The Rise of the Tomb Raider has become an Xbox One exclusive. Crystal Dynamics did a pretty amazing job in creating a reboot that has earned such high praise. This announcement was sure to upset a fanbase that had not anticipated such a move by Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix or even Microsoft for that matter. The community did respond with a mixed outcry and the head of Crystal Dynamics, Darrell Gallagher, issued a statement on why they chose to go the route they did.
‘Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today’s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past – we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.’
For their first-party franchises, Microsoft finally swung big with Halo. They showcased new footage of redesigned maps [primarily Sanctuary] for The Master Chief Collection. On top of this they revealed a new Halo Channel which seems to be Twitch-like services, Halo Waypoint and Halo Netflix all rolled into one. It definitely strikes as a to-be-expected move for Microsoft given the marketability for the franchise.
When Sony took the stage, they were given the opportunity to, once again, one-up the competition. However, just like at E3 it felt held back quite a bit. Not all was a loss for Sony as we learned that worldwide sales for the PlayStation 4 have topped 10 million units sold to consumers. That is an amazing feat for a console that is not even a year old yet and did not release in its home country upon launch.
Probably the biggest announcement was the next update to the PlayStation 4 firmware [2.0] and the addition [finally] of SharePlay. This feature was touted for months prior to the consoles release but never made it to launch due to obvious technical and likely programming reasons. Now that it is launched you will be able to have your friends on PSN play your game for you! [Sarcasm] The best part of this feature is actually to allow your PSN friends to play games with you even if they do not own it. This completely stole the thunder from FarCry 4 and it’s 10 keys to give to friends. Essentially, you will be able to play on the couch with the couch being internet and distance. This completely takes the cake for the best new feature for either company.
loser missed opportunity for Gamescom was by far Nintendo. This is not because they will not be out at Gamescom, but because they will not be delivering even a Nintendo Direct event like they did at E3. If any missed opportunity was to be had, it was Nintendo to not shove the likes of Super Smash Bros. Hyrule Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles X and other under the radar exclusives into the faces of gamers everywhere. Had they decided to do so, I would imagine they would easily have taken the crown for Gamescom.