Lockout Unveiled as the Fifth Re-Imagined Multiplayer Map for Halo: The Master Chief Collection

By Xbox Wire Staff

Lockout is the fifth of six classic Halo 2 multiplayer maps being re-imagined for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, joining the previously announced  Ascension, Coagulation,Zanzibar and Sanctuary.

Set in an old Forerunner research laboratory in the frigid mountains of Delta Halo, Lockout features fast-paced, close quarters combat with its narrow corridors and vertical level design. With three levels to navigate, adept players can deftly traverse around the map by mastering specific jumping points, enabling them to secure power weapons faster and set up ambushes for unsuspecting opponents.

The re-imagined version of Lockout also includes a few new features that will surprise even the most hardened Halo 2 veterans.

“Lockout was hands-down the most popular small arena-style map in Halo 2,” said Max Hoberman, president of Certain Affinity and one of the original lead designers of Halo 2.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this fan-favorite back, and are paying close attention to the details and subtleties that made the original great while also making a couple of very careful, very calculated enhancements. Most prominent among these are a bit of cover added to the ‘Elbow,’ the long walkway connecting the grav lift to the sniper tower, and a dynamic element that should help counter an entrenched group of enemies. Of course this can be disabled in Forge for players who want a near-match of the original experience.”

If you’re visiting PAX Prime in Seattle, WA (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1), Lockout will be playable at the Xbox Booth (#412, #422, #432), where 16 stations will be available for attendees to try outHalo: The Master Chief Collection’s multiplayer.  

Throughout the weekend, 343 Industries will be hosting a number of activities for the Halocommunity, including a Halo: The Master Chief Collection panel, a developer signing, and theHalo PAX Prime Showdown – a weekend long tournament where fans can qualify and compete for $10,000 in prizes.  The tournament will be broadcast live on the Halo Twitch channel.

Below is the PAX Prime schedule – for additional details, please visit Halo Waypoint.

Friday, August 29

Halo PAX Prime Showdown Qualifiers
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
ASTRO Gaming Booth #842
Skullcandy Gaming Booth #3117

Saturday, August 30

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Panel
Halo and the Journey of The Master Chief
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Benaroya Hall

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Panel Signing
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Paramount Theater 

Halo PAX Prime Showdown Tournament
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 31

Halo PAX Prime Showdown Tournament Finals
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Grand finals: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Destiny Available for Pre-Order and Pre-Download on Xbox One

By Xbox Wire Staff

To say that we’re excited for Destiny would be a bit of an understatement. From the moment developer Bungie’s open world first-person shooter hit Xbox One as a beta, we were hooked. In recent weeks, we’ve broken down the different Destiny character classes, took a closer look at the game’s weapons, and went to the moon for some multiplayer action. Destiny just can’t come soon enough, and we’ve ensured you can hit the ground running on September 9.

We are pleased to announce that Destiny is available for pre-order and pre-download. To celebrate the launch of the game, the following two Destiny game bundles are available for pre-order globally, starting today, through the Xbox Store on the console or online atstore.xbox.com

  • Xbox One Destiny Pre-Order Edition, available starting today for $59.99, including the standard game, plus access to the Vanguard Armory and Emblem pre-order bonus
  • Xbox One Destiny Digital Guardian Edition, available starting today for $89.99, including the standard game, plus access to the Vanguard Armory and Emblem pre-order bonus, an exclusive Ghost Shell, Player Ship, and Player Emblem, and the Destiny Expansion Pass – an online pass for two upcoming Destiny Expansions featuring all new storylines, new cooperative and competitive activities, and new weapons, armor, and gear to earn

Here’s how it works. When a title becomes available for digital pre-order in the Xbox Store, select “Pre-purchase” to buy and download the game. You will be charged the full amount upon transaction and may use any supported payment method, including an existing Microsoft account balance or credit card. The game will download, along with any updates issued before the release date, so the game is up-to-date and ready to play. Then, when the game is officially released to the Xbox Store, timed with local launch availability, simply go to the game in My Games & Apps, go to your pre-pinned tile, or say “Xbox, go to Destiny” to start playing. Titles will be available after midnight local time on the release date in your corresponding country, though some countries with multiple time zones will align to one release time. For example, in the United States, Destiny will be available for play at 12:01 AM PT on its release day.

Similar to other digital downloads, you will need a consistent Internet connection to download a pre-ordered game and your Xbox One will need to be turned on or in connected standby (Instant On) mode. Of course, you can check the download progress at any time in your download queue, My Games & Apps, or on the game details page. And if you have multiple games loading simultaneously, you can prioritize titles, pause, and resume downloads in your queue.

More titles will follow with pre-order and pre-download support in the coming months, so stay tuned. We’ll incorporate fan feedback as we continue to grow our digital offerings with our publishing partners and from our own Microsoft Studios.

To offer fans even more digital content, we also recently shared that digital download codes for select game add-ons and games are now available for purchase at local retailers.

Kick Off Football Season Today with the Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle

By Xbox Wire Staff

Microsoft and EA Sports are teaming up to give football fans an enticing opportunity to get the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment console, plus the hottest sports game of the season, together in one package.

The Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle launches at Microsoft retail stores and other select U.S. retailers today for $399.

Presented in special-edition Madden NFL 15 packaging, the bundle includes a standard Xbox One console, wireless controller, and chat headset. The bundle also includes a download code for Madden NFL 15 on Xbox One, and three Madden NFL Ultimate Team Pro Packs – which should give you a jump-start on hitting the online gridiron.

Madden NFL 15 is the first sports game designed specifically for the new generation of consoles. Featuring all-new defensive gameplay, expanded modes, and gorgeous new visuals, it’s the biggest Madden installment to date.

If you’ve been waiting to pick up an Xbox One, the Madden NFL 15 bundle is the perfect way to take the leap into this generation. Now go hit the field!




Portland Trailblazers All-Star Earns Cover Honors


August 25, 2014 – Today EA SPORTS announced that Damian Lillard will be featured as the cover athlete for NBA LIVE 15. Lillard shared the news with his fans via social media, and EA also released a special video celebrating Lillard’s appearance on the cover.


Lillard’s involvement in the franchise goes beyond a simple cover appearance, as he has been working with the NBA LIVE team for the past two years. Lillard participated in motion capture and voice over sessions in both Orlando and Vancouver, Canada where the team was able to capture his signature movement including dribbling and shooting.  The team also scanned his head for likeness and recorded facial performance as well as had design sessions about the creative direction of the game. Damian is also the star and storyteller of the new Learn LIVE onboarding mode, where he teaches players the basics of NBA LIVE 15 and recounts his own life journey in basketball.  Lillard is already making his presence known in the EA SPORTS family, appearing alongside Kevin Hart and Dave Franco in the recent Madden Season video.


Damian Lillard was selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, and went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors in 2013. Lillard’s impressive young career has continued to flourish, as he was named to the NBA West All-Star Team in 2014. He is also a two-time NBA Skills Challenge champion.


NBA LIVE 15 arrives with the most photo-realistic visuals in franchise history and 500+ core gameplay improvements delivering a truly fluid, fun and authentic basketball gaming experience. Reimagined visuals drop you courtside alongside the game’s biggest stars. See the intensity on a player’s face as he nails a game-winner, or the frustration of a heart-wrenching loss. All-new real-time physics on dunks and layups replicate some of the NBA’s most amazing physical plays, letting you posterize your opponent or deny his attempt at the rim. Add into the mix always-connected online game modes and LIVE’s Synergy Sports partnership and you’ll never miss a beat during the NBA season with new content updated daily, all season long.


NBA LIVE 15 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon and will be available on October 7 for Xbox One, the all-in-one entertainment system from Microsoft and the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. To learn more about NBA LIVE 15, visithttp://www.easports.com/nba-live.


EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs and cross-platform digital experiences. EA SPORTS creates connected experiences that ignite the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports videogames, including Madden NFL football, EA SPORTS™ FIFA, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVEbasketball, PGA TOUR® golf, SSX™ and EA SPORTS UFC®.


For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

“YOU DON’T KNOW JACK®” Studio Releases Fibbage™

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – August 22, 2014 – Independent developer Jackbox Games today announced the release of Fibbage™: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game.  The game is now available as a digital-only title on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program, and will be released as a digital-only cross buy title on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system in early September.


Fibbage is the studio’s newest, humor-laden trivia party game. The game challenges players to fool their friends with lies, avoid selecting their friends’ lies, and find the (usually zany) truths to some very unusual facts.


Up to 8 players can play together on their Xbox One entertainment system, Playstation 3® system, or Playstation 4® system simply by using their mobile phones or tablets (or even laptops) as controllers. Players log in via a website and type in a room code to join the game, thus eliminating the need for multiple controllers and expanding the number of people who can play on a console in one room at a game night or party.


Fibbage features outrageous but incomplete facts. For example, if asked the question: “The mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky is a _____,” players could enter lies such as “baby,” “rabbit,” or “ham sandwich.” Players can get as creative as they want, or use a suggestion if they get stuck. The game is hosted by the studio’s unusually-self-assured-for-a-loner host, Cookie Masterson (of YOU DON’T KNOW JACK “fame.”)


“We’re trying to corner the market on live, multiplayer party games that you play with friends on your couch or bed, depending on the type of party it is,” said Mike Bilder, GM of Jackbox Games. “Fibbage is just the first in a series of ‘party play’ games, as we call them, that we plan to release. No huge stash of controllers needed, just some friends with phones and your favorite console.”


Each game of Fibbage is seven questions long and includes specialty questions such as Celebrity Tweets and Road Trip. It culminates with a high-stakes final question: The Final Fibbage.


Fibbage was released earlier this year on Amazon Fire TV and it follows last fall’s launch of YOU DON’T KNOW JACK Party on Ouya. Both games use mobile devices as controllers, eliminating a major friction point for live gameplay with big groups.  Fibbage is available now from the Xbox Live Games Store at http://bit.ly/1pNNaCE. For more information visit www.jackboxgames.com. To join the conversation, like the game on Facebook® and follow us on Twitter®.


About Jackbox Games

Jackbox Games, formerly Jellyvision Games, is a developer and publisher of games on leading gaming platforms. The studio’s flagship title, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK, has been called “the greatest quiz-show game ever made” by The Onion’s A.V. Club and “triumphant, hilarious, even enlightening” by The New York Times. Fibbage is the studio’s first cross-platform console release since the most recent YOU DON’T KNOW JACK. The company is located in Chicago, Illinois.




REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Aug 13, 2014 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that EA SPORTS™ is rewritingNext Gen Goalkeepers, bringing a new level of realism to gameplay in EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15* on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4, and PC, fuelled by EA SPORTS™ IGNITE*. Goalkeepers in FIFA 15 will now look, move, and think like their real world counterparts with new AI that allows them to anticipate shots and passes, move with positional awareness, and display an array of new animations. Next Gen Goalkeepers is just one element of this season’s gameplay innovations that make FIFA 15 more immersive and responsive so fans can Feel the Game. A new trailer showcasing FIFA 15 can be viewed here.


FIFA 15 adds all 18 clubs from the Turkish Süper Lig and gives the Barclays Premier League, the most played league across EA SPORTS FIFA, an authenticity overhaul. Fans will be able to play FIFA 15 in all 20 stadiums of the Barclays Premier League, with chants captured from live events of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season, and new commentary – matches will showcase broadcast overlays that are synonymous with the international TV presentation of the league. And more than 200 new realistic player faces have been 3D scanned and rendered for FIFA 15.


“We’re delivering innovations and improvements that have been at the top of our fans’ wish list: new goalkeepers, more responsive gameplay, and the Turkish Süper Lig,” said David Rutter, Vice President and General Manager at EA. “This year we’ve put the game in the hands of fans earlier than ever before, listened, and delivered what they want in gameplay, authenticity, and modes.”


The most popular game mode in the franchise, FIFA Ultimate Team™** (FUT) adds new features to help fans build and manage a team of their football heroes. Loan Players gives fans a chance to determine if some of the most highly sought after FUT players are suitable for their squads by signing players on loan via EA SPORTS Football Club Catalogue and playing with them for a limited number of games. A powerful new squad planning tool Concept Squads gives access to every player available in FIFA Ultimate Team so fans can view team chemistry and plan their next line-up or transfer market move. Once fans build a squad, they can playFriendly Seasons in FIFA 15 Ultimate Team – fans can challenge friends in a five match season format and track their stats in the new progress menu. FIFA 15 Ultimate Team also sees the arrival of a number of new FIFA Ultimate Team Legends, only on Xbox.


In Career Mode, an all-new Team Management system gives fans the chance to customize up to six different team sheets and alter formations, tactics, and roles based on their next opponent – making it a seamless transition as they progress from game-to-game throughout their careers. Team Management also offers fans the chance to personalize gameplay by assigning up to five different attacking and defending player Instructions to each of the 10 outfield player positions. Instructions dictate the type of attacking runs and defensive positioning players will adopt.


EA SPORTS Football Club is more interactive than ever before connecting fans to their club, friends, and favourite modes.  Fans can now share news, interact with friends, and redeem items all via a new contextual EA SPORTS Football Club widget that gives fans direct access to the Football Club Catalogue and news feed. Strengthening the connection to clubs and leagues around the world, FIFA 15 adds a live football news hub, Match Day Live**. Updated as news is published, and powered by Goal.com, Match Day Live will bring stories, stats, and league tables directly to the FIFA 15 menu so fans can stay up-to-date with information from the top leagues around the world.


FIFA 15 brings football to life in stunning visual detail so fans can experience the emotion and intensity of the sport like never before. Fans who pre-order FIFA 15 Ultimate Team Edition*** will receive approximately $40 USD value of FIFA Ultimate Team content including new EA SPORTS Football Club items and game celebrations.    


FIFA 15, developed at EA Canada, will release worldwide in September on PC, Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, and is available for pre-order*** now on Origin™ at http://origin.com and other retailers. A version of FIFA 15 will also release on the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Wii™, Nintendo 3DS™, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system this Fall. Not all game features are available on all gaming platforms. 


For more information about EA SPORTS FIFA 15 visit www.easports.com/fifa or join the EA SPORTS community athttp://www.facebook.com/easportsfifa. Follow us on Twitter @easportsfifa and use the hashtag #FIFA15.  For information aboutFIFA 15 visit www.easports.com/fifa. The games have not yet been rated. Assets are available at http://info.ea.com.


EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, fan programs and cross-platform digital experiences. EA SPORTS creates connected experiences that ignite the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports videogames, including Madden NFL football, EA SPORTS FIFA, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, PGA TOUR® golf, SSX™ and EA SPORTS UFC®. For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com.

*Not all features available on all gaming platforms.

** Internet connection and Origin account required.  Must be 13+ to create an account.

***Offer restrictions apply.  Please see www.easports.com/fifa for details.


Songs by Calvin Harris, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, and more available for download when the game launches on September 2
Cambridge, MA – August 11th , 2014 – Harmonix continues to set the stage for this fall’s hottest dance party, announcing even more content that will be available for Dance Central Spotlight when the game launches as a digital download for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft® on September 2.
Dancers can step onto the dance floor and start their party by downloading Dance Central Spotlight, featuring a core soundtrack of 10 hot tracks, from the Xbox® Store for $9.99. Players can customize and build their soundtrack with more than 50-chart topping hits available at launch1, including the following tracks Harmonix is confirming today:

  • A-Ha – “Take On Me”
  • Bastille – “Pompeii”
  • Calvin Harris – “Summer”
  • Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding – “I Need Your Love”
  • Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack”
  • DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon – “Turn Down For What”
  • Enrique Iglesias ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona – “Bailando”
  • Erasure – “A Little Respect”
  • Ini Kamoze – “Here Comes The Hotstepper”
  • John Legend – “All Of Me (Tiësto’s Birthday Treatment Remix [Radio Edit])”
  • Lady Gaga – “Applause”
  • Maroon 5 – “Maps”
  • Maroon 5 – “One More Night”
  • Ne-Yo – “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)”
  • Nico & Vinz – “Am I Wrong”
  • Of Monsters And Men – “Little Talks”
  • Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
  • Selena Gomez – “Come & Get It”
  • TLC – “Creep”
  • will.i.am ft. Britney Spears – “Scream & Shout”

These songs will be available individually for download for $1.99. For a full list of songs confirmed for Dance Central Spotlight, head over to http://www.harmonixmusic.com/games/dance-central/songs.

Dance Central Spotlight brings authentic dance routines, accurate body tracking using Kinect® One, and chart-topping music, with even more variety and player choice than ever before. Now with eight different dance routines per song to choose from, Dance Central Spotlight is the most accessible, customizable Dance Central yet. Dance Central Spotlight also features an expanded Fitness Mode, with special dance routines authored to focus on Strength and Cardio.

Follow Dance Central on Twitter (http://twitter.com/dance_central) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/dancecentral).


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