After a pair of Twitter users uncovered information regarding Age of Empires II for consoles via the websites for the video game rating boards PEGI and ESRB, Microsoft announced that it and Age of Empires IV will be headed to Xbox consoles next year.
User IdleSloth84_ correctly stated that Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will likely be officially announced during the Age of Empires’ 25th Anniversary Broadcast at 10am PT / 1pm EST / 6pm BST. The PEGI website initially showed that the Xbox ports would launch on the 25th of October, but this was amended following the broadcast.
As per the announcement, the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S ports of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will be released on the 31st of January next year. The console port for Age of Empires IV is also coming soon, with no definite release date but instead a timeline of within 2023. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will also launch on Xbox Cloud Gaming as well as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Additionally, the console version will include mouse and keyboard support as well as crossplay. This will allow both console players and PC players to play together and build empires together or against each other.
Age of Empires 2 holds a special place in my heart. It’s one of the games back in its day that made learning about history both interesting and fun. It helped define the real-time strategy genre and the new updates to the game only make it better. The Definitive Editions adds four new playable civilizations, three new single player campaigns, a co-op mode, new game modes and improved HD graphics.
It’ll be interesting to find out how they plan on implementing gamepad controls on an RTS game, but I’ve at the very least seen it done well with Sims 4, Two Point Hospital and Cities Skylines.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is set to be released on the 31st of January, 2023, on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S as well as on Game Pass Ultimate through cloud gaming. Age of Empires IV’s console port is set to be released within 2023.