White Xbox One rumoured for October

Microsoft is reportedly prepping a white edition of its Xbox One console for launch this October.

Reports that the company is planning on launching a white console emerged on forum NeoGaf and was subsequently confirmed by The Verge.

According to the reports, it will be the same console that was given to members of the launch team in November 2013.

Microsoft is believed to be prepping the white edition of the console for launch around October alongside the release of Sunset Overdrive.

There is also talk that Microsoft may launch a digital-only version of the Xbox One that comes without a Blu-ray drive.

Previous hints

Microsoft has already confirmed that it may launch a white edition of the Xbox One. When asked on Reddit whether Microsoft would launch a white edition of the console, Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb said “maybe waaaay in the future”.

Pictures of the white dev version of the console emerged in July last year ahead of the console’s launch.

The Verge added that in addition to a white version of the console coming in October, Microsoft will also release the first major update to the console in March.

According to the website, the dashboard update will bring a number of fixes to the console and Xbox Live.

Microsoft has refused to comment on the rumours.

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/white-xbox-one-rumoured-for-october

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Xbox One users will have to pay extra for Skype and gamer-gratifying DVR

Microsoft has released the first unboxing video of its forthcoming Xbox One console, along with details on its pricing policy. The bad news is that gamers will have to pay extra for some features, but on the plus side they get a free mono headset.

When the Xbox One was shown off for the first time, Microsoft’s Don Matrick, then president of Redmond’s interactive entertainment business and now CEO at Zynga, extolled the new features of the console. These include Skype, a gaming DVR system that lets you record gaming triumphs, NFL game streaming, and a system called Smartmatch that will find suitable opponents for players.

 

What he neglected to mention, and what Microsoft has now confirmed, is that all of these will require owners to pony up $60 a year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription on top of the console’s hefty $499 purchase price.

On the plus side, Microsoft is adding more hardware to the Xbox, as it showed in its unboxing video released on Thursday. Xbox One buyers will get a mono headset with microphone included for free – an item that would have set them back a whole $20 otherwise – as well as a free Xbox sticker.

During the unboxing video, Microsoft’s director of Xbox programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson as his gamer tag reads, extolled the virtues of the new hardware. The controller now has “impulse triggers,” which will “change the way you game.” A 4k-compliant HDMI cable is also included, which given the $1,888.75 price Best Buy can charge these days could be a major saving.

The extras don’t seem to have impressed many and Xbox message boards are already starting to build up a head of steam from outraged gamers whining about yet another way that Redmond is shaking money from their pockets.

Sony was quick to put the boot in, as it did the day after the Xbox One launch by promising a cheaper, DRM-free console in the PS4. Shortly after Microsoft confirmed the subscription-locked features, Sony’s president of worldwide studios took to Twitter to point out that Sony would be giving features like in-game recording for free.

That’s slightly disingenuous, since Sony will now be charging $50 a year to play multiplayer games online, and the PS4’s $399 purchase price doesn’t include a motion sensor like the heartbeat-sensing Kinect from Microsoft.

But it’s still a cheaper bet than the Xbox One as a package. Microsoft must just be hoping that the Xbox One has the quality to win over buyers who are prepared to pay more.

Sourcehttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/09/xbox_one_users_will_have_to_pay_extra_for_skype_and_games_dvr/

Microsoft announces Xbox Live public beta featuring local currency payments

If you’ve always dreamed of paying for your Xbox 360 downloads with greenbacks instead of Microsoft Points, now is your chance. Microsoft on Friday announced a new Xbox Live public beta, and according to a post by Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, the beta has a significant change: the ability to pay with local currency. Unlike previous betas, you don’t have to sign-up for this one on a Microsoft site. Instead, gamers in all 41 Xbox Live countries (except Japan) will see an Xbox Beta Program tile on the home hub of the Xbox 360 dashboard.

The new local currency switch for Xbox Live was one of our top picks for features we wanted to see in the new Xbox. The aging Microsoft Points system made sense in the early days of Xbox, since it allowed the company to use a single “currency” worldwide. But now with the widespread availability of digital stores that can handle local transactions like the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store, it’s about time Microsoft Points disappeared.

Microsoft apparently heard our pleas—mixed in with millions of others, no doubt—and announced the switch in June. Microsoft Points will be retired in the fall most likely around the time the Xbox One becomes available in November. When the switch happens, anyone with Microsoft Points left over in their account will receive local currency “equal to or greater than the marketplace value” of the points, according to a Microsoft FAQ. Microsoft Points Cards will be redeemable through 2014; any points earned through Xbox Live Rewards will also transition to local currency.

Space is limited for the new Xbox Live beta so if you want in, you’ll have to sign-up fast. Once the spots are filled the beta will be closed to the public.

Sourcewww.pcworld.com/article/2043713/microsoft-announces-xbox-live-public-beta-featuring-local-currency-payments.html/

Microsoft outlines Xbox One’s new reputation system

Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One will include a new reputation system that replaces the current star-based rating system on the 360. It will be designed to reward those that just play the game and are good participants while individuals that play against the spirit of the game or harass others will likely end up playing with people similar to them.

In an interview recently published by The Official Xbox Magazine, Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin noted the program isn’t based strictly on user-created ratings. Instead, it’ll take into account metrics like how often you are blocked or muted by other players and whether moderators have had to take action against you.

These scores are intended to be public so others will be able to see if you are a good, friendly player or a bad apple. But if you were planning to ruin another user’s reputation purely out of spite, think again.

That’s because the system doesn’t allow for such behavior partially because the score is adjusted over time and also because it actually checks to see if you’ve played against said player before you can complain about their in-game behavior. Users can still file a complaint but it won’t count for nearly as much, we’re told.

Similar systems have been tried in the past elsewhere but not on a network as large as Xbox Live. Whether or not it’ll actually be an effective measure against trolls remains to be seen considering the current star system isn’t very effective.

Sourcewww.techspot.com/news/53135-microsoft-outlines-xbox-ones-new-reputation-system.html/

Defense Grid: The Awakening free for Xbox Live Gold members

While Microsoft’s “Games with Gold” promotion promised Xbox Live Gold members free triple A titles for free, they haven’t forgotten about the smaller scale projects.

Microsoft will be making Defense Grid: The Awakening its next free title starting today and ending on July 15.

Originally seeing an Xbox 360 release in September 2009 for 800 Microsoft Points, the Hidden Path Entertainment developed tower-defense game made its debut a year earlier on PC. An OS X edition would be released on OS X in 2010.

Defense Grid: The Awakening has players defending military bases from waves of aliens attempting an invasion by re-activating defense system with the assistance of a computer.

Last month, Microsoft made Lionhead’s 2010 action RPG Fable 3 the first game available in its “Games With Gold” after announcing the promotion at its E3 press briefing in Los Angeles.

The promotion will give a free game every two weeks to those with gold level Xbox Live memberships. Other games to be released in the future include Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3.

According to Microsoft, the promotion was a way to show Xbox Live Gold members gratitude.

“As our way of saying thanks for being part of this community, we’re giving all qualifying Gold members two free Xbox 360 games each month for the rest of the year,” read a release on Microsoft’s site. “Each specially selected, fan-favorite game will be available to download only for a limited time, so grab them before they’re gone and keep them no matter what.”

The move by Microsoft is similar to what Sony has been doing with its Playstation Plus service for quite some time. Playstation Plus members have enjoyed free Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita downloads of games including,Saints Row: The ThirdUncharted 3: Drakes Deception, Vanquish, The Cave, Little Big Planet and more.

As Microsoft plans to move into the next-gen with the Xbox One, the hardware maker hasn’t forgotten the Xbox 360. Last month saw a redesign launch in US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia in three different models.

Sourcehttp://www.gamenguide.com/articles/7464/20130702/defense-grid-awakening-free-xbox-live-gold-members.htm