Gamers wait hours to sample Xbox exclusives at #X15

Hundreds of Xbox fans waited hours outside of Toronto’s Sound Academy Wednesday night to briefly get their hands on dozens of video games before they hit store shelves.

The Xbox Media Showcase gave gamers the change to play demos of exclusive AAA titles, as well as a number of indie titles, before Xbox’s fall launch seasons begins.

“It’s one of our biggest events of the year,” Microsoft Canada’s Cara Inglis explained. “The fans are the people that really love it the most. We want them to see the games, experience the games, speaking with the devs. Just a full rounded experience for them.”

The event, was open to the public between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and showed off over 30 titles.

“We were pretty close to about 1,000 fans throughout the day,” Inglis said. “A thousand is far surpassing what we anticipated, which is amazing.”

Gamers of all ages battled in a 12-on-12 Halo 5 Guardians multi-player tournament, sampled independent titles coming to Xbox such as Cuphead and Below, and got exclusive looks at Rise of the Tomb Raider and Quantum Break – which was being shown to the public for the first time ever in Canada.

But it wasn’t just Xbox showing off huge titles.

Ubisoft and Warner Brothers gave gamers hands-on time with the highly anticipated titles The Division, Rainbow Six Siege and Mad Max.

Sports fans also laced up with EA’s NHL, FIFA and Madden franchises.

Game developers were also on hand, so interested fans could learn more about the inner workings of the gaming industry and speak with creators of some of their favourite titles.

Previously, the showcase had been a media-only event but it was partly opened to the public for the first time last year. Inglis says it’s an experience for fans that they will probably continue in the future.

“We want to reward them and thank them for being a part of our brand and we want to give them something they would never experience anywhere else,” she said.

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