E266: can Microsoft turn things around for Xbox One?

This month’s Edge magazine is out now in print, on iPadGoogle Play and Zinio. In it, we talk to leaders at Microsoft to discover how the company intends to turn its console division around and put it back into the number one spot.

Xbox One has been dragged out of the pit in which it was dumped in 2013, but a rough battle lies ahead, and recent software sales help to illustrate the difficulties in store. Official UK data shows that PS4 accounted for 58 per cent of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes units sold at the game’s launch, with PS3 copies accounting for 15 per cent. That left a miserable 27 per cent shared across Xbox One and Xbox 360. When the game’s developer, Kojima Productions, is so forthcoming about the comparative deficiencies of its Xbox One version, though, such numbers shouldn’t be too shocking.

Clearly, Microsoft’s console needs to continue evolving – and quickly. We’re doing the same, albeit at a slightly less urgent pace; given that we’re now ankle-deep into a new generation of videogame hardware, it feels like a good time to shake things up a bit. So we’ve revamped certain sections of the magazine, put others aside for the time being, and exhumed Time Extend, following many requests for its return (thank you for the polite ones). We’ve also chosen to no longer segregate some of our more development-focused content, because research tells us you’re more interested than ever in the stories behind the games we play.

We’re also welcoming some new columnists, including Ian Bogost, while old hand James Leach broadens his perspective to encapsulate all of game development, not just the parts that involve words. At the same time, we’re bidding farewell to some of our other columns, but their authors haven’t gone for good: expect to see their work in these pages again in the near future within the heart of Edge, our features section. Longform content has been one of the magazine’s staples since its launch 20 years ago, and our revised format allows us to deliver even more of it. And we want you to get in touch via edge@futurenet.com to let us know how we’re measuring up.

So, to this month’s highlights. Upfront in the Knowledge section, we report from GDC on Sony’s entry into the virtual reality race with Project Morpheus, take a look Japan’s indie gathering BitSummit and fill you in on this year’s Get Into Games challenge and July’s Develop in Brighton conference. We also speak to Other Ocean about how it is using Twitter to design its latest project #IDARB and chat with Tinie Tempah about 16bit music and his love of Nintendo classics.

The Dispatches section has been given a refresh. On top of your opinions, Steven Poole examines the line between retro and ripoff, and our new columnists Ian Bogost and Nathan Brown tackle physical gaming and the online lynch mob respectively.

The forthcoming games in Hype this month include Below, Yakuza: Ishin, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Next Car Game, Totem and Chaos Reborn, and in our expanded features section, there’s that Xbox One cover feature, An Audience With Ken Lobb and a look at the arcade elite setting new high scores on classic machines.

We also meet the hugely influential, yet practically anonymous editorial team at Ubisoft Paris, and in our regular Making Of feature, we gain insight into the creative process that birthed the excellent Super Mario 3D World. Two more regulars round out the issue; in this month’s studio profile we visit Alien: Isolation and Total War developer The Creative Assembly and in the returning Time Extend we take another look at the FPS that defined a generation – Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

E266 is out now in print, on iPadGoogle Play and Zinio – just follow the links for more information.

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