Microsoft

All posts tagged Microsoft

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E3 is here, baby. If you thought the festivities began with EA and Bethesda, then you’re fucking WRONG. That was all just a prelude to the real shit. Microsoft’s conference is starting in just a handful of minutes (assuming it doesn’t start late), and we’ll be here to give you all the hot scoops as they happen.

 

Conference opening right up on a trailer for that leaked Xbox One S. The S will be 40% smaller than the core Xbox One, features 4k video, and will launch at 300$. Looks like a pretty good deal.

gears

Gears 4 will be part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere program, meaning when you buy the game you’ll get it on PC as well. Every mode will also feature cross play, including co-op.

A short gameplay demo was shown, but honestly, it’s just more Gears, there’s really nothing new beyond a gun that reminds me a lot of the line launcher from Dead Space.

There's also a new Elite controller coming out to commemorate the game, if dumb looking controllers are your thing.

There’s also a new Elite controller coming out to commemorate the game, if dumb looking controllers are your thing.

And if that wasn’t enough Gears for you, General Raam will be coming to Killer Instinct this week.

Ralph Fulton came out and welcomed us all to Australia. E3 is in California, you dingus.

Haha just kidding, he’s here to talk about Forza Horizon 3, with the help of some sad sack who invested way too damn much money into racing peripherals.

Look at this fuckin nerd.

Look at this fuckin nerd.

One of the players in this demo is driving an “airborne jeep” which is just a jeep strapped to a helicopter all flying around like “fuck you, assholes!” Forza will be coming out December 27th for Xbox One and Windows 10.

A new trailer for Recore was shown, a game that looks deceptively good for something coming out of Comcept, the studio behind notable shitpile Mighty No.9. It seems like Recore is what they’re putting all their effort into, but only time (and numerous delays, I’m sure) will tell.

And now it’s time for some Final Fantasy XV.

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This might actually be the worst stage demo I’ve seen for this game, and it’s hands down the worst out of any demo at E3 so far. Noctis and company are trying to cut off the arm of a titan, a massive boss that can’t seem to be captured on screen all at once. It sounds like it’d make for a really intimidating fight, but… he just kinda sweeps his arm back and forth across the arena and that’s it. Noctis comes pretty close to biting it a few times inbetween bouts of ineffectually smacking the boss’s hand. Eventually, the player whittles down the Titan’s HP enough that he triggers a short cutscene of Noctis’s party freezing the boss’s arm, which then rolls right into a prompt to hit the B button to finish it off. How dynamic.

It’s a good thing for Square that Persona 5 won’t release stateside until early 2017.

More content is coming to The Division. Not coming to The Division: balancing and exploit patches to make it fucking playable.

Microsoft will continue to expand on Xbox One features by adding background music options so you can play your favorite songs during any game, and the option to change your console’s language. Finally, now I can have an Italian Xbox, but I’m not Italian at all!

Xbox: Bing: Spaghetti and meatballs.

You can also create clubs, a feature that has been available on Steam and PS4 for quite a while. An “Arena” feature was also announced, though the details on it are kind of nebulous.

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Surprise John Carmack appearance, motherfuckers! He’s digitized himself and has invaded your Minecraft realm! I hope the Creeps don’t get him, when you die in VR you die in real life.

It’s time for the Indie cavalcade. Your yearly montage of smaller budget games to show that Microsoft Cares™. I don’t think anybody told John Carmack that Minecraft is over, he’s still sitting there plugged in.

Heeyyyyy good news if you bought Ark on Xbox One you’ll get it on PC, ohhhhh boyyy, it’s Ark, everybody, ARK!

Next up is We Happy Few. I don’t know much about this game. A guy looks at a newspaper clipping, forces himself to not take medication, and then breaks down after having some kind of existential crisis. Looks fun!

Everyone is standing around hitting a pinata, but given how eerie this trailer has been, I bet when you smack it, it bursts open and blood sprays out and there’s like a dead animal inside.

ahahahah son of a bitch

ahahahah son of a bitch

And now a game from a “very independent developer.” Cut to a guy who looks EXACTLY like Nick Smith cosplaying as a knight. Could it be? Is Platform Masters coming to Xbox One?

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No, turns out that’s not Nick Smith, this is just an ad for a stand alone version of Gwent. That’s cool, but you can’t bring me up like that just to cap me at the knees, Microsoft.

If, like most of us, Gwent is all you live for, you can register for the beta now.

Street Fighter x Tekken is being shown, with Akuma vs. Heihachi. I didn’t know how badly I needed this until now. Just two old dudes shouting in Japanese and punching the shit out of each other. My money is on Akuma. If Saltybet has taught me anything, it’s a safe bet.

Katsuhiro Harada, everybody

Katsuhiro Harada, everybody

It’s snowing in the auditorium! Is this the result of John Carmack merging with the digital plain, distorting our own reality? Or has Harada activated his sinister weather device?

No, it’s the reveal for Dead Rising 4, which will take place during christmas time and will once again be set in a mall. DR4 will be coming out November 2016.

 

“Killer Instinct.”
“WOO!”

Uh oh, I think someone let that chick from the Bethesda conference in here.

 

Aw shit, son. Scalebound! Kamiya is here to show us “the biggest boss fight Platinum Games has ever made” and to block us all on Twitter.

Ok here it is, the biggest of all time.

Ok here it is, the biggest of all time.

So far, Scalebound looks like a very Platinum Studios take on Monster Hunter, which is everything I could possibly want from this. I’m cautiously optimistic for now.

Scalebound will, like basically all the games shown thus far, be coming to both Xbox One and Windows 10. I might have missed it, but I don’t think they announced if it would feature crossplay.

 

Sea of Thieves is Rare’s new pirate game, their “most ambitious game yet.” I’m not entirely sure if that’s true in the grand scheme of things, but from this iteration of the studio, who have until now mostly pumped out absolute garbage for the Kinect, it certainly must be.

I know nothing about this game other than people sure seem to love screaming over it.

I know nothing about this game other than people sure seem to love screaming over it.

It’s not enough to have one zombie game at this conference, so here’s a State of Decay 2 trailer. Of Course, this is followed up by a trailer for Halo Wars 2, keeping the tradition of Halo trailers being really awesome, and – more likely than not – way better than the final product ever could be. Halo Wars 2 will launch Feb 2017, with a week long beta starting on Xbox One right now.

Phil Spencer is back on stage, and it’s time for the biggest announcement of the evening: Playstation 4 Neo!

Wait, no. Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s answer to the Neo, which will be geared towards 4k and VR. Here to talk about Xbox VR is John Carmack’s husk.

“These are the highest quality pixels you’ve ever seen.”
“The highest res.”

Phil assures us that with 6 teraflops of power, it will be the most powerful console on the market. Games and products will work between all THREE versions of the Xbox One (the S counts.) However, until the Neo is shown off in full, and specs are released by Sony directly, I’ll rerserve judgement on which is the ~most powerful~. As if that truly matters to begin with, because in the end it boils down to whether or not there’s anything worth playing.

I think Microsoft knows they’ve lagged behind in almost every conceivable way. Their hardware isn’t where it needs to be, they’ve been lacking key features, and they’ve been struggling to find a real hook for their console ever since the massive negative reaction they were met with when leaning in on the TV thing. S looks like a good stop gap, and Scorpio looks to be Microsoft’s solution, but time will tell how it will all pan out.

Coming up in a couple hours is Ubisoft. I’m sure that’ll be a real banger. Join us for more live coverage, and watch as I sink even deeper into the abyss.

Pictured: an unidentified Zune-lover. Solidarity, my brother.

Pictured: Mr.Microsoft Zune. Solidarity, my brother.

Well, it finally happened. Way back in the distant year of 2011, Microsoft announced that it would no longer produce new versions of the Zune. Designed to compete with the iPod, the Zune never really gained much traction, although in this editor’s opinion it was not due to any shortcomings in the Zune’s hardware or interface, but rather Apple’s fierce and successful marketing hammering the iPod into everyone’s collective consciousness as the only choice in MP3 players.

Despite Microsoft significantly reeling back their support of the device, Zune services continued to be available for the last four years (to the surprise of basically everybody.) However, that ends today as Microsoft has announced they will be discontinuing all remaining Zune supported services. Those who are currently subscribed to the Zune Music Pass will have their accounts converted into Groove Music Pass accounts, for what that’s worth (see: nothing, because you can’t use it on the Zune.) In other words, Zune owners will boot up their players today and find that they are no longer able to stream or download content to their device. And so ends the long sad story of the Zune.

I’ll remember the good times.

Rise-of-the-Tomb-Raider
The XONE-exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider has now been confirmed to be a timed exclusive. Let’s face it, that was always suspected to be the case, but there were rumors that Microsoft Games Studios had direct involvement, thus precluding it from a release on other platforms.  After all, Microsoft is publishing RotTR themselves on XONE.

The PC release is just said to be “early 2016”, but given that the game is set for a holiday 2015 release on XONE, it won’t be too far behind. I would guess they want those hot January dollars. PS4, meanwhile, will lag behind by a pretty large margin — Square Enix stated the game will be a console exclusive for XONE/360 for a year, and the PS4 version would come out by holiday 2016.

battletoads
Microsoft’s E3 presentation is about to start. I’d like to lead off with the things we know, or at least are extremely likely to happen:

  • Gameplay of Scalebound, Hideki Kamiya’s new XONE-exclusive.
  • Gameplay of Crackdown and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
  • Reveal of Battletoads and Gears of War HD.
  • Finding out what the hell’s going on with Quantum Break.
  • More Hololens garbage

There might be some more surprises in store. Let’s hope so. I will be watching this on Spike TV, to avoid internet-related hiccups, so there will be a lack of screenshots at this time. They’ll be added in later. Kick-Ass is on right now. Thanks, Spike.

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343 has gone ahead and decided they won’t need a beta test for an upcoming content update afterall. The update, which includes a re-imagining of the Halo 2 map Relic, was initially promised to be available to MCC owners through a beta test, though – as Andy Dudynsky explains on the official Halo blog – doing so would cause the final version of the update to be delayed, and therefor isn’t worth it. The update will become available at some undetermined point in the future.

Meanwhile, 343 is prioritizing additional tweaks to the matchmaking and party systems, which you might remember were straight up fucked on release. Apparently it’s still not good enough. It’ll never be good enough, and I can’t believe we’re still reporting on it in 2015.

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Information leaked via the hacking group H4LT over the holidays on new Xbox One development tools and firmware, which reveals that Miscrosoft will be allowing up to 50-80% of the console’s seventh processing core to be used by developers. Devs who wish to use this would have to nix voice commands (only those unique to the game) as well as the Kinect’s infra-red and depth functions.

You can read Digital Foundry’s full report here, which goes on to theorize that the additional CPU allotment may allow developers to milk more out of their games on the Xbox One than PS4 in the future, assuming Sony doesn’t also allow developers to dip into cores normally reserved for handling background tasks.

Xbox One players who have installed patch 3 will find that the already large 6.7GB patch 4 has inflated considerably to 40GB. For whatever reason, the patch is reinstalling the entire game rather than the affected areas that it was designed to fix. On the bright side, it’s not causing any other problems!

For the time being, Ubisoft has issued an apology to Xbox One players, and states that they’re working closely with Microsoft to resolve the issue. They have offered a solution of sorts: players who have the disc version can uninstall the game and then reinstall, which will trick the patch into downloading as it was normally intended.

For those of you who are affected by this, you can keep an eye on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed blog for updates.

Having watched the Microsoft conference and Sony conference in their entirety, I have come to the completely professional and unbiased opinion about the both of them and which one of the two gaming monoliths came out victorious. First is to mention how shocked I was that both consoles seemed to have games I wanted to play! It hasn’t been years since I thought, “Wow, I want to check out every system.” Aside from EA and Ubisoft’s horrible showings, this E3 was the least disappointing E3 in years. But yes, whom do I believe put on a better show?

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reggie

I arrive in Los Angeles and can immediately sense that something is amiss. As the plane’s landing gear touches the runway, I’m overcome with a feeling of dread thicker than any smog blanketing the ironically-named city that plays host to the also ironically-named Electronic “Entertainment” Expo every year. This year, with new hardware released, has the potential to be the most exciting in close to a decade, full of vibrant new IPs and show-stopping technical displays… Or, as is seeming more likely, full of sequels to series started 7 or 8 years ago, announced only to be released at some nebulous point in the future, wherein we will all be able to properly appreciate such gems as Another Gears Of War.

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xbox

Microsoft has learned a lot in the past year, and done well to actually turn their image around. They’ve changed their stance on DRM, removed the Kinect to help lower the cost of buying an Xbox One, and they dedicated the full 90 minutes of their media briefing to games and only games. There’s a stark difference between the Microsoft of today and a year ago.

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