Posts with tag next gen
Xbox, Junk the Kinect
Microsoft has just announced some serious changes to their Xbox One game plan. In a move that’s sure to be in response to the PlayStation 4’s thorough whooping of the Xbox One in international sales to date, the company has today confirmed their plan to launch a version of the Xbox One that comes without the console’s much talked about Kinect peripheral. The new bundle will launch at a starting price of $399 – the cheapest Xbox One bundle yet – and will be fully compatible with all existing Xbox One software.
This marks a dramatic shift for Microsoft, as the company initially claimed that the Kinect was an “integral” part of the console, and that the company would be unable to offer a bundle without it. Ah, how times have changed. The new bundle will be launching in the United States June 9th, 2014, with an international release coming some time after. Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One’s Kinect Sensor will be available separately sometime in the future.
Sound good? Hit up your favorite retailer and get pre-ordering if this is the sort of thing that you’re interested in – or you could, you know, just get a PlayStation 4 for considerably below $399 now. Either one.
That's the word
It should be no surprised that Microsoft has been working on not one, but two new Halo projects. While the previously announced Halo: Xbox One (what many are simply referring to as Halo 5) was formally announced for a 2014 release at E3 2013 last year, the internet is ablaze tonight with reports that Microsoft has delayed the release of their Halo 5 project until 2015.
The good news is, however, that Microsoft will be making it up to gamers – and in a big way. According to the report, Microsoft will indeed be releasing the oft-rumored Halo 2: Anniversary Edition this November on the Xbox One. While this has yet to be officially confirmed by Microsoft, the news has been confirmed by numerous industry insiders and we believe it to be accurate.
Microsoft will more than likely reveal more about the fate of both Halo 5 and the potential (inevitable?) Halo 2: Anniversary Edition at E3 2014 this summer. Stay tuned.
Satoru Iwata's salary cut in half
Nintendo’s in a bit of a bad situation over its mostly failed next-generation Wii U console, and Nintendo isn’t taking the failure to perform lightly. According to the AFP, a whole host of Nintendo executives will be taking a pretty massive pay cut in light over the debacle. While most executives will be taking a pay cut of 20-30%, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata has been given a pay cut of a whopping 50%. While the punishment is “harsh”, it’s hard to argue with the reason – Nintendo recently downgraded their Wii U sales forecasts from 9 million to just a smidge over 2 million following a third consecutive year of annual loss.
With sales of the Wii U abysmal and the handheld Nintendo 3DS platform acting as virtually the only money maker Nintendo has at the moment, the company’s future is as uncertain as its ever been. Many have called for Satoru Iwata and his fellow executives to step down from their current roles in order to find a younger, more “in touch” team of executives. However Nintendo’s president has confirmed that he will not be stepping down in wake of the losses, and will instead focus on creating a new business strategy to get Nintendo on track. And no, we doubt it involves that horrible Fusion rumor.
$20 is $20
While $20 may not seem like a lot of money when we’re talking about a $500 console, when you think about it in terms of almost half the cost of a regularly priced game, three months worth of Xbox Live Gold, or just $20 more in your pocket to – you know – buy groceries and flowers for your loved ones or whatnot – $20 becomes a lot of money. And that’s why we’re letting you know that popular electronics retailer NewEgg is offering you a chance to snag the next-generation Xbox One console by Microsoft for $20 off its regular price, bringing it to $479.
This is also significant as this represents the very first price drop for the Xbox One in the United States, just two months after the release of Microsoft’s latest and greatest. While it’s still a far cry from the price of a Sony PlayStation 4 ($399), $20 is $20. Interested? Head on over to NewEgg’s official eBay store in the link below and hit the Buy It Now button. Then pickup Ryse: Son of Rome. It’s pretty great.
Source: NewEgg (via eBay)
Things are getting dire
Poor Nintendo. After optimistically (or perhaps foolishly) promising that the floundering next-generation Wii U console would sell 9 million units this fiscal year, the company is now projecting an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million, for us American folk) after adjusting that estimation to just 2.8 million Wii U consoles – way less than even half.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who has also overseen the launch of the extraordinary successful last-generation Wii console, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS, apologized to investors this morning taking “full responsibility” for the projected losses. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the investors, and Iwata, this marks the third consecutive annual loss the Japanese gaming giant will suffer through, bringing investor confidence in the company – and in Iwata in particular – to an all time low.
Talking to his critics directly, Iwata claimed that “there will be no major management shake-up in the short term” over at Nintendo, despite many believing Iwata should step down following this latest failure. While it’s understandable that Satoru Iwata is eager to try to protect his job, there’s no denying that the critics have a point – the Wii U is, in many ways, the lowest point in the history of the company, with the company’s halo flagship title – Super Mario 3D World, the latest in a long line of best selling 3D Mario platformers – failed to generate anywhere close to the sort of sales that the previous entry in the 3D Mario series, Super Mario Galaxy 2, had.
The company is also reducing the sales forecast of the Nintendo 3DS, the company’s handheld console, from 18 million to 13.5 million – still considerably more impressive than the sales of the Wii U.
Expect it before E3
Microsoft used to be a spectacle at CES – big product announcements, fancy tech demos, the works. But now they’ve changed their ways, believing that they’ve effectively outgrown the trade show. “Whenever we want, we can talk about Xbox stuff and get coverage. Why try to talk with 100,000 other things going on?” Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten told Engadget today during an interview. That may be true, but Microsoft isn’t letting CES pass without any announcement – Whitten just revealed that Microsoft will be significantly improving the Live experience in the Xbox One via an upcoming software update.
Thank goodness, too – Live, which used to be so easily accessible and excellent on the Xbox 360, has been significantly worsened on the Xbox One with a bad user interface, missing features, and an unstable Party system. Whitten told Engadget that some of the complaints surrounding live “[are] pretty valid,” explicitly admitting that “some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360.”
Whitten also revealed that the update will be coming as soon as possible, at least before E3 this summer. He also confirmed what we’ve all expected for quite some time now – the software on the Xbox One will constantly evolve just as the software on the Xbox 360 has before it. Thank goodness, too – some of this stuff really does need to get better.
Stream old games to next gen
Sony has just blown the lid right off the next generation console race yet again, announcing the company’s new Playstation Now service. Details are limited at the moment as the company is still on the stage explaining more, but Sony is promising that Playstation Now will allow you to stream Playstation 3 games and more to your Playstation 4, effectively bringing backwards compatibility to the PS4.
The service will also allow you to stream Playstation 3 games to your tablet and smartphone, however I’m not entirely sure how playable those games will be on a touchscreen device. Games will stream from the cloud, so you’ll need to have an impressive internet conntection to make this thing playable – sorry, Verizon 3G probably won’t do the trick.
Microsoft has famously completely forgone backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, whilst Nintendo is embracing it by supporting the entire catalogue of Wii games and accessories on the Wii U.
Source: The Verge
An impressive number
Sony must be out popping the champaign – the company today announced at their CES 2014 presentation that they have managed to have already sold a cumulative total of 4.2 million Playstation 4 units across the world as of December 28th, 2013. The number beats Microsoft’s sales numbers of 3 million Xbox One consoles sold in a similar timeframe, and Sony has yet to even launch in one of their biggest markets – Japan.
The Playstation 4 is Sony’s next generation console, competing against the Nintendo Wii U, the Microsoft Xbox One, and various other newcomers in an increasingly crowded market.
Source: Geoff Keighley (Twitter)
A much needed boost
Could the Wii U be getting a much needed boost? That’s the question that analysts must now be asking themselves, as popular video game tracking site VGChartz is now reporting that sales of Nintendo’s latest and greatest console has not only dramatically picked up in the last couple of weeks, but have actually exceeded that of the Xbox One – at least for a little while. According to the site, the Wii U fairly significantly outsold the Xbox One during the week leading up to Christmas, with the Wii U selling 319,860 consoles versus the Xbox One’s 307,366 consoles globally.
Of course, there are some some caveats – the Xbox One has yet to go on sale in Japan whereas the Wii U’s already on sale in all key markets having had a whole year’s worth of head start. That said, the Japanese market has never been kind to Microsoft, greatly preferring Nintendo and Sony for years now, so the absence of Japanese sales is unlikely to have greatly affected the numbers.
Nintendo has been ramping up marketing for the Wii U console as of late, as well as introducing many big budget titles for the faltering platform. Both The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World are said to have boosted console sales for the Wii U, and with more big titles such as Hyrule Warriors, the untitled Zelda Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on their way in 2014, things are certainly looking up for Nintendo.
Sony must be seeing money signs in the sky, because their PlayStation 4 launch has gone off even better than anyone has expected. The company has just released numbers for the month of November via their official PlayStation Europe Twitter account (tweet embedded below), and the result is, of course, staggering – Sony has now sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide throughout the month of December. That’s huge for a console that launched just a few months ago, and has already beaten the combined number of units sold for the Nintendo Wii U, which launched November of 2012 – over a year ago.
PS4 has now sold a recordbreaking 2.1 million units worldwide. Thank you! See our launch night video here: http://t.co/OWbknlMHXi
— PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) December 3, 2013
Sony appears to have a slight edge over Microsoft and the Xbox One in terms of consumer interest and reception, however these are the early days – a console generation is not decided in a day, a month, or even a year – but rather closer to a decade. Stay tuned.
Some disappointed early adopters
Uhhoh. If there’s one thing you don’t want to be worrying about on the eve of your flagship product’s launch, that would be widespread reports of reliability issues. But unfortunately for Sony, that appears to be the case here; we’re hearing more than a couple of incidents of launch day retail PlayStation 4 consoles arriving out of the box as defective. The most famous instance of this happening comes from video game review site Kotaku, who received a defective PlayStation 4 review unit – whoops. Reddit user arogon also received a defective retail unit from a Taco Bell promotion, making his PS4 – which he received early, days before the official release – a paper weight that needs to be sent back to Sony for repairs. Ugh.
As the PS4 officially launches at midnight tonight here in the United States, you can be sure we’ll hear about exactly how widespread this issue is before long. Worst comes to worst, we’ll be hearing about plenty of more defective PS4’s being plugged in tonight – or, if things go right for Sony, this really could all just be a series of unfortunate, isolated coincidences.
Channeling Daft Punk
Channeling popular alternative band Daft Punk with their new official unboxing video of the PlayStation 4, Sony is pulling out all the stops to get you – and your alternative-music loving friends – excited for the next generation of PlayStation games. If your idea of a great unboxing video includes a creepy, darkened server room with glowing monitors and random strobe lights everywhere, a masked man in the shadows wearing a suit and obnoxiously large, brown leather gloves, perfectly shot footage of all the contents what’s actually in the box, all to the beat of generic sounding techno-synth heavy background music, well, this is the unboxing video for you.
Sony’s been pretty spot on with their marketing campaign for the PlayStation 4 over the past couple of months, nailing Microsoft and the Xbox One’s then-restrictive used game policy over the Summer with an awesome and hilarious advertisement teaching gamers how to give their games to their friends that hit Microsoft where it hurt. This latest video might be Sony’s best one yet leading up to the eagerly awaited launch of the PlayStation 4 this week.