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Microsoft seemed to hold their own this week as they kicked off the conferences at Gamescom in Cologne. Announcing a number of new Indie titles coming to Xbox, teasing some highly anticipated games and making quite an impact with the reveal of a Tomb Raider exclusivity deal, there was something that caught everyone’s eye. Here are the headlines from the conference.

Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta release date announced, along with new Halo channel

Microsoft and 343 Industries have announced that Halo 5 Guardians will have a multiplayer beta running for two weeks from December 29th until January 13th. The beta will feature 4v4 arena battles in one of the game’s team competitive modes and will be available through the Halo: the Master Chief Collection releasing November 11th.

To coincide with the release of Halo 5 Guardians, 343 Industries also unveiled a new Halo-themed PC and Xbox One hub called the Halo Channel, which will broadcast Twitch streamed gameplay, along with original content surrounding the Halo series.

Quantum Break Gameplay Footage debuted

Remedy Studios, creators of Max Payne and Alan Wake, has finally revealed its first gameplay footage for Quantum break, after months of teasing and speculation. Along with the almost 10 minutes worth of gameplay, Remedy went into more detail about the hero Jack Joyce, his new time manipulation powers, and his fight to save the world.

Crystal Dynamics reveals Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox One

Coming as probably the biggest news of the whole conference, Crystal Dynamics announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be coming exclusively to Xbox One in 2015. Initially causing much distress among the gaming community, Microsoft boss Phil Spencer later set the record straight, stating that the exclusivity deal “has a duration” meaning it would in fact be a ‘timed exclusive’. To read more about the events surrounding this news check out our previous Tomb Raider article here.

Three new Xbox One bundles coming later this year

Keen to right the wrongs they made on release, Microsoft have unveiled that they will be releasing three new Xbox One bundles, including a new ceramic white model, all bundles seemingly priced without the Kinect.

Firstly, the new white Xbox One will come as part of the Sunset Overdrive bundle due out in October and retailing at £349.99. The bundle will also come with a matching white controller, a digital copy of the game as well as Day One DLC.
Xbox_1A FIFA 15 edition Xbox One bundle will also be available upon the game’s release come September 26th, retailing again at £349.99. Included in this bundle will be the standard design Xbox One with controller, a digital copy of the game and exclusive Ultimate Team Legends players including Peter Schmeichel.
Finally, the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare bundle available in November will feature a custom-designed Call of Duty console with matching controller, a considerable 1TB hard drive, a headset, and a digital copy of the limited Day Zero edition of the game, all for £429.99.
Evolve beta coming in January

Turtle Rock Studios’ new upcoming IP Evolve will receive an Xbox One exclusive beta during January 2015, Microsoft announced, ahead of the game’s release on February 10th, for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Along with this announcement, Microsoft confirmed that all Evolve DLC will launch first on Xbox One, before later making its way to the PS4 and PC.

Indie Games get central stage at Gamescom

Along with all of the triple A titles mentioned during their conference, Microsoft took time out to announce the huge list of Indie games that will be coming to Xbox consoles thanks to the ID @ Xbox programme, including Smite, KickStarter sensation Superhot, Space Engineers and The Escapists.

A full list of the games can be found on in our Indie Games Line-Up article here.

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