Microsoft has officially unveiled Forza Motorsport 7, the next version of the acclaimed Xbox-exclusive racing game. The new title will render in native 4K on the company’s upcoming Xbox One X console. It will also be available on Windows 10 PCs.
The game was revealed during Microsoft’s keynote at the E3 games conference yesterday. Developed by Turn 10 Studios, Forza 7 will continue the predictable Forza release schedule by coming two years after the previous major series installment, Forza 6. The games alternate each year between Forza and Forza Horizon, the open-world spin-off of the main racing theme.
With Forza 7, Microsoft and Turn 10 have focused on upgrading the game’s technology to enable next-generation experiences for players. When running on the high-performance hardware of the Xbox One X, Forza 7 is capable of rendering at 60fps at a full 4K resolution. There’s also support for HDR, expanding the color palette on compatible TVs.
Forza 7 doesn’t change much of the core gameplay from earlier titles in the series. The main aim is still to win races, collect cars and experience different genres of motoring. This year, over 700 cars will be included with the base game with over 30 environments to drive them in. The headline manufacturer is Porsche, part of the marque’s return to the wider world of racing games now that its 16-year exclusive licensing deal with EA has expired.
Porsche’s new 911 GT is the cover car for Forza 7. The company also gave E3 attendees an exclusive first chance to drive the car, courtesy of the Forza game running on an Xbox One X console. Microsoft confirmed it has a six-year arrangement with Porsche that allows it to feature licensed cars from the company. Unlike the longstanding agreement with EA, Porsche no longer grants exclusive licenses. Its vehicles are also becoming available to drive in other racing games and sims.
“Forza always brings the best and most exclusive new cars to our fans, and we’re honored to present this stunning upcoming high-performance 911 GT car in time for our new title,” Microsoft said. “This moment is a testament to digital and real-world racing merging in an unprecedented way.”
In a celebration of Forza and the wider motoring world, Microsoft has also partnered with the organizers of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race to create the first e-sports endurance category. The Le Mans Official Endurance Esports Category, part of the Forza Racing Championship, will be hosted at Le Mans. The winner will receive a trophy on the same podium that the Le Mans drivers will use.
Aside from the cars and tracks, Microsoft is offering something entirely new to players by adding character personalisation. A first for the franchise, it will be possible to change clothes and accessories, switching between “hundreds” of options taken from the varied racing eras that the Forza car collection represents.
The new game also comes with additional optional assists for first-time players. Ever keen to make Forza both a hardcore sim for the pros and an accessible game for all, Turn 10 has incorporated new aids to help ease drivers into the racing experience. Additional game features include enhanced customization options, an improved spectator view and built-in integration with Mixer, Microsoft’s recently rebranded game streaming service.
Microsoft said Forza 7 is “Forza reimagined.” As a leading Xbox franchise and one of the launch day releases for the company’s new console, the game will be one of the most important this year. Microsoft suggested that Forza players new and old will enjoy the diversity of content it has to offer.
“Forza Motorsport 7 immerses players in the exhilarating thrill of competitive racing,” the company said. “From mastering the new motorsport-inspired campaign to collecting a wide range of cars to experiencing the excitement of driving at the limit, this is Forza reimagined.”
Forza Motorsport 7 is available to pre-order from today at the Microsoft Store. It will release on October 3 on the Xbox One and Windows 10 before the Xbox One X lands on November 7. It will be immediately compatible with all the Xbox One X’s features, including 4K HDR gameplay. Ultimate Edition buyers will get access to the game a week early, starting on September 29.
[Featured Image by Microsoft]