Honda – and veteran racer Masao Kimura. The CRX, or CR-X as it is called in Japan, carried an aggressive effort to establish Mugen in the United States. At the time, any Honda dealer could order and sell Mugen parts, and a select few became Mugen Performance Centers. The program only lasted three years, but yielded a handful of uprated Mugen CRXs and many street-tuned Hondas. Dressed in the Mugen body kit, the CRX’s short, stout lines are tastefully enhanced without complicating them. A trademark feature of the Mugen CRX is the twin-pipe muffler or “Silencer Set.” With nearly 120 horsepower, a limited slip differential, and weighing in at a mere 1,800 pounds, the Mugen CRX is a thrill to drive and inspired a new generation of Honda tuners. Mugen has gone on to contribute to Honda’s racing success in Formula One and sports car racing, but it all started here with the CRX.

Here are the remaining cars revealed for inclusion in the final
Forza Horizon 2 car list:

  1. 2003 Ferrari Challenge Stradale
  2. 1970 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
  3. 1987 Ferrari F40
  4. 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II
  5. 2004 Maserati MC12
  6. 1987 Buick Regal GNX
  7. 1960 Chevrolet Corvette
  8. 2009 Lotus 2-Eleven
  9. 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  10. 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
  11. 1987 RUF CTR Yellowbird
  12. 1956 Ford F-100
  13. 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  14. 2013 Ford Shelby GT500
  15. 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse
  16. 2003 Ford Focus RS
  17. 2013 Lamborghini Veneno

Xbox One System Update: Improvements to Snap, TV experiences on Xbox One Available for Preview - Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:00:00 Z
This is a big month for Xbox One as we launch some of the features you’ve asked for most including better multitasking while gaming, more ways to stay connected with friends, new options for accessing your media, and more. Over the past couple months, we’ve been rolling out some great new features to Xbox One through our system updates, and we have been thrilled with the positive feedback we’ve received from all of you. Keep it coming! There’s more new features rolling out to Xbox Live members in our preview program starting today, and over the next week or so, in two major themes.

New Snap and Friends functions –
Stay in the game and in touch with your friends at the same time with improved Snap, SmartGlass and Achievements functions.

  • Snap Updates – We’ve updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things our fans wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller will bring up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app. Additionally, two apps have been optimized for Snap mode:
      • Friends Snap App – Access your friends list without leaving the game. Quickly check your friends list to see who's online right now and take actions like send message, invite or join.
      • Messages Snap App – You’ll be able to open, read and respond to messages in Snap mode, and messages will now be displayed in a threaded conversation view.
  • Achievements App – Updated to enable sharing of achievements you've unlocked with captions, see a list of friends who have unlocked specific achievements, and an updated achievements Snap landing page that that shows Achievements on recently played games, when a user is not actively playing a game.
  • Friends section – The new Friends section enables you to see at a glance what’s going on with your friends. You can stay up-to-date with their current activities, the most popular games your friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days. The new Friends section has been available for select preview members for a few weeks and now we’re bringing it to everyone in the program, with plans to roll out this feature for all Xbox One owners with the October system update.
  • New SmartGlass features – You can now see a list of your top games in your profile. You can also see a list of your friend’s most popular games in the Friend's section of SmartGlass. 

Improvements for TV and video –
We’re excited to roll out updates that will make your viewing experience better than ever on Xbox One, whether you want to watch TV or use SmartGlass as a universal remote.

  • Media Player DLNA and MKV support – Members of the preview program who have also downloaded the latest version of the Media Player app will now have support for DLNA streaming. With this update, you will be able to easily access and play music, watch photo slideshows or movies stored on home media servers and devices that support the DLNA server protocols. Additionally, you will now be able to playback MKV files stored on a USB device or a device on your home network that supports DLNA streaming.
  • Live TV Trending – Within the next week, you will be able to see what Live TV is trending based on your country and OneGuide settings.  A new tab will be available in OneGuide that displays the top 10 most watched TV shows, with the list filtered down to the shows that are currently available to you based on your OneGuide settings.  You will be able to tune to a specific show by pressing the A button. The Live TV Trending list will be updated approximately every minute, so you can easily discover shows that are popular with other viewers.  This feature will initially be made available to preview users in the U.S., Canada and the UK.
  • Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Previously announced in August, this new accessory will be available for purchase in UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain on October 21.  This USB-attached TV Tuner will enable users to watch TV on Xbox One, and pause Live TV for up to 30 minutes.  There are a limited number of preview participants in this program due to hardware requirements needed for testing.
      • Stream TV to SmartGlass – If you have an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you will be able to stream TV across your home network to your smartphone or tablet using the Xbox SmartGlass app. You can also pause, play, rewind and change channels, without interrupting gameplay.
  • Live TV MiniGuide – For markets where OneGuide is available, a new MiniGuide on the bottom of the screen will display details about the TV content that is currently playing. You can quickly change channels, see what’s on other channels, and tune to the previous channel or other recent channels.
  • OneGuide in 12 new countries – Live TV listings and schedules will be made available to preview members on Xbox One and SmartGlass for Belgium, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia in the next few days.
  • Internet TV Apps – Apps with live TV channels can now include their TV listings within OneGuide.  In addition, other Xbox TV features such as channel changing using speech and Miniguide will work with these apps. These features are enabled automatically the first time you sign into a supported app. The first app to support this feature in preview will be Zattoo, a TV provider available in several European markets. We will be sharing more details soon with members of the public preview.
  • Universal Remote Control in SmartGlass – If you are in one of those 12 countries, you will also be able use your mobile device to control your Xbox, TV, and/or Cable/Satellite box.

Other fan-requested features –
We are also excited to roll out a few other cool features this month:

  • Updated Devices & Accessories page – To access the new page, go inside Settings, where you can Find, Assign, and Update Xbox One accessories.  You can now more easily “assign” accessories to specific users, such as assigning a headset to a specific gamer.
  • Firmware updates – You can update the firmware for an individual device. And, you can also more easily find (or identify) a controller by making it vibrate.
  • Hide Games & Apps on your console – You can now hide items in the “Ready to install” list under My Games & Apps. This is a per-console setting and items will reappear in the list if they are installed again from the Xbox Store. To access the shortcut to temporarily show “hidden” items, press X while holding down both triggers and it will show all hidden items until you exit My Games & Apps.

These new features and updates are rolling out to all Xbox One preview program members starting today. We are looking forward to bringing Xbox One to new markets this month, and can’t wait to hear from fans in those markets who get to pick up and play Xbox One for the first time. Plus, these new features will be available in all of our new markets for Xbox One owners who join the preview program.

Destiny and Its Myriad Influences - Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:43:00 Z
To call Destiny one of the most ambitious video games ever created is by no means overstating the case. It’s a multiplayer online shooter, a story-based campaign, and a cooperative role-playing game – all at once.

Interestingly, the initial idea behind the game transformed itself over time as the tastes of the development team evolved. “In many ways, 
Destiny is a mash-up of the gameplay passions of the people at Bungie now,” said Patrick O’Kelley, executive producer at Bungie. “Our company slogan is, ‘We make games we want to play,’ and that’s really true. We play shooters. But we also play a ton of role-playing games, massively multiplayer online games, casual games, and card games. We’ve grown up with the game industry, and our tastes have broadened. We want more from our games now.”

Ultimately, O’Kelley believes Bungie has built a game that will appeal to those gamers who enjoy the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, those who play World of Warcraft, as well as those who play more casual games like Plants vs. Zombies 2. “That’s because we’ve tried to build the kind of game we’ve all been looking for – one that blends really polished shooter mechanics with the kinds of exploration and investment that comes from games like World of Warcraft ... and with the casual ease and approachability of mobile games. We want shooter players to come to Destiny and evolve into Destiny players, just as we’ve evolved.”

“I know that almost all of us at Bungie are shooter players on some level,” O’Kelley continued. “And we’ve now all fallen in love with the shared world and RPG aspects of the game. To make sure we got it right, we’ve built expertise internally, by studying the best practices of MMOs and RPGs, and infusing 
Destiny with elements even from our favorite casual games.”

Bungie’s artists, for their part, looked backward in order to look forward: They studied sci-fi art from the 1970s to achieve a vintage look for the game. They wanted to give a visual nod toward the fantasy aspects of the experience they were creating. They call it “mythic science-fiction,” and were heavily influenced by the work of surrealist artists like Zdzisław Beksiński and Peter Gric, along with ‘70s and ‘80s manga.

One of
Destiny’s earliest environmental concepts was the wreckage of an enormous Russian cosmodrome, where vast starships were built to take colonists across space; looking closely, it’s clear to see the influence of the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.

Indeed, none of this came easy – or quickly. There’s
Destiny concept art dated back to 2008, and examples of code implementation going all the way back to 2002, when the team was poking at the edges of the concept, gauging its feasibility. What’s more: Bungie co-founder Jason Jones had been thinking about the roots and pieces of what would eventually become Destiny as far back as the ‘90s.

The game that launches tomorrow on Xbox One and Xbox 360, it seems, has been a long time coming.

The Shape of Things: Hands-on with Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions - Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:30:00 Z
The return of Sierra Entertainment is one of the more out-of-the-blue surprises of the summer, buoyed by the fact that one of the first titles to be released under its banner will be a new Geometry Wars title for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions
is being developed by Lucid Games, which is a new studio featuring top talent from now-defunct Bizarre Creations, creators of the original Geometry Wars Retro Evolved and Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2.

The classic 60 fps
Geometry Wars twin stick-shooting action is back, but as the name implies, things have moved into the 3rd dimension, after a fashion. Lucid Games has mapped the familiar 2D feel of the game onto 3D geometry, radically changing the games' strategy.

One of the levels shown (there are 50 in Adventure mode) took place on the surface of a large cylinder, with walls set up to complicate matters - walls which started moving and changing as the level progressed. A second level was roughly peanut-shaped, which added challenge both to sightlines and aiming, as your shots move around it in mysterious ways.

Fortunately, players have some new firepower in the arsenal to balance out the challenge. In addition to the classic, devastating Smart Bomb, there's also a new Super move. Lucid demonstrated a Turret Super, which coated that peanut shaped map with ordnance like a second shell, wiping nearly everything out.

The Drone, first seen in
Geometry Wars: Galaxies, is another new addition to Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions.  The attack drone we saw shooting in the same direction as you. This little guy follows closely behind you like a duckling to its mother, nearly doubling your firepower. The drone can also be set to defend, or act as a battering ram, and can be leveled up as you progress.

The demo ended with a boss encounter on a cube-shaped map. Enemies spawned constantly from the 8 corners of the box, adding to the mad mélange of projectiles and the boss itself, a giant lotus blossom-esque creature constantly spinning in your direction. Like nearly everything in the
Geometry Wars series, the level was challenging, frenetic, and pretty.

There will be multiple competitive games modes, including head-to-head and team vs team, but Lucid’s not really going into it now.  All we know is that they might be 'objective style' as opposed to just shooting at the other ship.

In addition to the classic
Geometry Wars Adventure mode, Lucid is adding multiplayer to Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions, both couch co-op and competitive online multiplayer. The devs were cagey on how the latter will work, specifically, but we shouldn't have long to wait. Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions arrives on Xbox One and Xbox 360 this Fall.

The Basics of Minecraft PvP (or How Not to Be a Noob) - Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:00:00 Z
So, maybe you’re playing Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, using your iron pickaxe to get some ore, and you think, “Hey, I sure would like to test out my nifty new sword and bow on another real person!” But you might be afraid that you haven’t got what it takes to avoid getting ganked. Well, don’t worry! Here are a few tips to help you go from noob to elite killer status (or, you know, halfway decent killer status) in Minecraft’s player-versus-player (PvP) combat.

Still haven’t upgraded to Xbox One? Why not take advantage of our week-long promotion starting Monday and pick out a free, full-priced game with your new system? Or, beginning today, if you buy an Xbox One through the Microsoft Store, you’ll also get a $50 Xbox Gift Card with your purchase!

Now then, on to the PvP tips!

Bring a bow

As much as you might be tempted to bum rush the unsuspecting opponent(s) in your PvP match, a quality long-range weapon can be a lifesaver as either a standoff skirmishing tool - or a way to give a fleeing wuss a parting shot.

Tip: Either put an Infinity enchantment on your bow or carry a ton of good arrows, as it won’t be of any use without ammo. Infinity enchantment is, all things being equal, the better choice – as not only do you only need to carry one arrow in your inventory (inventory mismanagement is a huge noob mistake, as we’ll discuss), but you can gather the fired arrows after the fight, and magically add to your total ammo!

Move quickly (and unconventionally)

Don’t rush straight at your opponent. That should be obvious, as it’s a good way to get shot or stabbed. But don’t run away in a straight line, either. More importantly, vary your speed. A Speed Potion can make this much easier, but even letting up a little on the thumbstick when it’s not expected can make all the difference when it comes to throwing off a foe’s timing.

Tip: Bring Ender Pearls with you to the fight. These allow you to teleport quickly to where the Pearl is thrown, making you very difficult to predict – and possibly allowing you to bypass your opponent’s traps, or get the heck out of a tough fight if all looks lost. Remember, though, that Ender Pearls will damage you (this damage can be mitigated with the right armor), so don’t use them if you’re down to your last few hearts.

Keep backup weapons (and other equipment)

While we always want to keep inventory as streamlined as possible (see below), one thing you always have to keep track of in Minecraft is the durability of your stuff – particularly weapons – in a fight. Smacking someone in the helmet with your bronze sword might be fun... but if it breaks and leaves you barehanded, you’re in for a world of hurt. Moreover, some foes may have armor that’s particularly susceptible to a certain kind of attack, or particularly resistant. If you encounter this, make sure you have some key alternatives to rely on for maximum damage.

Tip: Inventory management is really important, so if you find that you have too many backup or alternative items, consider enchanting your weapons/armor with Unbreaking in order to reduce the likelihood that they’ll suffer wear-and-tear when you whack someone with them. Keep in mind, however, that every piece of equipment can only have a certain number of enchantments on it, and you may be sacrificing more damage or other advantages in order to keep Unbreaking.

Beware the circle strafe

Often, when two opponents square off (or “circle off” as the case may be) in Minecraft, it often devolves into a circular dance of death – with both spinning around each other, launching probing shots with swords, and blocking with shields, for long periods of time. First of all, this is boring. Second of all, it’s highly predictable. Skilled PvP players will try to get you into this cycle, lull you into a false sense of security, and then smack you with a Potion of Harming, Weakness, or Poison... or just change strafing direction and get behind you. So, don’t let yourself get locked into this cycle. If you end up circling and swinging swords for more than a few seconds, pick an alternate strategy: Back up and switch to your bow, or cut across the circle and wait for your opponent to walk into your sword. Just don’t be predictable!

Tip: Never underestimate the snowball as a weapon to throw your opponent off his game. Yeah, they don’t do any damage – but they interrupt movement, and can cause wear on armor and shields. If you’re excessively circle-strafing, or engaged in any kind of standoff, hurl a few snowballs to throw the bad guy off, then move in.

Keep your PvP inventory clean

This final tip is easier said than done. It’s tempting, in a game like Minecraft – which is all about discovery, creation, and having cool stuff – to bring everything except the kitchen sink with you to a fight. Don’t do this. Most of the stuff you think you’re going to need, you actually won’t. Most of the stuff you actually do need can be simplified or consolidated down by use of enchantments, potions, or other shortcuts. You’ve got to realize that you can’t be prepared for every situation, and you’re better prepared for all situations by having an inventory that’s easy to find things in, fast. When you’re under pressure, you don’t want to be sorting through items to find the right shield. Keep a few things for the most common PvP scenarios, play to your strengths, and improvise the rest.

Tip: Bring your best stuff to PvP. It’s often tempting to leave the very best equipment behind so it doesn’t get broken or lost... but in a PvP fight, there’s no room for secondary options. Take the best stuff you’ve got, and don’t be afraid to use it. Otherwise, what are you doing PvP for in the first place?

See? Nothing to it, right? Just follow these five easy tips, and you’ll be well on your way to winning fights in no time in Minecraft: Xbox One Edition.

Forza Horizon 2 Comes to Life in The Ultimate Supercar Road Trip – #FORZAFUEL - Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
This September, Forza Horizon 2 will deliver to fans a beautiful, immaculately constructed world full of action-packed open-world racing, stunning vistas, dramatic weather and dynamic time of day, set in the beautiful landscape of Southern Europe.

Turn 10 and Microsoft announced today that the exciting world is being brought to life, and from September 15 – 18, 8 teams representing some of the biggest racing countries in the world will traverse the roads inspired by the game in Italy, France and Spain, behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exclusive supercars, including the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, 2014 McLaren 650S and the game’s hero supercar – the Lamborghini Huracán.

Each day, teams will go head-to-head in a series of daily Car Challenges inspired by Forza Horizon 2, including racing against a helicopter and taking on a high-intensity rally track. Fans are invited to join the competition at home and with each challenge, they can compete along with teams to earn currency called #FORZAFUEL. As they follow the challenges and acquire #FORZAFUEL, fans at home will get involved too, competing to earn extra fuel for their chosen team in daily Fan Challenges set by their team captains - key YouTube influencers from the gaming community.

At the end of the #FORZAFUEL road trip, the team with the most #FORZAFUEL will receive the best prizes – which include an Xbox One, a copy of Forza Horizon 2, a GoPro, a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and more. The more fuel teams earn, the more prizes available – the outcome is up to them!

Taking a Closer Look at Minecraft: Xbox One Edition - Thu, 04 Sep 2014 17:00:00 Z
Having Minecraft come to the Xbox One is awesome in and of itself, but even better is that the game has been revamped and fine-tuned in a lot of ways, making Minecraft: Xbox One Edition the ultimate expression of the world’s greatest open-world creativity and survival sim. And hey, if you don’t own an Xbox One yet, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition is the perfect reason to make the jump. Why not take advantage of our week-long promotion starting Monday and pick out a free, full-priced game with your new system? Or, beginning tomorrow, if you buy an Xbox One through the Microsoft Store, you’ll also get a $50 Xbox Gift Card with your purchase!”

If you’re already a Minecraft fan, you may be wondering what some of the differences are on Xbox One. Well, first and foremost: This is the classic Minecraft you know and love, so there are a lot more similarities than differences. But here are some things that make Minecraft: Xbox One Edition worth getting lost in, for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Easy Menu Navigation: Crafting tables and other building tools have been simplified with a tabbed interface, making it easier to see what items you can make with the stuff you’ve got, and what items you can go on to make with the ones you’ve just created. Everything’s categorized logically, so it’s easy to get to what you want.

Intuitive Controls: Everything’s mapped to the Xbox One gamepad in a logical and straightforward way, making it easier for new players to get into the game. This was no fluke, as it took a lot of fine-tuning to make everything feel so intuitive.

Tutorial Pop-ins: For new players, Minecraft features not only a tutorial island that teaches you all the game’s core mechanics, but also helpful pop-ins that provide information relative to whatever you happen to be doing.

Easy Online Multiplayer: Simply check a box in your options menu in order to flag your game world as online-capable. You can set it to invite-only if you just want to play with your friends, or open it up to everyone. No need to set up a server, or anything! It’s really as simple as a single button press (and this goes for player-versus-player action, too).

Achievements: As if we would forget this one! Minecraft: Xbox One Edition has a bevy of Achievements that reward you for determination, creativity and skill. We don’t know about you, but we’re going for the perfect 1000 Gamerscore.

Add-On Content: Minecraft: Xbox One Edition also features the largest selection of DLC on console and more than 20 texture packs, mash-ups and skins (including the Xbox-exclusive Halo Mash-up Pack) from the Xbox 360 version, giving the game a unique look on the Xbox One.

And there you have it – this is the slickest, most accessible version of Minecraft out there. So what are you waiting for? Go check out Minecraft: Xbox One Edition already! And don’t forget: If you already own Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, you can upgrade to the Xbox One version for a mere $4.99. Get those pickaxes swingin,’ next-gen-style!

Sports Fans, We’ve Got Something New for You on Xbox One - Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:00:00 Z
You know we love sports here at Xbox. Just last week, we celebrated the launch of Madden NFL 15 by announcing the Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle available now at Microsoft retail stores and other select U.S. retailers. Just yesterday we announced that NHL 15 is available for pre-order and pre-download now. And we’ve got sports apps on Xbox Live for every fan, including NFL, ESPN, UFC, WWE and We continue to deliver new experiences, and today we’re adding Team Stream from Bleacher Report to Xbox One just in time for football season. Editor’s note: Go Seahawks!

Team Stream, Bleacher Report’s top-rated mobile app, is coming to the TV for the first time and offering sports fans in the U.S. the latest news and information on their favorite sports teams. You can personalize the app to feature the top sports news alongside the latest videos featuring your favorite teams and even use the app in Snap mode to catch up on the latest news during a break in a game.

Team Stream for Xbox One was built specifically to showcase video and offers highlight videos of in-season sports and more. Make sure you never miss a moment of the NFL and college football seasons and receive sports updates customized just for you. Or catch up with the latest from MLB, NBA, MLS, NHL, CBB, WWE, Golf, Nascar and more.

The Seahawks kick off the football season today against Green Bay, so make sure you’re caught up on all of the latest news and reports. Team Stream helps you see what analysts are saying about upcoming games, great to use to manage your fantasy football players.

”With college football underway and the start of the NFL season just days away, it’s a perfect time to introduce Team Stream to Xbox One and provide sports fans a new way of accessing personalized sports content on their TVs,” said Dave Finocchio, founder and general manager, Bleacher Report.

Diving Deeper into the Multiplayer of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:20:00 Z
When it was announced just before gamescom a few weeks back, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s multiplayer offering immediately impressed new and longtime fans alike with its unique additions to the tried-and-true Call of Duty formula. Today, we’re getting a closer look at many of the game’s new mechanics, including the awesome exoskeleton and its accompanying abilities that offer a wide variety of offensive and defensive strategies. Combined with the Pick 13 system that’s explored in greater detail in the above video, the exoskeleton will fundamentally change the way players interact with the battlefield and each other.

Speaking of battlefields, the video also breaks down some of the new maps, including many of the interactive elements that dynamically alter the flow of the game’s 12 multiplayer modes (including the all-new Uplink game type).

We’ll be bringing you more on
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as we get closer to the game’s November 4 launch on Xbox One!  

Buy an Xbox One, Choose a Game for Free – Sept. 7 – 13 - Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
If you haven’t yet made the jump to the new generation of gaming, then head to your favorite retailer next week and pick up an Xbox One. For one week only – from September 7 through September 13 – when you buy an Xbox One from participating retailers in the U.S., you’ll get a free Xbox One game of your choice.

And the sky’s the limit: Whether you want to lock-and-load with your friends in Destiny or Titanfall, face the legions of hell in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, hack the planet in Watch Dogs, or hit the sports arena of your choice in Madden NFL 15 or NHL 15, the choice is yours. The offer is valid for any retail Xbox One game, and the offer is good for our Xbox One system bundles, too – so if you want to pick up the Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle or Forza Motorsport 5 Bundle, you’re getting another free game of your choice priced at $59.99 or lower on top of it!

So, what are you waiting for? Check out
all of the amazing games that could be yours on Xbox One, and pick up a system and your choice of free game before this amazing offer ends on September 13!

*Offer valid September 7-September 13, 2014 at participating retailers with purchase of Xbox One, Xbox One with Kinect, Xbox One Madden NFL 15 bundle, or Xbox One Forza Motorsport 5 bundle. Free game must be a new, disc-based game for Xbox One, maximum retail value $59.99. Not valid for pre-order games. Limit one free game per eligible Xbox One purchase. Cannot be combined with other offers. Refurbished consoles or used games not included. See your local retailer for details.

Fighting With Friends: Hands on with Dragon Age Inquisition’s Multiplayer - Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:07:00 Z
At gamescom this year, Dragon Age Inquisition game director Aaryn Flynn mentioned that a completionist run of the RPG could consume over 150 hours of gametime. With the introduction of multiplayer, you’ll need to carve out even more time to spend with Dragon Age Inquisition this November. So how does a co-op multiplayer experience fit in with what has previously been a single player affair? Look to the precedent set from right within the Bioware team: Mass Effect 3.

"We realized that a lot of people get engaged and a lot of people love to play with their friends," multiplayer producer Scylla Costa told me at PAX. "We have this team of
Dragon Age veterans, and also experienced Mass Effect 3 multiplayer developers. So we combined them to create a great multiplayer experience for Dragon Age fans."

I went hands on with
Dragon Age Inquisition's multiplayer at PAX on the Elven Ruins map, one of 3 campaigns the game will ship with. My Rogue Assassin was joined by a tanking Legionnaire, brutal Reaver, and Elementalist mage, all controlled by fellow PAX attendees.

Your multiplayer character is unrelated to the single player campaign. Instead, you select from 12 different builds, each leveling up discretely and earning new moves along the way. As you might expect, success will come easier to groups who venture forth with a diverse party of tanks, damage dealers, and support characters.

Here's how multiplayer plays out in
Dragon Age Inquisition: as your team explores the dungeon and battles enemies, different events occur at random. For example, we encountered a character in need of aid that we needed to escort to a safe area. Successfully clearing these tasks earns bonus gold for the team.

Gold and health pickups are shared, and experience is distributed in ways that are relevant to class, so players can play their roles and not worry about trying to land every kill and snag every loot drop.

Initially I was a bit too aggressive with my rogue, taking on knights and other armored foes. That earned me a quick knockout. After a teammate's revival gave me a second chance, I took better advantage of my Assassin's moveset - using the rechargeable cloak move, sneaking up, and backstabbing.

When things get crazy in
Dragon Age Inquisition multiplayer, potions can make things even crazier. A memorable highlight for me was throwing a jar of bees at a mob of archers, then taking them down as the bees stung them repeatedly. Bee sting allergies are most definitely a thing in Thedas.

Scattered throughout the map, randomly, are rooms that only certain classes can open. My rogue was able to pick a lock leading to a treasure room, and a tough boss encounter when we tried to claim the loot. These areas offer greater reward at greater risk, but fortunately we were successful. Our luck ended when we encountered a "VIP" boss, flanked by archers and knights. The four of us fell quickly to the demon, ending our demo.

Dragon Age Inquisition's multiplayer lives separately from the single player campaign, it didn't draw attention away from single player. If anything, a lot of learning was passed back and forth between the teams. "When we were developing multiplayer, it's awesome for the [single player] combat team, because it's much easier and faster for us to iterate on the creatures and abilities and all the combat in multiplayer, because we don't need AI - we've got four [human] players," Costa said. "So combat for single player is better because we’ve been developing it in multiplayer."

Dragon Age Inquisition
launches for Xbox One beginning November 18th in North America.

NHL 15 Available for Pre-Order and Pre-Download on Xbox One - Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:00:00 Z
Over the past two weeks, we have been thrilled to roll out one of the most asked-for features from our fans, and now we are pleased to announce another title available for digital pre-order and pre-download – NHL 15.

Built to harness the power of the Xbox One,
NHL 15 brings hockey to life the sights, sounds and feel of real NHL action like never before. Every player is affected by real-world physics leading to multiplayer collisions and pileups through 12 Player NHL Collision Physics. NHL 15 welcomes Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and analyst Ray Ferraro providing insight through revolutionary real life visuals all presented in an authentic NBC Sports Broadcast Package. This is the next generation of Hockey.

To celebrate the launch of the game, the following two
NHL 15 game bundles are available for pre-order globally, starting today, through the Xbox Store on the console or online at

  • Xbox One NHL 15 Pre-Order, available starting today for $59.99, includes the standard game, plus $15 of Hockey Ultimate Team content.
  • Xbox One NHL 15 Ultimate Edition, available starting today for $69.99, includes the standard game, plus over $40 added value of exclusive content.

As an added bonus, you can get 10 percent off your purchase and an exclusive trial five days before the release date, if you sign up for EA Access before you pre-order
NHL 15.

Here’s how it works. When a title becomes available for digital pre-order in the Xbox Store, select “Pre-purchase” to buy and download the game. You will be charged the full amount upon transaction and may use any supported payment method, including an existing Microsoft account balance or credit card. The game will download, along with any updates issued before the release date, so the game is up-to-date and ready to play. Then, when the game is officially released to the Xbox Store, timed with local launch availability, simply go to the game in My Games & Apps, go to your pre-pinned tile, or say “Xbox, go to
NHL 15” to start playing. Titles will be available after midnight local time on the release date in your corresponding country, though some countries with multiple time zones will align to one release time. For example, in the United States, NHL 15 will be available for play at 12:01 a.m. PT on its release day.

Similar to other digital downloads, you will need a consistent Internet connection to download a pre-ordered game and your Xbox One will need to be turned on or in connected standby (Instant On) mode. Of course, you can check the download progress at any time in your download queue, My Games & Apps, or on the game details page. And if you have multiple games loading simultaneously, you can prioritize titles, pause, and resume downloads in your queue.

Xbox Live Gold Members Can Play Forza Motorsport 5 Free This Weekend on Xbox One - Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:00:00 Z
As we gear up for the launch of Forza Horizon 2 on Sept. 30, we’re excited to announce that all Xbox Live Gold members can enjoy Forza Motorsport 5 for free this entire upcoming weekend. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 4 through 11:59 p.m. PDT, Sunday, Sept. 7, Gold members in Xbox One markets can play the newest entry in the highest-rated racing franchise* of the past decade, Forza Motorsport 5, in entirety and for free.

Forza Motorsport 5 weekend will allow you to check out the full Forza experience with special in-game challenges, play against others online and build your achievements and Gamerscore. Throughout the weekend, you will have the chance to compete in a special multiclass endurance in-game race event, Grand Tour of Prague. Complete this endurance event and drive at least 130 miles in the race to earn a new title and badge for your Forza Motorsport 5 profile. After the weekend, you’ll have the option to purchase the game online from the Xbox Store or visit your favorite retailer and continue playing. You will also get to keep your Gamerscore and achievements earned while playing, so invite your Gold friends to play and see who has the best driving skill.

Forza Motorsport 5
is a cinematic automotive journey starring the world’s greatest cars and tracks, created for gamers and racing fans alike, only available on Xbox One. The game features an entirely new graphics engine, 16-car multiplayer races, Drivatar opponents, cloud-powered gameplay, and hundreds of cars perfectly recreated in stunning 1080p and 60fps.

As an added bonus, during the
Forza Motorsport 5 weekend event, Xbox Live members in the U.S. can qualify for a chance to win an all-expenses** paid trip to the three-day Forza Motorsport Grand Prix Road Racing Class at the esteemed Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Arizona. Internationally recognized as the leading authority on advanced driver training, Bob Bondurant has been at the forefront of professional driving instruction since 1968, and his racing class features world-class instructors that teaches thrill seekers and current or aspiring racers how to drive like the pros.

(Play Forza Motorsport 5 for free this weekend and qualify to win a real-life Forza racing school experience)

You can download
Forza Motorsport 5 by visiting the Xbox Store and searching for Forza Motorsport 5. Download the title and put your racing skill to the test. And make sure to check out Forza Horizon 2 launching Sept. 30, 2014.

*Amongst all console and handheld racing franchises, December 1997-April 2014. Source: Metacritic
**Forza Motorsport Gold Weekend from 12:01 A.M. PDT [9/4], 2014 to 11:59 P.M. PDT [9/7], 2014. Open only to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One. In-game purchases available (sold separately); requires game to play. Sweepstakes: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of 50 U.S. & D.C., 18+. Ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on 9/7/14. For alternate method of entry, see Official Rules.

Forza Horizon 2 Car Reveal – Check Out the Week Seven Cars - Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:00:00 Z
The penultimate week of car announcements for Forza Horizon 2 is here, and it’s a big one. As we near completing the unveil of the final list of 200 cars available for Forza Horizon 2 on day one, this week we turn our attention to cars and trucks that were built specifically for performance, all of which have been built from the ground up for Xbox One. The Ram Runner is as close to a trophy truck as you will get, the Ferrari GTO begs to be cruised, and, when you are talking American Muscle, the Camaro SS walks the walk like few others can.

As you can see, these rides are not lacking any ability to deliver the thrill of speed on the roads of Forza Horizon 2 upon its release on September 30.

2013 Ram Runner

The Ram Runner is much more than a dress-up kit for your Dodge Ram; it’s a tested and proven pre-runner set-up. It was developed with Baja-racer and KORE Performance owner Kent Kroeker. Hood scoops and a bed-mounted spare tire give it an aggressive look, but the real transformation happens in the suspension. Rugged upper and lower control arms provide a wider stance and improve the off-road capabilities, making the Ram Runner ready to take whatever the fields and canyons can dish out. With beefy Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks in the front and a 5-link coil rear suspension, the Ram Runner has 14 inches of suspension travel and steep approach and departure angles. Wider off-road front and rear fenders ensure plenty of wheel travel and the space for the right tire and wheel combination. So, if you are an off-roader and a Mopar fan, the Ram Runner is ready and waiting to take on whatever you can throw at it, then come back begging for more.

1984 Ferrari GTO

Unofficially referred to as the “288 GTO” (the 288 stands for “2.8 liters, 8 cylinders”), the GTO resurrects a storied name from Ferrari’s past for a new breed of supercar, one that led directly to hypercars like the Enzo years later. Intended to be the homologation spearhead for a FISA Group B race entry (making the “
omologato” part of “GTO” appropriate), the cancellation of that series led to just 272 GTOs ultimately hitting the road. Bad for race fans, good for collectors. Regardless of its lack of racing pedigree, the GTO is competition-bred, with features like an integral roll hoop and a quick-change rear subframe for easy stage-side maintenance. In a mid-longitudinal position is a twin-turbocharged V8 making 400 horsepower, developed with Ferrari’s F1 experience. A few echoes of the old GTOs made it past the business-only agenda of the GTO, like the rear cooling slits that recall the fender slits of the original GTO.

2012 Jaguar XKR-S

As one of Jaguar’s fastest and most powerful series production car to date, the XKR-S is no poseur. Its aggressive and sleek lines are straight out of the jungle, yet not without grace. The super-charged 5.0-liter V8 brings 550 horsepower to the table and 502 foot-pounds of torque to keep you slammed back in your seat. That’s enough juice to make the XKR-S Jaguar’s first full production car to become a member of the elite 186 mph (300kmh) and higher club. Keeping all this power grounded and sticky is an adaptive damping and stability control system with unique programming and revised rear-suspension geometry. Inside are plenty of leather and all the high quality accoutrements you would expect. The XKR-S strays from Jaguar’s typical design approach, but that’s part of its appeal. Try it for yourself and see if you agree.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe

After two years of strong sales and success in racing, the first facelift for the original Camaro gave the F-body a sleeker and more hard-edged look. Mechanically-speaking, most of the drivetrain and other components were carried over from the previous model years. Only with the 1969 model year can you find this package of looks and American muscle car performance. In addition to almost entirely redesigned sheet-metal and an aggressive new grill, front-disc brakes were available for the first time ever. In its SS dress, a solid 300hp are available to your right foot. The Camaro also accommodates upgrading nicely and can easily become a go-to car for any hot rod battles that come your way. The 1969 Camaro SS represents a not-forgotten era when this pony car found its way into the hearts of Bow Tie fans all over America.

Take a look at the rest of the week seven cars:

2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed
1969 Dodge Charger R/T

1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GT
2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2005 Ford GT
2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SV
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR
2011 McLaren 12C
1961 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage
2013 Mercedes-Benz G 65 AMG
2012 Ultima GTR

Minecraft: Xbox One Edition Available Friday - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:00:00 Z
Minecraft enters the next generation with the release of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition (ESRB rating E10+), available Friday, Sept. 5 for download in the Xbox Store. Owners of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition can upgrade for just $4.99* USD, or new players can download the full game for $19.99 USD. All downloadable content players have purchased for the Xbox 360 Edition is available free for re-download on Xbox One.

With worlds up to 36 times larger than on Xbox 360, now there’s an even bigger canvas to create on. Transfer your favorite Xbox 360 worlds and content to the Xbox One Edition so you won’t lose your creations. Join a community of 13-million-plus Minecraft fans on Xbox Live that are continually laying down imaginative creations. And, with the widest range of downloadable content on console, you’ll never run out of new worlds to explore with four player split-screen on one console or up to eight players over Xbox Live.**

Xbox is about giving players a choice - even in how you buy your game. Starting Friday, players can purchase and download the Minecraft: Xbox One Edition upgrade or full game from the Xbox Store with either a credit card or an Xbox Gift Card purchased at retail. Later this month, select retailers will sell the full game Digital Download Code and the full game packaged disc will be on retail store shelves globally this holiday, just in time for gift giving.

Whether you’re a veteran Minecraft player continuing your journey or a new member of the community, you’ll be able to kick off your weekend with Minecraft: Xbox One Edition.

*To qualify for the $4.99 USD upgrade offer, players must own the retail disc or digital version of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition and connect to Xbox Live with their account. For more information, visit

**Xbox Live Gold membership required, sold separately.

PAX Attendees Get Sneak Peek at ID@Xbox’s Awesome New Lineup - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:45:00 Z
PAX Prime in Seattle is one of the biggest video game fan events in the world, and Xbox was there showing off some of the exciting upcoming games for Xbox One. But with all of the amazing upcoming ID@Xbox games in the works, there was too much awesomeness for one convention to hold.

So, Xbox commandeered the
Sunset Overdrive bus to bring enthusiastic gamers to the Microsoft campus, for a special session with over 25 upcoming ID@Xbox games. There, players got to try out new and upcoming games, and chat with some of the creators. The event felt more like a party with your friends: casual, relaxed, and fueled by pizza. It was a more intimate way for gamers to demo new titles, and provided a rare opportunity for developers to get direct feedback from fans.

Players grabbed a sword for
Volgarr the Viking, a hardcore dungeon-action game, inspired by classic games like Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. Down the aisle was SpeedRunners, an all-out, fast-paced competitive platforming racing game where you try to leap, dash, and grapple your way past the competition. And across the way, players could team up for puzzle-platformer Chariot, a very adorable and colorful game that happens to be largely about dealing with death.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The event featured everything from pinball games, to math puzzles, to sci-fi shooters, to a ‘70s-film-inspired Greek mythology adventure (yeah,
Funk of Titans – that really exists, and it’s awesome). No matter what style of game you’re into, there’s an ID@Xbox title that not only fills your particular hankering, but also brings in new and innovative ideas. Keep your eyes here – and on your Xbox One – for all the awesome ID@Xbox titles that are coming your way soon, including Warframe launching on Xbox One today!

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Forgoes Empty Errands in Favor of Meaty Missions - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:55:00 Z
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is a big game. More specifically, its sprawling open world is 35 times larger than that of its substantial predecessor’s. More impressive than its massive map, though, is its ability to fill its stretching real estate with meaningful, story-supporting content.

Rather than padding its 100-plus hours of playtime with mindless, arbitrary missions, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt aims to inject each and every encounter with narrative-enriching objectives, colorful character interactions, and the sort of plot twists other role-playing games save for their most critical quests.

A recent presentation (you can check much of this out in the video above) gave us a taste of this ambitious approach, when a seemingly simple side-quest turned into a 30-plus-minute seat-of-the-pants adventure to rival some games’ main campaigns. As titular monster-slayer Geralt of Rivia, the player was tasked with helping a child-like creature retrieve his stolen voice. The forest-dwelling being – dubbed a godling – was equal parts cute and creepy; despite not being able to speak, though, he brought plenty of personality to what could have been just another generic non-player character interaction.

Having retrieved a potion protected by harpies (which Geralt’s new crossbow handled with little fuss), the player returned to the godling; elated to be able to speak again, he spewed a series of multi-syllable words, before sharing way too much information on his morning bowels-moving ritual. Beyond the bathroom anecdote, he also gave Geralt what he came for: intel on a mysterious “ashen-haired woman.”

This entertaining encounter led to a quest update called “The Ladies of the Wood,” which saw the pony-tailed protagonist led to an elderly woman for further info on the lost lass. While the old lady had little to share, her magical tapestry was more forthcoming. Emblazoned with the images of three beautiful women, the hanging fabric turned out to be more than a decorative piece; the women it depicted spoke to the woman, instructing her to arm Geralt with an ancient dagger and send him on a dangerous quest in exchange for the information he desired.

Desperate to discover the whereabouts of the aforementioned lady with the salt-and-pepper locks, Geralt accepted another side-mission within his ever-expanding quest. After passing an eerily quiet and apparently abandoned orphanage, he met with the village’s Alderman. An interesting chap – who clearly held secrets he wasn’t ready to share – the man asked for Geralt’s help in quelling a curse that plagued his people. Reluctant, but with eyes on the prize, the skilled monster-hunter hauled hide down another branching path.

Upon confronting a possessed tree believed to be responsible for the village’s recent woes, the player encountered one of the game’s signature “choice-and-consequence” moments. The supposedly evil spirit claimed to be a savior of sorts, with the power to rescue the children missing from the orphanage we’d passed earlier. Apparently not in the business of believing talking trees, Geralt severed its roots with his dual blades and returned to the Alderman. At that point, our demo took a decidedly darker turn: Grateful for the peace that the Witcher brought his people, the NPC took Geralt’s dagger and sliced off one of his own ears. The self-mutilation – an apparent “payment” owed to the tapestry trio – didn’t faze the world-weary hero, but left us uncomfortably tugging at our own lobes.

That grisly act, however, looked like a parlor trick compared to what came next. Upon returning to the old woman’s hut (bloody ear in hand), Geralt was met by the lovely ladies from the magic tapestry... only they weren’t so lovely anymore. Defined by the sort of skin-crawling character design usually reserved for the residents of Silent Hill, the physical manifestations of the three sirens were nothing short of terrifying. One of the she-monsters carried a satchel full of human limbs, but it was her necklace – made entirely of severed ears – that caught our attention. After unceremoniously stringing the fleshy prize onto her jewelry, the head of this hellish sewing circle began spilling the beans on the fabled “ashen-haired woman.”

While this winding, multi-tiered mission might have felt like a series of fetch quests in another fictional universe, they were anything but in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt’s absorbing world. Thanks to engrossing character interactions, surprising narrative twists, and objectives that never felt arbitrary, Geralt’s lengthy mission kept us pinned to the edge of our seats at every turn. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his errands were occasionally interrupted by dynamic battles with mystical beasts; in addition to felling harpies and the aforementioned untrustworthy tree, Geralt unsheathed his blades for an epic bout with a werewolf and its fanged minions.

The combat, which featured seamless swapping from hacking-and-slashing to spellcasting, was a definite highlight. Based on previous presentations of developer CD Projekt RED’s bar-raising RPG, though, we already knew Geralt was a blade-wielding, magic-hurling badass. What most impressed us this time was the welcome lack of filler content during a mission that consumed the better part of a half-hour. Little did we know, when we witnessed that playful interaction with the godling,  that the quest would conclude with a length of human ears being dangled before us.

Finally, in addition to the release of the video above, developer CD Projekt RED recently announced details on the game’s upcoming Collector’s Edition. This awesome boxed set comes with a copy of the game, the original soundtrack recording, a detailed cloth map of the game world, and a compendium of the universe of
The Witcher. It also includes a Polystone figurine of series hero Geralt of Rivia battling a griffon, some stickers, a 200-page art book, an exclusive medallion for collectors, and two decks of cards for Gwent, the game played by the citizens populating The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. And it’s all packaged in a durable SteelBook case, making it an ideal showpiece for anyone’s gaming shelf.

We have no idea where
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt will ultimately take us, but we look forward to following its twisty (and twisted) path into the darkness. In the meantime, though, we’ll lie awake at night wondering if that tree really was telling the truth – and if Geralt’s decision potentially sealed the fate of those missing orphans.

PAX Prime 2014: Halo and the Journey of The Master Chief - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:12:00 Z
Given the fan-friendly nature of the title, it wasn’t surprising to see fans lining up for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection panel at this weekend’s PAX Prime show in Seattle. With all four (Halo CE: Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4) games starring the series’ iconic protagonist the Master Chief, over a hundred multiplayer maps (including six classic Halo 2 maps reimagined to celebrate the game’s tenth anniversary), the all-new Halo Channel, and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer beta, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has something to offer Halo fans of all stripes. And those fans turned out in force for the PAX Prime channel, packing the Seattle Symphony’s Benroya Hall for a closer look at the year’s biggest Xbox One experience.

The panel kicked off as 343 Industries’ Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor strolled out to the host’s podium to a steady stream of approving applause from the assembled fans. After thanking everyone for coming, O’Connor introduced the rest of the panelists: 343 Industries Executive Producer and Champion Hugger Dan Ayoub,
Halo: Nightfall and Halo Channel Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill, Senior Audio Director Paul Lipson, and Certain Affinity President Max Hoberman. Before getting into the meat of the panel, O’Connor invited some special guests up onto the stage. The 405th, a group of Spartan cosplayers that appears at many Halo-related events, were joined onstage by a special guest. Dressed in a costume modeled after O’Connor’s famed Mister Chef, one crafty fan surprised the love of his life by proposing onstage and walking off to a standing ovation.

Once those niceties were out of the way, it was time to get down to
Halo business. Dan Ayoub took the leading, breaking down just what in included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. “What we wanted to do when we started development of this was making something for you,” he said, motion to the assembled audience. “How do we make something a little more awesome than we did the first time with Halo: Anniversary in 2011? It all came down to going bigger.” As Halo 2 was such a pivotal game to so many people, it was clear that the game deserved the same treatment. Ayoub then explained a key theme that helped drive the project. “For the first time, we had a chance to put all of the Master Chief Halo games on one console at the same.”

In addition to the games,
Halo: The Master Chief Collection also includes the linear live-action series Halo: Nightfall from 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions. Kiki Wolfkill discussed how the team decided to set the show on a fragment of Alpha Halo. “Our director, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, felt really strongly that he wanted the setting to be a character in the story,” she said. “At the same time, Paul Scheuring, our writer, was thinking about how, if it’s a character, ‘What does that character do and how does it evolve and drive plot dynamics?’” After showing a ViDoc on the setting of Nightfall, Wolfkill and O’Connor reminisced about how hard the team strived to ensure some modicum of scientific accuracy in choosing Iceland as the location for the filming of Halo: Nightfall.

Wolfkill also included the fact that there is an internal team at 343 Industries working on the recently announced
Halo Channel, the interactive digital network that will air Halo: Nightfall along with a bevy of other created and cultivated content. “The Halo Universe is really broad and people have their favorite areas, whether it’s fiction or e-sports or news,” she said, “but for us the priority is making sure that there’s consistent and scheduled programming and a reason for you guys to keep coming back for new content.” With that came a trailer for the new and unique types of Halo content coming to Halo Channel.

Next up was a deeper look at the audio of
Halo 2: Anniversary, as Dan Ayoub revealed that, as an evolution of the ability to switch between new and old graphics in Halo CE Anniversary, players will be able to instantly switch between old and new music and audio effects. “We knew we wanted Halo 2: Anniversary to be a celebration, but also an innovation,” said Paul Lipson. “Audio is a central pillar of that.” Digging into the music, Lipson said the team adapted and re-orchestrated Halo 2’s iconic score using the Skywalker symphony, a 40 piece opera company, and 28 singers from the San Francisco Boys Chorus. All of this is mixed in surround-sound for maximum immersion. Following a sample of the beautiful score, Lipson revealed that the music recorded by Incubus and Breaking Benjamin for Halo 2 would be re-imagined by metal artist Misha Mansoor from the band Periphery. He also broke the news that legendary guitarist Steve Vai would return to re-record his sweeping shredfests for Halo 2: Anniversary, which included a sneak peek at one of the songs.

In addition to all of the new music, Lipson explained that all of the audio effects had all been completely redone to sound and behave much more realistic than ever before. Weapons will sound different depending on whether they were being fired around a corner or over a distance, and all of the ambient sounds will sound better than ever. The ability to switch instantly between a two entirely separate, complete audio system has never been done before, and it’s pretty amazing in practice. This was evidenced by the video that showed off a number of
Halo 2’s most iconic weapons (including the fan favorite Battle Rifle, which elicited the most cheers) being fired while switching back and forth between the old and new version. To say the differences are striking would be a major understatement.

Next up was the reveal of the next of the six re-imagined
Halo 2 maps that will be included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. As Frank O’Connor noted, Lockout is one of the most beloved small maps in the franchise’s history, so it was a clear choice to be getting the deluxe treatment. Max Hoberman, Lead Multiplayer Designer on the original Halo 2 and president of Certain Affinity – who is collaborating with 343 Industries on Halo 2: Anniversary’s multiplayer –  shared some war stories from the game’s development, including the fact that Lockout was originally created to be a 1-on-1 map. After sharing some of the original design documents, he discussed some of the improvements made to Lockout.

First up is a new, wider cover area in what’s known as the “elbow” area of Lockout, which comes in handy during fevered games of Crazy King or other objective-based games. It also features a new breakable glass piece in the center section that will shatter after some serious damage. This changes the flow of the map quite a bit, allowing for new and evolving strategies as the action progresses. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the addition of massive stalactites that hang over the left, center, and right sides of the map. By firing on them, players can drop them onto entrenched enemies in raised areas, killing them and offering a chance to gain some higher ground. Hoberman assured old school players that, as is the case with all of the new maps, these interactive features can be toggled on and off in Forge.

Speaking of Forge, Ayoub took a few moments to talk about the version of Forge that would ship with
Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In addition to implementing a number of features suggested by the community, Forge will now include several blank skyboxes, allowing users to create nearly anything they put their mind to rather than altering an existing map. “You can just jump in there like it’s an open palette,” said Ayoub, “and you can really create whatever it is you want.” There will also be some new terrain types, allow for much more varied and organic designs.

Finally, the fans got a first look at the version of
Halo 3 that will be shipping with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In addition to the game running at gorgeous 1080p and a buttery-smooth 60 frames per second, the game has gotten a fresh coat of paint in some new lighting effects and shaders. During the game’s opening mission, it really shows in the light streaming through the jungle canopy and the way it reflects off the gold armor of a Brute stationed on a hill. 

With that, the official part of the
Halo panel at PAX Prime came to a close, but there was nearly 20 minutes of additional Q&A at the end. You can watch the entire archived Twitch stream of the panel here, with the Q&A session beginning around the 51 minute mark.

We’ll be bringing you more on
Halo: The Master Chief Collection as we get closer to its November 11, 2014 release date.  

Welcoming 29 New Markets to Xbox One - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:21:48 Z
September is a big month for Xbox. 

I have said many times before that it has never been a better time to be an Xbox One gamer. And with the upcoming launches of highly-anticipated games like Destiny, Forza Horizon 2, and FIFA 15 this month, gamers around the world will be able to play a few of the first titles from the incredible holiday lineup coming to Xbox One.

But what makes September truly special is that gamers from 28 additional countries will get to experience the games and entertainment on Xbox One for the very first time. I know that many of you have waited patiently since we first announced Xbox One. And it has been very important to both me and the team that we launch with a great experience in your market.

Gamers in new Xbox One markets can expect to enjoy our award-winning line-up including some of the most anticipated games. Groundbreaking exclusives like Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse: Son of Rome, will be joined by Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection in the coming months. The roster also includes blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft…and more.* Rounding out the incredible portfolio includes a diverse set of ID@Xbox titles from the some of the world’s most creative independent developers.

With an amazing holiday games lineup, a strong and connected community on Xbox Live, and continued improvement to Xbox One in the monthly feature updates – it truly is a great time to be an Xbox gamer.

So on behalf of the entire team at Xbox I would like to welcome the following markets to the growing Xbox One community this month:

9/2:  Chile and Colombia

9/4:  Japan

9/5:  Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates

9/15:  Israel

9/23: Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan

9/23:  China

9/26:  Russia

For gamers in Argentina, we’ll have more to share on our launch plans shortly. We can’t wait to see everyone playing on Xbox One very soon.

Twitter: @XboxP3
Gamertag: P3

*Note that game titles and availability may vary by market

NFL for Xbox and Windows 8 Now Available And Ready To Tackle The 2014 Season - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:00:00 Z
This season, football fans will be able to get a personalized and interactive NFL football experience on their television with Xbox One and on any Windows 8 laptop or PC. The NFL app for Xbox One and Windows 8 brings NFL fans a more immersive and interactive means of experiencing North America’s most popular sport. The NFL app incorporates Microsoft’s trademark Snap feature to give you in-game video highlights, fantasy scoring and stats as you watch your favorite games live. Fans that already have NFL Sunday Ticket Max from DirecTV will be able to watch live games directly through the app – and thanks to the HDMI-in port on the Xbox One, they can watch every live game through their cable or satellite provider, and still have the app snapped to the side of your screen!

Only on Xbox One will NFL content be personal, dynamic and actionable, giving fans immediate access to the highlights, stats and data around their favorite teams and players on the best screen in their home.

If you’re one of the 25 million people in North America that play fantasy football, we have some great news for you, too. The NFL app is now connected to and CBS fantasy leagues, so no matter where you battle your friends for fantasy bragging rights, you can conveniently keep tabs on your teams with Xbox One. We know how important it is for you to follow and track your fantasy teams and player performances in real-time, and the NFL app on Xbox One makes that experience seamless, delivering content that’s important to you to the best screen in your home. The NFL app’s customizable, fan-friendly user interface, combined with real-time scoring updates and unparalleled content via our partnership with the NFL, means only Xbox One can deliver the definitive fantasy football experience to your television.Also beginning today, fans who participate in ESPN Fantasy Football – the industry’s most popular fantasy football game – will be able to track their leagues through the official ESPN app on Xbox One. The new feature allows users to view their team match-ups, standings and scoreboards in real time. Updates will also be viewable via Snap Mode, allowing users to multitask by snapping updates of their fantasy football team onto the right side of the screen while continuing to play their favorite game or watch Live TV.

Of course the ability to snap any aspect of this NFL experience – such as fantasy football highlighted in the image below - ensures fans never miss any of the action while they continue playing a game, watching Netflix, or any other activity available on Xbox One.

This season NFL fans will receive notifications for in-game video highlights for their favorite team and touchdowns from around the league. Furthermore, fantasy players will receive video notifications alerting them to scoring plays related to their fantasy teams. These notifications are immediately actionable, bringing up the associated in-game highlight for viewing in Snap Mode.“We’re excited to work with new content partners ESPN Fantasy Football and CBS, who along with give us the opportunity to deliver a premiere Next Gen TV experience for NFL fans on Xbox One,” said Wil Mozell, General Manager at Microsoft Studios. “We’re also thrilled to bring an exclusive NFL experience to Windows 8, offering a rich on-the-go or companion experience for your Xbox One.”

When there’s not a game on, football fans can check out the NFL Now section of the app. NFL Now features the largest digital library of NFL content, including content from NFL teams, NFL Network, and NFL Films Archive.

The Microsoft NFL App for Xbox One and Windows 8 is available for download today, just in time for the kickoff of the 2014 football season on September 4.

Start the Party Today with Dance Central Spotlight - Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:00:00 Z
As trailblazers in the rhythm game genre, developer Harmonix has proven time and again that no one’s better at getting a party started. Starting today, they’re bringing the party to Xbox One. Available as a digital download from the Xbox Store for $9.99, Dance Central Spotlight, the newest game in the award-winning Dance Central series, brings authentic dance routines, chart-topping music and the characters you love exclusively to Xbox One.

The core
Dance Central Spotlight soundtrack features 10 massive, booty-shaking hits, including:

  • Avicii – “Wake Me Up”
  • Cher Lloyd – “I Wish”
  • David Guetta ft. Sia – “Titanium”
  • Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”
  • Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown – “Show Me”
  • Lorde – “Royals”
  • OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
  • Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
  • Rihanna – “Diamonds”
  • ft. Justin Bieber – “#thatPOWER”

But the dance floor just gets bigger from there as players can customize their soundtrack with additional songs available in the game’s Music Store, including:

  • Erasure – “A Little Respect”
  • Paramore – “Ain't It Fun”
  • John Legend – “All of Me” (Tiësto's Birthday Treatment Remix [Radio Edit])
  • Nico & Vinz – “Am I Wrong”
  • Lady Gaga – “Applause”
  • Enrique Iglesias ft. Sean Paul, Decemer Bueno, Gente de Zona – “Bailando”
  • Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
  • TLC – “Creep”
  • Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
  • Ini Kamoze – “Here Comes the Hotstepper”
  • Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX – “I Love It”
  • Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
  • Ne-Yo – “Let Me Love You” (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
  • Of Monsters And Men – “Little Talks”
  • The B-52’s – “Love Shack”
  • Maroon 5 – “Maps”
  • Emeli Sandé – “Next To Me”
  • Maroon 5 – “One More Night”
  • Bastille – “Pompeii”
  • Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
  • ft. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”
  • Calvin Harris – “Summer”
  • Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness” (Cedric Gervais Remix)
  • A-Ha – “Take On Me”
  • DJ Snake ft. Lil' Jon – “Turn Down For What”

These songs will be available individually for download for $1.99, and don’t forget add-on content from previously purchased versions of
Dance Central for Xbox 360 are Spotlight-compatible, and easily loaded into the game.

For the latest news and details on the game, head on over to the official Dance Central Forums, or for any questions as you get the party started, please visit the official Harmonix Support Portal.

Step up for your turn in the spotlight!

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