This week we’re at the largest consumer gaming event in Europe – gamescom 2016 in Köln, Germany. Earlier today, I had the honor of kicking off our presence at the show by speaking with members of the press, key influencers and some of our biggest fans from the Xbox booth ahead of the official show open tomorrow. I shared what’s been a memorable year thus far for Xbox – as well as giving everyone a glimpse into of some of the exciting things to come.
A Quick Look Back
At E3 in June, we talked about our commitment to let gamers play without boundaries giving more choice in how and where they can play. We showcased Xbox Play Anywhere, a program that lets you buy a digital game once and then play it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and we revealed new features coming to Xbox Live – Clubs, Looking for Group, and Arena – that make it even easier to find, play and compete with other gamers.
We talked about Gaming for Everyone and how we’re working hard to ensure that players are able to choose and customize their own gaming experiences to make them even more fun, competitive and respectful.
And we announced some new hardware – Xbox One S, which began launching earlier this month. Xbox One S is the smallest, most advanced Xbox to date. With HDR technology, your games look better than ever before and it’s the first and only console with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and video streaming capabilities. With Xbox One S, you get a great value as one of the top 4K UHD Blu-ray players on the market.
Demand for Xbox One S; Anticipation for Windows 10 Games
We’ve seen unprecedented demand for Xbox One S across Europe and around the world, and today, we announced two new bundles for FIFA fans in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. With the Xbox One S FIFA 17 Bundle – available with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive – EA Sports delivers the next installment of the biggest-selling sporting franchise in the world with exclusive content in FIFA Ultimate Team for Xbox fans. EA Access members will also get to play FIFA 17 first exclusively on Xbox One beginning on September 22 –five full days before it launches.
But with more than 139 million PC players in Europe, we know that gaming isn’t just about consoles. That’s why we’re really excited to bring some of the biggest Xbox franchises to PC players on Windows 10. Over the next 12 months, we’re bringing our biggest ever lineup to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, including ReCore, Forza Horizon 3, We Happy Few, Cuphead, Gears of War 4, and Halo Wars 2, all of which are playable on both platforms this week at gamescom.
ID@Xbox Reaches New Milestone
On the independent games front, gamescom 2016 marks the third anniversary of our announcement of the ID@Xbox program. Since its inception, the ID@Xbox team has worked with developers to launch more than 300 titles, many of which have brought innovations helping advance the future of our industry. Today, Chris Charla shared that we are currently working with over 1,000 developers in over 60 countries, who are continuing to bring their visions to life on Xbox across both Xbox One and Windows 10.
We also announced the expansion of Xbox Game Preview to Windows 10. This program gives gamers the chance to preview and purchase work-in-progress digital titles, participate in the development process and help developers make Windows 10 games the best they can be. One of our first titles available later this year will be Everspace by Rockfish Games, and there will be many more to come.
Thank You, Fans!
As we continue forward, we have our fans to thank for some of the best and most popular Xbox developments over the last year. Xbox One Backward Compatibility has seen a huge amount of engagement since it launched last November, with more than 145 million hours played and 230+ titles in the library. This includes recently added fan favorites like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Red Dead Redemption, with new titles coming online all the time. Background music and the ability to select your console’s language, no matter where you live, were two of the most requested features and both began rolling out with the Xbox Summer Update, in addition to several other features. We continue listening carefully to all the feedback and addressing requests as often as possible so keep it coming.
If you’re in Germany this week, come see us at the Xbox Booth in Hall 8 of the Koelnmesse when the show opens and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more exciting announcements this week and beyond. On Wednesday, we’ll reveal the secret location to score FanFest tickets for a premier fan experience that you won’t want to miss.
Wir sehen uns dort!