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You think Xbox One is too expensive? Wait to see this one!

19 Dec

gold xbox one harrods

With a RRP of £429, the Xbox One is surely not the cheapest console you can find out there. But when it comes to expensive shit there’s only one place in UK (and possibly the world) where you find the craziest prices.

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Welcome to the next gen!

22 Nov

next gen ps4 x1

Ok, now that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been released (well, in Europe we still need to wait till end of November for the latter), we’re officially in the next gen, more precisely it’s the 8th generation of gaming consoles.

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Microsoft is removing Xbox One DRM, internet checks and any other restriction!

20 Jun

xbox oneYes, you read it right. Microsoft is actually removing the so hated (and discussed) DRM from the Xbox One. But just not that, Xbox One will no longer require a 24-hours internet check-in and every restriction on second-hand games is no more! And least but not last, Xbox One will be region free.

This is what Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s president of interactive entertainment, said this morning in a press release:

“Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console — there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.”

We are obviously very happy about this, and Microsoft for sure has some balls to change plans on the go, but you know, if they want to sell at least a couple of console…

Someone already call this the biggest backtrack in gaming history, but what if everything was already in Microsoft’s plans? This could have been the best marketing campaign ever: serving a very unpleasant product for the users, letting the people rumoring and arguing about how shit it will be, and than change plans on the, giving to the players everything the want…we see what you did there Microsoft…

Anonymous Xbox engineer explains DRM and Microsoft’s Xbox One plans

15 Jun

xbox one

 

After the Xbox One announcement, Microsoft seems to be very cryptic about all the DRM and second-hand games stuff. But not all the Microsoft employees are keeping the silence, indeed today an anonymous Microsoft engineer used Pastebin to spread the world with his thoughts. So here’s what the Redmond’s company is planning to do with the Xbox One [wall of text coming].

>The thing is we suck at telling the story. The whole point of the DRM switch from disc based to cloud based is to kill disc swapping, scratched discs, bringing discs to friends house, trade-ins for shit value with nothign going back to developers, and high game costs. If you want games cheaper then 59.99, you have to limit used games somehow. Steam’s model requires a limited used game model.

 
    >The thing is, the DRM is really really similar to steam… You can login anywhere and play your games, anyone in your house can play with the family xbox. The only diff is steam you have to sign in before playing, and Xbox does it automatically at night for you (once per 24 hours)
 
    >It’s a long tail strategy, just like steam. Steam had it’s growing pains at the beginning with all it’s drm shit as well. […] For digital downloads steam had no real competition at the time, they were competing against boxed sales. At the time people were pretty irate about steam, (on 4chan too…) It was only once they had a digital marketplace with DRM that was locked down to prevent sharing that they could do super discounted shit.
 
    >Think about it, on steam you get a game for the true cost of the game, 5$-30$. On a console you have to pay for that PLUS any additional licenses for when you sell / trade / borrow / etc. If the developer / publisher can’t get it on additional licenses (like steam), then they charge the first person more. […] If we say “Hey publishers, you limit game to 39.99, we ensure every license transfer you get 10$, gamestop gets 20$” that is a decent model… Microsoft gets a license fee on first and subsequent game purchases, compared to just first now? That’s a revenue increase.
 
    >Competition is the best man, it helps drive both to new heights. See technology from the Cold War. If we had no USSR, we’d be way worse off today. TLDR: Bring it on Steam 🙂
 
    2/4
 
    >Yeah we passed that around the office at Xbox. Most of us were like “Well played Sony, Well played”. That being said they are just riding the hype train of ZOMG THEY ARE TRYING TO FUCK US FOR NO REASON. Without actually thinking about how convienent it would be for the majority of the time to not find that disc your brother didn’t put back… […] just simpleminded people not seeing the bigger picture. Some PS4 viral team made them all “U TOOK R DISCS” and they hiveminded.
 
    >Everyone and their mother complains about how gamestop fucks them on their trade ins, getting 5$ for their used games. We come in trying to find a way to take money out of gamestop, and put some in developers and get you possibly cheaper games and everyone bitches at MS. Well, if you want the @#$@ing from Gamestop, go play PS4.
 
    >The goal is to move to digital downloads, but Gamestop, Walmart, Target, Amazon are KIND OF FUCKING ENTRENCHED in the industry. They have a lot of power, and the shift has to be gradual. Long term goal is steam for consoles. […] If you always want to stay with what you have, then keep current consoles, or a PS4. We’re TRYING to move the industry forwards towards digital distribution… it’sa bumpy road
 
    >Publishers have enourmous power. Microsoft is trying to balance between consumer delight, and publisher wishes. If we cave to far in either direction you have a non-starting product. WiiU goes too far to consumer, you have no 3rd party support to shake a stick at. PS4 is status-quo. XB1 is trying to push some things, at the expense of others. We have a vision, we’ll see if it works in the coming years
 
    >Living room transformation. We want to own the living room. Every living room TV with an XBox on input one. It’s the thing that gives the signal to your TV, everything is secondary. The future, where games, TV, internet telephony, all that shit happens magically on some huge ass screen with hand / voice gestures… That’s our goal.
 
 
    3/4
 
    >Google TV + PS4 + Minority report level gestures, that combined with a sick second screen experience (which is really hot for TV, I know I know.. tv tv tv tv tv… but it’s fucking sick when you have it). Games will be the same, there are more exclusives to MS then PS atm, and Kinect 2 makes Kinect 1 look like a childs toy.
 
    >By default it’s on, listening for “Xbox On”. You can turn it off tho, and turn the console like OFF off. OFF off is required for Germany / other countries that require it (no vampire appliances) […] It has to be plugged in for the console to post. You can turn off everything it does from the settings. Think of it like airplane mode for the iPhone. You can’t just unplug the cellular radio, but you can turn it off.
 
    >Instead of 10mins, is 24hrs for your console, and 1 or 2 at a friends house. Really the majority of people have a speck of internet at least once a day. And if you don’t. Don’t buy an Xbox 1. Just like if you didn’t have a broadband connection don’t get Live, and if you don’t have an HDTV the 360 isn’t that great for you either. New tech, new req. This allows us to do cool shit when we can assume things like you have a kinect, you have internet, etc.
 
    >Current plan is basically you’re fucked after 24 hours. Yeah… I know. Kind of sucks. I believe they will probably revist the time period and / or find a diff way to “call in” to ensure you haven’t sold your license to gamestop or something… but there is no plan YET. I’m hoping the change it, but I don’t work on that so I don’t have much influence there /sigh
 
    >If the power goes out you ain’t playing shit. I’m assuming you mean the internet goes out but you have power for TV and Xbox. Yes, You’re fucked for single player games. Again, that’s the PoR (Plan of record), but I expect it to change after the e3 clusterfuck
 
    >What fee? There is no fee to play your games at your friends house. Never has, never will. Even x360 digital downloads could do that.
 
 
    4/4
 
    >The cloud capabilities is the shit they like the most. We basically made a huge cloud compute shit and made it free. What people are doing with it is kind of cool. THe original intention was to get all the Multiplayer servers not requiring 3rd party costs (Like EA shutting down game servers to cut costs), as well as taking all the games that servers hosted by the clients (Halo, etc), and have all that compute done in the cloud allowing more CPU cycles for gameplay. That will really expand what developers can do. Anything that doesn’t need per frame calculation and can handle 100ms delays can be shifted to the cloud. That’s huge.
 
    >SmartGlass + IE is going to be pretty freaking sweet. 1 finger cursor, 2 finger direct manip. Basically if you think of a laptop trackpad where your phone/ slate is the trackpad and the monitor is your TV… it’s that. The tech is there, just needs to be applied. There is some really cool shit going on with Petra + controllers that pairs people with controllers. So if person with controller two trades controlers with controller 1, their profiles magically switch. It’s sick. What does this matter? Now if you lean left/right it knows which person is leaning, even if 4 people are all int he same room. It’s awesome.
 
    >New service using Azure for cloud compute. Allows developers to not use clients for hosting multiplayer servers, or other tasks that do not require per frame calcuations. It’s pretty sweet.
 
    >Honestly, if you care about anything other then pure games AT ALL. Xbox 1 > PS4. If all you do is play games, and nothing else, PS4.
 
    This was all from the Microsoft engineer that was on /b/ last night.
 
    >It’s not worth my time to prove it, or risk my Job. I work in Studio A, 40th ave in Redmond, Wa. The thai place in the studio cafeteria has double punch wednesdays. Go ahead and call them and verify if you want.

Forza Motorsport 5 announcement trailer

21 May

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

You may have heard something about the new Xbox One presented today by Microsoft. We’re quite sure you have. Anyway, at Microsoft Studios they thought that for keep up with the latest announcement of Gran Turismo 6 (that is set to be released on PlayStation 3), they needed to show off a bit. So Forza Motorsport 5 was the reply, and it looks astonishing!

Enjoy the very first announcement trailer, revealed during today’s event.

Well, not yet satisfied? Let’s carry on with some really beautiful screenshots!

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One

Now, we’re not sure (and nobody said anything about it) if those pics are in-game footage or just pre-rendered screens, but if Forza Motorsport 5 will look like this, oh well, farewell GT6…

Anyway, it will be one of the first things we’ll find out about the new Xbox One, as Forza Motorsport 5 will be available at launch.

 

Meet Xbox One

21 May

xbox one

Yep, this is it! The brand new Microsoft game console, the XBOX ONE (nice name, no really). And below you can admire its brand new shaped controller.

xbox one controller

Here some more details:

• 8 gigs of RAM

• USB 3.0

• Wi-Fi Direct

Blu-Ray disc drive (wondering how much is Sony’s bill for this)

• 64-bit architecture

Wired (that tried the new Xbox) reported that Xbox One will NOT require an always-online internet connection, but due to an installation of every game on the HDD and a registration on the Xbox site required, Microsoft confirmed with that while installations to other hard drives are allowed, users will need to pay an unspecified fee to do so. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? So I need to pay even if I borrow a game from my friend. Thanks.

The Xbox One won’t play any existing Xbox 360 games, said Microsoft’s Marc Whitten in an interview with The Verge.

“The system is based on a different core architecture, so back-compat doesn’t really work from that perspective.”

Microsoft’s Harvey Eagle told IGN another super good news (see: irony). In fact seems like your Kinect will need to be connected in order for the Xbox One to function:

“Kinect does require to be connected to Xbox One in all cases, yes.”

xbox one kinect

Xbox One will hit the stores this fall, but still no release date.

The next-gen Xbox will be revealed on May 21st

24 Apr

#XboxReveal xbox720 durango new next gen streaming

Like few months ago for the PS4, Microsoft has announced that the next-gen Xbox, codename Durango, will be revealed on May 21st; about time! Obviously a live stream will be available almost everywhere on the net, but particularly on xbox.com, on Xbox Live and on Spike TV.

Pin the the date. We’re looking forward to find out what’s Microsoft’s next move.

Microsoft plans to retire XNA

1 Feb

xna_logo

Earlier today CVG has published a leaked (someone is going to get fired very soon) internal Microsoft email that reveals that XNA Game Studio is basically dead and that the Redmond company is planning to abandon it XNA and DirectX from its ‘MVP Award Program’ – a reward initiative for developers.

But, what the hell is XNA? Well, basically it’s Microsoft development framework that had become popular among numerous indie developers, such as Supergiant Games (Bastion, 2011) or Polytron (FEZ, 2012), for its user-friendly technology.

Check the full mail in question below:

“Our goal is to provide you the best experience during your award year and when engaging with our product groups. The purpose of the communication is to share information regarding the retirement of XNA/DirectX as a Technical Expertise.

The XNA/DirectX expertise was created to recognize community leaders who focused on XNA Game Studio and/or DirectX development. Presently the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology. Given the status within each technology, further value and engagement cannot be offered to the MVP community. As a result, effective April 1, 2014 XNA/DirectX will be fully retired from the MVP Award Program.

Because we continue to value the high level of technical contributions you continue to make to your technical community, we want to work with you to try to find a more alternate expertise area. You may remain in this award expertise until your award end date or request to change your expertise to the most appropriate alternative providing current contributions match to the desired expertise criteria. Please let me know what other products or technologies you feel your contributions align to and I will review those contributions for consideration in that new expertise area prior to the XNA/DirectX retirement date.

Please note: If an expertise change is made prior to your award end date, review for renewal of the MVP Award will be based on contributions in your new expertise.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this change.

The same mysterious source told CVG that the retire of XNA could be an omen for the removal of the Xbox Live Indie Games service.

“What will be interesting will be to see if Microsoft replace XNA with another newbie-friendly technology, which seems unlikely, or if they will persist with XBLIG for the next-gen using their other technologies. There’s a lot of extra knowledge needed to make something workable and XNA was a managed language, meaning it was much harder to crash the whole Xbox OS via an XBLIG – the same would not be true of the lower-level APIs that ‘proper’ game developers use. No-one wants to learn a dying technology, and a big part of XNA’s appeal was the prospect of selling a game on Xbox LIVE, even if that wasn’t the most commercially-sensible thing to do. If there are no advocates of the technology, and we infer from the lack of internal support in Microsoft that there will be no XBLIG on the next-gen machine, there is no-one to drive XNA adoption and no incentive to learn it.”

We really hope Microsoft is planning to replace XNA with something (good) and not letting die the indie scene on its platforms.