Microsoft has revealed some of the first third-party games that will be optimised for its next-generation console, the Xbox Series X.

The Xbox livestream featured previously unseen footage of the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

But many viewers complained too little gameplay was displayed.

Both Microsoft and PlayStation-maker Sony have promised to deliver their latest consoles in time for Christmas 2020.

Typically, Microsoft holds an annual showcase of games at the E3 show in Los Angeles.

But this year’s conference was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the gaming giant showcased a series of upcoming games developed by third-party studios in a livestream.

They included:

  • racing game Dirt 5, which will let players drive around in ultra-high definition 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) or switch down to a lower resolution for even smoother gameplay at 120fps
  • mystery-horror game The Medium, which will take advantage of the Xbox Series X’s ray-tracing capabilities, to deliver advanced lighting effects
  • Second Extinction, in which players work as a team to take down large groups of mutated dinosaurs

Speaking during the livestream, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail – from developer Ubisoft – said the new console offered significant improvements for players.

“Assassin’s Creed has always been committed to new technology in order to push the most immersive experience that we possibly can.” he said.

“To have incredibly fast loading times means we can remove some of the friction from the immersion.

“Norway and dark-ages England are breathing, living worlds.

“So to be able to push them further is really wonderful for us.”

Several of the new games will be part of Microsoft’s “smart delivery” deal, which lets people play games they have purchased on any compatible Xbox console they own.

For example, a player who buys a game on the Xbox One S and then upgrades to an Xbox Series X will not have to buy the game again, if it is part of the deal.

However, many viewers complained Microsoft had promised to show off “gameplay” but the stream had mostly featured trailers and pre-rendered cinematic game footage.

“Where was the gameplay?” asked one viewer on YouTube.

“Do they know the difference?” asked another.

Microsoft said it would host another stream in July, revealing games from its own studios.

That will include Halo Infinite, a new game from the hugely successful Halo franchise.

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