Microsoft has its head in the cloud with Xbox One.
The company focused on how cloud computing will make games for its next-generation Xbox One console more immersive during its Monday presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Microsoft announced last week that the console must be connected to the Internet every 24 hours to operate, and the system would ideally always be online.
"The platform features and capabilities of Xbox One allow developers to push the boundaries of creativity and push the genre in new directions," Phil Harrison, Microsoft's vice president, told the crowd at University of Southern California's Galen Center.
The upcoming console's cloud computing capabilities were demonstrated by fleshing out dense environments in third-person open-world games like the zombie-fighting sequel "Dead Rising 3" and the over-the-top cartoony shooter "Sunset Overdrive." The racing simulator "Forza MotorSport 5" introduced a feature called "drivatar," which mimics players' driving styles and allows their "drivatars" to play for them offline.
"It's about delivering real human behavior," said "Forza MotorSport" creative director Dan Greenawalt.
Microsoft announced Monday that the console, which it debuted earlier this year at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., will be released in November and cost $499.
Other games showcased Monday coming to Xbox One included the historical third-person game "Ryse: Son of Rome," hard-knuckled brawler "Killer Instinct," a bigger edition of "Minecraft," terra-forming simulator "Project Spark" and a new installment of the sci-fi shooter "Halo."
Microsoft Corp. also revealed the Xbox 360 is getting a makeover with a design inspired by the Xbox One.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's vice president of marketing and strategy, said the updated Xbox 360 is "smaller, sleeker and as quiet as ever." He added it would be available beginning Monday.
The company boasted that hundreds of new games are still coming to Xbox 360, which was originally released eight years ago as the high-definition successor to the Xbox. Microsoft's Xbox 360 has outsold rivals like the Wii and PlayStation 3 from Nintendo and Sony for the past two years.
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