Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy post every weekend!
So without further ado, here's our latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition passes through Brazilian classification board
I'd take this as confirmation that Gears of War is indeed preparing an Xbox One outing. The Brazilian classification board has revealed the game, dubbed Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
The listing touts Microsoft Studios as the publisher and Splash Damage as the developer. Splash Damage has a big "Unannounced Project" on their games page, and has been hiring for a "triple A" franchise for some time.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is widely expected just to feature the first game, but if successful there's no reason Splash Damage can't move on to Gears 2 and 3 (leave Judgement out though, please).
Fallout 4 will be at E3 claims an 'insider', with a 30-minute gameplay reveal
Take this rumour with a pinch of salt. I find that 'insider' leaks tend just to be best guesses, but from what we know about Bethesda's E3 conference so far this one could turn out to be true. The German site PCGames has reported that Bethesda will be showcasing 20-30 minutes of Fallout 4 footage
For Bethesda to commit to their own conference at E3 (which carries an expense) must indicate they have something big to show off. Only a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout fits the bill in my mind and like many fans of the internet, my bottle caps are on Fallout.
Keen fans noticed that the recent Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has vending machines serving Fallout branded beverages pictured above (via GamingBolt). Are those sly dogs at Bethesda teasing us with hints of things to come? We'll find out the truth in just over a month.
Killer Instinct's season 2 closes with ARIA, the cybernetic CEO of Ultratech
Season 2 of Killer Instinct has seen Iron Galaxy go above and beyond to diversify the roster. We've had Aganos and his unique rock resource mechanic, Hisako and her extended capacity for counters, in addition to the return of classics like Cinder.
Season 2 will close featuring ARIA, the robotic CEO of Ultratech. ARIA was originally an AI designed to seek out and eliminate humanities biggest problems, such as disease, famine, poverty, etc. After her creator died, his will included instructions to allow ARIA to continue her runtime unabated. To find out what happened next, KI fans will need to go hands on with Season 2's story mode, which will arrive with ARIA this June.
As you can see in the concept art, ARIA is composed of 3 parts which are transferable during a match. Each drone you assume control of will provide ARIA with unique punch specials and other additional properties. The official KI forums offered some detail:
- Booster Drone builds a body capable of incredible air manoeuvrability and has an air / ground rush attack move. You can see Booster Body in the teaser, as this Drone looks like wings and uses prototype sonic technology to help ARIA hover.
- Blade Drone builds a body with a sword arm that uses prototype sonic vibration tech. It is capable of rushing slashes, an invulnerable uppercut, a grounded overhead, chip damage normals, and increased poke range.
- Bass Drone builds a body with a prototype sonic cannon in the chest and can deliver high, low, and anti-air multi-hit projectiles that travel at sonic speeds.
The drones not being controlled float freely behind ARIA, and are available for take over via certain combo enders, idle commands and even when downed. They can also be used for assists, which is rather insane. At least it would be insane, if ARIA's hp wasn't divided between them. Players using ARIA will have to protect the drone cores, and be wary when it comes to their use. Each core has a third of a total player's health bar, and do not recover as easily. Additionally, you cannot 'down' ARIA, you must simply destroy all of her drones to win. Once killed, a drone doesn't recover for the remainder of the fight.
For more detail be sure to check out the Ultra Combo forums here. I am looking forward to that story mode!
Metal Gear Solid V still exists, Konami US employee speaks out
If you follow the constant drama encircling Konami like a whirlwind you'd be forgiven for worrying about Metal Gear Solid V. Konami has killed Silent Hills, Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro's take on the iconic horror franchise; the publisher is reportedly axing Kojima's contract once MGSV is out of the door and there's all sorts of weird rumours about mistreatment of Kojima Productions staff at the hands of Konami.
That said, a Konami game developer recently penned a couple of tweets that may reassure fans. The tweets emphasise that Kojima is still hands on at the studio, and that the studio is doubling down working extra hours to ensure MGSV hits its September launch date.
In addition, Tora Shiro who works at Konami US recently took to NeoGAF to reassure fans that the company is listening, but considering a lot of the drama is taking place between the suits at Konami HQ in Japan, I wouldn't be particularly optimistic about this one.
"...Totally fine, I take no offense and always encourage fans to let us know where we are royally screwing up as to find out where we should be improving..."
It seems unlikely to me that any amount of bad blood between Kojima and whoever else could stem the tide of millions of dollars worth of Metal Gear. We'll just have to continue to be patient.
1TB Xbox One SKU on the way?
Spanish outlet LameeSoftware has listed a new 1 terabyte Xbox One SKU, apparently set to arrive on June 23rd. It seems likely that something like this could be on the way, especially considering 1TB Xbox One's already exist in limited edition form.
The limited storage available in the base SKU has many of us running external hard drives, and the problem will only get worse as time goes on. The Witcher 3 sports a whopping 50GB installation cost on both Xbox One and PS4, and I dread to think how much a potential Fallout 4 could swallow.
Xbox 360 gamers ready to make the plunge on next-gen might find this future-proof solution more attractive, but considering external HDDs can often boost load speeds with faster RPM and USB 3.0, they might in theory be worse off. Time will tell.
Oculus Rift for Xbox One?
We all know about HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented reality headset, but what about VR gaming? Gamespot has reported that Oculus vice president Nate Mitchell has spoken to both Sony and Microsoft on supporting Oculus Rift for their respective consoles.
"...There's a lot of people right now interested in the VR space. And we've said many times that we're interested in bringing the Rift to as many consoles or platforms as possible. Ultimately, we haven't announced any sort of partnerships to date. But it's something we're always exploring..."
Considering the rumour that Sony's Project Morpheus will share a launch window with the Oculus Rift, and that HoloLens doesn't compete directly with the stereoscopic VR offered by Oculus, it seems that an Xbox partnership could be a good fit for the device.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Conan O'Brien gives into his primal urges while playing The Witcher 3 [NSFW]
- Dragon Age Inquisition's 'Dragonslayer' DLC is its best multiplayer content yet
- ID@Xbox Spotlight: Gear Gauntlet wants to grind your sanity
- Check out the new 'Rage & Steel' Witcher 3 trailer, ahead of its May 19 launch
- Phil Spencer commits to an Xbox presentation at Gamescom 2015, as Sony pulls out
- Top 10 most anticipated Xbox One E3 2015 announcements
- Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 to grind its way onto the Xbox One and Xbox 360 later this year
- EA's new Need For Speed game due this fall, new Mirror's Edge coming in 2016
- Xbox One to add TV DVR features sometime in 2015, claims new rumor
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending May 3rd, 2015
Slice Zombies - Kinect Slasher - MADE GmbH
"Slice Zombies for Kinect is the ultimate Kinect experience for your Xbox One. Well, so the zombie apocalypse is long over and there are still thousands of zombies left. So what do we do with them now? It's easy! Step in front of your Kinect and use your hands to cut, grab and shoot zombies into little pieces."
Ultratron - Twin Stick Shooter - Carbon
"Experience the addictive gameplay of old-school arcade favourites, updated for the 21st century, with unique upgrades, player responsive difficulty, and a subtle system of tactics combined with classic gameplay."
Shadow of Mordor: GOTY Edition - Action Adventure - Monolith
"Winner of over 50 "Best of 2014" Awards including Game of the Year, Best Action Game and Most Innovative Game. Experience the definitive version of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor which includes The Lord of the Hunt and The Bright Lord story missions, the Trials of War challenge series plus additional Warband Missions, Runes, & Skins."
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood - FPS - Machine Games
"Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone prequel to the critically acclaimed first-person action-adventure shooter, Wolfenstein: The New Order. The adventure, which spans eight chapters and two interconnected stories, features the hallmarks of MachineGames – thrilling action, immersive story and intense first-person combat."
And that's a wrap!
What have you guys been playing this week? I've been crafting some mines and blastin' some Nazis in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. I think it'd be quite cool if the Wolfenstein reboot took place in the same universe as Fallout... hmm. Any Fallout buffs around here? Would it conflict with any existing lore? Hit the comments!
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