During an event today at its Redmond, WA campus, Microsoft announced the brand new Xbox console everyone had been waiting for. Dubbed “XBox One” the new console features a host of internal and external improvement, enhancements and new features/content including 8GB of RAM, a 500 GB internal HD, USB 3.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a Blu-ray drive and three operating systems: The standard Xbox OS, the kernel of Windows 8 for web applications and a third platform that connects the two together.
Microsoft has also completely redesigned its Kinect sensor to better respond to users’ voices and gestures and has overhauled its Xbox Live experience, which is now supported by 300,000 servers, or 20 times the number of servers that currently power Xbox Live. That’s a lot of servers.
Microsoft also said during the event that it will launch 15 exclusive games on the Xbox One, 8 of which are new titles. The major one reveled was, of course, a brand new Call of Duty game called: Call of Duty: Ghosts.
It looks like Microsoft won’t be as dumb as, well, Microsoft seems to be sometimes. That’s right XBox fans, you won’t need to be connected to the Internet to enjoy any games on the next-gen XBox console, currently known as the XBox 720.
Word has come to us today from the fine folks are Ars Technica (who got hold of an internal Microsoft email) that the Redmond giant has decided against this requirement. In the email, from Microsoft to Xbox engineers, the company outlines “a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection” and instructing the engineers to make those functions “‘just work’ regardless of their current connection status.”
The email goes on to say that the new Xbox should be designed for “playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game” without an Internet connection. Well, that makes more sense, doesn’t it?
Not one to be left behind when there’s a fight to be had, Microsoft has decided to take on what it thinks are two of its biggest rivals: Apple and Samsung. Or, at least, it wants you to remember that it also makes phones too and the fued between Apple and Samsiung is a silly distraction from the awesomeness of its products.
One way Microsoft is trying to accomplish this is with a new ad. In this one iPhone users make fun of Galaxy owners and their “enormous” phones, Galaxy owners make fun of iPhone owners and call them children and the list of insults goes on and on.
If it wasn’t so heavy-handed and obvious, it would be kinda funny. Still, we do like stylized martial arts action in a church and overblown sound effects as much as the next guys/gals. The guy with the Apple tattoo is also a nice touch.
So kudos to Microsoft for at least trying to have a sense of humor and trying to do something. We may never buy a Windows Smartphone (check that, we never will), but at least it won’t be due to a lack of effort on Microsoft’s part.
Hey, we still love the XBox 360. Check out the add after the break.
In somewhat of an ominous email I, and probably nearly every Xbox Live member, received today from Microsoft, a date has been announced for the folks at Redmond to reveal their next generation gaming console. A day past 3 months after Sony held their presentation for the Playstation 4, M$ will lay it out for everyone on May 21st at 1pm EDT/10am PDT.
Rumors have flowed a plenty about what the next Xbox (720? Durango? Fandango?) will feature, from features like an updated or even built in Kinect sensor, HDMI passthrough letting it act like a cable box, whether or not it will support Blu-Ray media, to screams that it won’t be able to play used games.
Hopefully most, if not all, the rumors out there will be answered during the presentation, and maybe we’ll even see what the damn system will look like (unlike the Playstation 4, which we’re still waiting on…).
Watch the announcement live May 21, 1pm EDT/10am PDT on Xbox Live, Xbox.com or Spike TV.
Despite Sony rumors running rampant throughout most of February before the PlayStation 4 announcement, the XBox 360 was still the top selling console of the month. Making it now twenty-six months in a row, the XBox 360 topped both the PlayStation 3 and Wii which came out after it in its generation as well as the latest generation’s entrant, the Wii U. With this momentum, does Microsoft really need to announce the next XBox, and if so, when?
Right now, Microsoft has the benefit of learning from Sony’s lessons that were painfully learned from the PlayStation 3 launch which Sony never fully recovered from. When the PS3 launched a full year later at a higher price point than the XBox 360, even the system’s power and free online network weren’t enough to make up the deficit.
Microsoft has done a great job transforming the Xbox 360 from an awesome gaming console to a complete home entertainment system, offering services like like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and WatchESPN as well as premium cable services (depending on your television provider) like HBO Go, Xfinity, and Verizon FiOS.
Now, with DVD rental giant Redbox getting into the instant streaming arena, the folks out of Redmond decided to give their Xbox Live Gold subscribers a shot at one month of the brand new service for free, after creating an account with Redbox using this link, and adding a credit card to the account, of course.
“Why go first when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?”
When asked about the launch of the PlayStation 4 by UK publication The Times, President and CEO of Sony Corporation Kaz Hirai gave that as his response. This can lead us to believe that the PlayStation 4′s official announcement and possibly release as well will follow those of the upcoming next XBox console.
While last week there were leaks indicating that the PlayStation 4 may launch before the next XBox including predictions from Robert W Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, this statement from Kaz seemingly contradicts it. But there is a problem with this statement that you might miss at first glance.
Imagine a gaming world that doesn’t end with the edge of your television. Think about what’d be like if the edge of your TV was only the beginning and the world continued around you. Sounds like the stuff of sci-fi that you remember reading about in Fahrenheit 451, right? Well the team at Microsoft is trying to bring this fiction to reality.
At CES yesterday, Microsoft revealed its concept behind Illumiroom. Self described as “Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences”, Illumiroom looks to change the way players experience gaming by transforming the room around them to match watch appears on screen. Using the Kinect and a projector, the system scans the room and projects images in ratio and aspect to what is going on on-screen. Field of vision is extended as well as the motion of objects on screen. The unique design and geometry of every room is taken into effect to not just appear as a prerendered design but one manipulated and created in real time.
As you probably noticed last week that 2012 was a momentous year in gaming, it is time we take a step back to let it all sink in. (momentary pause) Well now that that’s over, it’s 2013 and everything is ready and rearing to kick off.
The early part of 2013 is packed with huge games like Bioshock Infinite, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Lost Planet 3 and of course the juggernaut of Grand Theft Auto V. But there is a lot we don’t know about 2013 still, especially with an uncommonly light release schedule for the last few months of the year. So, here are The Flickcast Five top gaming predictions for the year, 2013.
1. Cliffy B Will Open a New Development Studio
In late 2012, Cliff Bleszinski announced that he was leaving Epic Games. During the revival of Epic Games, Cliffy B would become a figurehead for the company, making one of the most memorable E3 entrances when he cut through a wall to make his way onto stage using a Lancer. Having been with the company for so long though, Ciiff decided it was time to part ways to explore future endeavors. While we don’t think there was any bad blood between Cliff and his old team, he would have most likely been pigeonholed into working on titles that Epic wanted him to as opposed to being given the freedom to start his own new ones. While he might remain quiet for the early part of the year, before 2013 ends we think Cliff will be gathering a new team to launch his own studio. Think of it as the same scenario as the guys from Infinity Ward creating Respawn… minus all the lawsuits. With a creative genius like Ciffy at the helm, don’t expect just a Gears ofWar clone. But it is probably safe to expect things to be a little bloody.
So last night my iPhone buzzes me and let’s me know I have a new email from American Express. I figure it is just another Skymiles statement tied into my Delta frequent flyer account that I get every month. But luckily before quickly hitting delete, I see XBox 360 in the subject line.
So I decide to actually open it and I find out something surprising. American Express is going to issue me a credit just for synching up my Amex account with my XBox 360. Now I am sure there is some malevolent connection between the two to allow them to both do market research on me but let’s face it, these two companies already know all the bad stuff about me.
Microsoft knows how many hours of my life are spent online gaming already and my AmEx card knows where I blow my disposable income. Registering the two together isn’t going to ruin me by any means.
Did you know Microsoft came out with its own tablet recently called the Surface? You should, because we told you about it.
Now that it’s out, how does it stack up to the undisputed tablet sales leader the iPad? Well, here’s a video showing you just that bit of info. Not that you should take things you watch on the Internet too seriously.
For the few of you who don’t already have an iPad (or even a Google Nexus Tablet), Microsoft will start taking preorders for its Surface tablet today. Said preorders will begin at 12:00PM Eastern, 9AM Pacific. Heck, that’s right now!
Although, don’t get your hopes up too much because Microsoft has said that quantities will be limited during the pre-sale period. Shocking that they said that, right?
The Surface, which is initially only available running Windows RT, will start at $499 for the base model, which includes 32GB of internal storage. 64GB will set you back $599. Other specs include the NVIDIA T30 processor, 2GB of RAM, front- and rear-facing 720p HD cameras, a full USB 2.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0 and microSDXC support.
The Surface also comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview with a free upgrade to the full version once it becomes available. Plus, you can get those cool soft-touch keyboards in a variety of colors for $119.99 each and the Type Cover is available for $129.99.
If you want one, head on over to www.surface.com and do it. The full press release is after the break.
Knowing full well that no matter what, when review season was going to come around Halo 4 would be on my list, I couldn’t bring myself to wait in the horde of players hoping to get a brief hands on in San Diego at Comic Con. With so much going on, it wasn’t worth missing an entire day’s worth of events just for ten minutes of multiplayer. But with preview night of NYCC being less crowded, the proposition of waiting less than an hour to get hands on with Halo 4′s multiplayer seemed much more reasonable.
In our game, we had the opportunity to play Team Slayer on Ragnarok. As the name would suggest, this map is the successor to Valhalla from Halo 3. Not much has changed about the physical layout of the map though. The same basic structures still exist as they did before but with higher res textures. The only major change to the level was the position of weapons, taking into effect weapons new to the game. We also had the mech walker in our level which when used properly was a beast on the battlefield. Unfortunately, everyone was rushing for it at most times so we didn’t get to spend too long with it.
It’s hard to remember the last time I used a Microsoft Office product to get any of my work done, but as it’s still the most popular suite of office apps out there so someone must still care about it besides Microsoft. Following that logic, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today unveiled the company’s next generation Office Suite during a press conference in San Francisco.
The new product, ingeniously called Office 2013, includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. It is available today as public “Consumer Preview” (or what anyone else would call a “Beta”) if you’re using Windows 7 and Windows 8. Users of older version of Windows (of which there’s probably a lot) will have to wait.
“We are taking bold steps at Microsoft,” Ballmer said at the press conference. “The new, modern Office will deliver unparalleled productivity and flexibility for both consumers and business customers. It is a cloud service and will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.”
Click through for the full press release from Microsoft. But really, does anyone still use Office. . . for anything?
At Comic-Con in San Diego the first trailer for Halo: Forward Unto Dawn screened for an enthusiastic crowd. This live action/CGI web series sounds, and looks, pretty great.
Here’s the story:
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn tells an exciting story of heroism and sacrifice on a scale never before seen in the Halo universe, taking fans back to the beginning of the human and Covenant war and leading into the events of Halo 4.
Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, a group of highborn cadets are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about this war, and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry.
The Flickcast is about movies, TV, comics, games, tech, pop culture and all things geek. From Star Wars to BSG to Star Trek, Citizen Kane, The Dark Knight, X-Men, Avengers, Green Lantern, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Apple, the iPhone, iPad, Android, gadgets and more, The Flickcast team will discuss, debate, entertain and enlighten with critical and insightful commentary on entertainment and pop culture of the past, present and future. Find out More.