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  • Xbox 360 News

    by Published on May 20th, 2013 14:44
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    2. Xbox 360 News
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    A Batman: Arkham Origins pre-order image on Amazon offers Deathstroke as a playable character via DLC. Check it out in a rolling image header here.

    Batman and Deathstroke went head-to-head in last week's teaser video, but there was no word on how the striker of mortality would be incorporated intoArkham Origins. This could be a Catwoman in Arkham City situation, where she got an entire spin-off campaign, or it might be something entirely new.

    One aspect of Arkham Origins is confirmed today – Kevin Conroy will return as a voice actor.

    by Published on May 6th, 2013 22:40
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News

    Rumours that the Xbox 360 successor needs a constant web connection to run are apparently untrue.
    After months of speculation - and a coincidental scandal for EA and its Sim City web connection drama - a new report claims to have seen a leaked memo from MS to staff.
    And that document says that specific functions including "include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game".
    If true, ArsTechnica's report would calm consumer and trade fears that an aggressively online Next Xbox would discriminate customers, especially those with unreliable web connections.
    But as Ars also points out, not needing a web connection for the above functions doesn't answer all the questions about an always on connection.
    For one thing - will users still need to connect their games to the internet for pre-loading and first-play installation/verification?
    Ars says: "How far this offline support will extend still isn't clear. It could take the form of a fully offline mode akin to that on the Xbox 360 (insert optical disc, install game, play, all without an Internet connection) or it could be more like Steam (install and activate online but enable subsequent offline play once this has been done)."
    The latter point would certainly still suggest that the device's strategy is designed to curtail the pre-owned software business - although if that is still part of the plan, that decision will prove very unpopular with specialist games retailers.
    Previously, leaked text from the new device's development documentation said: "Every Durango console will have a hard drive, although its exact capacity has not been chosen. It will be large enough, however, to hold a large number of games. All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.
    "Durango consoles will have a Blu-ray Disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete."
    That suggested a switch to a new model of software licence ownership - not reliant on phyiscal disc ownership - for the new console.
    We might get clearer answers when Xbox reveals all about the new console on Tuesday, May 21st.

    by Published on May 4th, 2013 13:22
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    2. Xbox 360 News
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    Microsoft will offer its next-generation Xbox for around $300 with a two-year subscription fee, it has been reported.
    The platform holder will utilise a two-tier pricing system; a one-off payment of $500 or, taking cues from the mobile phone business, an initial charge of $300 subsidised by a 24-month commitment of $15 per month - which includes Xbox Live - according to respected tech blogger Paul Thurrott.First rumours of a next Xbox subscription model emerged in early April when alleged insiders leaked Microsoft's plan.Thurrott followed up with a later report, more specifically pricing the monthly fee at $10 per month.But in a Twitter post earlier today, Thurrott issued a correction to that report. "By the way, I did screw up one thing: The $299 version of Xbox v.Next will come with a $15/mo XBLG subscription, not $10," he said.Microsoft will reveal its new console at a special event on May 21, although there's no guarantee it'll confirm final pricing on that day.Microsoft has pledged to showcase a "full line-up" of games at its pre-E3 press briefing on June 10.

    by Published on May 3rd, 2013 20:30
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    2. Xbox 360 News

    22Cans boss hopes Microsoft doubles-down on gaming machine

    22 Cans



    22Cans creative director Peter Molyneux believes Microsoft's next Xbox should concentrate on doing what consoles do best: playing games. The former Microsoft creative director told IGN that all the additional media and social features tend to confuse a console's focus.
    "I think, for me, it's very simple with the Xbox; I just want the ultimate gaming console. Okay, there's a lot of things they could shove in that box which are kind of about the living room: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and stuff like that. Well, I don't want any of that. I just want the ultimate gamer's device," he said.
    "The big question left in my mind and lots of people's minds, I think, is are they going to be saying this is the ultimate gaming console or this is something everyone should have in their living room? Because those two messages...trying to mix those two messages may just end up confusing people. But if anyone can get that message clearly across, they can."
    "There's always this talk about making consoles 'input one' on the TV. It's the fight over moving from it being your Sky box to your Xbox or PlayStation 4, and for me, as a gamer, I don't want that. I want my 'input two' to be my games console, and I just think all that stuff tends to confuse it," he explained to Edge.
    Molyneux left Microsoft in March of 2012 to join 22Cans. He has some insight into Microsoft's plans due to his time there, but he's currently just an interesting bystander in their coming reveal of the next Xbox.
    "Well, it's a weird one for me because of course I was there and I knew what the original plans were, and that's a year old now. It'll be fascinating to see how much they've stuck to those original plans and how much they've deviated," he told IGN.
    "I'm sure they'll have put a lot of time and thought and rehearsal into that press briefing, but I'm going to be fascinated to see what the hardware is, and how it will fit into this new world that we're in now - this new world of hyper-connectivity, of super-portability. Or whether they'll double-down and say 'you know what? We are the games console, and that's what we define ourselves as' and say [they] don't really care about hyper-connectivity or hyper-portability. It'll be fascinating which way they jump," Molyneux said to Edge.
    Despite having little to do with his former employer, Molyneux may be making an appearance at the Xbox reveal event on May 21. He insisted to Eurogamer that he won't be coming for Microsoft or stepping up onstage at the event.
    "There's this opportunity that's come up for me to be involved - it's not from Microsoft by the way - in the Xbox announcement, and I'm probably going to take up that opportunity," he said. "I'm sworn to secrecy here. It should be really good fun, and maybe slightly contentious."


    by Published on May 1st, 2013 23:26
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News
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    Call Of Duty: Ghosts will be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 5. Ghosts will also be released on ‘next generation platforms,’ Activision confirmed.The new game is being developed by Infinity Ward and will be revealed in full at Microsoft’s next Xbox reveal event on May 21.Activision’s statement also confirmed that the title has an “all-new world, story, characters and experience, all powered by new, next gen Call of Duty engine.”“Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we’re not resting on our laurels,” said Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin. “We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we’re building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can’t wait to share them with our community.”Don Mattrick, president of the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft, also commented on the reveal. ”We are consistently thrilled with the overwhelming response received from critics and consumers alike to the Call of Duty series, which has firmly established its home on the Xbox 360 with the game’s largest and most engaged community,” he said. “With Call of Duty: Ghosts, we have no doubt that our longtime partners, Activision and Infinity Ward, will raise the bar higher than ever before for this incredible franchise.”

    by Published on May 1st, 2013 23:15
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    2. Xbox 360 News

    Another potential name for the coming console touted

    A possible name for the new Xbox is currently doing the rounds online.
    Fusible reports that Microsoft has been named as the owner of a host of URLs relating to the Xbox Fusion brand.

    As well as owning the XboxFusion.com address it also claims ownership of a host of other variations including but not limited to XboxFusion.co.uk, XboxFusion.info and XboxFusion.biz.
    The name contradicts a logo that was recently circulated on Reddit suggesting that Xbox Infinity is the branding of choice. Indeed, Xbox Infinity was first suggested as a possible name back in July 2012.

    by Published on May 1st, 2013 10:06
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    2. Xbox 360 News
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    Microsoft will be running a free Xbox Live Gold weekend in the UK this coming bank holiday.
    The free weekend will run from midday on Friday May 3 until 23:59 on Sunday May 5, with multiplayer functionality unlocked across all Xbox 360 games.Titles including Gears of War: Judgment,Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 will be offering double XP for the duration of the free Gold weekend.Existing Gold subscribers will also be offered TV tokens to watch shows such as Breaking Bad, Being Human and Vampire Diaries on Xbox Video.Check out the latest Xbox Live DLC release schedule.

    by Published on May 1st, 2013 09:58
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    2. Xbox 360 News
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    It appears all but certain that this year's new Call of Duty game will be titled 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' and will be officially revealed this week, following the emergence of yet more allegedly leaked retailer promotional materials.
    Photos of a poster (pictured right and below) said to be in stock at GameStop stores were sent to
    , boasting the same artwork and game title
    previously leaked by retailers
    , as well as revealing a Call of Duty: Ghosts release date of November 5.The double-sided poster is expected to go on display tomorrow to coincide with an official reveal from developer Infinity Ward, although neither the developer or publisher Activision have disclosed exactly when and how a full reveal will be delivered.Activision yesterday launched a teaser page for its new Call of Duty, showing a picture of a ghost-like face - the same seen on the leaked promo images pictured below.Last year's reveal of Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 2 was made on May 1 during the NBA Playoffs.

    by Published on May 1st, 2013 00:53
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    2. Xbox 360 News
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    When Microsoft piled on the Xbox media channels last year, we didn't realize just how long it would take for some of those channels to come to fruition. We're quite possibly on the cusp of new hardware, and Machinima's app is just now making its Xbox 360 debut. Still, it might be worth the wait for those who live and breathe gaming even after they've set down the gamepad. The app includes the full suite of Machinima channels and their associated videos, ranging from regular shows and specials through to game blooper reels. Machinima is available everywhere Xbox Live is active; if that isn't enough to tide you over, Microsoft is teasing the reveal of a OneBeat electronic music app next month.

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/30/m...ng-more-games/ ...
    by Published on April 29th, 2013 20:54
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
    3. PS4
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    What can we learn from that remarkable day in March 2001, when Sega killed off the Dreamcast?
    Sony chief executive Kaz Hirai
    In an
    interview with The Guardian
    (published in 2008 but still illuminating in 2013), the former Sega of America chief Peter Moore gives insight into, among many matters, the difficulties in being beholden to a parent company."We [Sega of America] knew we could win," he said."We had a tremendous 18 months. The Dreamcast was on fire [in the US]. We really thought that we could do it. But then we had a target from Japan that said - and I can't remember the exact figures - but we had to make N hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season and shift N millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn't sustain the business."Moore's appraisal is a common one: The competitive (even thriving) company is bound to the performance of its parent company. This is why the current financial position of both Microsoft and Sony is crucial in determining the approach for the Next Xbox and PlayStation 4.Last month I met with a well respected and connected industry executive who believed Microsoft will continue to throw large wads of cash at the Xbox division until it wins the war. While that may seem a tad exaggerated (I'm sure it'll be a different story if sales nosedive), there is one thing we can take for certain: There will be further Xbox exclusives from third parties (timed or otherwise) during next gen, simply because Microsoft can afford such luxuries and is certain that Sony cannot.There was a once famous (and unverified) rumour that Microsoft paid Take Two as much as $75 million to ensure GTA IV wasn't a PS3 exclusive, and to secure the game's DLC as a timed exclusive on 360.However ludicrous its price tag, the deal was an unequivocal success for Microsoft. Look at it this way: When San Andreas was released for Xbox, in March 2005, Sony announced the game had already sold over 12 million units on PS2. In the first two months of sales in the US, the game sold less than 500,000 copies for Xbox (it didn't chart the next month).
    Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer [Image: Venturebeat (cc)]
    Compare this to March 2009, when publisher Take-Two was asked how well GTA IV sold on the Xbox 360 compared to the PS3. Lainie Goldstein, the firm's chief financial officer, said the split was "about 50/50".This is a remarkable shift in sales momentum, regardless of however much Microsoft lost upfront because of it, and encouraged a remorseless mandate to secure more exclusive terms on major third-party franchises, from Call of Duty to Skyrim.Those who say you can't buy success clearly don't know much about the Xbox team in Redmond. Microsoft has a clear strategy to buy Sony's market as rapidly and brutally as possible. There will of course be accountability guidelines in place to ensure the Xbox team spend responsibly, but I'm sure the goal is to acquire PlayStation fans, however unprofitable that may be at first.Sony's approach could hardly be any more polarised. While Microsoft made $6 billion profit in its latest quarter (on top of another $6.4 billion in the quarter prior), Sony's four-year string of historic net losses had terrified its investors.In fact, the corporation's $6.4 billion loss for fiscal 2012 was marked down as the firm's worst ever year since it was founded in 1946. The tragic numbers were announced along with a plan to shed 10,000 jobs, axe entire divisions and appoint a new CEO (Kaz Hirai) to turn the oil tanker around.Many have cited Hirai's position at the top as a good omen for PlayStation. After all, he is a games man. Yet Hirai knows that, with Sony having lost a staggering $9.4 billion in the past four years, the absolute priority is to turn a profit.When Hirai outlined Sony's future in April 2012, he said the sprawling business will focus on three pillars going forwards: mobiles, digital imaging and games. Everything else - including the TV business - will be left behind.Both Steve Ballmer and Kaz Hirai are battling for the same market from opposite ends of the spectrum. The Microsoft chief can afford to take expensive risks like its (unpopular) Surface tablet, while the Sony boss must reign in the spending and report a string of profits each year.This is why indie devs are a key asset for Sony. The services of Jonathan Blow and Markus Persson aren't expensive in comparison to Rockstar, but they all have the potential to make millions for PlayStation.The plan, though still fairly discreet and nuanced, is showing signs of success. It's why we heard those Sony-fuelled claims that indie developers were focusing on the PS4 during GDC, and that the console is better for the self-publishing dev than any other company out there.Who will win next gen? Key to finding that out is asking yourself another question - what's more important these days; exclusive blockbusters or exclusive indies?