Tuesday, January 27

Xbox One Controller Firmware Update Rolls Out To Preview Members

Starting today, members of the Xbox Preview Program are able to update their controllers to the latest preview build. The latest firmware update, which pushes the software to version 1.2.2236.0, adds several improvements to the Xbox One's controller functionality.

The update fixes a problem reported by some users who were suffering from intermittent controller disconnections. There is an update for the less patient among us, too, with Microsoft bringing down the amount of time the controller takes to connect to the console from 5 or 6 seconds to just 2. I am not a patient man, so this sounds just terrific. Want to know how you can update your controller? Check out the instructions below.

To update your controller firmware:
  • Connect a controller to your Xbox One with a USB cable.  Keep any headsets connected to the controller.
  • Connect to Xbox Live.
  • Press the Menu
  • Go to Settings > Devices & accessories.  Select the controller.
    • If you have multiple controllers attached, you can select Buzz – which will cause the selected controller to vibrate.
  • Then select Update to download the new firmware to the controller attached via the USB cable, and the screen will show the Updating controller … progress screen
  • When you see the Controller updated screen, press ‘B’ to go back to the Devices & accessories main page
  • Reselect the controller, the Firmware version, should now be: 1.2.2236.0
[Source: Major Nelson]

Wednesday, January 21

Windows 10 Is Amazing: Announcements Microsoft Made Today

At Microsoft's Windows 10 press conference this morning, head of Xbox Phil 
Spencer dropped some surprising news . With Windows 10, users will be able to 
stream Xbox One games to any Windows 10 device in their household.

Windows 10 comes with an Xbox app and Xbox Live integration, so the 
transition between them is seamless. Spencer even assured that "many Xbox 
One accessories" will work with Windows 10, although he didn't get into 
specifics for which one.

As additional boosts to the world of PC gaming with Windows 10, Microsoft 

  • Xbox Live and multiplayer across devices. Xbox Live is social, interactive, and seamlessly integrated directly into Windows 10, bringing gamers the experiences they love across devices, like multiplayer gaming on Windows 10 against players on an Xbox One, and messaging and chat with friends. And developers will get full access to the Xbox Live API, making it easier to create more powerful gaming scenarios across devices.

  • DirectX 12. We’ve enhanced our graphics technology to squeeze every ounce of performance out of your supported hardware and open up a new wave of innovation for high-end graphics. Delivering greater complexity and detail on your current PC, games authored or updated for DirectX 12 are able to run faster and have richer visuals. And this technology is already in the hands of developers today. The engines used to power hundreds of games are implementing DirectX 12, including Unreal Engine 4 from Epic and, as we announced today, Unity.

  • Game DVR. On Xbox One, one of the most popular features used by gamers is Game DVR, which gives simple access to recording, editing, and sharing out your most epic gaming moments. It’s not easy or consistent to do that for PC games today. We’re bringing this beloved feature to Windows 10, now accessible by simply pressing Windows+G. With the games you love playing – whether on Xbox Live, Steam, or other services – you can record, edit, and share game clips with all your social networks.

  • Fable Legends. Today we announced that we are bringing Fable Legends to Windows 10 PCs, day-and-date with the Xbox One version in 2015.  This means Fable fans running Windows 10 will be able to play against their fellow gamers on Xbox One. It’s the same game, in the same world, on the same map. Fable Legends is just the first of the major game franchises from Microsoft Studios coming to Windows 10 and we will have more to share in the coming months.

Xbox One: Windows 10 livestream

THE BIG DAY IS HERE. At  5p GMT/12n ET/9a PT , Microsoft will kick off its 'Windows 10: The Next Chapter' event, a subtle hint that it will unveil the next version of Windows.

The media briefing event is in 12-hours. Here is how you can watch the live stream http://mjr.mn/1Cyj2ih 
The conference  can be watched live here.
There will also be highlights on Twitter from Major Nelson (@majornelson) as well as the hashtag #Windows10, but good luck to any brave souls who attempt to get useful information from the Twitter hordes.

Tuesday, January 20

Microsoft dates 3 exclusive Xbox games

Microsoft has announced release dates and prices for new games coming to the Xbox OneXbox 360, and PC. Ori and the Blind Forest, ScreamRide, and State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will all be available this spring.

  1.  "ScreamRide" which  Xbox One and Xbox 360 on March 3 ($29.99 )
  2.  "Ori and the Blind Forest"  Xbox One and PC on March 11.($19.99 )
  3.  "State of Decay"  Xbox One on April 28.($29.99 )

Microsoft executives have hinted that the company will have several more exclusive games to announce in the coming months. 

Monday, January 19

Xbox One SmartGlass adds support for iPhone

Xbox One SmartGlass for iPhone and iPad has hit version 2.10.1. This update adds support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In addition to support for Apple's latest phones, SmartGlass has also received a number of bug fixes to make your experience more worthwhile. Some things you can do with the app include controlling your gaming box’s media features using a remote control interface, and browsing the web on your TV.

To download the app, all you need is iOS 7 and a compatible iDevice. It works with iPads too, and it even supports the fifth-generation iPod touch.

Sunday, January 18

Microsoft cuts Xbox One price again to $349

Xbox One last year did an impeccable job, especially with its holiday season offers. We all witnessed the Microsoft console becoming the undisputed champion in the console sales, for a period that stretched from Black Friday to the New Year.

Microsoft have announced that the Xbox One will have its price reduced to $349 effective immediately

In their Xbox Wire post, the Xbox One will have a new price of $349.99. If you missed your chance to own the console during the holidays, then this is your next best opportunity to own the new generation consoles from Microsoft at an affordable price.
In other news, Phil Spencer was happy to report that the Xbox One sales are back on track as its now going toe to toe with PS4.

Expect to see hear some Xbox One and Windows 10 gaming integration announcements from Phil Spencer.
Source:  Xbox News 

Wednesday, January 14

Xbox One February update includes Game Hubs, TV updates, more

Microsoft has released a new system update preview release on the Xbox One today that includes a number of new features to the console’s dashboard experience.

The update is available now to those in the dashboard beta, but will roll out to the masses early next month. In terms of what it's bringing with it, a new tile transparency option will enable you to decide just how much of your console's custom backgrounds you want to be able to see.

Take a look at the preview video below to see the new features in action.

Here's a run-down of what's new in the February preview:

  • Game hubs  New in preview this month, game hubs are the go-to centers for all sorts of interesting content around your favorite games. Every Xbox One game will have a game hub where you can see which of your friends are playing the game, compete with your friends in game leaderboards, dive into the coolest game clips and game broadcasts, and follow the game’s VIPs and top players.

    To get to the game hub for your favorite game, find a game in your pins, recently played list, or My games and apps, then press the Menu button and select View game hub. You can also search for any game in the Xbox Store and click on the game hub tile from the game’s store page.
  • Custom backgrounds and tile transparency – We listened to your feedback and added additional tile transparency to the Home tiles to make your background images more visible. As a reminder, to set a custom background, go to Settings > My XboxMy background.  Note: some items can’t be made transparent due to usage rights/restrictions for certain images.
    • TV updates – We’re releasing a lot of updates to the live TV experience and features are being released to additional countries in preview this month:
      • OneGuide for the Netherlands – Support for OneGuide will continue in preview for the Netherlands and the missing channels for the Netherlands OneGuide listings will become available over the next few weeks.
      • TV trending in OneGuide – As you scan the detailed OneGuide TV listings, you can see which shows are trending by a “Trending on Xbox” note and associated icon. Xbox – live TV trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level. Currently, Xbox TV trending is available to all members in the U.S., UK and Canada.
      • Live TV trending (new countries)  France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico will begin seeing live TV trending data in Xbox OneGuide.
      • Improved control of TVs, set-top boxes and audio/video receivers – Xbox One will work even better with more devices. This month’s preview release contains updates to the IR blasting database for new models and addresses issues reported by our fan community.
      • “Trick play” with Xbox One Digital TV Tuner – Preview members with the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in supported countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) will now be able to see video frames when fast-forwarding or rewinding paused TV on your Xbox One consoles.
      • Live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android – We are continuing the preview of live TV streaming on Windows Phone and Android devices for Xbox One Digital TV Tuner owners in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

    Tuesday, January 13

    Xbox One Chatpad Now On Sale

    For those of us who used to communicate via Xbox Live using the Official Xbox 360 Chatpad, the switch to Xbox One has caused the occasional problem when it comes to typing stuff in, simply because an official Xbox One chatpad hasn't been made available as yet. Of course, you could always switch to SmartGlass on your phone or tablet and use that instead, but not everyone has that option.

    So, up steps peripheral manufacturer New Dream who, in the US at least, have released an unofficial chatpad for Xbox One.

    The New Dream Chatpad is currently for sale at Amazon.com, but the buyer ratings seem to be a little bit on the low side...

    Xbox One And Xbox 360 Game Deals

    This week, the Redmond, Washington-based company is featuring a number of great Xbox games. Currently, EA Sports’ soccer simulation game is 50 % off for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360. Simply sign in to your Xbox Live account to get the deal.
     Xbox One:
    • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood:  67 % off
    • Zoo Tycoon: 50% off
    • Styx: Master of Shadows: 60% off
    • Forza Motorsport 5: Racing GOTY Edition: 40 % off

    Xbox 360:
    • GTA V : $19.79
    • GTA IV:  $4.99
    • GTA IV: The Lost and Damned  $2.49
    • GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony  $4.99
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas  $3.74
    • Forza Motorsport 4  $17.99
    • Forza Horizon $11.99
    • MX vs. ATV Reflex:  $9.99
    • MX vs. ATV: Untamed:  $9.99
    • Borderlands The Pre-Sequel: $29.99 (50% off)
    • Xcom Enemy Unknown : $9.99 (75% off)
    • Xcom Enemy Within: $9.99 (75% off)
    • Remember Me: $9.99 (75% off)
    • Dead Rising : $4.99 (75% off)
    • Super Street Fighter 2 THD - $4.94 (67% off) Mafia 2 - $4.99 (75% off)
    • The Darkness  $4.99  (75% off)
    • SSX Mt Eddie and Classic Characters  $3.99 (50% off)

    Xbox Live Gold members can also score a number of games for free, including “Worms Battlegrounds,” “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” and “MX vs. ATV Alive.”

    Friday, January 9

    Xbox Live: Some Services Are Unavailable

     Xbox Live status page suggests that the network is having some issues once again. Social and Gaming features are limited and users can’t access popular apps such as IGN and Maxim. However, the page only lists Xbox 360 as the console affected by these annoyances.

    Some gamers on Twitter posted that the network keeps logging her out while others are claiming to have problems while trying to play online.
    Read below some of the quotes of Xbox Live subscribers from twiter:

    It is unclear at the moment how widespread this issue is but these problems are surely disappointing for Xbox fans as the company is believed to have a pretty strong infrastructure and we rarely see the network having issues for a prolonged period of time.

    It can’t be said for sure if these issues are related to the happenings of Christmas but if they are, it’s a sham that Microsoft isn’t able to recover even after weeks.

    Thursday, January 8

    Rogue Legacy Is Coming to Xbox One

    According to  Cellar Door Games, the Rogue Legacy  will be released on Xbox One, and it has been confirmed.

    Responding to fans on Twitter, Cellar Door Games said that an Xbox One version is coming.

    1. @CellarDoorGames It's 2015 and still no Rogue Legacy for Xbox One.. :/
    @infamy__ It's coming.

    Watch a Rogue Legacy trailer below:

    Wednesday, January 7

    Titanfall: Update 9 is live on Xbox One and PC

    The development team at Respawn Entertainment and publisher Electronic Arts are announcing that update nine for their shooter Titanfall is at the moment going live on both the Xbox One  and on the PC.
    According to the official Twitter account for the game explains that it is designed to introduce a number of minor bug fixes and to improve connectivity on both platforms.

    The weird thing is that Respawn Entertainment does not seem willing to offer an actual patch log for this ninth update for Titanfall, which plenty of gamers are already asking for.

    Respawn Entertainment  has meticulously delivered information on the changes that it was making to the game previously and that means that a full list of the changes it is introducing might turn up in a few hours or days.

    The Xbox 360 version of Titanfall will probably get the same changes in a few weeks.

    Game Update #9 is rolling out across Xbox One & PC servers. This update provides minor bug fixes and connectivity fixes.

    Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1.06 update live without notes

    The Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1.06 update is now live on PS3 and Xbox 360, although the full patch notes are yet to be revealed by Sledgehammer Games. The COD Advanced Warfare 1.06 version is for the previous generation console, as this number has already released on the newer PS4 and Xbox One systems, but within a different update.

    We expect this patch is for the Ranked Play season 1 changes, so we might see the new generation consoles also receive a download later today on January 7th. For those of you that don’t know, RANKED PLAY’s Opening Season will start in two days time and is believed to need a download in preparation.
    You can see the divisions for Ranked Play within the Advanced Warfare graphic below, which breaks down each into Masters, Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Some of our readers might have been hands-on with this mode already, of course this is before Season 1 started.
    According to product-reviews  the patch has caused problems with finding a game after installing, also there’s no changes evident in Ranked Play at this time. 

    Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires Delayed, Pre-Order Offer Revealed.

    KOEI TECMO Europe announced that their tactical action game, Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires, will arrive in Europe on February 27th, for Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC . The game was previously scheduled for January 30th.

    The pre-order bonus DLC available for the 
    Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game include the following: Edit Armour Set 1 (for male characters), which will be available for those who pre-order through GAME and Edit Armour Set 2 (for female characters), available to those who pre-order via ShopTo.net or the PlayStation Network. A third DLC, the Special Costume Set (Date Mashamune, Guan Yinping, Guo Jia and Tenko costumes) will be available via Independent retailers through CentreSoft.

    Tuesday, January 6

    Xbox One: Smite beta sign-ups opened

    Beta registration for the Xbox One version of free-to-play online game Smite have opened on Hi-Rez Studios’ official website.

    The beta test is listed as “coming soon.”

    Watch a new trailer below.

    This week's Games with Gold deals on Xbox One and Xbox 360

    It's back to regular service now on the Xbox Live Deals with Gold, following the many discounts offered over the festive period. But, that doesn't mean they're any less appealing.
    The full listing of discounted games and add-ons are below, available for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles from today through 12th January. Or you can check them out on Major Nelson’s blog too:
    Xbox One
    Xbox 360
    GTA V 67%
    GTA IV 75%

    Monday, January 5

    Study: No links between violent video games and youth violence

    A new long-term study into violent media in the US could help settle the long-standing argument of whether or not violent films and video games are to blame for violence in society.

    Using data from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to estimate the violent content of popular games from 1996 to 2011, a group led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson found no links between violent games and behaviour, putting significant doubt over previous studies that suggested the two were related.
    "Youth violence dropped precipitously," during the period, despite there being "very high levels of media violence in society" at the time.
    "Media narrative surrounding violent video games and youth violence may be due to the ‘limited amount of resources and attention’ that society can devote to ‘the problem of reducing crime," Ferguson explained.
    Ferguson not only found that there was no link between violent media and behaviour but also challenged the methodology of other research in the field , saying they used “less aggressive outcomes ranging from filling in the missing letters of words through delivering non-painful noise bursts to a consenting opponent.”

    Xbox One vs Wii U :Xbox One Increases Gap Over Wii U to 2 Million

    Microsoft's 8th generation home consoles, the Xbox One, has seen sales jump since the temporary price cut in the US. Xbox One $350 Deal has helped push sales to more than 10 million worldwide in the middle of December.

    The Xbox One launched a year after its rival, the Wii U, but the gap has shrunk and it overtook it in November of this year. The Xbox One has now outsold the Wii U in worldwide sales by more than two million units.

    According to VGChartz Xbox One has sold 10,690,642 units, while the Wii U has sold 8,517,443 units, for the week ending December 20, 2014. The current gap sits at 2.17 million units.

    Sling TV Launching on Xbox One with Exclusive Offer in the Coming Weeks

    Sling TV is a new television service by DISH that will deliver live sports, lifestyle, family, news and information channels, Video-On-Demand (VOD) entertainment, and the best of Internet video for $20 per month. With Sling TV, you can enjoy ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel. And Microsoft today announced that Xbox One will be the exclusive gaming console when it launches in the coming weeks. Also, all Xbox Live members will get an exclusive extended free trial for one month at launch.

    ”Xbox is onboard as the first gaming console where Sling TV will be available,” said Bassil El-Khatib, vice president of Sling TV. “We created the live Internet TV service for millennial consumers underserved by the pay-TV industry. One of the keys to reaching this audience is being on the devices they use, and we know millions of consumers are turning on their Xbox every day to access content they love.”
    “We’re thrilled to partner with Sling TV as they bring this exciting new service to life, and we look forward to launching the Sling TV app on Xbox One in early 2015 as the first gaming console where the service is available,” said Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President, Marketing for Xbox. “We’re committed to bringing great entertainment options to gamers and our relationship with Sling TV is an important milestone in that journey and in offering more choices to our Xbox fans.”
    Source: Xbox

    Action Brawler ZHEROS Coming To Xbox One, PS4 & PC This Year

    Rimlight Studios has announced ZHEROS, described as a 3D action brawler, for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game is set to release digitally at some point this year. The game follows Captain Dorian and Mike as they go around punching things that are threatening the whole universe. ZHEROS will feature two player co-op as well as mech suits to deal extra damage with.
    The footage is from an early build which is why the framerate seems to be suffering quite a lot in a few sections. That is hopefully improved by the time ZHEROS does release, whenever that may be. The animation style reminds me a little of Knack and Ratchet & Clank. On a side note this also the first game announcement news post of 2015 on TSA.

    Ubisoft polls to know the future of the franchise Far Cry

    Ubisoft has launched a polls offering us several possible directions for the franchise Far Cry.
    According to a questionnaire obtained by Eurogamer, options include a Far Cry game set during the Vietnam War, a sequel to Far Cry: Blood Dragon and a “Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic world”.

    There’s also talk of dinosaurs, zombies (obviously), the Wild West and a return to Far Cry 4′s Shangri-La.
    The full listing follows.
    • A Far Cry game in remote Alaska about surviving extreme wilderness
    • A Far Cry game in a futuristic, sci-fi setting on another planet
    • A Far Cry game set in the Vietnam war during the 1960s
    • A Far Cry game set in the cocaine trafficking jungles of Peru
    • A Far Cry game where you can fight against or join vampires
    • A Far Cry game in the Spaghetti Western style set in the 19th century Americas
    • A Far Cry game that is set during a zombie outbreak
    • Blood Dragon 2: A sequel to Blood Dragon
    • A Far Cry game set in a Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic world
    • A Far Cry game in the present day on a Jurassic Park style island of dinosaurs
    • A Far Cry game based on the world of Shangri-La from Far Cry 4
    What options would you go for?