Age of Empires II And IV Are Headed To Xbox Consoles In 2023

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As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations for the Age of Empires series, Microsoft announced that Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires IV will be headed to Xbox consoles. These real-time strategy games will be available through Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, and will also arrive on Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Strategy games can be notoriously challenging to get right on consoles, due to their design favoring mouse and keyboard setups. While some RTS games--see Frostpunk and Halo Wars 2 for example--can work with a controller, doing so requires a lot of extra work by a developer to get just right. For the Xbox ports of Age of Empires II and IV, developer World's Edge says both controller and traditional mouse and keyboard setups will be made available on consoles.

"We knew that bringing the complexity of RTS to Xbox consoles was a massive task and one we had to approach carefully and thoughtfully," the studio said on Xbox Wire. "The team has been working hard to bring an experience that not only feels great using a controller, but also teaches players how to play on Xbox. A new tutorial designed specifically for controller input paired with a new user experience for console will help players get started. We've also added a new game AI which helps make resource management in a strategy game efficient and intuitive."

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will be released on January 31, 2023, and will include 83 maps, 42 multiplayer civilizations, 34 single-player campaigns, 10 multiplayer modes, and 7 co-op campaigns. Age of Empires IV will arrive later in 2023 and brings with it several updates that have gradually rolled out since it launched last year on PC.

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