The Xbox One may be lagging behind its competitor, the PlayStation 4, in global sales, but it dominated the launch line-up battle with Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Zoo Tycoon and even Ryse offering plenty of variety.
So what’s next?
Following the inevitable post-launch lull, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are going to share a majority of this year’s biggest games, along with the last generation consoles, but that doesn’t mean the Xbox One isn’t destined for greater things on its own accord.
Here are the 10 hottest Xbox One exclusives for 2014 (note: due to the predilection for cross-gen games, some also appear on Xbox 360 and Windows).
The drawcard for Microsoft is the return of Master Chief in the yet-to-be named new Halo campaign. We know almost nothing about the new Halo instalment, except that it will run in 60 frames per second and appears to star a post-Halo 4 cloak-wearing Chief. We’ve also heard it probably won’t be called Halo 5 (but it’s the best guess at this point); however, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer assures us it’s part of the core Halo timeline and not a spin-off.
Fantasia: Music Evolved is a music rhythm game focusing on the beat, rather than mirroring dance movies. It’ll work with both Kinect for Xbox One and Xbox 360, so it’s not super advanced, but if there’s one thing the original Kinect always did well, it’s track music games. There are at least 25 licensed tracks in the game, and each can be altered with a rock, orchestral, and brass overlay. If could be the perfect music/dance game for the musically not-gifted.
While Titanfall is heading to Windows and Xbox 360, it’s snubbing PlayStation or Nintendo devices, making it a Microsoft exclusive that’s going to be mass-marketed as an Xbox One game. The online-only mech shooter was a highlight of E3, and a massive coup for Microsoft with EA as a publishing partner.
EA is also backing Microsoft with its Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Windows exclusive Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Far from your typical Plants vs. Zombies outing, Garden Warfare’s multiplayer is more like a simplified version of Battlefield with a flora skin.
Project Spark is the game that makes you a developer across Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC with an emphasis on SmartGlass connectivity. Taking hold of the Minecraft mantra, players create games, movies and other experiences on a digital canvas, either from scratch or by editing someone else’s creation, and share them with the world. The Xbox One beta kicks off next month.
Insomniac Studios has made the jump from PlayStation to Xbox with Sunset Overdrive, which is perhaps why this Xbox One exclusive looks like something we’d expect to see on a Sony platform. It’s a first person shooter set in a near future, with an emphasis on traversing the busy environment with agile combat, wall running and acrobatics.
Kinect Sports Rivals was teased with the launch of the Xbox One, but the full game with all sports, including bowling, soccer, jet skiing, tennis and target practice, won’t be ready for a few more weeks. The primitive 360 Kinect wasn’t accurate enough for even casual sports games, so Rivals should show us exactly how much better this new motion technology is for the casual market.
I've little idea what in blazes is happening in D4, which represents Dark Dreams Don't Die and time as the fourth dimension, and that’s why it’s an amazing episodic prospect. Playing as a private investigator after the murder of his wife, with the newfound ability to travel through time by touching people’s mementos, you’ll need to go back and undo the events leading to her death.
Heading to Xbox One and Xbox 360, Super Time Force is a side-scrolling shooter that teams you with the ghosts of your previous attempt, introducing an element of strategic deaths. Dying at the right time and rewinding to the perfect point will be beneficial, as your previous self will be fighting alongside you.
Quantum Break is a maybe for 2014 at best, and 2015 is the safer bet, but it’s too intriguing to ignore for another 12 months. Made by Alan Wake’s developer using a blend of live action videos and gameplay, Quantum Break is being produced in conjunction with a television show of the same name, Defiance style. How you play the game will result in a “personalised” director’s cut of the TV show.