Posts with tag xbox one
Bugs and connection issues expected
While Microsoft and developer 343i continue to recover from the disastrous Halo: The Master Chief Collection launch, both companies are looking ahead at what comes next – Halo 5: Guardians. Today the company has officially launched the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta to everyone who purchased Halo: Master Chief Collection with two included maps – Truth, and Empire – and the Slayer playlist.
Haverzine was granted a sneak peak of the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta alongside other Xbox Preview Program members, and all in all we liked what we saw. Gameplay was fast and fluid, graphics were impressive and a notable step up from 2012’s Halo 4, and the game still felt more or less like Halo.
That said, we did notice some odd glitches and problems in our time with the Multiplayer Beta early access period. We noted some severe connection issues throughout the weekend, with parties failing to connect to the Halo servers, games ending early, and slow matchmaking performance in general. The beta is also running at a sub 1080p resolution, disappointing considering the Xbox One’s graphical capabilities and expectations.
Are you enjoying the Halo 5 beta? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! I’ll see you on the battlefield.
Microsoft has their building blocks
Mojang isn’t a big studio, but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from paying a big price for it. While the Swedish indie studio is home to less than 50 employees, these guys are hard at work on one of the biggest games the gaming industry has seen in some time – Minecraft, the multiplatform wonder that has captured the heart of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of gamers across potentially even more devices. And now, for a cool $2.5 billion, it belongs to Microsoft. Or it will as soon as the deal closes, rather.
While it’s not inherently clear as to what Microsoft plans on doing with Mojang, you can bet that Minecraft won’t see any neglect going forward. Minecraft is essentially the singular big product the company has ever put out, which means that Microsoft’s interest in the company has to be directly relating to Minecraft. More than likely, the company is planning on using the studio to build up the in-house studio support of their Xbox (and likely Windows, including Windows Phone) gaming platforms.
While that may sound like it makes sense, and also pretty exciting – Microsoft is a massive company with enough clout and money to improve all the ways Minecraft has lagged behind some expectations in recent years -it should also kind of scare you. Minecraft is famously available on just about every platform known to man (as long as that platform doesn’t happen to be made by Nintendo – sorry, fellow Wii U and 3DS fans), and Microsoft likely has very little interest in becoming an enthusiastic PlayStation or Android developer. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that Minecraft will ever become an Xbox and Windows exclusive, it does mean that we know where their priorities lie; indeed, Microsoft promises that Minecraft will “remain available” on all available platforms.
Mojang leader Markus “Notch” Persson has taken this opportunity to leave the company he helped build, explaining his feelings towards both the sale of his company to Microsoft as well as his personal feelings towards his relationship with his fans and game development in general in a new note posted on his personal website (and mirrored here) entitled, appropriately, “I’m leaving Mojang.” Notch claims that the deal, to him, isn’t about the money – but rather his sanity.
Well, there goes one defining feature
It was almost a year ago that Microsoft announced that every Xbox One would double as a developer kit for inexpensive game development for independent game developers and hardcore professionals alike, but it seems as though today that dream – or, promise, rather – has died. Microsoft’s Xbox Advanced Technology Group’s Martin Fuller has, unfortunately, confirmed to popular UK technology magazine DigitalSpy that “there are no plans” at the moment to implement the promised functionality.
Fuller continued, “We were in the early stages of Xbox One looking at the idea of a retail kit that could be turned into a development kit, and vice versa… in the end, although that was a very admirable goal, it hasn’t happened unfortunately. Can’t tell you the specifics of exactly why not.”
So there you have it, one stand out feature of the Xbox One dead before it even got off the ground. We should have known there was trouble in paradise when there hadn’t been a single word on the functionality for almost a year, but there were some of us who had held out hope. As developer Steven Troughton-Smith put it on Twitter this afternoon, “…that settles the ‘will I get an Xbox One?’ question.”
We can only guess the decision has just been made for more than just a couple of people, Steven.
It's all about the games, games, games
At E3 2013, Microsoft was all about the hardware – the Xbox One had just been announced a few weeks earlier, and we were getting our first look at some hardware peripherals and the power that came along with the new hardware. The story shifted considerably this year: with the rumored 7-inch Xbox branded Surface tablet shot down, today’s conference was all about three things – games, games, and games. Oh, that’s one thing? My bad. There was a lot of games.
Today’s Xbox presentation at the E3 game conference was packed with demos, trailers, and confirmations of some of the world’s biggest franchises. We were given a first look at Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which basically now looks like some sort of futuristic mix of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall and the Call of Duty: Black Ops series of games; we got a look at Inside, an unofficial follow up to game developer Playdead’s hit game Limbo, and even an in-depth look at Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the next-gen exclusive fifth entry in the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise, and a look at Forza Horizons 2, the next entry in Microsoft’s long running racing franchise.
But, the big reveal? Our best look yet at Halo 5, shown alongside the announcement that Microsoft would be bringing the entirety of the Halo universe’s main four games to the Xbox One in the aptly named Halo: The Master Chief Collection. With Halo: CE Anniversary, a new beefed up version of Halo 2, dubbed Halo 2: Anniversary, as well as the original versions of Halo 3 and Halo 4 remastered for the Xbox One – alongside the entirety of the series’ online and offline multiplayer content, The Master Chief Collection is basically a Halo fanboy’s dream come true.
But then, if it’s a dream come true, why was it so unsurprising? That’s because today’s E3 presentation basically confirmed that a massive set of Xbox rumors leaked by anonymous neogaf user and supposed Microsoft insider ntkrnl were pretty much 100% accurate. So essentially, if you had read and believed those rumors, you knew exactly what Microsoft and the gang were up to – all the way down to Forza Horizons 2‘s “dynamic weather system”. Hey, at least you got the first word.
Because it’s so darn awesome, we’ve embedded Microsoft’s Halo 5 and The Master Chief Collection trailer after the break below. If you’re as big of a Halo nerd as I am, you’ll want to watch this – and feel free to speculate about the Arbiter’s role in the trailer below!
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.
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.
Our first giveaway
Project Spark has recently hit the Beta stage and Microsoft has been sending out keys for it. Project Spark is Microsoft’s latest tool for people to make, share and play their own games using a simple set of tools. We’ve received five of these keys and want to give them away to anyone who hasn’t gotten access to Project Spark yet. How can you enter to win one of these keys? Read on past the break.
Get the latest before your jealous friend
Good news, fellow gamers – Microsoft has begun inviting some Xbox Live users to begin testing out Xbox One Software Updates ahead of their official release to the general population. Users have begun receiving Xbox Live messages like the one above inviting users to download a special Xbox One application that enrolls a console into the program.
We’ve known for some time now that Microsoft is working on updating the Xbox One with some much needed improvements, some of which rolled out to users just a couple of days ago, and it’s good to see the company is doing more to make sure that the company’s next generation console remains successful into the long run. As for when we should expect to see the first Xbox beta release, Microsoft has begun messaging those who were accepted into the beta program the following message:
Thanks for registering to preview Xbox One updates! The first preview wave will be coming to your console soon.
Not exactly a lot to go on, but hey – official world that there’s more to come is better than no word at all. Future Xbox One updates are expected to bring Twitch streaming support to the console, improvements to the way it manages Xbox Live’s party system, stability improvements, controller improvements, and more.
Hello, is this thing on?
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will be getting one of the PlayStation 4’s best features – live game broadcasting to Twitch. Starting later this Spring, all you’ll have to do to show the world your mad sick Forza drifting skills or your Titanfall parkour antics is speak the words “Xbox, broadcast” and voila – it will be so. This will enable thousands of new, not before live streams to hit Twitch.
The new functionality will be coming soon, March 11th, and Microsoft will be hand picking a select number of Xbox One users to beta test the update before the general public has a chance to get their hands on it.
Guess they should have tested the update a bit longer
The Xbox One has just had its first update this month and it seems not everything is going to plan. Owners of the One who have updated to the latest patch are reporting that their consoles are entering a black screen of death state when attempting to go back to the home screen. This issue also persists after a full power cycle of the unit.
Xbox Support has a temporary fix out right now, and that’s to hold in the power button for 10 seconds. Presumably, Microsoft will fix this large issue at some point in the future.
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.
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.