Gamescom 2014 Conferences

Microsoft’s Gamescom 2014 conference focused on games (rather than more TV) and the announcement of three new Xbox One bundles: the FIFA 15 Xbox One bundle, the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle (grey with orange trim and a 1TB harddrive), and Sunset Overdrive which will feature the white Xbox One.. interestingly, Kinect is not bundled in.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Xbox One Bundle

The biggest news of note was the announcement of Rise of the Tomb Raider, due in “holiday 2015” and exclusive to Xbox One.  This may only mean a timed exclusive rather than a refusal to accommodate other formats, but fans are not happy and there’s even a petition on Change.org for a multi-platform release of the game.

The beta of Turtle Rock’s Evolve will be available on the Xbox One in January, whilst rollercoaster building and riding game Screamride, from Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and Thrillville studio Frontier Developments, will arrive in spring 2015.  Moon Studio’s adventure Ori and the Blind Forest launches on PC and Xbox systems this holiday season, later than expected, whilst Capybara Games’ Below will also arrive in 2015.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Microsoft and 343 Industries also announced the Halo Channel, which will broadcast live Twitch-enabled gameplay and original content based on the Halo series; there’s also Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which will include a skill-based ranking system with leveling said to be identical to that of Halo 2.  Halo 5: Guardians’ beta programme will be available from December 29th.

Microsoft also announced a slew of indie games coming through their indie development initiative, ID@Xbox, including Superhot, Goat Simulator, Dungeon of the Endless, No Time to Explain and Smite.  The full list can be found here.

Sony’s Gamescom 2014 conference began with the announcement that 10 million PS4 consoles have been sold so far.  An update due later this year will add a Share Play feature allowing PS Plus members to play any game cooperatively with friends, even if those friends don’t own a copy themselves.. sounds good.

Thomas Was Alone dev Mike Bithell announced his next game: Volume, a stealth game due next year for PS4 and Vita.  Q-Games and SCEE Worldwide Studios have teamed up for The Tomorrow Children, which seemed to be a communal city building and defending game, with many interesting features.  Ruffian Games announced four-player co-op shooter Hollowpoint, whilst Ninja Theory announced Hellblade, a nightmarish game featuring a sword-wielding female lead and shadowy demons.

hellblade

Zombie survival sandbox DayZ is on its way to PlayStation 4, with a new cross-platform renderer providing enhanced visuals.

Bungie announced that the first expansion for Destiny is due in December, while Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima demonstrated some of the new tactics Snake can employ with his cardboard box in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.  A PS4 version of Media Molecule’s 2013 Vita game Tearaway will arrive next year, along with The Astronaut’s mysterious The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, while Housemarque announced their fast-paced shooter Alienation, a PS4 exclusive.  Rayman creator Michel Ancel, for Wild Sheep Studios, closed the press conference with another PS4 exclusive: open-world sandbox Wild, in which players can try to survive and explore as any animal.

An interactive teaser for first person horror P.T. is now available on the PlayStation Network.. the trailer doesn’t really give the game away so this is one to try out (Games > Demos).

Some tech news: PlayStation TVs will be available in PAL regions from November 14th, while the PlayStation Now game streaming service will start rolling out next year, with the beta starting first in the UK.

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