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June 10, 2014

Microsoft teases new 'Crackdown,' 'Halo' at E3

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's all about the games for Microsoft at E3.

Microsoft focused exclusively on hyping titles coming to its Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles during its presentation Monday ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the game industry's annual trade show.

The new Xbox One games included a fresh installment of the open-world romp "Crackdown"; a reboot of the Xbox action game "Phantom Dust"; the original dragon-centric adventure "Scalebound" from developer Platinum Games; a sequel to the 2013 "Tomb Raider" reboot titled "Rise of the Tomb Raider"; and a "Halo" collection that will bring four prior installments of the sci-fi shooter to Microsoft's latest console.

Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division, began the 90-minute presentation by noting that Microsoft changed features of the Xbox One, which launched last November, after listening to consumer feedback.

"You are shaping the future of Xbox, and we are better for it," Spencer told the crowd and cameras broadcasting the event. "Today, we are dedicating our entire briefing to games."

When the company initially unveiled the Xbox One last year at its Redmond, Washington, headquarters, Microsoft billed the $499 console as an "all-in-one" entertainment hub for the living room.

Following criticism, Microsoft backtracked on several requirements for the console, including that it must be connected to both the Internet every 24 hours and to its motion-detecting Kinect sensor. The company began selling a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One on Monday for $399.

Microsoft Corp. has lagged behind Sony Corp. since both companies began selling their latest consoles last November. Microsoft has sold 5 million Xbox One consoles to Sony's 7 million PlayStation 4 units. However, both companies have outpaced the sales of their predecessor consoles — the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — during the same time period.

"We will continue to listen to you, our community, and will continue to make Xbox for you," Spencer told the crowd at the conclusion of Monday's event. "That's not just my personal commitment, but the commitment of the entire Xbox team."

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