Forza Motorsport 5

The Xbox One should offer an exponentially better entertainment experience than our beloved but aging Xbox 360. The gaming possibilities are greater than ever before thanks to beefier hardware (16 times as much RAM, for instance) and the new Kinect. That said, Microsoft chose to reveal precious few games during the event.

Let’s see what titles they announced and what we can expect when the console launches later this year…

First-Party Games

Forza Motorsport 5
These Forza 5 pics probably come from the game's screenshot mode.

They started out by revealing Forza Motorsport 5, a game that had been previously rumored. Project Gotham Racing 5 was also rumored but didn’t show up during the event, so Microsoft might just be sticking exclusively with Forza for first-party racers. We don’t know much about Forza 5 other than it will be a launch title and very, very pretty.

Next up, Microsoft will publish Quantum Break, a new Xbox One exclusive from Remedy, the makers of Xbox 360 and PC hit Alan Wake. The presentation mixed live-action footage with gameplay. As the name implies, the game involves time travel and things breaking. It’s too early to know how Quantum Break will turn out, but Remedy has a good track record so far.

Third-Party Games

The Xbox One will have more than its share of sports games thanks to strong support from Electronic Arts. EA teased FIFA 14, Madden 25, NBA Live 14, and UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship, mostly via prerendered footage. EA’s sports launch titles haven’t always been up to par with previous-gen sports games, so we’ll have to see how these games shape up at launch.

Finally, Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest entry in the popular first-person shooter series will show up for Xbox One as well. In fact, Ghosts is the only game that we saw actual footage of during the reveal. It sports much more detailed character models than previous games in the series, including a fine looking dog. As with the Xbox 360 Call of Duties, DLC for Ghosts will launch on Xbox One before competing consoles.

Thief Xbox One
Thief for Xbox One

After the presentation wrapped up, Square Enix sent out a press release announcing their new Thief game will come to Xbox One as well. The new game (sometimes referred to as Thief 4) will reboot the long-running series, which last appeared on the original Xbox as Thief: Deadly Shadows.

Too much TV, not enough games

Several of Microsoft’s key franchises were missing from the presentation, including Halo (though they did announce a new TV series directed by Steven Spielberg), Gears of War, and Fable. Those titles could certainly be coming, as Microsoft to publish promised fifteen games (8 of which are new franchises) during the Xbox One’s first year. And as a whole though, the big MS focused much more on the system’s features as opposed to specific games.

The reduced focus on games is somewhat understandable given that E3 is only three weeks away. Microsoft can talk about games as much as they want there, now that they’ve introduced the system as a whole. But you could hardly blame people who are more interested in Xbox consoles as gaming devices for being underwhelmed by the presentation’s scarcity of new software.

Still, it would be silly to think that Xbox One won’t launch with an impressive array of games. We probably won’t see a new Halo until next year, but Microsoft will certainly reveal more launch titles and exclusives during their E3 press conference. We’ll be there to cover it, faithful readers!