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Tag: Xbox (1-10 of 14)

Eight intriguing games unveiled so far at Gamescom 2014

Gamescom is a Cologne, Germany-based annual video game trade fair that’s open to both the public and industry professionals. Like the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, it’s a great place to see new games announced and get closer looks at others on the way. At the halfway point of Gamescom 2014, here are some of the most interesting looking titles from this year’s crop:

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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

Microsoft launching original Xbox shows (including the 'Halo' series?) early next year

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The Xbox One hit stores almost a month ago. Launch titles like Ryse and Dead Rising 3 didn’t inspire much confidence, but Microsoft always positioned the Xbox One as a new kind of device: An entertainment console that would unite the disparate media machines in your living room into one glorious voice-operated mega-machine. (It’s the Megazord, basically.) To that end, Microsoft already announced plans to populate Xbox Live with original TV series, including a Halo series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, director of Always and also several other films you may have heard of. 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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Xbox One review: One box to rule the living room

Long before Sony’s PlayStation 4 landed on the front lines of the next-gen console war earlier this month, it was decided it would be a gamer-focused platform, while Microsoft’s Xbox One would be an all-in-one entertainment device. Due in no small part to the latter’s early — but later-reversed — unpopular policies regarding used games and an always-online connection, as well as Microsoft’s own marketing, this was, for better or worse, the defining distinction made between the two boxes.

It’s ironic, then, that I’ve had more fun with the Xbox One’s first-party launch lineup than I had with the titles that debuted alongside Sony’s dedicated gaming console. As with the competition, the Xbox One has no Halo-like killer app. Its trio of triple-A entries — Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5 — however, make a more convincing case for the power of next-gen gaming than Sony’s pair of big-budget day-one offerings Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack.
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Microsoft has heard your complaints and will make the Xbox One less terrifying

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This was supposed to be a good summer for Microsoft. Last month they introduced the Xbox One, their next-generation console. It should have been a publicity win for the company. Unfortunately, the Xbox One came with some curious design specifications: A required always-on internet connection, the inability to sell or trade or indeed even technically own your videogames, the possibility that the Kinect would be always on watching you and gathering information on you for our robot overlords. Turns out that gamers don’t actually want a weird Orwellian surveillance device in their living room — especially not one that costs $499, $100 more than Sony’s Playstation 4. READ FULL STORY

The most exciting games at E3 2013...and everything that might be wrong with them

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) marked an exciting moment for the videogame industry. New consoles. New blockbuster titles. Long-awaited sequels. What follows is a list of the 15 most exciting games I saw this year. I got hands-on time with most of them, but it’s important to remember that playing videogames at E3 is not the same as actually playing the videogames. At E3, you’re staring at the most expensive TV screens corporate money can buy, while various company reps urge you on and assure you that you’re much better at the game than all of the other journalists they’ve seen that day. (One developer assured me I was doing great after I died for the fifth time in two minutes.) With that in mind, each of these games comes with an addendum: What could go wrong between now and when the game is actually released?

15. Killzone: Shadow Fall
The franchise about futuristic space dudes with futuristic space guns gets a next-gen makeover. I’ve never been a Killzone fan. In fact, I couldn’t pick out the first three games from a lineup of futuristic-space-gun shooters. But the level I played through offered a fascinating array of possible tactical decisions. Also, this was The Year of the Ziplines at E3, and Shadow Fall lets you fire a zipline anywhere you want. (Playstation 4, End of 2013)
What Could Go Wrong: The title Killzone: Shadow Fall sounds like a straightfaced parody of a contemporary futuristic-space-gun videogame, and what little I could glean of the plot sounded like boilerplate from the post-Gears of War era.

14. Mariokart 8
After many months of hype and rumors, Nintendo’s biggest franchises were mostly no-shows at this year’s E3 — unless you consider an HD remake of an old Zelda game a new development (it isn’t) or you think Super Mario 3D Land is even close to Super Mario Galaxy (it ain’t.) But the new Mariokart offers some intriguing twists on the two-decade-old formula, with the ability to drive on walls. Also, the levels are so pretty in HD. (Wii U, Spring 2014).
What Could Go Wrong: It’s the same old Mariokart, except this time it’s on a console you still don’t feel like buying.
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E3: Which new console are you most excited about? -- POLL

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While in years past, it’s been new games and high-drama cinematic effects we were most excited about in the videogame world, as this year’s E3 comes to a close, it’s the prospect of new consoles and new technology that we’re most looking forward to. How will the way we play games change in the coming months and years? What does the future look like for Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U, Sony’s Playstation, and Microsoft’s XBox – not to mention indie platforms and newcomers like the Ouya?

While the Wii U’s had a hard time catching on (in part, as EW’s Darren Franich reports, due to the lackluster games it was launched with), Nintendo returned to E3 this year with a new outlook on its offerings. Sony and Microsoft, however, stole the show with big upcoming releases. Sony’s PlayStation 4 will sell for $399 and offers advancements for hardcore games, including a streaming service that allows gamers to stream, rather than download, older games. Microsoft’s XBox One ($499), which was announced before E3, made its splash by showcasing new games. Both new consoles will be released around Holiday 2013. And then a little independent, $99 Kickstarter-funded box called the Ouya (on sale later this month), which streams independent games to its own console, staged a non-E3 event that got them in some trouble with the LAPD — but earned them plenty of buzz in the gaming world. Where will you put your money once the upcoming new iterations are released?

Take the poll below and discuss the new advances in videogame tech in the comments!

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