Posts with tag xbox 360
Microsoft CEO speaks
It’s almost fitting that Microsoft’s new CEO made one of his first public interviews as CEO of Microsoft at Re/code’s first ever Code Conference – and while there wasn’t exactly much talked about that we didn’t already know, Nadella did have a few nuggets of good information sprinkled about his interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
First, the CEO finally tackled head on the rumors that the company is planning on selling or spinning off their Xbox gaming business. The news is, of course, good – at least as far as those who work in the Xbox division are concerned. “I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today,” Nadella said, pointing out that in order to create software – the company’s “most malleable resource” – hardware such as the Xbox plays an important role.
Nadella also took the opportunity to introduce a brand new bit of functionality coming soon to the company’s Skype clients, a new feature called “Skype Translator” that is capable of translating foreign language in what appears to be essentially real time. The way it works is almost as impressive as the concept – the other person’s spoken word is translated as subtitles at the bottom of the window as they speak them, as seen in the video after the break.
Skype Translator will reportedly be entering beta for Windows 8 users later this year, with a broader release planned sometime after that. While the initial release will focus on bringing Skype Translate to the Windows 8 client, other versions of the application – including OS X, Windows 7, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone – will also be getting to join in on the fun.
The smell of desparation
Microsoft is once again trying to convince people to buy the Xbox One. This time, their scheme is simply to offer trade-ins: If you trade in your PlayStation 3, they’ll give you $100 in store credit towards the purchase of an Xbox One which drops the price down to $399, or the same as the PlayStation 4. Don’t have a PS3? The deal is also available to owners of Xbox 360 S and E units – if anyone’s 360 White is still working at this point, you’re being left out.
As with these sorts of trade-in deals, the console must be in fully-working condition with no major cosmetic issues and with all of the original cables and controllers. The catch is that the offer is only valid at physical Microsoft stores of which there are fewer than 100 scattered across the US, and that means if you don’t live near a store then you can just forget about this offer.
Around 55,000 units sold
Good news for Nintendo – according to Wedbush, a popular and privately held financial services and investment firm not affiliated with Nintendo, month-to-month sales of the Nintendo Wii U are predicted to have risen by as much as 79% in September, selling around 55,000 units. This can only be seen as good news for Nintendo, who has famously struggled to gain any real traction with their next-generation console after hitting on a massive sales success with the Wii in 2006.
According to Wedbush, the dramatic rise in sales can be attributed to Nintendo’s new The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Deluxe Edition bundle, alongside the release of the flagship game itself. I’d also add that Nintendo also lowered the price of their Wii U console last month in order to be better prepared to compete against Microsoft and Sony’s next generation offerings, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.
Wedbush remains cautious, however, pointing out that though this is a large increase in sales it still pales in comparison to last month’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales estimates, with the Xbox 360 selling 145,000 units and the PlayStation 3 selling about 175,000.
Edit 10/19/13 @ 1:10 PM EST: Nintendo has confirmed the rise in Wii U sales, clarifying that sales have risen by over 200%, not 80%. You can check out that story here.
This is actually awesome
So you’ve got yourself an Xbox 360 with Xbox Live, but you have yourself a massive problem – you’ve never actually played Halo. I know, I know, you’re ashamed – but it’s ok. There’s a process we can go through. You can enter recovery just like that, and it’s with just a little bit of help from everyone’s best friend down in Redmond, Microsoft. For you see, for a limited time only, Microsoft is actually giving away the critically acclaimed blockbuster hit, Halo 3, totally free for all Xbox Live Gold members. How’s that for a good deal?
Halo 3, while slightly aged at this point, is still one of the best FPS games of the last decade. Plus, if you’re tyrying to get in a little bit of knowledge before picking up the newer, shinier, sexier Halo 4, then what better way to do that then to play its predecessor? And have we mentioned that it’s free!?
Welp, so much for that
You’ve gotta remember the IllumiRoom expansion for the Xbox, an awesome new concept from Microsoft that introduced a new dimension to video games by expanding the sound and sight beyond the border of the television using some clever projector concepts. It was easily one of the coolest things to make its way out of Microsoft’s HQ in Redmond in years, and unfortunately it looks like Microsoft now has no plans to even ever release the device due to production costs.
Microsoft claims that the project was just for research purposes, however the company made a big deal about it just a earlier this year when they announced the project at CES 2013. IF you have no idea what all the hubbub is about, never fear – we’ve embedded Microsoft’s announcement video which you can find after the break.
Unfortunately, we can not provide you with the tissues you’ll need to clean up the tears you’ll shed after you realize such an awesome product won’t be coming to market after all. Easy come, easy go.
So long, chief
After a catastrophic Xbox One launch, a frankly underwhelming Xbox 360 redesign that failed to excite, and being the general cause of the lowest moral the Xbox camp has had since the launch of the original Xbox, Microsoft has just officially announced that Don Mattrick, the now former head of the Xbox division, has indeed left Microsoft to go party with the folks at Zynga. To be frank, Zynga probably needs all the help they can get, however it is a big surprise that the head of one of the most popular video game divisions of the last decade has stooped so low, so to speak.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has published a memo thanking Mattrick for all that he’s done for the company. Ballmer is calling the move “a great opportunity for Don”.
The XBox Zero
I’m not a huge gamer, but I am what you would call a “nerd”. I agonize over every spec of every machine that interests me, read through every feature and every detail of every operating system before I make an informed decision. I had an XBox 360 last generation and it’s certainly been my console of choice, easily beating over my Nintendo Wii as the light of my video game life. Obviously prior to the XBox One announcement I was excited – not just for a powerful new version of the XBox, but also for the continuing of a strong tradition in video games that I’ve enjoyed not just for the past couple of years, but throughout my entire life starting with the original Nintendo Entertainment System.
Immediately following Microsoft’s XBox One unveiling, the reality of the situation had yet to really sink in. I was curious, I was excited, I was hopeful – I had every right to be, following an excellent showing from Microsoft with the XBox 360. I even fell in love with the boxy yet classic looking new enclosure, replacing the XBox 360’s curvy, young looking lines. It took a couple of days for the questions to seep in – was there any merit to the supposed prohibition on used video game sales and rentals? How powerful is this new system compared to the PlayStation 4?
As it turns out, my early enthusiasm was anything but warranted. The trouble for the XBox One was really lit when Microsoft announced last week that the XBox One would require an internet connection, and check for one every 24 hours – after that time, the console would stop playing games (yes, including single player games) until it found a working connection again. Ouch. I’m not exactly a huge online video gamer, greatly preferring single player experiences to multiplayer, so that hurt; not to mention my internet connection on the XBox 360 tattered precariously to abysmal at times. Then the hits kept on coming – Microsoft, as it turns out, wants to control every last detail as to what you do with your video game down to who you can lend it to – only friends of yours who have been on your XBox Live friends list for 30 days or more. And forget about resale value – every XBox One game can only be resold once at max, and that’s only if the individual publisher allows it on a per title basis.
Unfortunately even those who could turn a blind eye to these huge flaws will find much space for disappointment. The XBox One, unlike the PlayStation 4, will receive absolutely zero backwards compatibility support. The hundreds of dollars you spent on your XBox 360 games? Forget about them – if you want to play them, you’ll need to keep your XBox 360 hooked up for the rest of eternity – Microsoft didn’t even bother trying to appease last gen gamers this time around. And the XBox One even loses on raw power when compared to the PlayStation 4, which has significantly faster RAM as well as a superior graphics processor than what’s found in Microsoft’s XBox One, limiting graphical capabilities as well. This is absolutely nothing like last gen where the difference between the XBox 360 and PlayStation 4 were microscopic – this is a huge, significant difference.
The final blow really came at E3 this week, with Sony announcing their victory in the form of the PlayStation 4’s price tag – a “mere” $399, compared to Microsoft’s XBox One asking price of $499. Both come with a 500GB HDD, no games, and a controller – and the PlayStation 4 even comes with an HDMI cable – a nice gesture.
Game. Set. Match.
Now, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll buy myself a PlayStation 4 – but I know for sure I won’t buy the XBox One. I know the XBox One will have Halo, which is really the only exclusive that matters to me aside from Nintendo’s titles. I might just keep with my Wii U and PC for my gaming needs this generation. But it truly saddens me to see Microsoft, such a giant in this industry, fail so hard. It’s almost palpable the amount of distaste and hatred they must have for their consumers to try to manipulate them so obviously.
But you know what they say – the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And if Microsoft hasn’t fallen, they’re just one bad move away from it.
Who would have guessed?
In a report that should shock and surprise nobody, Microsoft exclusive developer Rare has today let slip in a pre-E3 interview that Microsoft is intending on launching the XBox One this November. November has long been a traditional launch date for new consoles, with the PS3, Wii, XBox 360, and Wii U all having launched on a November of their calendar year.
Microsoft is holding an XBox One keynote later on today where we expect some more XBox One details to be unveiled and confirmed. As much as the hype around the new console has reached a fervor, so have the criticisms – just the other day Microsoft announced that the XBox One would require that users connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours, which brought hardcore gamers quickly to anger. Still, the XBox One is expected to be seen as a leading console going into the next generation, and will compete head to head against the Wii U and the PS4.
Source: Geoff Keighley
That huge game library of yours? Time to throw it all out.
The excuse Microsoft gives is the fact that the Xbox 360 is based around a PowerPC processor, while the Xbox One is powered by an eight-core x86 chip. This means that native code Xbox 360 games will not run. Xbox Live Arcade games also will not run even though they are built on the .NET Framework. It’s likely the move is part of Microsoft’s choice to kill of XNA Game Studio.
Thankfully, not all is lost. Microsoft has said that the Xbox 360 will still be supported and will still have new games and apps developed for it well into the future.
Se the future of gaming
Just a small reminder – Microsoft will be unveiling their next generation XBox gaming console tomorrow, May 21st, at their Redmond Washington campus.
The account will take place on May 21st, 10:00 AM PST sharp – we will of course be covering the event as it happens, similar to our coverage of I/O 2013. You can also check in and watch the live stream that Microsoft will be offering on XBox.com or by following the link on your XBox 360’s dashboard.
See you then!
No midnight gaming for some
Looks like some users are reporting that Microsoft’s popular Xbox Live is experiencing just a smidge of downtime. Users have taken to the usual forms of social networking to complain about dropped connections, issues accessing game saves located in the cloud, and buggy online multiplayer.
Microsoft is usually pretty good at patching these sorts of things up so I wouldn’t expect there to be too much of a problem with this, but it’s worth noting if you were getting ready to play some late night Halo.
10 year anniversary console looks quite the collector's item
See that snazzy XBox 360 up there? That’s the console that Microsoft is offering to long time users of XBox Live to celebrate the service’s 10 year anniversary, which takes place this month. Director of XBox programming Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) posted the image on his Twitter account earlier today.
There is little other information on the specifics of the console – such as storage space or what other special goodies you’ll get along with it – but this sure looks like something you’ll want to have in your collection.