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Microsoft bolsters video game line-up as Xbox turns 20

Xbox will celebrate two decades on the market in November.. — AFP pic

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SAN FRANCISCO, June 14 — Microsoft unveiled Sunday a batch of new titles for Xbox at the world’s premier video game trade show, including award-winning sensation Hades and long-time hit Halo.

The Xbox maker showed off 30 new games coming to its console, which in November will celebrate two decades on the market.

“Our team strives to make Xbox a place where you’ll find the greatest games, the most dedicated developers, and the most passionate community,” unit chief Phil Spencer said during a streamed event on the second day of a virtual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Microsoft revealed a coming take of beloved Halo, along with new creations such as science-fiction action title Starfield and a vampire-battling adventure called Redfall from Bethesda Softworks.

Microsoft recently-acquired Bethesda Softworks, the maker of hits including Fallout and Elder Scrolls.

As trailers depicted tense battles and the games’ rich graphics, Microsoft stressed that all but a few would be available for play at its subscription Xbox Game Pass service.

The company also highlighted titles that will be exclusive to Xbox, which competes with rival consoles Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

Award-winning Hades from San Francisco-based Supergiant is coming to Xbox as well as PlayStation, the independent studio said Sunday.

Hades has so far only been available for play on personal computers and Switch.

Hades, which snagged five honors this year at Britain’s prestigious Bafta Games Awards, is a “dungeon crawler” that challenges players to fight their way through the underworld.

The line-up of new titles comes as Microsoft works on software and a plug-in device to let people play Xbox video games on internet-linked televisions without need of consoles.

“As a company, Microsoft is all-in on gaming,” chief executive Satya Nadella said in introducing the plan last week.

Microsoft has been playing on the strength of its Xbox unit as it vies with Luna and Stadia cloud gaming services run, respectively, by Amazon and Google.

In coming weeks, cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions will be possible through internet browsers Chrome, Edge and Safari, according to Microsoft.

Many are expected to tune in on the closing day of E3 on Tuesday for a Nintendo streamed event at which it may reveal a new version of its coveted Switch consoles along with showing off new games. — AFP

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