|Gamers got their first look at titles which will be available for the new-generation Xbox gaming console due later this year, amid strong interest in video games during the global pandemic. — AFP/VNA Photo|
SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft on Thursday offered the first glimpse at games for its new Xbox console coming this year, playing to fans hungry for escape in a time of pandemic.
The latest addition to Ubisoft's blockbuster Assassin's Creed franchise called Valhalla was the star attraction during a streamed event featuring game studios from around the world.
The event highlighted Microsoft's efforts to ramp up its gaming with a new-generation console and popular game titles to help it compete with Sony's leading PlayStation devices.
The new Xbox X console is expected later this year, although Microsoft has not yet announced a release date.
Sony is also to release its PlayStation 5 model later this year. PlayStation 4 consoles have trounced Xbox One in sales since the rival gaming systems launched in late 2013.
The Microsoft streamed event included a guest appearance by Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
An animated version of Mahomes also took the field in game-play from a coming EA Madden sports franchise US football title.
"Developers are using the hardware to achieve their dreams, and their nightmares, in amazing ways using the power to optimize their games the way they want," Aaron Greenberg of Team Xbox said of the upcoming console.
Greenberg said that Microsoft's own game studio is hard at work on hit franchises such as Halo only offered on Xbox or Windows-powered personal computers.
Xbox Games Studio head Matt Booty said titles from Xbox game studios will be shown off in July. - AFP