Microsoft announced during a 25th-anniversary celebration of Age of Empires that the latest game, Age of Empires IV, is coming to consoles next year. It will launch on day one on Xbox Game Pass, and it will be playable via Xbox Cloud Gaming for those who prefer to play on portable devices. The game launched in late 2021 for PC, and it has been available since then for PC Game Pass subscribers, but this is a great opportunity for console gamers to check it out.
In case you missed out on the PC release or you’ve just been waiting patiently for news on this port, my colleague Mitchell Clark has some fun coverage from last year on the impressive lengths that Microsoft and World’s Edge (the studio focused on Age of Empires) went to give deeper historical context to the game’s battles. It recorded documentary footage of reenactments that you’ll be able to watch with each mission.
According to Microsoft’s blog, there are some welcome features coming to the console port, including a tutorial to help gamers get accustomed to the new controller layout, optional cross-play multiplayer between PC and Xbox gamers, and full keyboard and mouse support.
It’s kind of a big deal when real-time strategy (RTS) games come to consoles because they aren’t a natural fit and there are numerous challenges to gracefully make the jump from PC to console. They need work on their interfaces, performance, and control schemes to give console gamers all of the same commands they’d get on a keyboard.
Gamers have been asking for Age of Empires to come to console for years, so it’s great that it’s finally happening (and that it won’t come at an extra cost for Game Pass subscribers). And, if you need another RTS to chew on before that launches, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is coming to consoles first on January 31st, 2023.
Updated 2:03PM ET, October 25th: Added more details from Microsoft’s blog on what special features are coming with Age of Empires IV.