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Tag: Microsoft (1-10 of 13)

EW ranks the 'Halo' games in 'The Master Chief Collection'

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With today’s release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, over a decade of Halo history has been assembled in one package to celebrate the franchise’s past–and do a smart bit of promotion for its future.

The collection combines Halo 1 through 4, highlighting every adventure in the franchise with Master Chief as the protagonist. While it doesn’t include the well-received spin offs Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST, the four main entries in the package highlight a number of the greatest moments in the fight between humanity and the Covenant.

But which of Master Chief’s adventures is the best, and which has withered with time? Having had a chance to revisit the classic titles as part of the collection, EW has ranked the four main Halo story campaigns from worst to best.

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Why everyone needs to pay closer attention to the video game industry

Monday morning, Microsoft announced it was purchasing Swedish game development studio Mojang AB, makers of the staggeringly popular multi-platform video game Minecraftfor $2.4 billion. It’s a massive deal, with huge implications. Talk of the deal had been swirling for a week, and the rumored acquisition was a genuine surprise to the games and tech industry; Bloomberg stated that the purchase would be the biggest deal Microsoft has made since CEO Satya Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as the company’s top executive three years ago.

But the mainstream press struggled to fathom why one of the biggest names in tech would want Mojang, at least for such an enormous price. In keeping with a reporting trend that follows any major happening in the games industry, there was a layer of incredulity to the proceedings.

There shouldn’t have been.

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Microsoft announces acquisition of 'Minecraft' developer

Mojang may not be a household name, but the game developer’s title Minecraft is. The game that allows users to build just about anything they can imagine has attracted more than 100 million players and is available on just about every platform imaginable, from Windows PC to PlayStation 3 to iOS devices.

It’s now one of the most popular games to play on the Xbox 360, and Microsoft took note of the game’s success. The company announced today it will acquire Mojang and the Minecraft franchise for $2.5 billion.

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Darkness bad, go shoot it: EW's 'Destiny' journal, pt. 1

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Out this week, Destiny is, by most metrics, the biggest video game of the year. If you’ve read our primer, you know why it’s a big deal. But is it any good?

That’s a tough nut to crack. 

Destiny is an online game that promises to grow and change, one that doesn’t really take shape until people are actively playing it. And so in lieu of a traditional review, several EW writers will be documenting their journey through the game. Think of it as a journal meant to give you a perspective on the game over time.

Sound good? Let’s go. 

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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.
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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:

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