With E3 2016 underway, there's bound to be some exciting things to watch out for over the next week or so. But one especially interesting announcement came via Microsoft and its Xbox One console. During the Microsoft conference the company announced 'Arena', an eSports service that it is integrating directly into the Xbox One console. This feature will let players sign up for, compete in and watch live tournaments. These tournaments will be official events hosted by Microsoft and other third party publishers, and though there's no word around whether or not these will eventually lead to pro teams getting involved we can safely assume that any game that garners a larger interest from the eSports community will likely end up utilising Arena. The service will also be cross-platform compatible with Windows PCs, though it wasn't suggested how or when. Naturally Microsoft's first party titles were confirmed as being included on the service, but EA - in particular its sports titles - will be heading to the Arena platform at a later date. It's an opportunity for Microsoft to bring eSports into the limelight directly on its home console, drawing in a demographic that - historically - has shied away from eSports when compared to its PC game counterparts. In addition to this Microsoft announced it would be hosting the new Ultra Tour, a Killer Instinct tournament with $100,000 up for grabs. This competition will close with the Killer Instinct World Cup, and will partner with Ultra Arcade, Evo and FACE IT. Not only that, but Microsoft revealed a set of other smaller - but significant - features for the Xbox One. Clubs will allow people to create and form interest-based groups to better manage activities, while Looking For Group will help people to connect to and play with other players looking to enjoy the same multiplayer game. In essence, Microsoft went big on eSports during its E3 2016 conference this year, and hopefully it's a sign of greater interest from the console manufacturer in competitive gaming.
Microsoft Brings eSports Directly To Xbox With Arena
Published on June 14th, 2016