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Microsoft hopes 'Titanfall' boosts Xbox One

WASHINGTON--Tech titan Microsoft — which has struggled to keep pace with Sony and its PlayStation 4 — is pinning its hopes on a new action video game, ironically named “Titanfall.”

The highly anticipated game for the new generation Xbox One console lands this week in a major global release, with Microsoft is betting it will keep the company in the forefront of the battle for the living room and home entertainment.

“The challenge is finding the 'killer game,'” says Avi Greengart of research firm Current Analysis.

“Titanfall appears to be the first must-have, first-person mutliplayer game that takes real advantage of the Xbox One's additional horsepower.”

Technology analyst Rob Enderle at Enderle Group said the new game — featuring elite assault pilots and heavily armored, 24-foot (6-meter) titans — will be a critical test for Microsoft.

“Titanfall is really the big title for Xbox One,” he said. “Game consoles live and die on blockbusters, so it is really important that the audience likes this game.”

The game is produced by Respawn Entertainment, using designers of the “Call of Duty” blockbuster series, and distributed by Electronic Arts exclusively for Microsoft's Xbox and PC platforms. It carries a U.S. price tag of US$60.

Set in the near future on a distant war-torn part of space called “the frontier,” Titanfall drops players in the middle of a conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Frontier Militia.

The main characters are the titans, described as “descendants of present-day fledgling military exoskeletons,” and the pilots, who have varying degrees of certification.

Players can shift back and forth between pilot and titan, change tactics on the fly and attack or escape depending on the situation, according to the producers.

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A fan celebrates the launch of “Titanfall” on Xbox One at SXSW in Austin, Texas on Monday, March 10. Tech titan Microsoft — which has struggled to keep pace with Sony and its ...

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