Microsoft Consoles Articles
Relic takes a break from RTS to bring us Space Marine, and shows us what it means to be one of the God-Emperor's Finest.
An exclusive in-depth look at DICE's much anticipated first-person parkour action game.
The headphone market is a hot one for gamers these days, the latest hardware can often offer incredible abilities but at the same time conflict with existing hardware.
The Microsoft XBOX console for many new owners happens to be a reliable system that can go for quite an abusive period. For owners of launch systems and first year systems though this console has proven to be quite troublesome to be the least with the dreaded Thompson Drive. Since this is one of the most common complaints I'm going to run through cleaning proceedure and teardown to remove the old laser assembly and install a new one. Before we go into that I'm required to state the following.
Microsoft Consoles News
Techland releases ridiculously creepy Dying Light trailer for the holidays, brings horror to Christmas
Techland sure loves making families suffer in their trailers. Case in point, the latest Dying Light trailer features a rather sad little girl celebrating Christmas alone, while under the constant threat of death by zombies. It's quite creepy and sad at the same time.
In the Dead Island debut trailer, we watched a family lose their little girl to the undead. In the Dying Light Christmas Carol, the roles are reversed, and we instead see a little girl left without parents, presumably because they were killed by zombies.
Well, "see" isn't entirely accurate. We only catch a glimpse of her, hiding in a corner while singing to herself. Outside her home, the zombies are banging at the door, and successfully break it down just as the trailer cuts to black.
It's both sad and creepy as hell. Give it a watch.
Dying Light Carol - YouTube
Granted, we know by now that these amazing CG trailers aren't necessarily indicative of the final product, when it comes to Techland's survival horror games. Still a great watch, though, and Dying Light doesn look incredibly impressive so far.
For instance, the aggressive nature of the zombies in that trailer suggest it takes place at night, when zombies becomes more dangerous.
Dying Light will be out for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC in 2014.
Adewale was the best crewmate Edward Kendway could've asked for. In the new Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Freedom Cry DLC, out today, we drop in on the man a good 15 years after the events of Black Flag. Aren't you glad you grabbed that Season Pass now? Anyway, some new screenshots have been released, further tempting your wallet.
Freedom Cry, now available on Xbox LIVE, PSN, and Steam for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC (whew), adds more than four hours' worth of gameplay. This time, players step in as Adewale, as he take shis crew and weapons on a mission to free slaves. He was, after all, once a slave himself and has never forgotten the others who suffer.
Adewale is armed with a blunderbuss and machete, adding to his unique combat style. At sea, he commands the Experto Crede, a brig armed to take out slavers in the Caribbean. If you need visuals, the screenshots below show his weapons and the ship.
You can grab Freedom Cry right now for $9.99 USD. If you have the Season Pass, then it should already be unlocked for you.
Click here to see more images
One of Microsoft's major partners in China has reported a possible launch window for the Xbox One in that country. Accountint a Luo Juangchun, the Xbox One may be hitting China some time in 2014.
Luo is CEO of Funshion, an online video service whose parent company, BesTV, is in a jiont partnership with Microsoft within the Shanghai Free Economic Zone. He was quoted by one of China's largest tech sites, Sohu IT, adding some credibility to his statement.
BesTV and Microsoft have already spent $79 million in their joint venture, though at this point, no one is certain what the partnership will produce. After all, China lifted their 13-year console ban only in the last few months.
Some reports are saying that the two are planning to bring an altered version of the Xbox 360 to China, but with better online capabilities and features.
In another startlingly anti-consumer decision Twitch.tv has implemented staggering delays in all of its streams as it pushed out what it called a, "Major Video System Update." The update, which Twitch says improves the video system's stability and scalability, adds a delay that can stretch up to 60 seconds. That's a minute between what's broadcast and said by the streamer is received and shown to a viewer -- severely impacting stream interaction.
Let's start at the beginning. Twitch states that they are experiencing explosive growth which has been compounded by the service's release on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as its impending release on PlayStation 4. In order to provide the "best quality video to as many users on as many platforms as possible" this new system has been implemented. Twitch says that the new system allows them to serve 15% more traffic than the old system with the same hardware.
This new system has been at work on mobile platforms and consoles since May earlier this year. They then stepped up and used the system for all viewers for the DreamHack Winter 2013 event to what they call "great success." Earlier this week the system went live full-time for all viewers.
Now for the effects. For large, commentary-based streams like eSports and large sponsored show there will be no immediate effect. Since there's no direct interaction between the broadcaster and the Twitch chat there's no need to worry about delay. However, for streams where gamers are directly interacting with their audience, the new system nigh on ruins communication. Imagine having a conversation where 10-60 seconds fell between each message, on top of dozens if not hundreds of other messages were also intermingled between. Consider streamer to viewer conversation absolutely destroyed.
That's not the only effect, however. Despite Twitch's insistence that the changes have had a positive effect on video quality, many gamers (myself included) believe the opposite is true. Not only does quality fluctuate often and for what seems to be no reason at all, but many viewers claim there are glitches that can make viewing streams a frustrating and low-quality experience.
The simple fact is that Twitch has implemented a system that allows them to buffer streams, catch brief quality fluctuations and alter the overall stream quality (ie lower the quality) to account for said fluctuations, and save bandwidth in the process. As such, Twitch itself is likely saving huge amounts of money on bandwidth at the expense of overall viewer experience. This is, of course, just an educated assumption based on the details provided by Twitch. However, it accounts for Twitch's inability to simply turn off the delay.
Perhaps Twitch couldn't sustain itself with the previous service, but as of right now it seems like Twitch has just exploited its audience's investment in the service for profit. Where else are streamers and viewers supposed to go?
My two cents? This is absolutely nonsense. I'm a frequent viewer on both console and and PC and can vouch for how much worse of an experience console streams have been comparatively. Guess what? Streams on PC are just as bad now. That's not even taking into consideration the stream buffer delay, which is by far the greater insult to viewers.
Twitch folded when it tried to get rid of 480p in one of its last brilliant viewer-exploiting decisions. I don't think they're going to fold this time. Like said above, the new system hinges on the buffer delay and considering how much money likely went into its development I doubt it's something they could, or would, disable. Again, it's nonsense, and if there was another viable service for streamers to go to I'd say saddle up.
Waiting for some decent indie games? Well, it sounds like Microsoft is getting ready to release the first wave of indie titles to Xbox One next year, by the end of Q1 2014. That's around March, in case you weren't aware.
This news comes from ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla, who confirmed that indie titles will be out "early in the New Year." Within the first three months, in fact, though likely closer to March.
“I think it will be early in the New Year, in the first three months," said Charla. "I would say closer to the third month. In terms of how many games there will be, it’s hard to say, because they’re still in development."
With 32 studios behind ID@Xbox, most of their games have been in development for months, according to Charla. Progress does, of course, vary per studio.
“Some developers started developing for Xbox One," he explained, "others already had games in development and are working on Xbox One versions. I would say they’re at all stages of development, honestly.”
ID@Xbox tells developers exactly what sort of content they can include for the Xbox Games Store. For instance, Microsoft doesn't allow "vulgar, offensive or objectionable" materials. While they "don't want to be censors," the standards are necessary. Additionally, indie games will follow the same content standards as big-budget titles, first- and third-party.
And dwarf LEGOs are smaller than Gandalf, just like in real life.. err, the movie
Finally I have an answer to a question that's gnawed at my psyche for months if not years. If they make a LEGO The Hobbit game, will the LEGO hobbits be smaller, taller, or comparatively sized to the dwarves? I mean, obviously they'll both be shorter than the freakishly tall Gandalf LEGO, but the hobbits and dwarves are another matter entirely. We have our answer. Dwarf LEGO taller than hobbit LEGO.
Oh, and also Warner Bros. released the first trailer for the LEGO The Hobbit game. In the vein of previous LEGO releases like Batman, Harry Potter, The Avengers and a dozen other LEGO series, The Hobbit will be a fully voiced parody version of the movies that follow both the first Hobbit movie as well as the recently released second movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Pick up LEGO The Hobbit in 2014 on basically every platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and Vita. If you've played a LEGO game before then you likely know what's coming.
If there's one thing Ubisoft loves to capitalize on in Assassin's Creed marketing it's delicious freedom. So if you're a patriot, break out your wallet for this upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag DLC, Freedom Cry. Today Ubisoft announced that Freedom Cry, Black Flag's first single-player DLC and part of the Black Flag Pass, will be launching later this week. Mark it on your schedule, that is, if you aren't a terrorist.
Freedom Cry will provide nine new single-player missions for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag players featuring Edward Kenway's first mate Adewale as the protagonist. Adewale is being "forced to face his past" and "sets out to free slaves." Odds are he'll meet some Templars along the way, methinks. Oh, and Freedom Cry takes place 15 years after the end of Black Flag, which is rather compelling. Plus he has a sexy ship named the Experto Crede.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's single players DLC Freedom Cry will launch on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC on December 17, and then on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 starting December 18. It's also part of the season pass for Black Flag, which includes the Kraken Ship Pack on top of Freedom Pass as well as other single-player missions, weapons, skins, the Blackbeard's Wrath multiplayer pack and other multiplayer junk. It's probably best just getting the single player DLC.
Freedom Cry - YouTube
Minecraft's Sony shift is starting tomorrow with the game's launch on PlayStation 3. Soon even the PlayStation crowd will be punching blocks and creating phallic statues in their off-time. That's December 17 for the North American crowd and December 18 in Europe. Sadly the PS Vita and PlayStation 4 versions of the game are still being developed and have no release date as of yet.
Once again it's 4J Studios developing the port, as they did for the Xbox 360 version of the game. What does that mean for console players of Minecraft? Well, unfortunately it means that console players are extremely outdated when compared to the current version of Minecraft available on PC. Where PC players are currently on patch 1.7.4, released just last week, console players are hovering somewhere around 1.2.3. Yikes.
Hopefully after 4J finishes their work on porting the game to other platforms, likely the PS Vita and PS4, they can refocus on content updates for the game. That does mean, however, that some things won't be available for the PS3 launch. That includes DLC texture packs and skins, sadly. Expect them soon after launch, however.
Other questions may include whether Minecraft on PlayStation 3 will feature Remote Play or other compatibility with the PS4 or Vita versions of the game. Who knows! Those details are still up in the air it seems, though I'm certain many gamers would love to have those features available.
Minecraft launches tomorrow, December 17, on PlayStation 3. Whatever the version, it's still one of the best games ever made and worth picking up on multiple platforms.
Talion kind of comes across as the Witcher of Middle-Earth
Our first look at Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor wasn't much of a look, was it? The action game was announced with relatively little fanfare and virtually no media that wasn't exclusive to certain outlets. Not exactly how you want to announce a game in our modern era, right? Today, however, we received a shipment of concept art and screenshots in the emails. It's got orcs! It's got a dude with a sword! Hm, this doesn't help much at all.
Perhaps the worst part of these assets is that the screenshots are highly stylized and have clearly been edited in post, at least to some degree. As such, it's difficult to discern whether they're actually representative of the game. Forgive the disturbing association, but I'm feeling a lot of Dragon Age 2 when I look at these screenshots. That's not a terrible thing, after all Hawke looked rather outstanding in the keyart released before launch. However, it is a bit foreboding when considering what the game actually turned out to be.
As for what sort of game Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor actually is, here's a shortlist of main "features" according to the development team:
- Talion - Players take the form of Talion, a ranger who loses his family and everything he holds dear, only to be returned from death by a mysterious Spirit of vengeance.
- Mordor - Set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor begins on the night of Sauron’s return to Mordor, throwing the region into turmoil.
- Nemesis System - Discover a powerful and dynamic next-gen gameplay mechanic that allows players’ actions to shape enemy relationships and characteristics, creating personal and unique stories and gameplay arcs that remain persistent even after death.
- Wraith abilities - Players command Wraith Powers to orchestrate and execute their vengeance to outwit enemies, infiltrate the ranks, and dominate within an adaptive world.
- Melee combat - A multitude of enemies will require different tactics, encouraging the player to advance their skills, abilities and weapons to become legendary through a system of rune rewards crafted according to the player's strategy.
I'm excited to see exactly how Shadow of Mordor plays out real-time, though I'm worried about how they'll be able to show off their Nemesis System in a simple trailer. It really seems like an exciting feature, but is it really only exciting in the context of a whole game vs. just a short battle?
Either way, it's much too early to make any substantial calls on Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Basically, all we can say is that they've got a great intellectual property to work with and some solid feature ideas. Let's hope they do their best with what they've got. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor will be coming to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Click here to see more images
The right-wing conservative group NLF, or The National Liberty Foundation, has posted BioShock Infinite anti-immigration propaganda on its Facebook page. I guess they agree with Washington's message: "It's our holy duty to guard against the foreign hordes."
The thing is, BioShock Infinite presents this kind of propaganda as satire, in a game that shows us how awful racism and other aspects of 19th century thinking was. The National Liberty Foundation, on the other hand, either doesn't know this or simply does not care. To no one's surprise, the group is associated with the US' conservative Tea Party (GOP) and based in Florida.
On the NLF Facebook page, where the image of Washington is so inappropriately displayed, the collective states that their aims are "the importance of free enterprise, limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and American heritage."
I'm guessing that "American heritage" part excludes anyone who didn't emigrate from 17th century Europe. You know, the "foreign hordes."
Update: Apparently all the Internet attention did not go unnoticed. The group has since removed the image from their Facebook page and left a long-winded message about how the trolls have given them the publicity they needed. Also, their name is "The National Liberty Federation," not "Foundation," because the latter wouldn't be creepy enough.
- Pokemon XY anime, Pokemon the Series: XY, debuts January 18 and gets English trailer 
- Mario Kart 8 adds Rosalina and various 'Baby' characters, more courses in latest trailer 
- Twitch.tv update imposes delay of up to 60s in all streams, viewer interaction severely affected 
- Techland releases ridiculously creepy Dying Light trailer for the holidays, brings horror to Christmas 
- NES Remix announced and launched on Wii U, wonky remixes of classic gameplay 
- League of Legends Snowdown coming soon, with 20 vintage skins and new Singed, Sivir, Lulu skins 
- 4-inch tall hero Chibi-Robo returns in 3DS debut Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder, launching Jan. 9 
- Bravely Default exclusive side-story demo available January 2, full game February 7 on 3DS 
- Public Service Announcement: Next-Gen Has Been Canceled 
- VGX Live-blog and Live-chat: GTAV crowned GotY (surprise), Naughty Dog wins top studio 
- Xbox One Countdown Liveblog 
- Terrifying disc drive sounds from Xbox One and PS4, let's compare 
- League of Legends LCS contracts ban streaming of Dota 2, World of Tanks, Blizzard games 
- Pokemon Bank confirmed for December 27, transfer Pokemon X and Y favorites with a free trial