Reprinted from my original post on Bloodyelbow.com –
Video game fans were watching dutifully as Microsoft held their big Xbox Reveal Event to debut their next-gen console. Named the Xbox One, this console is slated for a release later this year (with no exact date revealed yet) and features a blu-ray player, built-in kinect, 500 GB hard drive, and an appearance that looks like an overgrown VCR.
Some of the big news to come out of this Xbox One press conference was the announcement of a live-action Halo TV series backed by Steven Spielberg, racing game Forza Motorsport 5 being part of the 15 launch titles, and the new Call of Duty: Ghosts which will surely make fans of FPS’ happy.
In regards to the sports games, Executive Vice-President of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, took the stage to announce four new video games for the system, which include Fifa 14, Madden 14, NBA Live 14, and their first UFC title, UFC Championship. Their soccer game, Fifa 14: Ultimate Team, will be exclusive to the Xbox One system.
The new EA Sports Ignite engine will power these athletic titles, which feature four times the calculations per second, and an improvement of ten-times the animation and detail compared to the Xbox 360. As a result of this new internal system, not only will the graphics be enhanced and more realistic, but the intelligence of the characters will be more lifelike as well.
No actual gameplay was shown of any of the games, only rendered cinematics which do not show us how this new engine looks in the heat of the action, but did give us a preview of how the octagon looked, as well as Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis, executing Pettis’ fancy Matrix style kick from the final WEC event. A hype package was also aired before that featured several athletes, including UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Pettis, discussing the advancements that the new engine has and how that will affect your gameplay experience.
EA, who already create the popular Fight Night series of boxing games, tried their hands in MMA in 2010 with EA Sports MMA, which featured fighters from Strikeforce and Bellator, among other journeymen fighters that made their way into the roster, including Randy Couture, Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, Eddie Alvarez, and many more. While the game garnered good reviews from critics, financially it bombed. With the last developer for UFC video games, THQ, filing for bankruptcy in December 2012, EA moved in to scoop up the license and hopes to do better than their last outing in the MMA market.
Release dates for the games have not been released, with the only statement on the timeline being that this quartet of sports games will be released in the next twelve months.