Microsoft has announced that all Xbox One pre-orders will come with a free copy of FIFA 14 - and that it is making a renewed push to attract indie developers to the platform.

The gaming world has gathered at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, to hear what's coming for early adopters just months from the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One.

But Microsoft made an early show-stopping announcement by confirming that pre-orders of its new console would come with a free copy of EA's massive new sports game.

The announcement represents a huge boost to Microsoft's next-gen sales pitch.

FIFA 14 will also come with exclusive content on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, including an "Ultimate Team Legends" mode featuring classic players alongside current stars.

Microsoft also unveiled a new self-publishing programme for Xbox One, which will allow developers to more easily publish and sell their games.

Here are the other top lines from Microsoft's event:

  • FIFA 14 will have exclusive Ultimate Team content on Xbox. Ultimate Team Legends will be available only on Xbox, and allow players of the mode to collect legendary players to join their squads. Footballing lengends Freddie Ljunberg and Ruud Gullit joined Microsoft and EA execs onstage to pitch the new mode. (They'll also be the first Legends to be "dropped into" the game.
  • Peggle 2 and Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare will come to Xbox One first at the start of 2014
  • Xbox One Call of Duty Ghosts bundle available at launch, including exclusive content, with multiplayer maps available first on Xbox Live (price TBA)
  • Minecraft creator's Mojang announced that the studio's new multi-platform 2D shooter 'Cobalt' will be coming to Xbox One
  • Fable Legends: a new game in the storied franchise, described as the "most beautiful" Fable game ever and introduced with a rendered trailer. "For the first time, up to four heroes can co-operatively play and explore, or even play as the villain and mastermind the entire game in real time," Microsoft said.
  • Fighter Within: an intense new fighting game releasing exclusively on Xbox at the end of 2013

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  • Dead Rising 3

  • Kinect Sports Rivals

  • Fable Legends

  • Ryse: Son Of Rome

  • Killer Instinct

  • Ryse: Son of Rome

  • This product image released by Microsoft shows the new Xbox One entertainment console that will go on sale later this year. Microsoft is seeking to stay ahead of rivals in announcing that new content that can be downloaded for the popular "Call of Duty" game will launch first on Xbox One. Microsoft says more games will be shown at next month's E3 video game conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

  • Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown on stage Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. It's been eight years since the launch of the Xbox 360. The original Xbox debuted in 2001, and its high-definition successor premiered in 2005. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    The Kinect motion-sensing device for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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Microsoft is the first of the major companies to make its pitch at this year's event, and opened its showcase with a focus on how it will use its new platform to work with indie games and developers.

Indie gaming is an area in which Microsoft has received some criticism in recent months, but the company made a renewed claim to be a natural home for developers at the event. It said Xbox One will be a natural and inexpensive place for developers to build and release games, and promised fresh "discovery" technology to ensure games get seen alongside traditional AAA titles in its online store.

The Independent Developers @ Xbox program (ID@Xbox) represents a major new push for the company to attract indie talent to the platform, after Sony was widely seen as taking an early lead on that effort with its PS4.

In a press release Microsoft listed the new Xbox Live features for indie games:

  • Trending will show what your friends and the community are playing
  • Recommendations will highlight new games you may like, based on what you like to play
  • Spotlight will showcase Editor Picks for great games across the entire store
  • With Game DVR and Upload, gamers can instantly capture their favourite moments and edit and share them with their friends around the world
  • Achievements and Challenges enable developers and the community to create special events out of games