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

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 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

Xbox 360 ‘Golden Chrome’ Controller Revealed

Microsoft has unveiled a new Xbox 360 controller. Here is the blurb from Microsoft regarding the announcement: “Today we are thrilled to announce the newest addition to the Xbox 360 Special Edition Chrome Wireless controller series: the Gold Chrome Controller!”
Gold_Chrome_Controller_Right_Tilt

Microsoft has stated that the new Xbox 360 controller will be available exclusively only through GameStop and Microsoft Stores in the USA starting this August with a price-point of $54.99.
It’s kind of interesting to see Microsoft release new hardware perheprials just a couple of months before Xbox One’s launch in November. When August hits Xbox One will be three months away from launching.

Source: http://gamingbolt.com/xbox-360-golden-chrome-controller-revealed#SBikwyOUVjd1Bgyc.99

Xbox One Reversal “Impressive,” Says Will Wright

Sim City creator Will Wright found Microsoft’s DRM policy reversal “very impressive.” In an interview with CNN, Wright shared his thoughts on Xbox One‘s approach to customers.

“Gaming has had a long history of piracy, but you can’t use DRM at the expense of the customers,” he said. “To see a company like Microsoft actually sit back, listen, and understand the fans and respond to them is impressive. For a company that size to be that responsive is great. These companies are the ones that obviously keep us in business and allow us to make games.”

Wright also said that players vocalizing their concern to better things for the majority is “really valuable,” although he knows it isn’t always the case online. “That part I think is great because that’s something that I’ve always believed in,” said Wright, “getting the players very involved not just after the game ships, but even before and try to listen to them.”

Not only is this good for companies, but fan involvement to this degree makes the users more than just a customer. Wright continued, “I tend to think of the fan base, especially the hardcore fan base, as co-developers. These people with a passion for your project are going to go out and sell your game to other people and pull other people in. The more they feel like they have some ownership over the process and they’re not just kind of customers, the better.”

Generally, Wright is on the consumer’s side, relating to the ability to own something you’ve purchased, and wanting to play it whenever and wherever you please. He understands the fan backlash toward Xbox One, he said, and likes Microsoft’s willingness to change to accommodate its audience.

Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/25/xbox-one-reversal-impressive-says-will-wright

Expect new PS4 game reveals at gamescom in August

The PS4 has clearly won the popularity vote over the past few weeks due to Microsoft’s insistence the Xbox One require an Internet connection. But with that decision now reversed, the consoles are more evenly matched (with the exception of price). Inevitably, which console gamers choose to buy will come down to the games on offer, and Sony apparently still has a lot to unveil.

Most of the PS4 game reveals so far came at the initial February unveiling of the new console. E3 was mainly about the hardware, a few new titles, and updated looks at the games we already knew about. According to SCE Europe CEO Jim Ryan, that wasn’t because there aren’t anymore games to show, Sony has just decided to hold back revealing them until later in the year.

In other words, we can expect to see new games announced at the remaining major game conferences in the run up to the PS4 launch. The two big ones being gamescom in August and the Tokyo Games Show in September.

Ryan has also pointed out that SCE Worldwide Studios has 30 titles for the PS4 in development. 20 of those will release in the first year the new console is on sale, and 12 of those 30 games are brand new IP. With that in mind, we can expect to see a selection of PS4 games making an appearance at gamescom for the first time and then yet more making their debut at TGS. On top of that, we should expect third-party publishers and developers to show more of their PS4 games and possibly reveal some new titles, too.

We also can’t forget Microsoft and Nintendo. Microsoft will surely have held something back to help push the Xbox One in the coming months, and even if Nintendo doesn’t have anything else new to reveal, they will be pushing the already-announced first-party Wii U releases they do have pretty hard.

Source: www.geek.com/games/expect-new-ps4-game-reveals-at-gamescom-in-august-1559887/

Microsoft to bring ‘Age of Empires’ to Apple Inc., Android phones

Microsoft Corp will offer its popular “Age of Empires” game for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other smartphones through a tie-up with Japan’s KLab Inc, seeking to capture growth in a booming mobile game market.

Microsoft’s gaming business is dependent primarily on its Xbox franchise but mobile devices have been eating into the gaming industry, luring consumers away from traditional consoles.

While the tech giant has released a few mobile games for iOS and Android like Wordament, “Age of Empires” is its most popular game to date to be offered beyond its own consoles.

The strategy is one that analysts argue other game machine makers such as Mario Brothers creator Nintendo Co Ltd could consider in a bid to leverage their software assets.

KLab will develop a mobile version of “Age of Empires” which will be released before the end of March, a KLab spokesperson said.

Shares in KLab were overwhelmed by a glut of buy orders in Tokyo trade on Tuesday, with its price indicated at 972 yen, 18 percent higher than its last close.

Contrary to an earlier report, the agreement is only to develop a mobile version of “Age of Empires” and there were no announcements on other titles, the two companies said.

The historical strategy game will be released worldwide in English for iPhones and Andriod-based phones, “with plans to release the game in other languages and on a Windows Phone in the future,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Sourcehttp://www.indianexpress.com/news/microsoft-to-bring–age-of-empires–to-apple-inc.-android-phones/1133510/

Microsoft will cut Xbox One price, but only if it falls behind the PS4 in sales

Microsoft is prepared to lower the price of the Xbox One, but only if it falls behind in the race with the PS4.

That’s the opinion of Wedbush analyst Michael Patcher.

However, he doubts that it will be necessary, especially since the u-turn on its DRM policies for the Xbox One.

Speaking to investors, he said that he believes Microsoft could still emerge out on top of the next generation, despite the false start.


“Microsoft intends to offer a more robust hardware bundle than Sony will offer, and Microsoft is convinced that consumers will ultimately appreciate the value proposition presented by Kinect,” Pachter told investors.

“Microsoft has not done a particularly good job of communicating the value proposition to consumers, but today’s announcement will remove an impediment to the company’s ability to get its message across.

“We are confident that with six months of focused messaging, Microsoft can fully level the playing field with Sony, and we expect the Xbox One to sell as many units as the PS4.

However, should he be wrong and Microsoft fails to sell as well, if not better than the PS4, he fully expects the company will lower the price of the Xbox One.

“If we are wrong, we think that Microsoft is prepared to lower price next year.”

Source: http://www.t3.com/news/microsoft-will-cut-xbox-one-price-but-only-if-it-falls-behind-the-ps4-in-sales

Valve may enable game sharing on Steam

Digital distribution has its pros and cons. On Steam, gamers may access to their digital library on any computer, and they don’t need to keep a shelf full of discs. At the same time, Steam customers can’t trade their games or lend them to friends … except that last part might change.

The latest beta for Valve’s Steam client includes dialog prompts for when a friend is using one of your games, according to a post on the gaming forum NeoGAF. That could mean that the company is considering enabling game sharing between friends through its digital store.

The relevant code is only in the Steam beta, and you can find the following prompts by opening the steamui_english file:

 

SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicense_Title “Shared game library”
SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText “Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it’s time to quit.”
SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText “This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library.”

 

That makes it pretty clear that Valve is at least testing this capability. A feature like this is similar to what Microsoft is building into the new Xbox One console. That device treats physical games like digital releases, which limits how the discs are resold, but it also enables game sharing among family members.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/19/valve-may-enable-friends-to-share-games-on-steam/#E6hKo6O22jLbvSPE.99