Tag Archives: exclusive

SAP Embrace gets new love from SAP-Microsoft partnership

SAP and Microsoft are making their cloud relationship almost exclusive with a new program.

SAP Embrace was announced in May as a program to help SAP customers move workloads to public cloud hyperscalers Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Earlier this month, SAP and Microsoft announced a new development in the program with a three-year agreement to use Microsoft Azure as the preferred hyperscaler infrastructure provider for SAP systems. The deal is intended to address SAP’s issues in moving customers both to the cloud and migration to S/4HANA by providing a simpler, more cost-effective and risk-mitigated path.

SAP Embrace is intended to provide SAP customers a path to the cloud on Microsoft Azure infrastructure, according to the companies. SAP and Microsoft, along with systems integrators, including Deloitte, Accenture and IBM, will offer SAP customers bundles of cloud services, including unified reference architectures, road maps and market-specific information to help mitigate costs and risks of moving to the cloud. Microsoft field sales teams will sell the SAP Embrace bundles directly to customers and Microsoft will also embed and resell components of SAP Cloud Platform in Azure.

SAP worked with Microsoft, AWS and Google to develop the initial phase of SAP Embrace, but subsequent development over the summer led to the partnership agreement with Microsoft to use Azure as its preferred public cloud provider, said David Robinson, SAP senior vice president and managing director of the cloud business group.

SAP customers are in large measure satisfied that any of the three public cloud providers can handle SAP HANA database workloads and run HANA-based applications, Robinson said, but they are looking for a clear and simple path to the cloud, which was the main goal of SAP Embrace.  

“[Customers] would like to understand that, as they migrate to S/4HANA in conjunction with the lift to the cloud, they can follow a path that leads to the intelligent enterprise and will give the most cost-effective and risk managed journey,” he said.

SAP customers lean toward Azure

David Robinson, senior vice president and managing director of cloud business group, SAPDavid Robinson

The SAP-Microsoft partnership came about mainly because the majority of customers that SAP worked with to validate the SAP Embrace model were already leaning toward Azure, Robinson said.

This was primarily because Microsoft had demonstrated that Azure provided a consistent enterprise degree of engagement and support beyond just the compute network and data store, such as support services and lifecycle management, according to Robinson.

“Microsoft understands the enterprise to speak the enterprise language, and has processes wrapped around their compute network and storage around Azure that are more aligned with what SAP customers need to be able to consume and drive their S/4HANA environment,” he said.

SAP and Microsoft relationship may get cozier

It’s unusual that SAP would go with something that’s relatively exclusive, said Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, but it may be a sign of more to come from SAP and Microsoft.

Joshua Greenbaum, principal, Enterprise Applications ConsultingJoshua Greenbaum

“We know that Microsoft’s SuccessFactors implementation runs on Azure and they’re moving their ERP to Azure, so we know Microsoft wants as many workloads as it can get on Azure and they’re willing to incent SAP to do it,” Greenbaum said. “But I think there’s more to this. There will be another component of this deal coming, because I’m pretty sure that the numbers don’t add up for just this much exclusivity.”

Although the Microsoft Azure deal is not exclusive, the other two hyperscalers were not pleased at the recent addendum to SAP Embrace, Greenbaum said.

He pointed out that Robert Enslin, Google president of cloud sales and former SAP executive, and Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO, are likely tapping their considerable experience to develop enterprise applications.

“It’s pretty clear that they’re going for an apps play that can compete with SAP,” Greenbaum said.

For AWS, on the other hand, Amazon’s relentless expansion into virtually every business may give potential customers pause before they entrust their systems to AWS.

“On the Amazon side there’s a lot of customers — retail, logistics, you name it — where Amazon the mothership is encroaching into a lot of core business areas, so a lot of folks are getting nervous about putting their enterprise software on the Amazon cloud,” he said. “In a way, Amazon sort of backed itself into this position.”

Other public cloud options still available

SAP customers still have the option to deploy S/4HANA and SAP HANA-based applications in any public cloud provider they want, Robinson said.

AWS recently announced new memory upgrades to the EC2 cloud infrastructure designed to manage S/4HANA sized workloads. 

“If a customer still wants to run it on AWS or Google, they can still do it; the support is the same and we continue to certify these workloads on AWS on GCP,” Robinson said. “The difference now is not the support or the ability to run, certify and upgrade — we will always certify that these infrastructures perform on database workloads as we design. But with Microsoft, we’re adding an additional degree of abstraction on top of that around the harmonization of the cloud platform services.”

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Announcing Microsoft for Startups Autonomous Driving | Blog

Today, at the Frankfurt Motorshow (IAA) we announced Microsoft for Startups: Autonomous Driving (MfS – AD), an exclusive program which aims to accelerate the growth of startups working on autonomous driving (AD).

Increasingly startups have been playing a crucial role in bringing autonomous driving technology to the world. From building full-stack autonomy solutions for OEMs to opening up new business opportunities in areas like delivery, ride-sharing and long haul transit, startups have been at the forefront of technological advancement in this space. Startups also play a critical role in delivering important AD enablement technologies and solutions like simulation, data management, labeling and more.

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Cultivating a state-of-the-art, global partner ecosystem has been a focal point of our autonomous driving strategy and our startup partners have played an important part in helping our customers deliver the promise of autonomous driving at scale. For instance, Cognata is using their simulation technology to help customers like Audi AG speed up their AV development. We announced partnerships with Ascent Robotics, a Tokyo-based startup making innovative use of reinforcement learning and neuroscience to deliver complex L4 driving scenarios and Linker Networks, a startup based in Taiwan taking annotation efficiency and reliability to a whole new level through their AI-based auto-labeling technology helping the industry build smarter, safer vehicles. We are also closely working with startups like Udelv, who are paving the path for autonomous driving to meet the growing demands of the retail delivery space. This week at IAA, Applied Intuition announced the release of their Applied Development Platform optimized on Microsoft Azure. 

The MfS-AD program is another example of our continuing commitment to the AD startup community. We want to empower pioneering startups who are defining what is next in autonomous driving by helping them scale up and scale out through business and technical enablement. As part of the program, all selected startups will receive the premium offer from our Microsoft for Startups program including access to up to $120,000 USD of free Azure cloud.

For technical enablement, startups will receive benefits like:

  • Access to our top engineers and program managers working on autonomous driving infrastructure technology and solutions.
  • 1:1 architectural sessions with Microsoft Cloud Engineers.
  • Early access to autonomous driving capabilities on Azure.
  • Potential co-development opportunities.

For business enablement, startups will receive benefits like:

  • Opportunities to expand your network by becoming a part of Microsoft’s autonomous driving ecosystem. Many of our partners have found their next big customer or partner at one of our automotive networking receptions and other events.
  • Joint customer opportunities.
  • Marketing and amplification support.
  • Preferred showcase opportunities at industry events and conferences.
  • Visibility to M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) for potential investment opportunities.

For details on how to apply, nomination requirements, selection criteria and more, visit https://aka.ms/ADstartup

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft doubles its game development studios and showcases more than 50 games on E3 stage including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres | Stories

New titles revealed during the Xbox briefing include exclusive games ‘Gears 5,’ ‘Halo Infinite’ and ‘Forza Horizon 4,’ all enhanced for Xbox One X

Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Microsoft, onstage at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing where Microsoft added five more creative teams to the Microsoft Studios family on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

LOS ANGELES — June 10, 2018 — Sunday’s Xbox E3 Briefing was the largest in Microsoft Corp.’s history with more than 6,000 people, including more than 1,000 fans, invited to attend in the Microsoft Theater. Microsoft announced it is doubling its game development studios and showcased a record 52 games on stage including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres. The diverse lineup included games for every type of player, from exclusives like “Forza Horizon 4,” “Halo Infinite” and “Gears 5,” and independent titles like “Session,” “Below,” “Ashen” and “Tunic” to some of the biggest blockbuster games coming in the next year like “Fallout 76,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2,” “Kingdom Hearts 3,” “Devil May Cry 5,” “Battlefield V,” “Metro Exodus” and “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” many enhanced to take advantage of the power of Xbox One X.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the gaming industry, with creators large and small showcasing incredible new games for the more than two billion players around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of Gaming at Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering gamers to play the games they want, with the people they want, where they want.”

INVESTING IN DEVELOPMENT OF ORIGINAL CONTENT

Microsoft announced it is doubling its game development studios by adding five new creative teams to the Microsoft Studios family. New investments include the formation of a brand-new studio, The Initiative, the acquisition of Playground Games, and letters of intent to acquire Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games.

  • The Initiative. Based in Santa Monica, Calif., The Initiative is a brand-new Microsoft game development studio headed by industry veteran Darrell Gallagher that is working to create groundbreaking new worlds, characters and game experiences.
  • Playground Games. Microsoft has acquired U.K.-based Playground Games, a development partner since 2010 that has helped grow the “Forza” franchise to new heights. In addition to its work on this year’s “Forza Horizon 4,” Playground Games will have a team dedicated to bringing their open-world expertise to an entirely new project.
  • Ninja Theory. The relationship between Ninja Theory and Microsoft started in 2000 when “Kung Fu Chaos” was in development for the original Xbox and culminated in the release of “Hellblade” on Xbox One earlier this year. Microsoft’s intent to acquire Ninja Theory will help ensure the creative team has the resources and freedom to bring more ambitious games like “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” to fans.
  • Undead Labs. Seattle-based Undead Labs is the creator of the popular “State of Decay” franchise, enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. In the first two weeks since “State of Decay 2” launched, more than two million fans joined the fight to survive and took down more than two billion zombies. By entering into a letter of intent to acquire Undead Labs, Microsoft is signaling its commitment to growing the franchise and taking the zombie survival-fantasy genre to new heights.
  • Compulsion Games. As “We Happy Few” nears its full, multiplatform release on Aug. 10, Microsoft has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Montreal-based Compulsion Games. By joining the team at Microsoft Studios, Compulsion will have the resources, platform and freedom to take even bigger creative risks and create even more ambitious worlds with its future projects.

“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love, while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”

Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Microsoft, onstage at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing where Microsoft showcased more than 50 games, including 18 exclusives and 15 world premieres at Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

The addition of these creative teams reinforces Microsoft’s vision for gaming, which starts with a deep commitment to original content. The company is developing a portfolio of games on every device, including newly announced Microsoft Studios games. Revealed on stage today were three new Gears of War titles — “Gears 5,” “Gears Tactics,” “Gears Pop!” — along with “Battletoads,” “Forza Horizon 4” and “Halo Infinite,” a Master Chief story and the next major release in the franchise built from the ground up on the new Slipspace engine.

ACCESS TO YOUR FAVORITE GAMES FASTER AND BETTER THAN EVER

Microsoft announced several new titles joining the Xbox Game Pass catalog this year including “Forza Horizon 4,” “Fallout 4,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division” and “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited,” as well as several new [email protected] games being added on their release date. Microsoft also introduced new innovations to push digital gaming forward, including FastStart, an innovation from Microsoft’s Machine Learning Team, and plans from Microsoft’s Gaming Cloud Team to develop a game streaming service to unlock console-quality gaming on any device.

“We’ve been thrilled to see the positive impact Xbox Game Pass is having on the gaming ecosystem, including increasing the number of titles gamers play nearly 40 percent and increasing gameplay hours by almost 20 percent,” said Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Gaming at Microsoft. “With the ultimate freedom to explore and play over 100 great games, Xbox Game Pass delivers our members an incredible value in gaming.”

  • Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Game Pass catalog continues to expand, with exciting new blockbuster titles available to members starting today, including “Fallout 4,” “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited” and “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” Microsoft also announced several notable titles launching through the [email protected] program that will be coming to Xbox Game Pass this year to coincide with their debut on Xbox One. These include “Warhammer: Vermintide 2,” “Ashen,” “Afterparty” and “Phoenix Point,” as well as blockbusters from some of our biggest first-party franchises such as “Forza Horizon 4,” “Crackdown 3,” “Gears 5” and “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” which will release later in 2018 and beyond.
  • FastStart (Xbox One). With FastStart, you can now jump into your game[i] twice as fast and play after downloading just a fraction of your title. FastStart identifies which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first, enabling you to quickly jump into full-fidelity gameplay while the remainder of your title downloads in the background. Simply find the FastStart-enabled title you want to play, hit Download and your console will take care of the rest. It’s that simple.
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller (Xbox One, Windows 10). Beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 11, preorders will begin in select markets for the first-of-its-kind Xbox Adaptive Controller, designed for gamers with limited mobility. Available exclusively through Microsoft Store for $99.99 USD, the newest addition to the Xbox family of controllers and devices is designed to be as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible and affordable.
  • Mixer. Mixer, Microsoft’s live streaming service, is seeing continued growth with viewership doubling in just six months to more than 20 million. The majority of this is growth from viewers on mobile

 BEST PLACE TO PLAY ORIGINAL, BLOCKBUSTER AND INDEPENDENT GAMES

Xbox One continues to be the best place to play the biggest blockbuster games with over 220 titles enhanced for Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, with new games leveraging the power of the platform from some of the world’s most talented creators like “Fallout 76” from Bethesda Game Studios, “Cyberpunk 2077” from CD Projekt Red, “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” from Ubisoft Massive and dozens more. Independent game creators also continue to innovate on Xbox One with games like “Session,” “Below,” “Ashen” and “Tunic” coming to Xbox One as console launch exclusives.

  • “BATTLEFIELD V” (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Available worldwide Oct. 19, 2018, enter mankind’s greatest conflict with “Battlefield™ V” as the series goes back to its roots in a never-before-seen portrayal of World War 2. Take on all-out multiplayer across the world or witness human drama set against global combat in single player War Stories, including Nordlys — a first look shown in the Xbox E3 briefing — the story of a young Norwegian resistance fighter during the German occupation, you must pay an unthinkable price to save not only yourself, but also your family.
  • “BLACK DESERT” (PEARL ABYSS). “Black Desert” is a revolutionary MMORPG that delivers intense, fast-paced combat, profitable life skills and an expansive open world. Slay monsters, abominations and gods, or engage in relaxing life skills like crafting, fishing and cooking. Become your true self in this truly open world MMORPG
  • “CRACKDOWN 3” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). “Crackdown 3” brings the boom next February, where players will stop crime as a super-powered Agent in a sandbox of mayhem and destruction. Developed by Microsoft Studios in collaboration with Sumo Digital and Elbow Rocket, “Crackdown 3” delivers cooperative mayhem, signature antics, explosive gameplay and an all-new multiplayer mode,[ii] Wrecking Zone, where destruction is your ultimate weapon powered by Microsoft Cloud. Available worldwide in February 2019.
  • “CUPHEAD: THE DELICIOUS LAST COURSE” (STUDIO MDHR).In “Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course,” Cuphead and Mugman are joined by Ms. Chalice for a DLC add-on adventure on a brand-new island! With new weapons, new charms and Ms. Chalice’s brand new abilities, take on a new cast of multifaceted, screen-filling bosses to assist Chef Saltbaker in Cuphead’s final challenging quest.
  • “CYBERPUNK 2077” (CD PROJEKT RED). “Cyberpunk 2077” is a narrative-driven, open world RPG set in the most vibrant and dangerous metropolis of the future — Night City. You play as V, a hired gun on the rise, who just got their first serious contract. In a world of cyber-enhanced street warriors, tech-savvy netrunners and corporate lifehackers, today is your first step to becoming an urban legend.
  • “DEVIL MAY CRY 5” (CAPCOM). A brand-new entry in the legendary over-the-top action series comes to Xbox One in spring 2019, complete with its signature blend of high-octane stylized action and otherworldly and original characters the series is known for. Years have passed since the legions of hell have set foot in this world, but now a new demonic invasion has begun, and humanity’s last hope will rest in the hands of three lone demon hunters, each offering a radically different play style. United by fate and a thirst for vengeance, these demon hunters will have to face their demons if they hope to survive. The devil you know returns in the most over the top, technically advanced, utterly insane action experience of this generation.
  • “DYING LIGHT 2” (TECHLAND). The bold sequel to the open-world phenomenon, “Dying Light 2” brings to life a unique post-apocalyptic vision of the Modern Dark Ages, where your parkour abilities and brutal combat skills are the only things that let you dive into darkness and emerge alive. Make morally grey decisions, shape the transformation of the City and ultimately decide its fate.
  • “FALLOUT 76” (BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS). The award-winning creators of “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” welcome you to “Fallout 76” — a stunning prequel and the largest world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe. Set in the hills of West Virginia, you are one of the first to emerge, into a new and untamed wasteland.
  • “FORZA HORIZON 4” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). In “Forza Horizon 4,” seasons change everything. This highly anticipated follow-up to 2016’s breakout hit “Forza Horizon 3” brings players dynamic seasons in a shared open world that change every week. Experience beautiful, historic Britain in spectacular native 4K and HDR, collect over 450 cars, and become a Horizon Superstar. “Forza Horizon 4” will launch worldwide on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass on Oct. 2, 2018, as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • “GEARS 5” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). As Kait, journey across the biggest, most beautiful Gears world ever created. Play solo or with a friend in local split-screen co-op, or online co-op[iii] and experience every mode in 4K Ultra HD resolution with stunning HDR at a smooth 60 frames per second. “Gears 5” will be released in 2019 on Xbox One and Windows 10 and will come to Xbox Game Pass on the same date as its global release.
  • “GEARS POP!” (IOS AND ANDROID EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). “Gears Pop!” brings together iconic Gears characters in a cute Funko Pop! style. The game is being developed in partnership with Funko (Nasdaq “FNKO”) and inspired by the “Gears of War” vinyl collectible figures. It’s the perfect slice of mobile mayhem, available on iOS and Android in 2019.
  • “GEARS TACTICS” (WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). “Gears Tactics” evolves turn-based tactics games combining signature fast-paced brutal action and character-driven storytelling with customizable squads, upgradable weapons, and, of course, massive boss battles. “Gears Tactics” is also the first Gears game to be specifically designed for PC gamers.
  • “HALO INFINITE” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). The Master Chief returns in the next chapter of the legendary franchise in “Halo Infinite.” Developed by 343 Industries and created with the studio’s new Slipspace Engine, “Halo Infinite” debuted at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing with a thrilling engine demo that provides a glimpse into the future of Halo, leading the franchise into new and unexpected directions.
  • “JUMP FORCE” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC). The greatest heroes and villains from the 50-year history of Shueisha’s influential Japanese Weekly Jump manga will battle against each other across iconic locations across Earth in this anime fan’s dream come true! Featuring the world’s most popular and classic manga and anime franchises including DRAGON BALL Z, ONE PIECE, NARUTO, and many others, players will be able to compete in hyper-stylish arena brawls set against familiar backdrops of famous landmarks around the world, including New York City’s Times Square and the Matterhorn.
  • “JUST CAUSE 4” (SQUARE ENIX). Rogue agent Rico Rodriguez journeys to Solis, a huge South American world home of conflict, oppression and extreme weather conditions. Strap into your wingsuit, equip your fully customizable grappling hook, and get ready to bring the thunder!
  • “KINGDOM HEARTS III” (SQUARE ENIX). “KINGDOM HEARTS III” tells the story of the power of friendship as Sora and his friends embark on a perilous adventure and support each other through difficult times. Set in a vast array of Disney worlds, “KINGDOM HEARTS” follows the journey of Sora, a young boy and unknowing heir to a spectacular power. Sora is joined by Donald and Goofy to stop an evil force known as the Heartless from invading and overtaking the universe. Through the power of positivity and friendship, Sora, Donald and Goofy unite with iconic Disney-Pixar characters old and new to overcome tremendous challenges and persevere against the darkness threatening their worlds.
  • “METRO EXODUS” (DEEP SILVER). “Metro Exodus” is an epic, story-driven first person shooter from 4A Games that blends deadly combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror in one of the most immersive game worlds ever created. Explore the Russian wilderness across vast, nonlinear levels and follow a thrilling storyline that spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter. Inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky, “Metro Exodus” continues Artyom’s story in the greatest Metro adventure yet.
  • “NIER: AUTOMATA” BECOME AS GODS EDITION (SQUARE ENIX). “NieR: Automata” is a revolutionary action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by machine lifeforms and abandoned by mankind. As part of an android army created by humans to reclaim the planet, players will fight their way through the mechanical horde using a collective of close-combat weapons and ranged attacks.
  • “ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). The highly anticipated sequel “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” made its worldwide gameplay debut, showcasing Ori’s immersive world, dynamic combat mechanics, gripping enemy encounters and challenging puzzles in this story-driven adventure. “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” releases on Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2019.
  • “PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS” (CONSOLE LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE). PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), the tactical, high-octane battle royale phenomenon, debuted footage from two new maps: Sanhok, a smaller-scale, action-packed map inspired by the islands that dot the Southeast Pacific Ocean, and a snow-covered map currently in development. New footage also debuted of War Mode, a deathmatch-style battle royale gaming experience and the world premiere debut of the Ballistic Shield, a new tool for setting up quick cover for explosive and close-distance attacks. Sanhok and War Mode will debut on Xbox in late summer 2018.
  • “SEA OF THIEVES” (XBOX ONE[iv] AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). “Sea of Thieves,” the shared-world multiplayer game that provides the quintessential pirate experience, returns with additional content that continues to grow and evolve the game. Releasing in July, Cursed Sails will bring a new threat to the seas in the form of terrifying skeleton ships. In September, Forsaken Shores will reveal a perilous new part of the world, filled with dangers that will test the skill and nerve of even the most hardened crews. Each update will be accompanied by a time-limited campaign that introduces content in a fun, engaging and memorable way. “Sea of Thieves” is now available on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • “SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE” (ACTIVISION). A fantastical, dark and twisted new gameplay experience developed by the renowned team at FromSoftware and published by Activision. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is a third-person, action-adventure game with RPG elements. The single-player game puts gamers in the protagonist role of a hard-hearted warrior whose mission is to rescue his master, a young lord, and exact revenge on his arch nemesis. “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is scheduled for release in early 2019 for the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X. Preorders are available now at select retailers for the suggested retail price of $59.99.
  • “SESSION” (CREA-TURE STUDIOS). Inspired by the golden era of skateboarding, the early 90s and early 2000, “Session’s” primary goal is to make you experience what skateboarding really is: an incredible sport where there are no other goals other than expressing your creativity and achieving success through hard work, perseverance and bits of madness for no one else other than yourself.
  • “SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER” (SQUARE ENIX). Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.
  • “TALES OF VESPERIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC). Available this winter, “Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition” celebrates the 10th anniversary of this cherished RPG with new fully playable characters, events and other additional content never released outside of Japan. Follow Yuri Lowell, a former Imperial Knight, as he befriends a colorful cast of characters throughout the world of Terca Lumireis and finds himself in the middle of a nefarious plot that threatens the destruction of the entire planet.
  • “THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT” (SQUARE ENIX).Have you ever dreamt of being a superhero? Meet Chris, a creative and imaginative 10-year-old boy who escapes reality with fantastical adventures as his alter ego, the Awesome Captain Spirit! Return to your childhood and play a touching and heart-warming one-of-a-kind narrative experience from the directors and development team behind the BAFTA award-winning game “Life is Strange.” “The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit” is an original story set in the Life is Strange Universe that contains links to the brand new story an characters of “Life is Strange 2.”
  • “TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2” (UBISOFT). Developed by Ubisoft Massive and the same teams that brought you “Tom Clancy’s The Division®,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division® 2” is an online open-world, action-shooter RPG experience set in a collapsing and fractured Washington, D.C. This rich new setting combines a wide variety of beautiful, iconic and realistic environments where the player will experience the series’ trademark for authenticity in world- building, rich RPG systems, and fast-paced action like never before. Play solo or co-op with a team of up to four players to complete a wide range of activities, from the main campaign and adversarial PvP matches to the Dark Zone — where anything can happen.
  • “TUNIC” (FINJI). “TUNIC” is an isometric action adventure about a tiny fox in a big world. Embark on an adventuresome questabout set in that place just beyond the farthest you’ve ever been! Explore ancient ruins, fight monsters and uncover mysterious secrets. The world is big and scary — so be brave, little one!
  • “WE HAPPY FEW” (COMPULSION GAMES, GEARBOX PUBLISHING). After debuting as an Xbox Game Preview title at the 2016 Xbox E3 Briefing, “We Happy Few” 1.0, which includes an all-new narrative and community-driven improvements, will launch on Xbox One and Xbox One X (with 4K and HDR support) on Aug. 10, 2018. “We Happy Few” is a narrative-driven action adventure game set in a drug-fueled, retrofuturistic 1960s England. Uncover the mystery of Wellington Wells as you play through the interwoven narratives of three moderately terrible citizens trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial.

BIGGEST XBOX SALE OF THE YEAR HAPPENING NOW

Microsoft also announced its Biggest Xbox Sale of the Year where gamers can find discounts on hundreds of games, accessories, Xbox Game Pass and Live Gold subscriptions, plus $50 off ANY Xbox One. For more information, visit Xbox Wire.

Be sure to preorder now at your Microsoft Store or local retailer. With retail locations across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia, and through Microsoft.com, fans can begin preordering their favorite games and select accessories and hardware from this year’s Xbox E3 2018 Briefing right now. For a list of Microsoft Store locations, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/find-a-store.

WATCH E3 LIVE STREAMING ON MIXER

For additional news, highlights, exclusive reveals and a behind-the-scenes look at some of your favorite games throughout the week of E3, watch Inside Xbox: Live @ E3 on Monday, June 11 at 3 p.m. PDT and tune in to live streaming on Mixer Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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More details about Xbox One, Xbox One games and the latest Xbox news at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing can be found at https://news.xbox.com.

Press releases and media assets can be found at https://news.xbox.com/media (and relevant content can be found by clicking on Select Category).

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at https://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

[i] Select titles only. Requires 20Mbps download speed. Average improvement across FastStart-enabled titles; performance varies by title and internet connection (aka.ms/FastStartGames).

[ii] Xbox Live Gold required to play online multiplayer on Xbox One (sold separately).

[iii] Xbox Live Gold required to play online multiplayer on Xbox One (sold separately).

[iv] Xbox Live Gold required to play game on Xbox One (sold separately).

Buy the World’s Most Powerful Console; Get the Hottest Multiplayer Game of 2017

Earlier this week, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) released as a console launch exclusive on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program, bringing the hottest multiplayer game of the year to console for the first time. Xbox fan excitement for the launch has been incredible, with more than 1 million players on Xbox One in its first 48 hours alone.

Released as part of the Xbox Game Preview program – in which players can preview and purchase work-in-progress digital titles, participate in the development process and help developers make Xbox One games the best they can be – in the weeks and months ahead PUBG on Xbox One will continue to receive enhancements, new content updates including the new desert map, “Miramar,” optimizations and more.

Today, in celebration of PUBG coming to the hottest console of the season, we’re excited to announce a special holiday promotion where every Xbox One X purchase will come with a copy of PUBG! That means you can join in on gaming’s biggest phenomenon and jump right into the ultimate battle royale experience on Xbox One. The promotion is available in select regions for a limited time, starting Dec. 17 through Dec. 31. For more information, please check with your local retailer, including your local Microsoft Store, whether you’re shopping in a physical store, online or through your Xbox device.

Xbox One X, which is available now for $499 USD, is the world’s most powerful console where gamers can experience the best versions of console games of the past, present and future. As part of the Xbox One family of devices, Xbox One X owners not only get access to all of the unique Xbox platform offerings like Backward Compatibility, Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere, they also have access to a robust games library consisting of more than 1,300 games and more than 220 exclusives. With PUBG now part of the Xbox One library and more titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 coming in 2018, gamers have a lot to look forward to this holiday and beyond on Xbox One. For more information on Xbox One X, please visit xbox.com/xboxonex.

See you on the battleground!

Cray Supercomputers are coming to Azure

I’m thrilled to share our new, exclusive partnership with Cray that will provide our customers unprecedented access to supercomputing capabilities in Azure to solve their toughest challenges in climate modeling, precision medicine, energy, manufacturing, and other scientific research.

This announcement is yet another step to help our customers harness the power of HPC and AI in an agile and cost-effective way. At Microsoft, we believe access to Big Computing capabilities in the cloud has the power to transform many businesses and will be at the forefront of breakthrough experimentation and innovation in the decades to come. We’ve already made significant investments to support this vision over the last several years, including industry-leading network performance with InfiniBand, our recent acquisition of Cycle Computing to simplify management of hybrid HPC deployments, and our recent announcements around bringing leading edge GPUs to the public cloud.

Microsoft and Cray are working together to bring customers the right combination of extreme performance, scalability, and elasticity. Customers can get a dedicated Cray XC or CS series supercomputers in Azure to run HPC and AI applications alongside their other cloud workloads directly on the Azure network. The Cray systems easily integrate with Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Data Lake storage, the Microsoft AI platform, and Azure Machine Learning services for rich workflows and collaboration. All of this provided in the cloud with the most datacenters worldwide, the most compliance certifications, and dedicated regions for government agencies and their partners.

Only this partnership with Microsoft and Cray allows customers to run a broad array of hybrid workflows in the cloud, and be fully supported by the experts in enterprise cloud and HPC.

To learn more about this offering, please see our press release or visit the Cray website.