Microsoft Ends Xbox 360 Production

Even we look forwards towards a potential Xbox One revision, Microsoft is turning over a page to their past. After nearly 11 years in production, Microsoft is finally ending Xbox 360 manufacturing. This means while Xbox 360s will continue to be sold and Xbox Live related services supported, once the stock runs out, that will be it for the console. Over its lifetime, the 360 sold at least 84 million units.

Like most consoles, the 360 went through a number of hardware revisions throughout the years. As we all remember, the original Xenon release ended up suffering from the infamous red ring of death. It wasn’t till 2 revisions later with the Falcon and a core die shrink that Microsoft finally got the situation under control. Since then Microsoft has continued to release upgraded versions till the most recent one in September 2014.

In concert with Xbox Live, the Xbox 360 changed the gaming landscape for consoles. In addition to allowing a unified online presence for consoles, the Xbox also ushered in easy streaming for Netflix. For now, continued support is expected till 2018 but for Microsoft’s backwards compatibility efforts may mean you can always play some retro games on the Xbox One. If you do want a 360 though, you’ll have to grab them quickly before they disappear.

Sony Responds To Microsoft’s Invite For Cross Platform Play

Which console do you play on? The choice is impacted by a lot of things, from being able to play those exclusive releases to the unique hardware options one console features. One of the biggest factors for consoles is often the ability to play with others, with groups of friends often getting the same console in order to play together. Microsoft wants to enable cross-platform play and recently invited others to join them in the plan, an invite Sony has now responded to.

Sony’s statement includes that they have been “supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC [since] back in 2002”. The statement goes on to say that they “would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play”.

Given that Sony and Microsoft are responsible for the leading consoles when it comes to online multiplayer it could be interesting to see the two gaming networks merge together to create a united gaming network, enabling people from every console to play games together with nothing but their skills separating them.

With friends who own one or both of the consoles, I think that creating a uniform platform for cross-console play could only put more focus on the hardware that people use and the skills they hone to play their games.

Xbox 360 Lawsuit Judge Owned Stock in Microsoft

A class action lawsuit launched by Xbox 360 owners who suffered ruined discs due to a fault within the console is moving to the US Supreme Court, which prompted the presiding Chief Justice John Roberts to sell between $250,000 and $500,000 in Microsoft stock, rather than excuse himself from the case over a conflict of interest, the Associated Press reports.

Since it is a violation of Federal law for a judge to preside over a case involving a company he or she own shares in – and, so, is given the option to sell their shares or excuse themselves from the case – the matter has encouraged debate over whether judges should be allowed to own shares in major companies to start with, or be allowed to sell their shares in order to remain a case.

“We’re not talking about grandpa’s stock in the family business where a justice might have some sentimental reason for holding onto the shares. These are major corporations who regularly come before the court,” Arthur Hellman, a specialist in judicial ethics at the University of Pittsburgh, told the AP.

Last October, Chief Justice Roberts presided over an appeal against Texas Instruments, which was being asked to contribute funds to clean up hazardous waste it was accused of being responsible for. Roberts, who denied the appeal, was involved despite owning between $100,001 and $250,000 shares in Texas Instruments. Kathy Arberg, a court spokesperson, admitted that Roberts’ involvement was a mistake.

ADATA Launches HD650X and HD710M USB 3.0 Hard Drives

We already had a little view on ADATA’s new drive line-up during our visit at CES 2016 in Vegas last month and now two of the new portable drives have been officially launched. The two new drives are both from the rugged series and can withstand quite a bit of mistreatment. The two newly launched drives are the HD650X designed for use with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One as well as the HD710M camouflage-styled drive.

The Xbox One currently ships with a 1TB hard drive built-in, but considering the fact that a game these days easily take up 50GB and subscribers keep getting games for free, that 1TB can quickly end up full and leave you with the decision on what to delete to make room for something else. That is where the ADATA HD650X comes into play as it adds 2TB extra storage directly to the gaming console via the USB 3.0 port. The colour scheme has also been made to match the console with its green and black. Being that this basically is a normal USB drive, it’s also compatible with Windows XP and newer as well as Mac OS X 10.6 or later and Linux Kernel 2.6 or later.

The ADATA HD710M is designed for general usage and comes in two capacity options: 1TB and 2TB. The camouflage coloured enclosure is made from the same concept that we’ve seen in previous models such as the HD720 that we recently reviewed. It is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof to keep all your data as safe as possible. It doesn’t just have the basic IP6X cerification, but also the IPX8 and the US Army MIL-STD-810G 516.6 certification. These in combination allow the drive to be completely dust proof, extremly drop and shock resistant, and waterproof in up to 1.5 meters of water for an hour without damage to your drive or data.

ADATA didn’t reveal an official pricing, but you can expect these new drives to have a similar price to the other rugged ADATA HD drives already on the market.

Microsoft Refunds Dad for $8k Worth of Credit Card Charges

Microtransactions are used in games to let you buy anything from new lives, energy to complete tasks and even unlocking weapons or equipment early. Some companies have suffered due to their introduction of microtransactions, and many wish to avoid charging what are often seen as additional fees for power boosts. FIFA is one game to include such transactions, as one dad find out when he received a bill totaling nearly $8,000.

December 23rd, 2015 came and Lance Perkins received his last bill for the year only to find $7, 625,88 worth of charges from the Xbox. The credit card in question was given to the son to make emergency purchases for the family’s convenience store.

“He thought it was a one-time fee for the game,” Perkins said, contacting the credit card company did little help though with the company refusing to act unless he charged his son with fraud. Still seeking help Perkins contacted Xbox looking for help removing the charges. Within minutes, the company responded saying that the bill would stand. Microsoft said they would look into the charges when Perkins informed them that his son was a minor, only 17 years of age.

Microsoft has since changed their mind, removing the charges. In a statement, Microsoft wanted to remind users that “Purchases made using a parent’s payment account are legitimate transactions under the Microsoft Services Agreement, and we encourage parents to use the many platform and service features we make available to prevent unapproved charges,”.

If you are playing a game which has microtransactions you should always play it safe and double-check bills and game accounts for transactions, authorised or otherwise.

More Titles Added to Xbox One Backward Compatibility

Microsoft has announced that another ten Xbox 360 games has been added to the list of those that are backward compatible with Xbox One, the most exciting of which is the middle entry in CD Projekt RED’s epic RPG trilogy, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The company has also revealed that it is eschewing monthly releases of future backward compatibility additions, choosing instead to make them available the moment they are made compatible.

“[T]he Xbox Engineering team will start to pilot a new way to launch Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles,” the Xbox Wire blog post reads. “Starting today, we’ll release titles as they become available, rather than a set monthly launch date. What this means for you is that you won’t have to wait to find out the latest titles; we’ll release whatever is available, when they’re available, once each title has received the engineering and publisher stamp of approval.”

The Xbox 360 games that have been added to the Xbox One Backward Compatibility list are:

The above titles are all available for Xbox One from today.

UK Market Gaming Stats Revealed For 2015

The games industry is the same as any other market when it comes to analysing the performance of titles, consoles and revenue with the aim of finding trends in consumer preferences and company performance. GfK Entertainment has made a wide range of information available concerning the shape of the UK gaming scene in 2015 via trade paper MCV, the results are quite interesting and I have conveyed a snapshot below,

First up is the total revenue for 2015, as you can see below it shows there has been a slight decrease in all categories except that of gaming accessories, which have seen a rise in overall revenue.

  • 2015 total revenue – £2,112,750,781   (2014: £2.3bn)
  • Entertainment Software – £927,663,843 (2014: £948 Million)
  • Console Hardware – £689,473,076 (2014: £915 Million)
  • Gaming Accessories – £495,613,862 (2014: £431 Million)

Next up is the software market percentage share by console (units) stats, these convey a picture of the PS4 dominating the UK scene with a market share of 36.3%, Microsoft’s Xbox One is second while the ageing last gen Xbox 360 is third, not surprisingly, the PlayStation Vita does not fare as well.

  1. PlayStation 4 – 36.3%
  2. Microsoft Xbox One – 29.7%
  3. Microsoft Xbox 360 – 12.5%
  4. PlayStation 3 – 7.1%
  5. Nintendo 3DS – 4.8%
  6. PC – 3.6%
  7. Nintendo Wii U – 3.5%
  8. Nintendo Wii – 1.0%
  9. Nintendo DS – 0.7%
  10. PlayStation Vita – 0.7%
  11. Others – 0.1%

Next is the software market share by console (Revenue). As you can see, the PlayStation 4 is again the winner with a substantial slice of 41.6%, second is again not surprisingly the Xbox One followed by the Xbox 360 in third.

  1. PlayStation 4 – 41.6%
  2. Microsoft Xbox One – 34.1%
  3. Microsoft Xbox 360 – 9.0%
  4. PlayStation 3 – 4.9%
  5. Nintendo 3DS – 3.7%
  6. Nintendo Wii U – 3.2%
  7. PC – 2.3%
  8. Nintendo Wii – 0.5%
  9. PlayStation Vita – 0.4%
  10. Nintendo DS – 0.2%
  11. Others – 0.1%

Next up is the software market share by publisher (revenue) top 10, as you can see Electronic Arts (EA) is not far off having twice the market share from second place; Activision Blizzard.

  1. Electronic Arts – 23.3%
  2. Activision Blizzard – 14.0%
  3. Warner Bros – 9.9%
  4. Take – Two 7.4%
  5. Bethesda – 7.1%
  6. Ubisoft – 6.7%
  7. Nintendo – 5.7%
  8. Microsoft – 5.2%
  9. Sony Computer Entertainment – 4.9%
  10. Bandai Namco Entertainment – 3.5%

Next up is a combined look at the top-selling games for all formats within 2015, this shows that FIFA 16 is the number one selling title on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. This is what you would expect when you consider the release date of this title compared to that of say Fallout 4. It makes me chuckle to think that the highest selling game in terms of units for the PC is The Sims 4 followed by Football Manager 2016 and 2015.

Last up is the top 20 physical games of 2015 for all formats, the list is 50, but, I did not want to go on forever.

  1.  FIFA 16 (EA)
    2.  Call Of Duty: Black Ops III (Activision Blizzard)
    3.  Fallout 4 (Bethesda)
    4.  Star Wars: Battlefront (EA)
    5.  Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two)
    6.  Batman: Arkham Knight (Warner Bros.)
    7.  FIFA 15 (EA)
    8.  Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Activision Blizzard)
    9.  Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft)
    10. Lego Jurassic World (Warner Bros.)
    11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Bandai Namco)
    12. Battlefield Hardline (EA)
    13. Minecraft: Xbox 360 and Xbox One Edition (Microsoft)
    14. Minecraft: Story Mode (Telltale Games)
    15. Halo 5: Guardians (Microsoft)
    16. Minecraft: PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita Edition (Sony)
    17. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami)
    18. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (Sony)
    19. Dying Light (Warner Bros.)
    20. The Elder Scrolls Online (Bethesda)

Hilarious FIFA 16 Bugs and Glitches

Modern video games are arguably the best they have ever been in terms of graphics, animations and production values, the latest titles that have included Fallout 4 have entertained audiences with immersive worlds and gameplay, this has led to a rise in sales and also a growth in audiences. As great as video games are, they do tend to experience technical glitches and bugs which infuriate players, well until the latest patches are released.

To demonstrate this, a Youtuber that goes by the moniker “GameSprout” has edited together a highlight reel of glitches and bugs from FIFA 16, below is a selection of fails in the form of images as well as the full video.

Below is an image of what appears to be a rather lethal glitch involving one player merrily kicking the head of an opposition player, charming.

Below is a strange glitch involving two players who would rather sit on an invisible chair than play football.

Below is a bug which shows a player who would rather perform what appears to be a cart-wheel rather than score the conventional way, certainly a fail.

Below, Marcello has found himself in a situation whereby his arms are the wrong way round, looks painful, although he seems relaxed.

Yeah, I have no idea what Hulk is doing to that poor goalkeeper.

Below is a rather funny glitch of a player who A – thinks he is in Star Wars, or B – thinks he is in Call Of Duty and has unfortunately been shot at.

Below is the full compilation video of fails from FIFA 16, if nothing else it will make you chuckle if you have a spare five minutes. It just goes to show that while the games industry is moving onwards and upwards, the glitches remain and are somewhat as hilarious as ever.

Images courtesy of fullfifa

Mad Catz Announces TRITTON Katana HD 7.1 Wireless Headset

Mad Catz didn’t just have a new mouse to present us today, they’re also ready with a new headset under the TRITTON brand. The new headset is called the Katana and it is a HD 7.1 Wireless headset, but it isn’t an ordinary one. The Katana is the world’s first headset to draw its audio signal directly through HDMI to deliver eight channels of uncompressed sound for pure high-definition audio quality. With near-universal compatibility across gaming consoles, PCs and smart devices, the Katana HD features state-of-the-art DTS Headphone:X audio technology that faithfully recreates the spatially accurate immersive sound experience from your favorite game.

The TRITTON Katana is the new flagship headset and comes with a flagship pricetag too. It can currently be pre-ordered for $249 and is expected to ship during December 2015.

The headset itself features 50 mm drivers and crystal clear interference-free chat through an omnidirectional boom mic. The earpieces feature intuitive controls to control your audio, mute the mic, tweak the volume or change the EQ settings. The drivers have a frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz and the microphone has a frequency response from 20Hz to 5kHz.

Along with the Katana HD 7.1 Wireless Headset and the omnidirectional boom mic, you also get the heart of the operation, the headset nase station with a 1 meter long USB to Micro USB Power Cable. The HDMI pass through is truly a great idea and one that makes the setup a lot easier. No need to worry about multiple audio devices any more.

A 1 meter HDMI cable is also included as you’ll need one extra when using pass through than without. Mad Catz also added a USB to Micro USB headset play-and-charge cable that is 1.5m long and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm chat cable for Xbox One users. No matter what platform you’re using, you’ll be able to use the TRITTON Katana HD Wireless Headset.

 

Specifications

  • Wireless Range: 33ft (10m)
  • HDMI with Full Pass-Through
  • Driver Size: 50mm
  • Headset Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 20Hz – 5kHz
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 20 Hours

The Katana headset is available in black and orange as well as white and orange version.

New Xbox One Experience Now Available – What to Expect

If you’re an Xbox One gamer, then you’ll no doubt have heard that there is a major update for the consoles OS today. The new update, known as vaguely as “New Xbox One Experience” will bring a lot of changes to the dashboard, as well as some cool features that I’m sure many of you have been waiting for.

“NXOE starts rolling out after 3:01am ET/ 12:01am PT November 12th. Back Compat titles will be playable or start to appear in your collection (for digital purchases) after 3:01pm /12:01 pm (Noon) PT on Thursday” said Xbox Spokesman, Major Nelson.

The entire rollout will begin for everyone globally, so there’s no sitting around waiting for your time slot on a download. Of course, what this does to Microsoft’s servers at that time, remains to be seen, but I’d expect some slower downloads and advice that some people wait before updating just to be sure things are going smoothly.

Here’s what Major Nelson had to say on how to get the update.

HOW TO GET THE NEW XBOX ONE EXPERIENCE?

If you use the Instant-on power mode (available via Settings – Power & startup), your Xbox One will take the update in the background when you put your console into Connected Standby mode.  As this is a global rolling launch, consoles in Connected Standby will be updated at various times throughout the day based on your time zone.

If your console is in Energy-saving mode, your Xbox One will not automatically download and install the update. To initiate the download and update process, you can go to Settings – System to manually check if an update is available and choose “Update Now”.

Note that all Xbox One consoles will receive a prompt for a mandatory update on November 23rd if they have not yet updated to the New Xbox One Experience.

  • Learn more about system updates on Xbox One here
  • Learn more about the New Xbox One Experience system update and build here.
  • Starting 3:01am ET/ 12:01am PT November 12th, access the Xbox.com support team’s knowledge base regarding known concerns here.

WHEN WILL YOU GET IT?

Team Xbox will begin the rollout of the New Xbox One Experience after3:01am ET/ 12:01am PT November 12th.

Not everyone is going to get it at the same time.  Depending on the time zone you are in, as well your Xbox One console settings, you may get the New Xbox One Experience at a different time than your friends.

Regardless of when you receive the New Xbox One Experience system update, the Xbox One Backward Compatibility feature will begin rolling out starting at 3:01pm/12:01 PM (noon) PT on November 12th.  To start playing your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One after this time, refresh your Game Collection to see your pre-purchased, digital Xbox 360 titles from theBackward Compatible title list in your ready to install queue or simply insert the disc for a supported Xbox 360 title and download the game to start playing it on Xbox One.

What can I expect in this new update?

The new OS for Xbox One will integrate more with Windows 10, bringing a completely redesigned interface, faster navigation, the ability to join parties, add friends, check messages and more without leaving your game and so much more.

  • Faster performance
  • Improved game experience
  • Vertical scrolling allows faster access to activities and content
  • Expanded social content and engagement

The Guide, game hubs, social interactions and more have been improved, as well as a new community area which has been added. There’s a new and improved store, One Guide and updated apps too.

The biggest update, however, is that Xbox 360 backwards compatibility is rolling out with this update too.

“Now you can play a growing number of your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One at no additional cost. With over 100 titles slated for this fall, and hundreds more in the months to come, Xbox One is now the best place to play your Xbox 360 games.”

  • Keep your game saves, game add-ons, achievements, and Gamerscore
  • Enjoy the advanced features of your Xbox One like Game DVR, Screenshots and Windows 10 streaming
  • Play multiplayer with your friends no matter which console they’re on
  • Xbox One Backward Compatibility works with disc-based and digital games

If you’ve downloaded and tried the update today, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think about this major update.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Game List Revealed

Since it was revealed back in June that Xbox One would be introducing backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games, Xbox fans have been anxious to know which games would be included when the function goes live later this month. Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox Live, has unveiled the first 104 titles that will be compatible upon launch this Thursday (12th November).

The full list is as follows:

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Asteroids & Deluxe
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bellator: MMA Onslaught
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD
  • Blood of the Werewolf
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal
  • Borderlands
  • Call of Juarez Gunslinger
  • Castle Crashers
  • CastleStorm
  • Centipede & Millipede
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Discs of Tron
  • Doom
  • Doom II
  • Dungeon Siege III
  • Earthworm Jim HD
  • Fable II
  • Fallout 3
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Golden Axe
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hardwood Backgammon
  • Hardwood Hearts
  • Hardwood Spades
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hexic HD
  • Ikaruga
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • Just Cause 2
  • Kameo: Elements of Power
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Lode Runner
  • LUMINES LIVE!
  • Mass Effect
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Metal Slug XX
  • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Missile Command
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Splosion Man
  • Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
  • N+
  • NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
  • NiGHTS into dreams…
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
  • Pinball FX
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Prince of Persia
  • Putty Squad
  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
  • Shadow Complex
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Supreme Commander 2
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
  • Torchlight
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Tron: Evolution
  • Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Zuma

Hryb suggests that further titles will be added in good time, and Microsoft is soliciting votes for your favourite Xbox 360 game not yet included in the above list.

New ‘New Xbox Experience’ Patch Notes Revealed

The ‘New Xbox Experience’ for Xbox One, offering a redesigned user experience, is getting a new patch, which will be made available to select members of the Xbox Preview Program, eventually rolling out to all members, according to Mike Ybarra, the Director of Program Management for Xbox. The update (th2_xbox_rel_1510.151003-2016) fixes a number of reported problems, including issues with WiFi dropout when connecting an external hard drive and system update failures.

Thanks to reddit user pizzatarian, we have the full list of updates included with the new patch:

FIXES:

  • WiFi with External HD: Some users had reported WiFi would stop working with an external hard drive connected. This issue has been resolved.
  • System Update failing: Users reported slow or failing system updates will notice this issue is not present with this update.
  • Sign-in: Previously, international accounts may have had issues signing in. This has been resolved.
  • Upload Studio: A new version is available for New Xbox One Experience Preview members. This will update separately from the system update, and will be available after 6PM PT.
  • Performance and UI Improvements: Various performance and UI tweaks have been made in the update to fit and finish.

KNOWN ISSUES:

  • Please carefully review the known issues below for details on all currently known issues.
  • Remember to report any issues you discover via the Report a problem feature or in the forums!

FEATURED FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITIES:

We have seen great response to our new quests so far! If you are just joining the New Xbox One Experience Preview, or you haven’t taken them yet, be sure to give them a spin. Be sure to check out the Preview Dashboard app for more details on these quests:

  • Can You See It? This quest will ask you to try out the new guide and let us know if it appears properly on your TV.
  • OneGuide on NXOE: All about the new OneGuide area on the New Xbox One Experience Dashboard. Tell us what you think!
  • Quest available in the following locales: US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Brazil

KNOWN ISSUES:

General System Issues:

Black screen upon boot:

  • Your console may start up with just a black screen.
    • Workaround: Hard reset the console.

Sign in:

  • You may be unable to sign in to Xbox Live.
    • Workaround: Hard reset the console.

Snap Center:

  • When YouTube is snapped, it may share input with the home screen.

Voice Commands:

  • Global speech overlay is missing suggestions
  • Global speech overlay is missing contextual commands
  • Voice commands will not currently work for Guide tabs (Party, Messages, Friends, Notifications, etc)

HDMI-In:

  • You may experience a black screen when using a device via HDMI-in, even if this device is not a cable or set-top box.
    • Workaround: Run through the initial TV set-up and configure for a TV provider even if you don’t have a TV provider.

My Games & Apps:

  • My games & apps collection may crash if switching quickly between Apps and Queue or Games and Queue.

Automatic Downloads:

  • Content purchased from Xbox.com will not automatically download to the Xbox One console. This feature is planned to come later.

Notifications:

  • Friends may not receive game toast notifications.

Season passes:

  • In a small number of cases, users with season passes may find that they aren’t recognized by the game.
    • Workaround: Uninstall your other season passes and re-install the season pass you wish to use.

Community Twist:

  • Currently this area is not fully populated with content and is missing large sections of the user experience. Activity feed content also may not be actionable and items on the trending items second level screen have not been fully tuned. As Preview moves forward content and features in this area will light up.

Xbox One Media Remote:

  • When resuming from connected standby the Xbox One media remote may fail to send commands; a hard reset resolves this.
  • The buttons for media playback will not work (rewind, play, pause, fast forward, skip back, stop, skip forward). The directional and center “select” button will function as normal.

USB TV Tuner:

  • If you have a USB TV Tuner plugged into your Xbox One console, Windows and Windows Phone SmartGlass devices will crash when attempting to connect to the console. To avoid this, you can switch to the Xbox App on Windows 10 or reset your TV settings and avoid setting up the USB TV Tuner.

Racing Wheels:

  • Racing wheels cannot be used to navigate home or system dialogs.

Game and App Issues:

  • Titanfall: Titanfall may fail to connect to Xbox Live.
    • Workaround: Hard reset the console.

Skype:

  • Skype currently will not function if used in the background.

NFL Live App:

  • When playing videos in the NFL Live App, the screen may dim after a short period of time.

Apps not launching: Certain apps may fail to launch.

  • WWE
  • Showtime Anytime
  • Every Street United
  • Overdog
  • BlinkBox
  • TWC TV
  • Upload Studio
  • UPlay

Apps with video issues: The following apps will launch but videos or streams will not play.

  • SyFy
  • USA Now
  • Bravo Now
  • MLB

Games not launching: Certain games may fail to launch.

  • Xbox Fitness
  • Pinball FX2
  • The Crew
  • Monopoly

Live TV Issues:

Cable/Satellite STBs:

  • Cable/Satellite set top box compatibility is not yet at parity with the Xbox One Previous experience. Please continue to report video playback and audio issues using the Feedback app to help us improve the experience. HDMI troubleshooting steps:
    • Go Home and press the menu button on the OneGuide app to quit, then restart it.
    • Unplug and re-plug the HDMI-in cable from the Xbox, ensuring it’s seated securely in the port.
    • With the Xbox One turned on, pull the power cord on the cable/satellite box, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in.
    • Press and hold the power button on the front of the Xbox One to perform a hard reboot of the console.
  • Dolby Digital surround sound will not work for Live TV.
  • Favoriting is not currently supported for App channels.
  • The “Xbox Snap TV” voice command does not work. You can snap TV via voice command by saying “Xbox Snap OneGuide” or choosing OneGuide from the Snap Center.
  • The OneGuide pin doesn’t function. You can launch OneGuide using the app, voice commands, or from the OneGuide twist.
  • You may experience a stuck frame streaming TV to the Xbox App. You can enter OneGuide or resize your window to restore video playback.
  • The media transport controls do not work when streaming TV to SmartGlass and Xbox app clients.
  • When resuming from connected standby the Xbox One media remote may fail to send commands; a hard reset resolves this.
  • You may be unable to use voice commands to navigate in Live TV.

Xbox App/SmartGlass Issues

SmartGlass and Xbox App Live TV/OneGuide:

  • You may experience issues connecting to Live TV or OneGuide when connecting to the console with SmartGlass.
    • Workaround: Set your SmartGlass connection to auto connect, quit the app, and restart. If the issue persists, hard reset the console.

SmartGlass Functionality:

  • Basic SmartGlass functionality is now available including gamepad navigation, touch navigation, remote text entry, media playback control, and companions for apps and games. Other features such as two-finger touch panning, media companions, and power on/off will not function in this build.

The ‘New Xbox Experience’ patch will be included in the much-anticipated November update, bringing with it Xbox 360 backwards-compatibility.

Image courtesy of Polygon.

GLaDOS is the Real Star of LEGO Dimensions

Traveller’s Tales has been showing off its forthcoming “toys-to-life” action adventure game, LEGO Dimensions, which is set for its official release next week. LEGO Dimensions sees some of the most iconic characters from film, television, and video games come together after the masked villain Lord Vortech (played by Gary Oldman) collapses the barriers between different fictional worlds. Using compatible LEGO minifigures and statues, à la Skylanders or Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines, characters ranging from Batman, Marty McFly (Back to the Future), and The Doctor (Doctor Who) team up to defeat Lord Vortech across multiple dimensions.

Amid all the buzz, though, no one realised LEGO Dimensions’ greatest secret: tucked away within the game, using the relevant expansion pack, is effectively a sequel to Valve’s lauded Portal series. While the information ahead is relatively spoiler-free, if you’ve not played the pair, flagellate yourself, buy them for PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360, play them, love them, and come back. We’ll wait…

With the $50 Portal pack – on top of the $170 base game – you can once again play as Chell within the Portal 2 adventure level, reuniting with Wheatley (voiced again by Stephen Merchant) and, of course, GLaDOS (a triumphant return for Ellen McLain). Chell is initially tasked with building herself a Companion Cube and a Sentry Turret before negotiating her way through a number of test chambers with the help of her trusty Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device.

The following video does contain spoilers for the LEGO Dimensions Portal pack:

As does this one. One big spoiler, in particular. You have been warned:

One final spoilery video shows the level’s end credits, which wouldn’t be the same without a Jonathan Coulton-penned song, performed by Ellen McLain as GLaDOS:

LEGO Dimensions is released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 on 27th September in the US and 29th September in the UK.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

COD Black Ops III Single Player Not Coming to PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360

Activision has announced in a community post, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops III will not include the single player campaign. This decision was made due to the last-generation consoles technical limitations. However, Activision didn’t delve into great deal what caused the setbacks and simply said:

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a truly next-generation experience designed from day one to harness the full potential of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Black Ops 3 pushes the boundaries of the franchise to new levels across all modes of play on next generation hardware.”

“As we announced back in June, we know that there are still fans waiting to make the switch to the newest console hardware and developers Beenox and Mercenary Technology have been working tirelessly to bring as much of the Black Ops 3 gameplay as possible to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.”

“The Black Ops 3 PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will feature Multiplayer and Zombies gameplay only, not Campaign. The ambitious scope of the 1-4 player coop Campaign design of the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions could not be faithfully recreated on old generation hardware.”

One theory is, the Xbox 360 uses DVD-9 disks  which doesn’t contain adequate storage for large voice files and video cutscenes. Obviously, Activision could have used multiple disks and forced users to install the game. Clearly, Call of Duty players obsess on the multiplayer aspect and rarely play the single player campaign. Furthermore, the game will include the highly-popular zombies mode. Therefore, it does seem like the only mode being omitted is with large audio/video files. Honestly, I’m sure Activision could have found a solution but probably believes the time investment wasn’t worth it.

The news is a shame for those on last-generation consoles who enjoy the single player aspect. However, this is a very niche sector of the market.

Image courtesy of GeekSnack.

343 Already Working on Halo 6 And Knows “What’s Going to Happen 10 Years From Now”

343 Studios has established itself as an integral component of Halo’s success in recent years and no longer intimidated by Bungie and the franchise’s roots. To mark Halo 5’s pending release, 343 Studios decided to talk about the future in an upcoming Golden Joysticks special and divulged information about a “fictional foundation” for the next 20 years. The franchise developer director Frank O’ Connor explained:

“We do kind of know what’s going to happen in the next game pretty well at this point,”  

“We’re doing serious real planning and even some writing on the next game already, and that’s a luxury – we’ve never been in that position before. So we both know at a very high level what’s going to happen in, say, ten years from now. But at that very granular level knowing what’s going to happen in the next game and that’s just been a great feeling for me”. 

343’s head Bonnie Ross also added:

“You can look at the ending of Halo 4 – and where Master Chief is, and obviously we had to know where we were going to take Halo 5 and Halo 6 with that. You have an epic sci-fi universe and we have multiple ways that we can go with this story, but all the pieces are laying there. The canvas is there for us to paint”. 

The developer is highly ambitious and sees a very bright future ahead for the Halo series. It’s not uncommon for the next game to be worked on before the latest addition has been released. It’s interesting to see the company plan decades ahead and not I’m entirely convinced people will be enthralled by a game with so many sequels. Hopefully, the series continues to be a success but I highly doubt Halo will be the big seller it is now in 20 years time.

Which is your favourite Halo game?

Thank you Gamesradar for providing us with this information. 

Xbox One Set for Huge November Update

Mike Ybarra, Director of Program Management for Xbox, has unveiled the forthcoming November update for Xbox One, and it is set to usher in some big changes, including the much-vaunted Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility feature.

On the Xbox blog, Ybarra details the updated key features for “a completely re-imagined Xbox One”, which includes a redesign of the home screen, a refined Guide, and more detailed Community section. Ybarra lists the most “impactful updates” as:

  • Play your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. At launch you’ll be able to play over 100 Xbox 360 games on Xbox One with hundreds more in the months to come. This includes the added benefit of Xbox One features including screenshots, streaming, and game DVR – for your favorite Xbox 360 games. You can even play multiplayer with friends still using their Xbox 360.

  • A new Guide lets you quickly access essentials with just one button press to save time spent weaving in and out of apps. You can access the Guide from Home by pressing left or double tap the Xbox button on your controller to instantly overlay the Guide. You can access Friends, quickly start a Party, get to Settings, see System Notifications, view your Messages, and more from Home or without leaving your game. These are the top tasks Xbox fans do most often, so we focused on making them faster and easier to get to without disrupting your game.
  • We’re redesigning Home to make it faster and easier to get to the things you love. We’re introducing a faster and easier interface to provide access to games and apps you’ve recently used. At launch you’ll be able to more easily share your achievements and game clips with the Xbox Live community, see whether your friends are playing the same games and get one-click access to Game Hubs to get news and updates directly from the developers and community themselves.
  • We’re introducing a new Community section to make Xbox One more social.Based on your feedback, this section is optimized to help you tap into what other gamers are doing on Xbox Live and directly contribute to the conversation happening within the Xbox Live community. Check out what your friends are up to or keep track of the games you follow in the redesigned Activity Feed. Explore the new Trending section to view the most popular posts from players on Xbox Live.
  • The revamped OneGuide will be your single destination for TV, movies and video apps. From OneGuide, you can see a list of current trending live TV shows with the most viewers at that moment on Xbox. TV listings will now come up instantly and in full-screen, and we’ve added a picture-in-picture mode for TV so you can browse for other things to watch without missing what’s happening in your show. We’ll highlight a selection of the most exciting new movies, TV shows and deals from across the apps on Xbox One and the new App Channels area will show you the latest movies, TV shows and videos highlighted by the apps you care about.
  • We’re optimizing Store to help you quickly find the content you want. To the right of OneGuide, you’ll find the new and improved Store with features including four easy to explore areas – Games, Movies & TV, Apps, and Music – and a new vertical gallery view to bring more listings at a glance. Browse through intuitive categories like Staff Picks, New Releases, Top played, Top rated, Coming Soon and Recommendations to discover new games, apps, and entertainment for your Xbox One.

Xbox Preview members that opt-in will gain early access to the November update, with those most active at providing feedback being prioritized first.

Thank you Xbox Blog for providing us with this information.

Crystal Dynamics Cuts Rise of the Tomb Raider Multiplayer to Focus on Campaign

Nowadays, it seems that most games have to have a multiplayer component to it. While the Tomb Raider reboot released in 2013 included a multiplayer element, the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider apparently will not. Developer Crystal Dynamics had been mum on what the multiplayer would look like and it appears that is because there will be no multiplayer section. According to the Offical Xbox Magazine, the decision was made to refocus resources from the multiplayer section and devote them to the singleplayer campaign to make it that much better.

In some ways, the move mirrors the one EA and DICE chose to do with Star Wars Battlefront where they cut out the single player campaign to focus on the multiplayer section. While EA’s decision was controversial, the Tomb Raider one probably won’t be. That’s because Star War Battlefront has long had a single player campaign that was relatively well-loved and played. On the other hand, Tomb Raider has historically had no multiplayer section and the one that came with Tomb Raider 2013 wasn’t that well received.

Overall, if Crystal Dynamics is able to provide a compelling single-player campaign, it’s unlikely most gamers will have complaints. The game is set to launch on the Xbox One and 360 later this year in November. Being a timed exclusive, the game won’t arrive on the PC and PS4 till mid to late 2016.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information

Xbox Rewards Changes Star Level Requirements – Users Not Happy

Without warning, Microsoft has shifted the requirements for its various star levels for members of its Xbox Rewards program, with the one star threshold alone doubling. Many users have been angered by the move, which has shifted the progress of many down to a lower tier, meaning that overnight they are entitled to less from the reward scheme.

The new tiers are:

  • 1 star – “old: $150” “new: $300”
  • 2 star – “old: $400” “new: $600”
  • 3 star – “old: $650” “new: $900”
  • 4 star – “old: $900” “new: $1200”
  • 5 star – “old: $1200” “new: $1800”

In the UK, the five star thresholds are now set at £200, £400, £600, £900, and £1,200, respectively.

Much of the ire directed at the Xbox Rewards revision is concentrated on reddit where the rage is palpable:

dee_c: “So, basically Microsoft is running the equivalent of the worst frequent flyer program in the world? They constantly incentivize us to remain Xbox Live gold members, but they still clear out your rewards status even if you continuously buy products and don’t go inactive?”

Mashable_Pixels: “I was on tier 5, Now I’m on Tier 3. Really f***ing annoying.”

Alan066: “I was €25 away from level 3. Bumped down to level 1 now as well. Not happy!”

awsumsauce: “I was 14€ away from three stars LAST NIGHT so I bought a couple games worth around 30€, and now I’m at 1 star, 0%? Way to screw me (and everyone else!) over, Microsoft. Great job!”

Thank you GamerHQ for providing us with this information.

 

Xbox One Gets 43 Games Added to Backwards Compatibility List

One of the biggest announcements at this years E3 wasn’t a new AAA title or gaming console, it was Microsoft Announcement of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One to play old Xbox 360 games on the new console. A feature that had been requested by users for a long time. Right of the start there were close to hundred games announced to be compatible and now 43 games have been added to that list, including Wither 2 and Dark Souls 2.

The recently released Windows 10 brings even more benefit to the table as it allows you to stream your Xbox One games to the PC and play them there – and soon you’ll be able to do the same with a long list of Xbox 360 games. The new feature is scheduled for a November release, something that should provide Xbox owners with a lot to do over the holidays.

Finder.com.au has been putting together a list of Xbox 360 titles that will be backwards compatible and that is where the 43 newly added games can be found, bringing the total up to 130. Particular highlights of the latest additions include: Dark Souls II, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, I Am Alive, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Saints Row The Third, Soul Calibur IV, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Trials Evolution and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

Current Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility List

  • A Kingdom For Keflings
  • A World Of Keflings
  • Alan Wake
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Assassin’s Creed Liberation: HD
  • Assassins Creed
  • Assassins Creed Revelations
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Bayonetta
  • BioShock
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Borderlands
  • Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway
  • Call of Juarez Gunslinger
  • Call of Juarez: Bound By Blood
  • Cars
  • Child of Eden
  • Civilization Revolution
  • Clash of Heroes HD
  • Dark Souls
  • Dark Souls II
  • Dead Space
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • Endwar
  • Fable 2
  • Fable 3
  • Fallout 3
  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Forza Horizon
  • Forza Motorsport 2
  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgement
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfare
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfare 2
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 4
  • Halo Anniversary
  • Halo Wars
  • Halo: O.D.S.T
  • Halo: Reach
  • Hexic HD
  • I Am Alive
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Killer is Dead
  • Madden NFL 16
  • Mass Effect
  • Monster High: New Ghoul in School
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • N+
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • Ninja Gaiden 3
  • Pac-Man CEDX
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
  • Prototype
  • Prototype 2
  • Rainbow Six Vegas
  • Rainbow Six Vegas 2
  • Rayman Legends
  • Rayman Origins
  • Risen
  • Risen 2
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords
  • Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
  • Sacred 3
  • Saints Row
  • Saints Row The Third
  • Shadow Complex
  • Shadowrun
  • Shoot Many Robots
  • Rainbow Six Vegas
  • Soul Calibur IV
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Toy Story 3
  • Trials Evolution
  • Trials HD
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
  • Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • Worms 2: Armageddon

Thank You GrabIt for providing us with this information

Windows 10 and DirectX 12 Come to Xbox One in November

Xbox One will be getting Windows 10 sometime during November and, along with a new dashboard and interface, the console will be able to utilise the power of DirectX 12. Microsoft made the announcement at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany.

The console will be ditching the modified DirectX 11 it had been running in favour of the latest iteration which, in conjunction with Windows 10, will be focused on delivering greater speed, plus cross-platform compatibility. DirectX 12 will bring improved graphics and performance in-game, and increase the resources available for future developers to exploit the system’s hardware. The update will also introduce Cortana integration for Kinect users.

If you are a member of the Microsoft Xbox One Preview program, however, you will be able to update to an early build of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 for Xbox in September, a whole two months before the general public, as a beta tester.

Microsoft also announced that Xbox 360 backwards compatibility will be coming to Xbox One during the same month, giving owners access to over 100 games from the previous iteration of the console, boasting improved textures and lighting, with hopes that the catalogue will expand with time, and DVR support will be made available sometime next year.

Thank you TechSpot and Windows Central for providing us with this information.

Latest Released Details For The Upcoming WWE 2K 2016 Game

2K has announced further plans for the upcoming WWE 2016 game which will be home to platforms PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This game is expected to be launched on the 27th October in North America and 30th October in Europe.

So, what amazing new features are fans expected to receive? Well, there will be 120 “unique” characters, this means no duplicates. There are caveats to this as a wrestler with several characters, for example Mick Foley; will have Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mankind counted as separate playable wrestlers. Although any wrestlers who have changed throughout the decades, think Sting in the 80’s, 90’s or 2000 or the Undertaker in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s would be considered as one playable character.  Memo to Vince, I am also thinking Sting vs Undertaker for Wrestlemania 32.

The rattlesnake Stone Cold has been officially confirmed for the cover of the game, while the commentators will for the first time have the option for three people. Other improvements but not necessarily new features are as follows,

  • My Career is mode: This time it goes a lot further, all the way to you gaining admission to the WWE Hall of Fame.
  • Create a Diva: Create a Show, Create an Arena, and Create a Championship are back in!
  • WWE Universe: Wrestlers can now be booked to multiple shows
  • Online has been “overhauled.”
  • Three-man commentary team: With John “Bradshaw” Layfield joining King and Cole.
  • Ladder, handicap, and tornado tag match types added back in.
  • No loading screens between entrances and you can assault opponents during their entrance!
  • Improved ref and manager AI.

Hallelujah! We have no loading screens; this has only taken at least 15 years to implement, my reaction is the same as the screenshot below. This game looks to be an improvement, albeit a drip fed one for the franchise, which will still attract fans alike.  I do wish developers would stop adding a previously removed feature before calling it “unique”.  The head of 2K would not like his leg removed before being screwed back on and calling it “a new human feature”  Where’s those creative genius’s from the Minecraft Deep Sea world when you need them.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of dailydt

Xbox 360 Class Action Lawsuit Could Go to Supreme Court

Disgruntled Xbox 360 users, pushing for a class action lawsuit for over three years due to claims that the console scratched discs inserted into its optical drive, have gotten one step closer to court. A ruling on Monday by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals means that the case will either go to litigation or a hearing in the US Supreme Court.

Microsoft has continued to refute the allegation, claiming that any scratches to discs were a result of customer misuse, rather than defective Xbox 360 consoles. The company has also cited the precedent of Gable/Wolin vs Land Rover, a case accusing the automobile manufacturer of producing vehicles with alignment problems that caused tire to wear out prematurely. The class action suit against Land Rover was dropped, and Microsoft believes that the similarity between the two cases should force the Xbox 360 class action to be dropped, also.

Judge Martinez, however, disagreed, seeing little similarities between the two cases. “Judge Martinez concluded that the presumption had not been rebutted because the Gable/Wolin Land Rover litigation was distinguishable from the scratched disc litigation,” the court document reads.

The next step is to prove that a flaw within the Xbox 360 console caused discs to become scratched:

“[…] although individual factors may affect the timing and extent of the disc scratching, they do not affect whether the Xboxes were sold with a defective disc system. Plaintiffs contend that (1) whether the Xbox is defectively designed and (2) whether such design defect breaches an express or an implied warranty are both issues capable of common proof.”

Up to 55,000 complaints have been made to Microsoft regarding discs suspected to have been scratched by the console’s optical drive.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Users Rage Over Payday 2 Support-Stop on Last-Gen Consoles

When Overkill announced that Payday 2: Crimewave Edition was coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 back in February as well as continued support for the game until 2017, a lot of people got excited for the chance to play the heist game on the current generation consoles.

In the announcement was something most people read past in the excitement for the new versions and all the new content promised – both paid and free – and that was the announcement that the company would cease the update development for the last generation consoles, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Q: Will you continue to support PAYDAY 2 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3?
A: In connection with this, we have decided to retire the PAYDAY 2 update development on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so.

As said, many people didn’t notice that part and they’re now taking their rage out on twitter and similar social media platforms. But really, no one is to blame here, it just reached a natural stopping point where that 10-year old hardware can’t handle things anymore.

The developers are equally sad that they can’t continue the work, but there just isn’t anything they can do about it.

“We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so,” the statement reads. “For those of you who play Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and have been looking forward to new updates, you’ll be pissed when you hear this. We hate this too, because there’s nothing we can do about it.”

505 Games offered a discount on the new PS4 and Xbox One version for pre-orders up until launch, but there weren’t any loyalty bonuses for the old generation console users nor could that take their savegames with them to the new console. As such there weren’t many players that took advantage of it.

This is just one of many instances we’ll see where this will become an issue for those who refuse to upgrade their hardware for one reason or another and we can expect more and more developers to drop support for the older generations in the future.

Thank You VG247 for providing us with this information

Peter Moore Reveals the Life-Time Cost of Xbox RROD

While many of us will remember the Xbox 360 as the console that cemented Microsoft’s reputation, others will recall the Red Ring of Death or RROD that plagued nearly 25% of the consoles. In a recent IGN podcast, past Xbox head Peter Moore revealed that the total cost to Microsoft to fix the issue cost $1.15 Billion USD at the time. It’s key to note that at the time, the Xbox division was still in the red despite its success so far against the PS3.

Internally, Microsoft knew that something was off when it started hearing back from customer service and receiving the defective units. As we now know, the issue was heated related and due to the new lead-free solder. As the engineers and Xbox team worked on the issue, it became apparent that to fix and replace all the defective units, it would cost about $1.15 billion. Moore went to the then CEO Steve Ballmer with a plan to ship with Fed Ex and quickly replace the units. In his words, this is how it went:

“Steve said, ‘okay, talk me through this.’ I said, ‘if we don’t do this, this brand is dead. Steve looked at me and said, ‘what have we got to do?’ I said, ‘we’ve got to take them all back, and we’ve got to do this in a first-class way,’ because when you take a console away from a gamer, and you’re going to spend three weeks fixing it… so we’ve got to FedEx this all the way. We’ve got to FedEx this all the way. We’ve got to overnight it back in two.”

Upon hearing the billion price tag though, Steve Ballmer didn’t flinch. In Moore’s words, there was no hesitation. Microsoft needed to act fast and decisively to save the Xbox brand name and ultimately, we got the Xbox One, which might not have happened if the Xbox 360 had tanked with the RROD. Given how the Xbox brand is today, gamers really do appreciate firms that can provide good customer service and address issues head on. It’s important to note though that Microsoft still took a while to address the RROD.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information 

 

Sony Surprised by Xbox One Backwards Compatibility; Will It Come to PS4?

Microsoft shocked the gaming world by announcing at E3 that backward compatibility for Xbox 360 games would be coming to Xbox One, with none being more shocked that console rival Sony.

When asked for his reaction, Shuhei Yoshida, Head of Sony Worldwide Studios, told EuroGamer, “It was surprising.”

“I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.”

Though the initial run of Xbox 360 games compatible with the Xbox One will be limited, and only Xbox Preview members will have access to the function until its full launch this Autumn, the range is promised to expand over the next few years.

Yoshida then went on to dispel any notion that backwards compatibility could make it to PlayStation 4, saying, “PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well. It’s going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans.”

I’m sure the Xbox One’s architecture is equally “unique”, but it seems Sony are more keen to push forward with the unreliable PlayStation Now streaming service, which allows owners to play PS3 games on the console, though they have to pay for games that they already own.

Thank you EuroGamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GameSpot.

SteelSeries to Enter the Console Scene

It’s now Mid E3, we’ve seen some amazing releases so far and another one to add to the list of awesomeness is SteelSeries.

They’re releasing a new range of headsets for consoles this July, meaning that console gamers have a lot to look forward to with the X and P-series headsets.

The best ones of the releases are the X900 and P800 wireless headsets. These headsets will feature 7.1 surround sound and rather comfy earmuffs to provide a pro quality experience with minimal audio lag. The transmitter box has a crisp display on it that makes it easy to adjust the eq and more, the headset also has several controls. There is however, no word on battery life for the pair of headsets, but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.

The PlayStation version will come in at $299 and the Xbox £330 due to requiring an additional adapter to function.

The next versions in the range are X300 and P300, which SteelSeries state that they are the most comfortable headsets in the world, these are based on the Siberia V3 PC headphones – which are really popular within the gaming industry. Powerful speakers, retractable microphone and virtual surround sound comes in at a mediocre $99 for the Playstation and $130 for the X-Box One.

Right at the bottom are the X100 and the P100’s. These headsets come in at $49/$69 but have yet to be tested by anyone.

Thank you to canadianonlinegamers for providing us with this information.

New Tony Hawk Pro Skating 5 Gamplay Video

Yesterday we saw the first screenshots of the newest skating game, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. Today we get some actual gameplay footage in a video courtesy of GamesHQ where the Birdman himself talks about the game and what to expect from the game.

One of the good things that we learned from this video is that the control scheme stays untouched and the game will bring back familiar levels like the school and the warehouse, and I’m sure there will be a beach too.

The graphics don’t look impressive comparing to some modern games and it’s taking some critique on that side around the web. We got to keep a few things in mind with that. We don’t know what console this was captured on, it could have been the PS3 or Xbox 360. This isn’t the final game either, but a little demonstration. And lastly, graphics aren’t everything and you don’t really notice it when immersed in the gameplay.

One of the things that the newer consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 bring along is the addition of a great multiplayer part. You’ll be able to jump into games with up to 20 players at once. A Map editor will also be included, allowing you to build your own maps like you could in the previous games.

The gameplay demo shows some new ideas where the board charges with electricity and even bursts into flames. There is also a mention of a new ability to shoot projectiles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaZ1I7siFA

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will launch later this year for PS3, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One.