11:21am PT by Scott Alexander, Carolyn Giardina
E3: Xbox One to Launch in November for $499
Xbox One will launch in November for $499, Microsoft revealed Monday during its E3 press conference.
Like its predecessor the Xbox 360, the console is designed to bring together video gaming, music, television, movies and communication. Announced last month, the system includes access to Skype and lets users watch TV, play games and chat simultaneously.
But this is E3 and at this morning’s 90-minute press briefing, Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business president Don Mattrick emphasized, “it’s all about the games.”(It's a good thing, too -- since last month's Xbox announcement was lacking concrete information about games... or price... or many other things.) During the event, held at Los Angeles’ Galen Center, the company previewed a string of upcoming titles that will be available first or exclusively for Xbox One.
The latest iteration of the Xbox's signature Halo series will debut exclusively on Xbox One in 2014. The company said this version would run at 60fps, which drew cheers. This follows last month’s news that Steven Spielberg would executive produce a live-action TV series based on the video game available exclusively on Xbox One. The Halo TV show will be the first from Xbox Entertainment Studios.
Another game-TV tie in came in the form of Quantum Break, a new property from Remedy Entertainment, creators of the original Max Payne games and the more recent Alan Wake. Remedy creative director Sam Lake promised to deliver a TV-gaming experience in which each relates to the other, allowing viewers to personalize their experiences with the property, saying "the show impacts how you see the game and the game changes how you see the show."
Sequels previewed during the press conference included Forza Motorsport 5 from Turn 10 Studios, Metal Gear Solid 5 from Konami, Battlefield 4 from Dice, and The Witcher 3 from CD Projekt Red.
Microsoft Studios’ head Phil Specter reported that the studio was “investing more than ever to create new and original games. More titles are in development now more that at any other time in our history.” The studio teased new original IPs including Ryse: Son of Rome, D4, Sunset Overdrive and Titanfall, all of which will be exclusive to Xbox One. The company also demoed an intriguing system called Project Spark that allows gamers to create and sculpt new game worlds to play in with their friends.
Microsoft also announced that with the Xbox One would abandon their current payment system, which uses Microsoft Points to make digital purchases, instead allowing users to buy content using local currency. The company touted deeper integration of its Smart Glass system, which allows users to control various aspects of the Xbox using a smartphone or tablet.
With Microsoft's secrets mainly spilled, all eyes will be on Sony's press conference this evening as they announce further details on their new console, the Playstation 4, expected to debut this fall in direct competition with the Xbox One.