Microsoft has announced that DICE’s upcoming resurrection of Star Wars: Battlefront will launch first on Xbox One.
The news came via a tweet from Xbox marketing exec Aaron Greenberg last night:
— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) April 14, 2015
Star Wars: Battlefront – currently in development by Battlefield veterans EA DICE – isn’t due until the end of the year, but its release is being timed to coincide with the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits cinemas this coming Christmas. It will be the third game in the series, following on from the PS2, PC and Xbox original in 2004, and its sequel the following year. In Battlefront, teams of players – representing both the Rebellion and Empire factions – face off on foot and in vehicles, waging war across a variety of locations familiar from the films and expanded Star Wars fiction.
Not much is known about the new Battlefront yet – secrecy surrounding the new film, and its promotional campaign plans, is likely impacting on how much detail the publisher is able to go into right now. What we do know is that both the icy landscape of Hoth (from The Empire Strikes Back) and the forest planet of Endor (from Return of the Jedi) will form the basis of two of the multiplayer maps available at launch, and that the game is seen by EA as a reboot, rather than a direct sequel to Battlefront II. A more detailed look at the game is expected later this month, when EA will release a new gameplay trailer.
On Xbox One, EA runs a membership program called EA Access. The scheme costs $5/ £3.99 a month to be a member, but provides early access to demos and full versions of games. While it got off to a slow start, EA has been gradually ramping up its use of the service over the last year – gamers who pre-ordered Dragon Age: Inquisition were able to play the first 6 hours of the game ahead of release, for example.
While the scheme has proven popular, Sony has ruled out the possibility of an equivalent program launching on PlayStation 4, saying that the company doesn’t believe it presents value for money. The comments, made last year, were likely influenced by Sony’s own services on its latest console such as PS Plus and PlayStation Now – Sony doesn’t want a third party competitor to its own initiatives.
Star Wars: Battlefront is due for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One this Christmas.