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 »
Tag: Microsoft (1-5 of 5)
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:
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 »
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 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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