Ubisoft just announced the next title coming to the Assassin’s Creed series. Coming to Xbox One on 23 October, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate takes place in London during the Industrial Revolution (1868).
It was an age of invention and prosperity built on the backs of working class slaves. As gangster assassin Jacob Frye, you will recruit your gang to fight for justice on behalf of the oppressed working class. Lead the underworld to take back London in a visceral adventure filled with action, intrigue and brutal combat.
If you are enjoying “Ori and the Blind Forest” I am sure you’ve noticed the beautiful soundtrack.
Well that soundtrack (by Gareth Coker) is now available at multiple places online to enjoy when you are not in front of your Xbox One or PC.
PAX East is one of the premiere gaming shows and is being held from March 6-8 in Boston, MA. Not only will Xbox have a huge presence at the show including another opportunity to play Halo 5 Guardians Arena multiplayer, I will be attending and participating in a number of events and panels.
Xbox Booth #5044
Friday, March 6 – 10:00 am to 6 pm
Saturday, March 7 – 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, March 8 – 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
What it Takes To Build a Next-Gen Open World Game Panel
Saturday, March 7, 10:30AM – 11:30AM, Albatross Theatre
Join CD Projekt RED, the developers behind the highly anticipated Xbox One title, The Witcher: Wild Hunt, as they discuss the challenges, opportunities, and everything else involved in building a next gen open world game. Don’t forget about the live narrated gameplay, too! Larry Hryb, aka Xbox Live’s Major Nelson, hosts.
Major Nelson Podcast Panel
Saturday, March 7, 5:00PM – 6:00PM, Condor Theatre
Join Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, as we record an episode of the award winning podcast “Major Nelson Radio” LIVE in front of a studio audience. There’ll be prizes, guests and probably fun.
If I’m not involved with a panel, you might find me attending other panels, walking around the showroom floor or hanging out at the Xbox booth. Be sure to stop by and say hello.
In addition to the two PAX East panels, I will be hosting an in-store event with fans at Microsoft at The Shops at Prudential Center on March 5 from 7-9 p.m. ET. More details to come, but plan to get there early because the lines will open at 6 p.m.
For more information about the Xbox booth including a list of games being featured at the show, check out Xbox Wire or the Xbox Events site. For general information about PAX East, check out the official website.
Following up from the Windows 10 announcement earlier this week and the impacts it will have on the future of gaming, I posted an article over at Xbox Wire discussing the initial preview of the Xbox App available in the January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
We want our fans to help shape the Xbox on Windows experience and plan to ship regular Xbox app releases that deliver new functionality by making changes based on your feedback. There is a lot more work for the team to do, but here are some of the features that you can check out with the initial preview release in the January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview:
Your Profile – provides you quick access to your Xbox profile and recent activity and achievements. With the initial preview build, you can see your Gamerscore, recent Activity, Achievements, Following lists and Game Clips.
Home – the Xbox app home page will provide you quick access to your Recently Played games, your friends and their online status and an Activity Feed of recent events, game clips, etc.
Friends – you can see your friends across devices and search and find new friends. Additionally, you can go the profile page for your friends and followers and view their recent activity, achievements, friends, games they follow and game clips.
Activity Feed – you can view your activity feed and post text, like and comment on your friends’ recent achievements and Game clips. In this version of preview build, the sharing functionality is not yet enabled.
Settings – Within settings, you can see the current Version number of the Xbox on Windows app, and choose to Sign out from the app. Additionally, you can turn on/off the following items:
Messages – Users can view messages from other users and system messages / notifications.
I want to thank all of the Xbox fans who contributed to our record-setting holiday and making 2014 such a successful year. The Xbox One deals were quite popular and have inspired a new promotion starting January 16 where fans in the U.S. can buy an Xbox One for $349 at their preferred retailer.
Some interesting statistics about 2014:
• Xbox 360 became the best-selling seventh generation console of all time in the U.S.
• In 2014, users logged nearly 8 billion hours globally in apps across Xbox 360 and Xbox One, a
50 percent increase from time spent in 2013.
• Xbox One became the best-selling console in the U.S. in November and December and weekly average sales during these months outpaced Xbox 360 by 50 percent at the same point in its lifecycle.*
• Xbox One also sold more games throughout November and December in the U.S. than any other current-generation platform.*
• From November 24 to January 3, fans spent more time playing on Xbox than they ever have before, at any point in the history of Xbox.
• In the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta alone, 18 million games have been played to date.
The Xbox Wire has a great year in review summary and what to expect in 2015, including a few upcoming console titles and the future of PC gaming on Windows 10. You can find that article here.
I’m here in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show for the Forza Motorsport 6 announcement and I can’t think of a better place in the world than the Motor City to reveal Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios have teamed up with Ford Motor Company to bring the all-new Ford GT supercar to the world of Forza. Having seen the car in person, all I can say is fans of the series are in for a wild ride.
The Forza Motorsport 6 cover will feature the Ford GT and the game will include other Ford performance vehicles including the Shelby GT350 and F-150 Raptor. Details about the game will be released later this year.
Video game legend Ralph Baer passed away this weekend. If you don’t know who he is, I recommend watching this short video by PBS. As you’ll soon learn, much of what we do in the video game industry is a direct result of many of his inventions.
I was fortunate to have spent a Sunday afternoon with him earlier this year at his home in New Hampshire, where he agreed to be a guest on my podcast and show me around his workshop. Here is a never before seen photo of Ralph and I in his lab, playing on the “brown box” – the prototype that would go on to become the Magnavox Odyssey.
It was a magical afternoon that I shall remember for the rest of my life.
Remember earlier this year when I went out to the desert of New Mexico to join Director Zak Penn and get to the bottom of the legend of the ET Atari cartridges being buried? The full story can now be told in the form of “Atari: Game Over” now available for free on Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Video.
“I’m quite serious when I say this is one of the best video game documentaries ever made. That’s still a pretty niche field, but Atari: Game Over belongs up there with Indie Game: The Movie and King of Kong as a real standout.” – Hayden Dingman, PC World
“After getting an advance screening this weekend, GeekWire highly recommends the film, particularly for gamers who grew up in the era of the Atari 2600 — and even more for those who didn’t, as a way of appreciating the roots of the games they play today.” – Todd Bishop, GeekWire
“Atari: Game Over is a wonderful movie. It’s a love story about video games, the people who play them and the people who make them.” – Colin Campbell, Polygon
“The hour-long film chronicles the rise and fall of Atari by literally uncovering the truth of what happened to millions of unsold ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ videogame cartridges in 1983.” – Marc Graser, Variety
Three decades after it was rumored that thousands of unsold Atari 2600 games and accessories, highlighted by E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, were secretly dumped in a New Mexico landfill, the urban legend has been confirmed. Hundreds of fans and media attendees gathered in Alamogordo as a loader dug deep into the earth in search of evidence. After just a couple of hours and 30 feet of debris passed by, E.T. once again saw daylight.
For those of you who couldn’t make it out to New Mexico, Xbox Wire has full coverage of all the goings-on. Cameras were rolling for the filming a documentary on the event that will be airing soon, but I brought my own crew to bring you this inside look at a once-in-a-lifetime event. Enjoy:
As it turned out, folks around the world were following along with the dig via Twitter. Here are a few of our favorite moments as the first cartridges were brought to the surface in real time:
Last week, Microsoft named Phil Spencer our new Head of Xbox, and I spoke with him about his vision of the future. While this is a new role for Phil, he’s actually been with Microsoft since 1988. I recently chatted with him about what he’s accomplished over the past 26 years: which roles he’s held at Xbox, which titles he’s worked on, and who he’s worked with.
Moving this post to the front page for the weekend for easy reference
As you get ready to map out your plan of attack for PAX East 2014 at the Boston Convention Center from April 11th – 13th, be sure to include the Xbox presence (booth #524) in your agenda.
From the newly released Kinect Sports Rivals to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare to Titanfall, we’ve got something for everybody. Catch up with some of our most engaged members of the Project Spark community (and try it out for yourself), or go hands on with ID@Xbox titles Super Time Force and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut.
Check back here for updates, and be sure to follow @Xbox and the #PAXEast hashtag on Twitter to keep up with the latest details on all our activities at PAX East 2014.
No tickets? No worries – you can still join us at a special event at the Natick Mall Microsoft retail store on Thursday, April 10th. For more details on all the great content we’ll be showing off this year, read on:
Microsoft Store Xbox Event – Thursday, April 10th 7:00 PM | Natick Mall, MA
Before heading into the 70,000 human abyss at the Convention Center, let’s kick off PAX East together, New England! Join Xbox’s Major Nelson on Thursday, April 10th at 7pm at the Natick Mall Microsoft retail store for the first ever public demonstration of multiplayer mode in Harmonix’s upcoming Fantasia: Music Evolved. Attendees will also get to play unreleased ID@Xbox games, the newly released Kinect Sports Rivals, and enter to win prizes including a pair of tickets to the sold out PAX East event.
Great news – you don’t need PAX tickets to attend, everyone is welcome! See you there.
Project Spark – Playing is Creating: How to transform from an everyday gamer to a creative visionary with Project Spark – Saturday, April 12th 12:00 PM | Albatross Theatre
Have the dream of creating your perfect game? Interested in seeing what an engaged and passionate community can create? Do you love playing new, different, and unique games? Join Team Dakota as we share the vision and reality of the limitless possibilities of Project Spark. We will showcase some of the amazing games, worlds, and content that our community has created. Learn more about Project Spark: Where Players Create and Creators Play. Currently available in beta and launching soon on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows 8.1!
Titanfall – Looking Back & Moving Forward – Saturday, April 12th 4:30PM | Main Theatre
Come meet members of Respawn Entertainment, including co-founder and CEO Vince Zampella, Producer Drew McCoy, Lead Designer Justin Hendry, Software Engineer Jon “Slothy” Shiring, and Community Manager Abbie Heppe, as they revisit the making, the launch, and the future of Titanfall.
Major Nelson Radio – Live! – Saturday, April 12th 6:00 PM | Albatross Theatre
Hello New England….we are baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Major Nelson Radio returns to PAX East with more fun than ever before. We hope.
Join Larry Hyrb, Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, e, and JEF United as we record an episode of the award winning podcast “Major Nelson Radio” LIVE in front of the studio audience. We will have prizes, guests and probably fun. Note: Clowns are not permitted at the recording.
Hands-on Gaming & Entertainment
Kinect Sports Rivals – Built for the power of Xbox One, Kinect Sports Rivals captures your likeness as a champion and plunges you into a world of sports competition. Sign up to compete against friends, rivals, and the entire world in the Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship for a chance to win the grand prize of ten thousand dollars cash and a trip of a lifetime.
Titanfall – Winner of Over 85 Awards – Titanfall is the first next-gen shooter that combines pure adrenaline, wall-running, double-jumping action with powerful, fast-paced titan warfare to set the new bar for online multiplayer gameplay. Stop by, as we’ll be featuring 24 stations for you to get hands on time with what GameSpot called “A Leap Forward for Shooters”.
Project Spark – The ultimate creation game that lets anyone build unique and instantly playable levels, experiences, and worlds, Project Spark will showcase exciting new content on Xbox One and Windows 8.1 at PAX East. In addition to Team Dakota, the development team behind Project Spark, providing hands-on and guided demos of the game, several of Project Spark’s superstar community members will showcase their own games and levels created within the game. Consumers who come by the booth and try the game for themselves can receive an exclusive “Pinny Arcade” pin (limited quantity).
Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare will be showcasing the Garden Ops mode, which pits four Plant team members against waves and waves of zombies and bosses who are out to destroy your garden, featuring content from the Garden Variety Pack update including a new map, a slew of additional character upgrades, and a host of fresh Pirate Zombies for players to face in the Sharkbite Shores map. Boss Mode allows players to employ SmartGlass to support their teams with a top-down view of the battlefield, employing enemy intel, health drops, revive stations and explosive artillery strikes. Players will also have a chance to receive The Super Duper Pack and Craaazy Pack giving players a mix of customization and consumable items, and are guaranteed to include at least one Uncommon item, one Rare item, and a high likelihood of a Rare character piece.
ID@Xbox – Recently highlighted at GDC, ID@Xbox is how independent game developers participate in the momentum of Xbox One. We’re showing off two of the titles – Super Time Force and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut in the Xbox Live area of the booth.
Twitch – With Twitch on Xbox One, you can broadcast and watch your favorite games live. Just say “Xbox, Broadcast” to show the world what you’re playing. Once you’re done broadcasting, use Twitch to watch the games you love, chat with the players you follow, or even join a broadcaster’s game.
Also playable: Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome & Killer Instinct
Other Recommended Fun
State of Decay – Booth #1039
For the first time, come play “Lifeline”, the new DLC for State of Decay, at the Undead Labs booth (#1039) during PAX! State of Decay is the hit zombie survival game which fans have turned into a multi-million unit franchise. Available on both Xbox 360 and Steam*, Lifeline will put you into the boots of Greyhound One — a military unit sent to ground-zero of the zombie apocalypse to rescue a group of scientists who might be the key to fighting the plague. *State of Decay game required, sold separately.
Powerstar Golf- Booth #836
Powerstar Golf will reveal a brand new course for the first time at PAX East! Play the course at Ubisoft’s Booth (#836), where Powerstar Golf will be one of the titles featured in Ubisoft’s “The Next Level” Tournament. Also, make sure to watch the trailer playing throughout the weekend in the booth.
Fighting game enthusiasts at PAX East 2014 will have a chance to flex their competitive muscles playing Killer Instinct on Xbox One for the chance to win a variety of great prizes at the Turtle Beach booth (#862). Gamers in attendance can register for one of the 32 open slots available for each of the 3 days. All gameplay will happen on the Xbox One, using Killer Instinct FightSticks and customized Turtle Beach XO SEVEN headsets. All participants will also receive an exclusive Killer Instinct FightStick pin!
Twitch – Booth #936
Make sure you swing by the Twitch booth (#936) to catch Capcom Pro Tour action throughout the weekend. Twitch will also be giving away awesome swag bags to the first 250 people who come check out how easy it is to stream on next generation consoles including Xbox One. Can’t make it? Watch it all from the Twitch app on your Xbox 360 or Xbox One.
Age of Mythology Extended – Booth#492
The Battle for Heaven and Earth Begins again!After the successful release of Age of Empires II :HD, Microsoft Studios is now bringing you Age of Mythology Extended an updated combination of the award-winning Age of Mythology and the Titan expansion. Stop by the Age of Empires booth (#492) where you will be able to demo Age of Mythology: EX before it’s release or have your picture taken in the OneDrive photo stand and earn their your own Anubis Pinny Arcade pin and AOM:EX kraken bandana (while supplies last).
Saturday at 11am in the Que Room: Your chance to have a poster signed by a Titanfall Respawn developer Saturday at 2pm at the Xbox Booth: Your chance to play alongside a Titanfall Respawn developer Sunday at 2pm at the Xbox Booth: Your chance to play alongside a Titanfall Respawn developer
Today it has been announced that Phil Spencer has been named the Head of Xbox. He will be leading the Xbox, Xbox Live, and creative teams including Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios.
I’ve known Phil for a long time, and I am incredibly excited by this news and what it means for Xbox. I’ll get him on the Podcast this week to discuss his thoughts. Join me in congratulating Phil on his new role
Please join me in welcoming Jeff Rubenstein to my team. Jeff has been in the industry for a quite some time, but many of you may know him from the great work he did while at Sony. While you’ll see Jeff at various community events, and posting occasionally here on my blog, he’s also working on additional community driven programs that we’re not ready to announce yet. In the meantime, I asked Jeff to write a short blurb to (re?) introduce himself to the Xbox Community so he can jump right in and get started:
I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the Xbox team at such an exciting time for the industry. During the interview process, I was taken with how passionate and positive everyone is about gaming, and in how highly they value customer opinion. Especially important to my decision to join the team is the way Microsoft has demonstrated a willingness to listen to the community – and act on what it hears – quite clearly as of late.
I’m also hoping they’ll let me play Titanfall.
Little known fact: I’ve actually known Larry since he helped me on a story I wrote for the Orlando Sentinel back in 2007. We’ve stayed in contact ever since, and his vision on using social media to interact with gamers has been a key influence on my career. Joining Major Nelson’s team is an awesome opportunity, and I look forward to working closely with you all. See you soon!