This week, we're looking at Aaron Greenberg's Quantum Break comments, Psyonix's interview on Rocket League for Xbox One, and interesting snippets from Ubisoft's quarterly financials.
We're also giving away a copy of Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition to one lucky commenter! Simply leave a reply and join the discussion for a chance to win.
Every week, I collect some of the biggest Xbox news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to catch up with all the latest game releases.
Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Xbox marketing head Aaron Greenberg discusses Quantum Break heading to Windows 10
This past week, Microsoft announced that Quantum Break would be heading to Windows 10, bundled free with every Xbox One pre-order. The Windows 10 version of Quantum Break will be delivered via the Windows 10 Store, and come complete with Xbox Live achievements, game clip and screenshot sharing and cloud saves — enabling you to transfer your progression from Xbox to PC and vice versa.
Quite notably, some Xbox One fans were upset about the news. Some felt that bringing the previously announced Xbox One-exclusive to PC would diminish the value of the console, and hurt its chances against the PS4. Others felt that Microsoft should've been more transparent about Quantum Break's PC version, which was previously advertised as Xbox One exclusive. Some extended their concerns into the future, envisioning a world where every Xbox One exclusive would hit PC with cross-play, worrying about the possibility of Microsoft forcing Xbox One users to go head to head against keyboard and mouse wielding PC gamers in competitive games (which, by the way, won't happen).
Xbox marketing head Aaron Greenberg discussed some of the concerns on a podcast with Major Nelson (via GameSpot), stating that the announcement's timing was due to uncertainty about when the Windows 10 version would be ready:
"We weren't sure when and how we would be able to get the Windows 10 version done exactly. They lined up, so now a lot of people were like "hey, I get it, you wanna bring this to a lot more gamers to play, but why didn't you tell about this before?" Well, we didn't know we could do this before."
Aaron Greenberg also discussed some of the reasons why Quantum Break is coming to PC, noting that shipping the game to PC gives it a greater potential for success:
"I think that's just leveraging the full ecosystem, how do we make this more accessible to more gamers, I think that's a great opportunity for the title to be more successful. Remedy has a really deep history of bringing their titles to the PC, and being able to get that all done. We had a little bit more time with this title, so being able to deliver both is a good thing, and we'd love to hear people's feedback."
Even though Microsoft are taking PC gaming more seriously, Aaron Greenberg said that Xbox fans shouldn't allow the news to cause anxiety about the future of Xbox as a console:
"Please do not let the fact that we are also launching a game on the same day on Windows 10 change your perspective on the importance of the console business [or] our commitment to innovating on console."
How do you feel about Quantum Break hitting Windows 10? Let us know in the comments.
Quantum Break will arrive on Xbox One and Windows 10 on April 5th, 2016.
Psyonix discusses Rocket League for Xbox One with Major Nelson
For those who don't know, Rocket League is a hit indie sports game popularized on Windows and PS4. The game combines competitive arcade racing with soccer, where your vehicles can be used to smash a gigantic ball into a net. Since the game's PS4 launch, Xbox One owners were wondering whether or not it would arrive on Xbox One, and late last year, Psyonix gave us the answer. Rocket League will hit Xbox One on February 17th, and Psyonix's Jeremy Dunham joined Major Nelson's podcast to discuss Rocket League for Xbox One.
Psyonix stated that the only reason Rocket League hadn't hit Xbox One sooner was a matter of dev hours, rather than exclusivity:
"We hope it means a lot to the Xbox One owners. Since we have announced it a lot of people, especially from the Xbox One fandom side, have really been hounding us to bring it to the system. And we always wanted to. The only reason we couldn't is because we are a small team. So we had to go with one platform at a time."
Rocket League for Xbox One will come with some unique car customization, including vehicles inspired by Gears of War, Halo and Sunset Overdrive. Some of those vehicles will play into the game's Xbox One achievements, which have been streamlined following feedback on the game's PS4 and PC versions:
"[The achievements] are similar. We have consolidated it. We've removed some that were DLC specific since you get a lot of [our previous] DLC for free in this package. But we have added some unique ones. I don't want to give too much away, but if you use a Halo vehicle and the Armadillo vehicle against each other, that is one way to get one. We have definitely tried to make them more streamlined. We've learned a lot over the last eight months about the ones people liked and about the ones that might've been a bit too difficult."
You can pre-order Rocket League right here on the Xbox One Store, ahead of its February 17th launch.
Ubisoft expects The Division to be one of the biggest new franchise launches in history, Watch Dogs 2 confirmed
Ubisoft is projecting big sales success for The Division. In a call to investors, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot discussed their strategy for the year, the future of Assassin's Creed and some big expectations for their upcoming connected shooter-RPG, The Division.
"The Division - whose recent closed beta exceeded all of our expectations - is set to be one of the largest launches of a new brand in the history of the video game industry."
Ubisoft also hailed Rainbow Six Siege for achieving "record engagement levels", spearheading the studio's effort to keep players hooked to Ubisoft services (and revenue streams).
Echoing the news that Assassin's Creed would ditch its efforts to be an annual series, Guillemot stated that the studio was now in a position to re-examine the franchise and give it a "new dimension". If the previous Kotaku leak pans out, Ubisoft will be taking the stealth franchise to ancient Egypt. That same leak also claimed we'd be getting Watch Dogs 2 this year, which has now been confirmed by the same investor's call report.
Ubisoft is in a good position for 2016 and beyond, even without Assassin's Creed. The Division, Far Cry Primal, on-going updates to Rainbow Six Siege, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands and new IP like For Honor should help the studio delight investors and gamers in equal measure. Only time will tell.
Giveaway – Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition for Xbox One
Join the discussion in the comments for a chance to win Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition for Xbox One. Dying Light launched last year and became a hit for its blend of parkour, Diablo-like looting mechanics and detailed zombie-apocalyptic world. To celebrate the launch of its hefty expansion, The Following, we're giving away a digital key for the Xbox One version. The Following adds an entirely new area to the game, complete with new weapons, quests and even drivable vehicles. The Enhanced Edition also includes all of the game's previous season pass DLC content in addition to the free updates that Techland have issued over the course of the year.
The winner was kenzibit!
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Xbox One Preview Program still 'TBD' on accepting more testers
- Halo 5 will get hit with a 'Hammer Storm' with its next free content update
- ARK: Survival Evolved for Xbox One adds split-screen support with latest update
- Ubisoft sees higher revenue from Xbox One players over PlayStation 4
- Xbox is following Nintendo, not PlayStation, into the future
- You can now pre-order Rocket League for the Xbox One
- Quantum Break recommended PC requirements updated, slightly less crazy
- Xbox One owners spent over 1 billion hours gaming in January, PlayStation 4 still on top for sales
- Quantum Break will sync your progress between Xbox One and Windows 10
- Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 're-examination' means no new games in the series in 2016
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending February 14th, 2016
In Space We Brawl: Full Arsenal Edition - Shooter - Forge Reply SRL
"In Space We Brawl is a frantic couch twin-stick shooter in which you challenge friends in fast-paced space battles for up to 4 players."
D/Generation HD - Classics & Social - West Coast Software Limited
"D/Generation was an immensely popular isometric puzzle game written in 1991 by Robert Cook for PC/DOS and ported by John Jones-Steele to Windows and Amiga/CD32. D/Generation HD has been recreated from the original source code and contains all the original features and puzzles but in glorious HD graphics."
Factotum 90 - Action & Adventure, Puzzle & Trivia - TACS Games
"You're in deep space and something's collided with the ship. Main power is offline and you're trapped. It's lucky you have access to this terminal. It's a little old but with these two robots and some clever thinking you might be able to get power back online and save the day."
Unravel - Platformer - EA
"Unravel introduces Yarny, a new, lovable and endearing character made from a single thread of yarn, which slowly unravels as you move. Inspired by the unique and breath-taking environments of Northern Scandinavia, Unravel is a visually stunning, physics-based puzzle platformer."
ARSLAN: THE WARRIORS OF LEGEND - Action & Adventure - Koei Tecmo
"An exciting collaboration between The Heroic Legend of Arslan anime and the action-infused Warriors series! Experience the grand historical fantasy with ARSLAN: THE WARRIORS OF LEGEND!"
Assassin's Creed Chronicles – Trilogy - Action & Adventure - Ubisoft
"Expand your Assassin's Creed experience and discover the forgotten stories of three remarkable Assassins in brand-new settings with fresh 2.5D stealth gameplay. Play the adventures of three cult Assassins: Each chapter comes with a unique hero and a new setting all interconnected through a common plot that will only be revealed at the very end."
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4 - Action & Adventure - BANDAI NAMCO
"The latest opus in the acclaimed STORM series is taking you on a colorful and breathtaking ride. Take advantage of the totally revamped battle system and prepare to dive into the most epic fights you've ever seen in the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM series!"
Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition - Action & Adventure - Techland
"Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition takes parkour-fueled zombie survival to a whole new level. Enjoy the definitive Dying Light experience with the brand-new Legend system, improved visuals, major gameplay enhancements, and more."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've mostly been enamored with an upcoming ID@Xbox title named The Flame in the Flood, launching on February 24th, 2016 for Xbox One. The Flame in the Flood's developer, The Molasses Flood is comprised of ex-Halo and Bioshock devs, and they gave me permission to discuss some of my experiences on this week's OneCast which should go live tomorrow right over here.
What have you guys been playing this week? Join this week's Xbox news discussion for a chance to win a digital code for Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition for Xbox One!