Blog Archives

Microsoft gives up on the Xbox One DRM and used-game restrictions

Xbox One

It appears that Microsoft have been listened to the almost unanimous complaints aimed at their restrictive digital rights management (DRM) they had announced for the Xbox One.

To be honest they had to reverse their decision or take a huge hit in sales.

Their new stance is as follows:

  • 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.

Don Mattrick, Head of Xbox, had this to say: Read the rest of this entry

Xbox One Launch Trailers for Call of Duty: Ghosts, Anthem, Quantum Break and more

Call of Duty Ghosts

Yesterday saw lots of news about Microsoft’s Xbox One. Now here are lots of trailers for the different games heading our way.

Call of Duty: Ghosts takes the critically-acclaimed franchise into the next generation. New world. New story. New, next-gen engine. 

Infinity Ward Executive Producer Mark Rubin and the Call of Duty: Ghosts development team discuss the all-new world, story and characters, and take you inside the new, next-gen engine.

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Here is the new Xbox One

Xbox One

Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox One which will go on sale later this year. There is also a new Kinect and controller.

So what is new about the Xbox One?

It has 8 gigs of RAM, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi Direct, a Blu-Ray disc drive, 64-bit architecture and “practically silent operation.” The Kinect camera sensor is now 1080p and “when you’re exercising, it can read your heartbeat,” according to Microsoft.

You’ll be able to use gestures and voice control to interact with the new system. “Xbox, on” starts up the machine. “Xbox, watch TV” will open up your television.

The new console can carry out four times as many calculations a second as the Xbox 360 and 10 times more “animation depth and detail”.

Microsoft also introduced a feature called Snap Mode, for multitasking while watching television. You can use Skype, for example, to chat with friends while viewing something.

There’s a feature called “Xbox Trending” that shows what shows are popular. “This is the beginning of truly intelligent TV.”
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Gran Turismo 6 – News and launch trailer

GT 6GT6 for PlayStation 3 will bring new levels of authenticity to ‘the Real Driving Simulator’ as well as introducing stunning new tracks and cars and a revised user interface. A new compact game engine will improve operation and increase the flexibility to expand it with downloadable content. Meanwhile, the game is also set for expanded connectivity with other devices such as smart phones and tablets and increased social and community functions.

All of the cars and tracks from Gran Turismo 5, which has sold over 10 million copies since launching in 2010, will be retained in GT6. But notable new additions to the already impressive line-up of historic cars, road cars and the latest race cars, brings the total car list to 1,200 at launch, with new cars set to be continually added online. Several thousand aerodynamic parts and custom wheels will be available for almost all cars, and players can personalize their own custom cars in game to the greatest ever level possible.
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Bioshock Infinite – Concept Art for Elizabeth

If you have been playing Bioshock Infinite you will know that it is a visually stunning game. It also has one of the greatest NPC characters in a video game, Elizabeth.

Microsoft’s Claire Hummel contracted by Irrational Games to help design Elizabeth. Here is some of her work.

BioShock-Eliz-1
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New XBox may have a PC type processor

xbox-next-generationWhile Microsoft are keeping detals of the next XBox very close to their chest, rumours are beginning to leak out.

The latest details, if correct, suggest the next gen console will use an Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) system-on-a-chip that combines powerful “Jaguar” central processing units with graphics chips. This was from an anonymous source talking to Bloomberg. The shift to the so-called x86 format ubiquitous in modern personal computers means Microsoft will drop the Power PC technology designed by International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), and game discs made for the current Xbox 360 won’t be compatible.

Microsoft also stands to benefit because game developers, who have moved toward making games for PCs and mobile devices, will find it easier to deliver those titles for the next Xbox.

If this is true then it will be a shame that it will not be backwards compatible with XBox 360 games, but it would mean the possibility of more games and pushing the boundaries of what is currently possible on consoles.
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90 Year Old Grandmother tries out the Oculus Rift

oculus-rift-kickstarter

The Oculus Rift headset is the cutting edge of virtual reality for video games.

90 year old grandmother tries the Oculus Rift. We were using the Tuscany demo.

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Battlefield 4— New Benchmark in Game Design, Multiplayer Engagement

battlefield-4Only in Battlefield™ can players go through a building instead of around it or eject from a jet and take out the enemy mid-free fall. Those incredible gameplay moments that blur the line between game and glory can only be created by players, and occur only in Battlefield. DICE, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced Battlefield 4™, a genre-defining action blockbuster launching in Fall 2013. Powered by the advanced technology of DICE’s proprietary Frostbite™ 3 engine, Battlefield 4 offers players a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment — a future that is more human, dramatic and believable than anything before it. With more than 65 million players worldwide, the Battlefield series has consistently been praised by critics for its world-class multiplayer gameplay, and is recognized as the only game that allows players to own land, sea and air.

Battlefield 4 is a seminal moment for the Battlefield series as more award-winning, multiplayer game design elements are incorporated into the single-player campaign. In single-player, gamers will experience huge environments, a playground of destruction, access to an arsenal of vehicles and the ability to direct squad mates. Taking a page from the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, the single-player mode will now track players’ progress, adding an element of persistence and friendly competition to the campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Bungie’s Destiny. Can they beat Halo?

destinyBungie are the video game creators behind Halo. We all know how successful that game was. Will Destiny reach the same heights?

Everything changed with the arrival of the Traveler. It sparked a Golden Age when our civilization spanned the solar system, but it didn’t last. Something hit us, knocked us down.

The survivors built a city beneath the Traveler, and have begun to explore our old worlds, only to find them filled with deadly foes.

You are a Guardian of the last safe city on Earth, able to wield incredible power. Defend the City. Defeat our enemies. Reclaim all that we have lost.

Be brave.

Activision have said that it hasn’t included the release of the game in its 2013 releases. The first-person shooter is set to be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles, but may be a little different to other shooters. Bungie have designed it as a kind ofmassively multiplayer sci-fi experience or “shared world shooter” that is fully playable by yourself, but designed to seamlessly connect you with friends.

Sounds intriguing and the video below gives us a good look at the world they have created.

PlayStation 4 out before Christmas?

PS4It looks as if this Christmas may see many of us playing on a new PS4 if new reports are accurate.

Sony Corp. is planning to unveil its next-generation home videogame console during a February event, showing off a successor to its current PlayStation 3 system.

The Japanese electronics giant unveiled plans for a special PlayStation-themed event set for Feb. 20, teasing fans to “see the future” at the event. People familiar with the matter have said the new device will make its debut there, beating Microsoft Corp. to the punch in announcing its own next-generation game machine.

Sony’s device will be released later this year, these people said, and will spar against Microsoft’s own machine, which is also expected to be released by the holidays.

Sony’s updated console’s arrival comes as the console videogame industry has entered a tailspin. Sales of new videogames, consoles and accessories at U.S. retail shops fell 22% in December when compared with the same time a year prior, according to surveys by industry watcher NPD Group.

Sony is planning to incorporate more social gaming aspects into the new machine, people familiar with the matter said. Also, while hardware improvements were a key focus of past console upgrades, Sony is more focused this time on the changes in how users interact with the machine, these people said.

When developing the PlayStation, Sony had considered removing its optical disk drive, opting instead to require gamers to download titles over the Internet, people familiar with the matter said. But concerns over the size of videogame files, and slow Web connections in some countries led Sony to scrap the plan, they added. Microsoft made a similar decision for its console as well.

Source: Wall Street Journal