05/04/2014 - The Xbox One is getting another controller update (update: confirmed, plus other new features)
Really, Microsoft? You just asked gamers to go through the hassle of updating their Xbox One gamepads in March, yet there's word on NeoGAF that the next patch -- currently in testing -- will once again bundle "new controller firmware." Yes, the (hopefully optional) code should fix connection and headset quality issues that are even more of a pain, but it's doubtful that Xbox owners will relish plugging in peripherals a second time to get reliability that should have been present on day one. At least users can take comfort in new system features added to the list of coming updates, including a button to check for future software updates manually and redeeming codes directly from Xbox Live messages. Let's just hope that gamepad upgrades are less frequent from here on out.
Update (4/7): Major Nelson has posted a list of features coming to the update preview confirming the ones mentioned above. He's also posted a pic of what that new system update check button looks like (hint: it's a button), and explains that now, the system will return to standby after new updates are installed. That "silent reboot" will mean the day after an update we can say "Xbox On" and boot up quickly, instead of having to actually press a physical button and endure the longer cold start process -- we're far too fancy to be stuck waiting around, you know?
11/03/2014 - Twitch game broadcasting goes live on Xbox One
Xbox One owners, start your streams -- the Twitch app's broadcasting support is now available, just in time for Titanfall's launch on March 11th. As promised, you can share live gameplay sessions with viewers around the world. You can use your Kinect to chat with any fans, although any interaction is strictly optional. As long as you have a Twitch account and a willingness to show off, you can fire up your console to get the necessary app update and start playing in the public eye.
The days of true music television may be long gone, but Microsoft has just introduced the next best thing. Xbox Music on the Xbox One now offers more than 92,000 music videos; if a given song has a matching video, you'll see that instead of having to settle for plain old audio. You can also browse music videos if you demand visuals for every track. If you're looking for something to do before the Xbox One's big update hits -- or just want to indulge in some TV nostalgia -- you can check out the Xbox Music update today.
Source: Xbox Wire
24/02/2014 - The 'Superbad' and 'This is the End' team is adapting a book about the '90s video game war
The duo behind This is the End is making a movie about the the '90s battle between Nintendo and Sega. That's right, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who also wrote and executive produced 2007's Superbad) are adapting Blake Harris' forthcoming account of the power struggle between the two gaming companies. At this point, details are otherwise scarce and Harris' book doesn't release until this May. We do know that Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle That Defined a Generation is comprised of some 200 interviews with former employees from each company, but that's about it. Goldberg's and Rogen's past work leans toward the R-rated and comedic sides of things, so it could be interesting to see how their take on one of gaming's more storied tussles plays out when it finally hits.
14/02/2014 - First Xbox One feature update goes live
Microsoft's spring update for the Xbox One is here! (Cue triumphant trumpets.) It's a few days later than anticipated but, as they say, better late than never. The first major update for the console packs a host of improvements, including better Kinect voice recognition, improved all-round stability, and some key fixes to the dashboard -- such as onscreen meters for the controller's battery and free HDD space (check after the break for a complete list). You'll also be able to plug a USB keyboard in, which should make web browsing and searching a whole lot less painful. The update is rolling out to customers during "off-peak" hours in their local time zones. Or as the ever eloquent Larry Hryb put it, "never fear you'll see it sometime over the weekend." If you're taking advantage of Xbox's Instant On feature, the console will check for an update next time you turn it off.
11/12/2013 - Microsoft has sold 2 million Xbox One consoles to date, maintains 'record-setting' pace
After crossing the one million mark in 24 hours, it took 18 days for Microsoft to sell another million of its shiny new console. The folks in Redmond have announced that the Xbox One has officially eclipsed sales of two million with an average of over 111,000 units being sold per day since its November 22nd launch. Just over a week ago, Sony posted news of a 2.1 million unit sales tally for the PS4 in November while Microsoft informed us of some zombie-killing stats. Even still, both consoles are pretty hard to come by this holiday season.
Source: Xbox Wire
The PlayStation 4 has already seen its first post-launch firmware upgrade; now, it's the Xbox One's turn. Microsoft is about to roll out a system update that will fix several glitches, including problems with SmartGlass when entering or exiting standby, difficulties rejoining multiplayer games and various inconsistencies with Dashboard performance, notifications and WiFi. You can upgrade your Xbox One at any point after 8PM Eastern tonight, but we wouldn't be too leisurely about it -- the patch will be mandatory after 7PM on December 12th.
Source: Major Nelson
Sony's PSN woes aren't over just yet. The company has temporarily stopped taking PlayStation promo codes following a surge in traffic on the gaming service; for the moment, money cards and game vouchers won't work. There's no estimate for when code redemption will return. It's easy to see the potential causes, however. Between the weekend, the PlayStation 4's European launch and a big discount on PlayStation Plus subscriptions at Amazon, there's guaranteed to be a deluge of PSN activity -- Sony may have unintentionally created a perfect storm.
20/11/2013 - Xbox One will have a native YouTube app at launch
Microsoft thinks of the Xbox One as a complete media center, but many would say it's unfinished without a way to catch up on YouTube videos. Thankfully, one is coming just in the nick of time -- the company has revealed that a native YouTube client will be available when the system arrives on November 22nd -- something that's not available on the PS4 (yet), although owners of that system can watch videos in the web browser. The officially sanctioned player will support channel subscriptions as well as Kinect-based gesture and voice commands. Additional features like Snap mode support are coming in the future, Microsoft says. The app launch doesn't mean that Google and Microsoft have resolved all their differences over YouTube, but it will let you stream cat clips and blooper reels from the comfort of your living room.
If you start counting from the Magnavox Odyssey, we've been playing console games for seven generations now. Yes, it's crazy to think of, but it's even more alarming to realize that the industry has been in an all-out "war" since generation three. For better or worse, competition became a part of the hardware cycle. The players (you know, Sega, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) have changed several times through the years, but until recently, the game hasn't -- the console wars were fought over who had more bits, what had the most RAM and how fast a machine could render frames. Now, as we kick off generation eight, we're seeing a very different kind of contest.
We're not saying that hardware specifications don't matter -- they absolutely do -- but this time, the two leading armies are packing painfully similar heat. On paper, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 really aren't that different. So, what's going to win the war? Software, services and brand.
How do you close out a console generation? By reclaiming your crown. According to NPD's October figures, Microsoft is back on top: The Xbox 360 is once again the best-selling home console. It's hardly surprising -- Microsoft has dominated home console sales for years, losing out to the PlayStation 3 for the first time in ages just last month. It almost wouldn't be notable, save for the fact that this month's numbers are the last NPD figures before the industry moves on. The PlayStation 4 launches at midnight tonight, and the Xbox One will be available in just a few days. You can almost see the anticipation in the numbers. Hardware sales totaled $171.7 million for the month, 8 percent less than the same period last year and over $10 million less than the previous month. Business as usual, really. Care to take stab at who will take the cake in generation eight's first NPD report? Let us know what you think in the comments.
19/06/2013 - The Xbox One and live TV -- here's what to expect
What's in a name? A whole lot, if you're asking yours truly. "All Your Entertainment. Input One." Such intriguing statements were declared in a document that leaked from Redmond last summer. The slogan "All in one, input one" was on the Microsoft banners decorating the LA Convention Center for E3 this year. But this probably left many wondering: what is "input one," exactly? It didn't go unnoticed by those who follow the TV industry. Input one is commonly used in the biz to refer to the TV input most Americans use to access the majority of their content. This is the input that's displayed when the TV is turned on, and it's the input that most connect their set-top box from their cable or satellite provider to. Naturally, it's a highly coveted position in the content industry and one that is well fortified by the incumbents.
Microsoft has had its sights on input one for a long time, and this particular go-round isn't all that unfamiliar. The Xbox One intends to share input one in what I'd call a man-in-the-middle attack. How well it works won't be revealed until later this year, but clicking through will reveal how I think it'll play out, why this attempt is a direct result of industry constraints and finally, how it matches up with the competition.
24/04/2013 - Microsoft announces Xbox event for May 21st
What many suspected was coming has indeed happened: Microsoft just confirmed an upcoming Xbox event on May 21st, which we expect to be focused on the company's next-gen Xbox console (informally codenamed Durango). The company isn't diving into specifics at this stage, but the event is taking place on its own Xbox campus and should offer a "real taste of the future," according to Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb. Don't worry too much that Microsoft will completely upstage E3, which happens just a few weeks later -- Hryb also promises that his firm "continue the conversation" at the show, focusing its attention on its game lineup. Players will have a chance to stream the event through both Microsoft's services (including Xbox Live) and Spike TV, but you can be sure we'll be on the ground to share the news first-hand.
Ben Gilbert contributed to this report.
Source: Major Nelson
12/02/2013 - Microsoft talks plans for premium content production, details Xbox 360's transition to an 'entertainment console'
Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, just sat down alongside Nancy Tellem, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft LA Studios, to kick off this year's rendition of D:Dive Into Media here in Dana Point, Calif. The first session of the evening is being piloted by AllThingsD's Peter Kafka, and naturally, the topic of conversation is Xbox. For starters, Mehdi affirmed that Microsoft is witnessing an unmistakable transition of the Xbox 360 "from a gaming console to an entertainment console." At present, the install base is up to 76 million (up from around 70 million at the close of September 2012), with US-based users using the console for some 87 hours per month.
In fact, he stated that 18 billion (yeah, with a "B") hours of entertainment have been consumed on Xbox, and while Netflix is obviously the driving force, it might not be that way for much longer. He was quick to claim that Sony's PlayStation 3 "isn't as good of an entertainment console" -- something he feels that "everybody knows" -- and insinuated that the next-generation Xbox will stick to "big and premium." In other words, don't expect Microsoft to kick out a $50 Roku-style content box. Mehdi wants to ensure that the future of Xbox enables voice control, interactivity, and "other stuff that's big and beautiful."
Nintendo's Wii U has yet to launch in Japan, but over there it's been revealed that the innovative Nintendo TVii app will be available when the console launches December 8th. Interestingly, the IR remote functionality that we've already seen packed in will cost 100 yen ($1.21) from Nintendo's eShop. The TV guide data will be pulled from Rovi's G-Guide service, ready to pull up even when you're not using the console, or in the middle of a TV show or video game. We still don't have an exact release date for the i.TV-based feature in North America (it's due in "select" European regions next year) but at least gamers can enjoy their Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube access until then.
Gallery: Nintendo TVii press shots
Via: AV Watch
18/11/2012 - Nintendo Wii U review
Nintendo's new console is an anomaly in the game console ecosystem, but not for Nintendo. The company that -- in just the last decade -- popularized stylus-powered gaming, microphone-powered gaming and motion-based gaming, is once again pushing game control inputs forward. And just like its previous consoles, lessons learned from past hardware build the foundation of its latest effort: the Wii U and its bizarre-looking, but conventionally named, "GamePad."
The Wii U console itself, for instance, looks almost exactly like the original Wii. It's longer (6.75 inches vs. 6 inches for the Wii), a bit rounder on the edges, and there's an HDMI port out back, but overall it's quite similar to its squatter predecessor. It's enough that you'd get the two confused if they were sitting in the same entertainment center. Naturally, the beefed-up internals and Wii backwards compatibility mean you'll likely be replacing the ol' virtual tennis machine should you choose to pick one up.
Of course, the GamePad is the real star of the show here, bolstered by Nintendo's ambitious "TVii" experiment. Everyone's favorite Italian plumber looks super in HD, no doubt, but how software employs the multifaceted touchscreen tablet / traditional game controller hybrid is what really matters. So, how does the Wii U fare? Find out below.
Note: Nintendo delayed TVii into December, and the majority of promised functionality was not made available to reviewers ahead of the console's November 18th release date (including crucial components like online infrastructure, the Miiverse social network, Nintendo Network, Nintendo TVii, and Wii backwards compatibility). As such, we're updating our review as we use those features, post-launch.
Gallery: Nintendo Wii U review
07/11/2012 - Nintendo Wii U unboxed alongside more details: Multiple users, 'karaoke' microphones and Wii U Chat (video)
Nintendo took to UStream again to announce even more details for its impending new console. The company's CEO was on hand to detail exactly what comes in the box with a very official-looking opening (Yep, Iwata-san just unboxed his own console.) It's some pretty familiar packaging, but we noted that the AC adapter appears to be a weighty block separate from the main console. Alongside the main unit and the GamePad, the process also gave us a glimpse at the rest of the premium package, including a charging stand for the Wii U GamePad, console stand, HDMI cable, more cable twists, packaging and a beta test for the new Dragon Quest title. White-gloved console handling aside, the CEO had plenty more to explain -- and some of it involved karaoke.
Nintendo Wii U unboxed alongside more details: Multiple users, 'karaoke' microphones and Wii U Chat (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Nov 2012 07:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Nintendo Wii U Direct (Ustream) | Email this | Comments
We haven't exactly been lacking in SlingPlayer-supporting devices as of late, but it looks like the placeshifting service could possibly be set to expand to an entirely new area: game consoles. That word comes from a new Sling survey obtained by Zatz Not Funny, which attempts to gauge customers' interest in a SlingPlayer app for game consoles (it specifically asks if they own an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii). As you might expect, however, details are light beyond that, with the survey only mentioning that such an app would let you watch video from your SlingBox in full HD, and that you'd naturally be able to control it with your console's controller. Of course, while it does come directly from Sling itself, it is also still just a survey, so we wouldn't recommend getting your hopes up too much for the time being.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
SlingPlayer survey hints at possible expansion to game consoles originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 09 Aug 2012 21:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Zatz Not Funny | Email this | Comments
Hulu Plus launches on PS3, exclusive to Sony's console through 2010 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Jul 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Modder trims the fat, turns chubby original Xbox into svelte XBMC machine originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 25 Jan 2010 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Netflix instant streaming demoed on PlayStation 3 (video) originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 06 Nov 2009 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Other hardwaredenied the existence of a forthcoming Wii HD, the bigwig is having to make that very same denial again. Naturally, a few new rumors of an HD-enabled Wii have surfaced since that fateful day in October of 2008, and with the recent price drop, it made sense to think that the Big N might actually be looking ahead. Instead, it seems that it's perfectly content selling hundreds of thousands of consoles that want nothing to do with modern amenities like "HDMI," "1080i" and "things that the PS3 and Xbox 360 have offered since day one." The man's exact quote?
And Reggie, we don't know how much more forcefully you can continue to break our hearts."I don't know how forcefully we can say there is no Wii HD."
Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime squashes Wii HD rumors... again originally appeared on Engadget HD on Fri, 06 Nov 2009 12:52:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Netflix streaming purportedly hitting Nintendo's Wii next originally appeared on Engadget HD on Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
27/09/2009 - Sky TV arriving on Xbox 360 in mid-October according to SkyMag; Twitter, Facebook & Zune to follow?
Sky TV arriving on Xbox 360 in mid-October according to SkyMag; Twitter, Facebook & Zune to follow? originally appeared on Engadget HD on Sat, 26 Sep 2009 17:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
17/06/2009 - Game Consoles Main Driver in Online Video Growth
Networked video game consoles are the most used devices for bringing web video to the TV in the US - and look set to remain so until 2013, according to an In-Stat report.
It found that 29 per cent of US 25 to 34 year olds with game consoles already use the devices to watch streaming video off the Internet.