'SMITE' Xbox One Beta Coming Early 2015

Scott Grill

One of the surprise Xbox One announcements made during Microsoft's Gamescom press briefing in August was that SMITE would make the jump from PC to the console. Developer Hi-Rez Studios was at PAX Australia over the weekend, where COO Todd Harris revealed that the beta for the free-to-play third-person MOBA is right around the corner, with the full release coming not long afterward.

"At this point we are excited we have a registered player count of over five million and also we're continuing to expand the game," Harris said in a YouTube recap video for PAX Australia. "So, of course, new geography, like the Australian server we just launched, but also new platforms. We're working really hard on a console version of SMITE. In the beginning of the year we are going to start closed beta for the Xbox One version and we hope to release that in the first half of next year."

For those unfamiliar with SMITE, the premise is similar to leading MOBAs such as Dota 2 and League of Legends. The game features multiple pantheons of gods and deities based on Norse, Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Roman, and Mayan mythologies as well as the Hindu religion.

The primary difference between SMITE and competing MOBAs is also the reason the game will work on consoles. It utilizes a third-person, over the shoulder camera versus the top-down camera in Dota 2 and League of Legends. It is also is heavy on the action, and is already set up to support Xbox controllers on the PC. I can't necessarily advise using the controller in a competitive PC match, however.

— Smite: The Game (@SmiteGame) November 2, 2014

SMITE originally entered beta for the PC in 2012. Hi-Rez Studios spent nearly two years using feedback from players to bring the game to full release in March of this year. Maps and mechanics have been re-worked constantly and new game modes were introduced beyond the traditional three-lane five-versus-five MOBA match.

Other competitive modes include Arena, which strips out the lanes for a single arena with the goal of driving your minions into the opposing side's base. Joust features a single lane for three versus three matches.

Assault also uses a single lane but assigns a random deity for players to use. Additionally, players cannot heal, and the only way for players to return to base and buy items is to die.

Siege pits four players versus four players in a two-lane map with a connecting jungle. Both teams are gunning to spawn a Siege Juggernaut, a super minion that deals twice the damage to other minions and bonus damage to buildings. The Siege Juggernaut can only be spawned by reaching 100 points from killing opposing players (5 points), minions (1 point) or taking out a jungle camp (9 points).

Are you interested in SMITE on the Xbox One? Sound off as to why or why not in the comments below.

[Images via SMITE YouTube Channel]