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Tag: Microsoft (1-9 of 9)

Amidst layoffs, Microsoft abandons bid to be the next Netflix

Another contender for the Netflix crown has fallen.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that the company will shut down its Xbox Entertainment Studios division, well before any of the studio’s marquee series go live. The news comes hours after Microsoft announced massive restructuring plans that will see the company eliminate up to 18,000 jobs this year.

In an internal memo published by Re/code, Phil Spencer, head of the company’s in-house video game production wing Microsoft Studios, briefly outlined Microsoft’s strategy for the Xbox in light of the sudden upheaval: READ FULL STORY

Xbox E3 2014: Microsoft is very happy you told them to stop doing everything they were doing

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The corporate realities of the videogame industry operate on massive, mega, epochal levels. Release dates are planned out years in advance. New brands are built carefully over the course of years, with the implicit promise that they could run for decades. You could think of the major videogame companies as giants, skyscraper-size creatures who move at their own pace. Or you could think of them as creatures out of an HP Lovecraft story, unthinkable many-headed monstrosities who live in cross-dimensional space dreaming up new nightmares. Either way, it’s hard to imagine that the events of a single day can change everything.

But one year ago today, Microsoft woke up on top of the world, and then everything got ruined. Or maybe they ruined everything. Hard to say: Their media presentation was shaky enough, what with the rape-joke controversy and the backpedaling insistence that the Xbox One’s Orwellian Always-On requirement wasn’t a requirement, just a suggestion for cool people who aren’t lame. But then a few hours later, Sony basically made the subject of their presentation: “Here’s why we aren’t Microsoft.” The PlayStation 4 let you play any games you wanted to play. The Playstation 4 was a videogame console built for videogames, not for weird tie-ins to ESPN. Above all else, the PlayStation 4 was a hundred dollars cheaper. READ FULL STORY

'Halo 5': Master Chief's next chapter gets a name and release window

Following last summer’s teaser footage of a hooded Master Chief braving the desert, Halo fans have been clamoring for any info regarding the Spartan’s next alien-thwarting adventure. Well, the wait for fresh intel ends now, as Microsoft and Chief’s handlers at 343 Industries have revealed the name and release window for the upcoming entry in the popular sci-fi first-person shooter franchise. READ FULL STORY

Xbox One sells 1 million units in first 24 hours

According to Microsoft, their new gaming system, Xbox One, has sold 1 million units worldwide during the first 24 hours of being on the market. The new gaming system has already sold more units on its first day than the Xbox 360 did when it came out in 2005.

Additionally, the new console’s first-day figures are comparable to that of its rival: Sony’s PlayStation 4, which was released in the U.S. and Canada just one week prior, also sold 1 million units in North America within the first 24 hours of being on the market.

The new record-high number of units sold in Xbox One’s first 24 hours has also had a direct effect on the number of people playing the new gaming console’s video games. Microsoft is also reporting that since going on the market, there have been 60 million zombies killed in Dead Rising 3, more than 3.6 million miles driven in Forza Motorsport 5, and more than 8.5 million enemies defeated in Ryse: Son of Rome.
READ FULL STORY

The State of Xbox: 24 remarks on Microsoft's E3 presentation

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1. The videogame industry trends brash and macho. This is partially because the industry spent most of the last decade making hilarious billions of dollars, and partially because the industry mostly constitutes a gigantic dude-frat of workaholic nerds. Of the three major videogame companies right now, none is brasher or more macho than Microsoft. Their Xbox became a powerhouse off the back of games like Halo and Gears of War and Left 4 Dead and infinite Calls of Duty played on the robust Xbox live system. It’s difficult to generalize about consoles — or at least, the consoles not designed by Nintendo in the last decade — and it’s worth pointing out that Braid, the artiest of indie games in our arty-indie game golden era, debuted on the Xbox Live Arcade. But put it this way: I don’t think anyone has ever considered the Xbox beautiful. Unless you think tanks are beautiful. More on tanks later. READ FULL STORY

Nine highlights from Microsoft's debut of next-gen Xbox One

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Microsoft is finally joining the eighth generation of videogame consoles — and its system is meant to make every other system obsolete. Meet the Xbox One, described alternately (and often simultaneously) as “instant,” “simple,” “complete,” “interactive,” and “personalized.” It’s apparently equal parts computer, console, and TV, continuing the tectonic technological conjoining that was kickstarted three generations ago with the Playstation.

In an hour-long launch event today, Microsoft unveiled Xbox One and its many new features, some of which are scintillating and some of which are silly. It also debuted some exclusive partnerships (Spielberg! Call of Duty!), almost all of which are potentially awesome. The highlights, below:

READ FULL STORY

Microsoft poised to unveil new Xbox

Will Xbox mark the spot once again for Microsoft?

The company is set to reveal the next generation of its Xbox entertainment console during a presentation Tuesday at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

It’s been eight years since the launch of the Xbox 360. The original Xbox debuted in 2001, and its high-definition successor premiered in 2005.

For the past two years, Microsoft has led the gaming industry in console sales with the Xbox 360. In April alone, consumers spent $208 million on Xbox hardware, software and accessories, more than rival consoles from Nintendo and Sony, according to market research firm NPD Group. READ FULL STORY

Snap Judgment: We touched Microsoft's Surface tablet!

The words “Apple” and “iPad” were never spoken during Microsoft’s unveiling yesterday of the company’s new tablet device, the Surface, but they haunted just about every facet of the presentation. First, there was the unusual, Apple-like secrecy surrounding the event — reporters were given just a few days notice that a “major announcement” would be taking place in Los Angeles, and only informed of the specific location just six hours before it was set to begin. (I overheard one reporter from San Francisco saying that he was only able to make a hotel reservation after he’d landed in L.A. that morning, because he wasn’t sure where in the sprawling city he’d have to be.)

When the Surface was finally revealed, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and a few other executives tripped over themselves fetishizing the tablet’s design, repeatedly emphasizing words like “seamless,” and “elegant,” and “perfect.” And much time was spent obsessing over the cutting-edge engineering that allowed for “vapor magnesium” casings that were both unfathomably thin and impressively rigid.

It was plainly obvious that Microsoft was gunning not only for Apple’s hefty market share, but also its zeitgeist-seizing mojo. The one question on all our minds, however, was whether any of us would get to actually use the Microsoft Surface.  READ FULL STORY

Microsoft introduces new Surface tablet

Microsoft announced the new Surface tablet Monday at a press event in Los Angeles, launching a pointed broadside at Apple’s market-share monster the iPad. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described the new device as a “companion hardware innovation” for Windows 8. “We see a tablet designed the way Windows is designed. A tablet that’s a great PC. A PC that’s a great tablet,” added Windows chief Steven Sinofsky.

The Microsoft team showed off two versions of the Surface: READ FULL STORY

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