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  1. During the heyday of the Xbox 360, Microsoft were in a very good position in regards to indie games. Even if you ignore the allegations of mismanagement, or problematic organization, they had a great thing going with both Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG). Through them, a huge audience was exposed to independently developed titles that they otherwise may have been completely blind to. Digital behemoths like Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Minecraft all graced the system to the acclaim of many. Despite the success Microsoft has had with indie games on their system, it now seems they have turned their back on the community. They indeed spoke all about games during the E3 Xbox One conference, but they put very minimal attention on indies. Throughout a great deal of new games and IPs, we saw a very tiny sampling of indie game presence, especially when compared to Sony's own E3 conference. Regardless, let“s look at what Microsoft has decreed so far for their upcoming system. As ShackNews reported, general manager of Redmont Game Studio, Matt Booty, stated that “as of right now” all games require a publisher to get onto the Marketplace. Much of the time, indie games are self-published by their developers but this is a thing of the past - at least on the Xbox One. We have seen publishers turn to indie games more lately, and even publishers created with the purpose of celebrating indies, but not every developer will have the luxury of being chosen. Another strange decision, which very likely may see change, is that the Xbox Marketplace will no longer have separate sections for XBLA or XBLIG games. Instead, everything will come together in a big melting pot. In a way, this is positive because it means that an indie game can stand proudly right next to a digital copy of the next triple A shooter. As Phil Harrison explained to Eurogamer: "Just games, right. Search, recommendation, what your friends are playing, game DVR - these all go to helping you discover the games you want to play, so I think we solve fantastically some of the challenges that independent developers face, particularly around discovery and connecting their game to an audience, by some of the platform features we have in the machine itself." This is far from the perfect solution though. It“s important to listen to everything that is said, rather than just the gist of things. As was also noted in the Xbox One reveal conference, users will be shown games the console/network thinks they want to play. Recommendations tailored to user interests are not new, but what will the specifics be? Are these pure recommendations from previously played games or are they a mix of requisite triple A games and then two you might like? Will publishers be able to pay to have their latest game on this panel for the week or month of its launch? How much attention is paid to indies versus big names? Unfortunately, none of these specifics are likely to be revealed. Of course, the same applies to the Marketplace as a whole. Without multiple sections, the Xbox One will require excellent genre categories. It is likely that the most popular or newest games will also sit at the very front of these lists. Will precedence be given to huge names over small or is every developer going to get a fair shot? Well, just judging from their presentation, it“s obvious Microsoft wants to present an ubiquitous game/TV/etc device for the living room. The “common” consumer they are aiming for is probably not interested in indie games - if they“re even into games at all. There was one indie game showcased during their E3 conference with as much excitement as the next Call of Duty or Battlefield. This was of course Minecraft which already saw launch on 360. Why did they select this to be their main indie game shown during the event? Because Microsoft knows they have a winner with Minecraft. It is one of the most successful, if not the most, indie game of this generation and therefore has a massive inbuilt audience. Instead of seeking out upcoming and unknown indies, they have allowed Sony, Nintendo, and Valve to become the much more alluring storefronts. In the end, Microsoft just does not appear to be trying to win indies back. Perhaps they do not want them. Until this generation, indie games had been mostly ignored by big names except in rare instances. Now that indie games have found a real foothold with players, they are a great market full of potential success for both developers and those who support them. Microsoft does not need indies to succeed, but it is losing a possible boon of great games in the coming generation.
  2. Wondering why the oft-delayed but recently re-announced Final Fantasy XV made the name change switcheroo from Final Fantasy Versus XIII? The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, recently shed some light on the situation in intervew with Edge. He mentioned how the three games that were originally set in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series were announced with Final Fantasy XIII monikers, but that the size and scope of Versus XIII was becoming big enough to where it made more sense to make the move to a mainline numbered game. "So we were warming up the idea of considering the move to XV – which is the mainstream Final Fantasy series – and between that time and now we had several chances to announce updates of the series and we debated if we should go with Versus XIII or announce the change to XV," he said. "About two years ago we confirmed, internally, that we would change the title to XV and then at the same time, around that time, the company started working on next-gen consoles, because hard disc was getting ready for the next-gen development. So that became a really good trigger to move on to the change of XV." Not coincidentally, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, the PSP game in development at the time, also had its name changed to something a bit more unique - Final Fantasy Type-0 (and unfortunately, the game still has yet to release outside of Japan). In the meantime, expect to hear more about Final Fantasy XV in the coming months and year ahead as Nomura has confirmed that there will no longer be a media blackout on new information from the title.
  3. Kingdom Hearts III was arguably one of the biggest announcements during Sony's E3 press conference on Monday, but the brief trailer leaves much to the imagination in terms of actual details regarding the game. Of course, we can't expect tons of info since the game is still in development; we still don't even know exactly how far into development it is, but the lack of any real story scenes seem to indicate it's fairly early-on in the cycle. Here are a few things we do know regarding it, however. So What's It About? If you haven't been following the storyline at all, this will tread slightly into spoiler territory, so skip to the next question if you want to avoid spoiling any of the story thus far. In Kingdom Hearts III, the game once again focuses on an older Sora as he and Donald and Goofy journey to different Disney-themed worlds in order to stop antagonist Master Xehanort from starting a war against the tyranny of light, which the latter believes will restore equilibrium to light and darkness. The specific plot of the game has Sora, Donald, and Goofy searching for the Seven Guardians of Light and the Key To Return Hearts while Riku and King Mickey search for previous Keyblade wielders. What Disney-Themed Worlds Will Be In It? Square Enix won't say just yet, but according to a representative from Disney, the game is confirmed to feature worlds that have yet to be seen in the series. Siliconera reportedly asked if Pixar worlds would be in the game to which they said they couldn't comment at that at this time. Will There Be Multiplayer This Time? Funny you should ask. In the Q&A segment at E3, Nomura was asked the same question and he mentioned that it was under consideration. He also mentioned online possibilities as well, so if they decide to go ahead with it, online multiplayer could be in Kingdom Hearts' future. So Is This The Last Kingdom Hearts Then? Not definitively, but this will be the last game in the Xehanort saga, according to series creator Tetsuya Nomura. Where the series goes after that is unknown, but Kingdom Hearts is a huge success for Square-Enix and Disney so you can expect them to carry on with more games and expand the mythos in the future. What Team Is Developing it? Square Enix revealed yesterday at a Q&A session (via Siliconera) that it isn't the original Kingdom Hearts team, who are now hard at work (along with Kingdom Hearts series creator Tetsuya Nomura) on Final Fantasy XV. Instead, the Osaka studio, which worked on Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 3D, and most recently, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, are hard at work on the much anticipated third installment. What Platforms Is It Coming To? Kingdom Hearts III is only confirmed to be coming to PS4 and Xbox One at the moment. Initially, it was thought to be PS4-only when it was revealed at Sony's pre-E3 conference, but Square-Enix later clarified the game was indeed making its way to Microsoft's next-gen console as well. No Wii U Release? The game is said to make use of DirectX 11, which raises the question of whether a Wii U release would even be possible since it's currently unclear whether the Nintendo console is capable of the graphics equivalent. Still, a Wii U release would seem like a probable situation in the future if sales and the install base pick up for the fledgling console. It would certainly make sense given the fact that the Kingdom Hearts fanbase is almost equally split between Sony and Nintendo due to four of the games being on Nintendo handhelds (GBA, DS, and 3DS, respectively), so don't rule it out entirely just yet. And that's what we know so far. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get more details. If there's a time and place for that, we'll most likely hear more at the Tokyo Game Show later this year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for additional information there. Are you looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III?
  4. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: PS4 Does What the Xbox One Doesn't

    Gamers felt the sting of a new generation when Microsoft first shared information that used games would have weirdly limited functionality, and possibly even cost money to purchase beyond their regular prices. Similarly, the realization that the Xbox One would have to check in online every 24 hours left a bad taste for many. What is Sony doing with the PS4? They are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, and happily so. Games do not require an online checking in. Sony will not stop you from trading in games or playing them on your own console. Sony is keeping things simple, or at the very least, similar to the PS3. This was definitely the best thing Sony could do in response to Microsoft. Although the battle between Xbox One and PS4 has yet to be waged, it is likely these distinctively different responses will have an impact at retail. It may be worth noting that Tretton also seemed to inadvertently suggest that online gameplay is now part of the PS Plus subscription. That may prove to be the one low point of the otherwise excellent mocking of Microsoft's decisions.
  5. Marcus Estrada

    Pre-Order Xbox One for Exclusive Controller

    Did today's Microsoft press conference sell you on the system? If so, then you're probably going to want to pre-order it to make sure you get the console on the very first day. Microsoft used their official news site to reveal that you can get a few exclusive extras if you do so. The content consists of a limited edition controller. The button layout and design are exactly the same as a regular Xbox One controller minus one thing. On the center of the controller it says "DAY ONE 2013". Players also get an exclusive Achievement, which seems the far sillier selling point. Pre-ordering directly through Microsoft or other other participating retailers (Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Toys 'R Us, Wal-Mart) grants you the exclusives. Xbox One is out this November for $500.
  6. Dragon Age: Origins was the start of a game with a very devoted fan following. After Dragon Age II, fans were then split into even smaller camps over if they liked where the series was going or not. With all that said, we have no idea which direction Dragon Age: Inquisition will head. All we got was a teaser trailer devoid of in-game footage. Why? Well, according to Bioware, the company is devoted to making this game the best as possible. That's why it won't be out until Fall of 2014 - if more delays don't end up striking it later on. The teaser also showcased a Morrigan-looking character which has left some confused as to whether it is her or not thanks to an increasingly sexualized design. Although no consoles were announced, it's likely you will be able to experience Dragon Age: Inquisition on PS4 or Xbox One.
  7. Have you had enough Need for Speed? For racing fans, there's likely never enough. EA's Frostbite engine was discussed during their conference and then showcased via the new game Need for Speed Rivals which utilizes it. Need for Speed Rivals is the next game in the long-standing series which pits racers against the police as well as each other. During a live gameplay segment the players were shown competing while a third player controlled a helicopter via a tablet. Players won't need to worry about their console allegiance as both the Xbox One and PS4 are grabbing the game on November 19th.
  8. At a time when people were first starting to be tired by the excessive zombiefication of gaming, Plants vs. Zombies came on the scene to become surprisingly well liked. The tower defense game was cute and strangely addicting. For whatever reason, it was decided that there should be a third person shooter based off of the Plants vs. Zombies world and that's where Garden Warfare comes in. It doesn't seem like anyone was asking for this game, but it exists anyway! Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is coming to Xbox One first, then Xbox 360.
  9. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Xbox One Out in November for $499

    Here's the information you'll want to know if you've been following our Xbox One coverage. How much is the damn thing going to cost and when is it coming out? The Xbox One will indeed be out in November for the price of $499 in North America, €499 or £429 in Europe, and available across multiple regions. Apparently there are not multiple price points, or a subscription feature as has sometimes been predicted. How do you feel about a $500 Xbox One? Too much?
  10. Capybara games is best known for the indie game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery. Its launch in 2011 was met with a lot of attention and has become one of the more well known indie titles. Today they next game was showcased via the Xbox press conference. The new game is titled Below and has similar visual aesthetics as Superbrothers. It is coming exclusively to Xbox One as well. Hopefully we'll see more about Capybara Games' latest on the show floor.
  11. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Twitch Partners with Xbox One

    Are you a fan of Twitch.tv livestreaming? If so, then the Xbox One now has an interesting feature for you to take advantage of. Microsoft has partnered with Twitch to integrate the service with Xbox One. Apparently it is used via Kinect and can be called up to record and upload your gameplay moments. It was shown alongside a bout of Killer Instinct. It was not stated however if you require Xbox Live Gold for this to work, or the Twitch Turbo subscription. It's possible you may need one, both, or none at all. We'll let you know when anything like that is confirmed.
  12. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Swery Bringing D4 to Xbox One

    Swery 65 was a pretty niche developer until Deadly Premonition hit it big. Well, big enough to become a game with quite the cult status. Although it was not the first game he ever crafted, it was the one which was a hit with Western players. Many have been clamoring for a Deadly Premonition sequel. Unfortunately, that was not announced, but we did get a teaser trailer for the game D4. Very little is known about it right now since we just have a teaser to go off of. Swery made the adorable tweet after the reveal of simply saying "D4 it's mine". We'll likely see a bit more of D4 on the show floor. The game is going to be an episodic exclusive on Xbox One.
  13. Okay, so were you scared that the earlier reveal by Rare on Spike TV was the real thing? Nope, thankfully that was just Rare getting the dull game out of the way with Kinect Sports Rivals. They were indeed bringing a core game to the show. The game in question is none other than Killer Instinct. The game had a great life back on arcade and SNES but has unfortunately not seen much attention since. Xbox One getting Killer Instinct as an exclusive is big news for Rare fans, as well as lovers of fighting games.
  14. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013: Ryse: Son of Rome Coming to Xbox One

    Ryse is a game that you may have heard about sometime in the past. It seems that the name first came up years ago and had something to do with Kinect at latest reference. All the same, the game was left completely in the dark until today. Ryse: Son of Rome is now revealed as an Xbox One title and seems to focus on all the excitement and violence of being a Roman soldier. The third person action game certainly has nice graphics but does it offer compelling play? After the teaser trailer they showecased gameplay. Ryse appears to focus on both play as just one soldier as well as commanding the troops around you. As opposed to games such as God of War, it also looks to be taking a more "realistic" view of things. Well, as realistic as a game glorifying violence and incredible, unkillable main soldier are. Ryse: Son of Rome will be available on Xbox One on launch.
  15. During the reveal of Kinect Sports Rivals, the Rare employee simply known as Danny announced that the game would be releasing alongside the Xbox One in November of this year. I'm not entirely sure, but I think that was supposed to be a surprise for the conference itself, right? Microsoft probably won't be too happy to hear that the system's launch window was just revealed for a Kinect game on the E3 preshow, but its only an hour ahead of schedule.
  16. So, we're only a few minutes away until Microsoft's pres conference and hopefully a great deal of new game announcements. Spike TV has been running a pre-show and getting a few exclusive announcements for the show. In particular, Rare showed up. Yes, they came to announce a new game which has been seeing a lot of buzz on the internet lately. Would it be a new Killer Insinct? What about Banjo Threeie? Rare still has something in store for E3, but they did reveal one game for the pre-show. It's Kinect Sports Rivals! Their series has been the best-selling on Kinect so it makes sense they want to bring out a new one. It also featured more built, humanoid characters in the game which may be Xbox One avatars, such as how previous Kinect Sport games used Xbox 360 avatars. Now to watch the Xbox One conference and to hopefully see the "real" Rare announcement.
  17. Microsoft has gone back to the starting point with Xbox One. No longer should we focus on the original Xbox or Xbox 360 but look toward a brand new era of digital entertainment. Do you watch TV shows or movies? Microsoft wants to own your living room and have you enjoy all that media through Xbox One. Oh, and the device will have something to do with games too. Although the Xbox One reveal had nothing to do with games, it has been proclaimed that Microsoft's E3 presence will be all about the games. What about these supposed fifteen exclusive games - will they all be shown? Will we get much-needed answers to our questions about used games and online connectivity? The staff of Game Podunk have put on their "game analyst" hats and are ready to share their best E3 predictions. A Rare Opportunity Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "Most of us have heard the news by now - Microsoft will be announcing a sequel to a 'historic' Rare franchise, but the question is which franchise are they referring to? Many people seem to think it will be none other than the long dormant Killer Instinct series, and for good reason - Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the series last Fall. While Killer Instinct is clearly the frontrunner in all this speculation, what if the Rare sequel in question isn't from that series? The Banjo Kazooie series is probably Rare's hallmark franchise and what people love them most for, but somehow I don't think that will be it either. No, we're going to need to go back in time a bit more. There are two series that haven't been considered that would push fans' nostalgia buttons like crazy if Rare were developing a new game for them - Battletoads and R.C. Pro-Am. While neither series has been relevant for some time, they might provide the nostalgia bomb that Microsoft is looking for in getting some people to jump onboard with the Xbox One. The problem with R.C. Pro-Am is that Microsoft already has a popular racing game in Forza, so unless the former does something dramatically different, we can probably rule it out for now. Which leaves us with Battletoads. Crazy? Sure, but it might just be crazy enough to work and give Microsoft the big surprise they're looking to shock people with." Silence Is Golden (When It Comes To DRM) Marcus Estrada | Managing Editor "Microsoft has recently explained the problematic parts of the Xbox One and is unlikely to step away from them now. So what can they do to calm gamers down during their conference when all they're currently arguing about is a 24 hour internet check in and changing used game market? Simple, they won't talk about it at all! They're going to focus on their games and other properties but not say a single thing about the online pushback against their decisions. They already canceled their after-conference appointments with journalists so it's likely Microsoft will just clam up about any of this. They've given their answer via the official Xbox news website and are now done discussing it. Take the Xbox One or leave it because the console's controversial features are (probably) here to stay!" The Great Used Games Tax John Kidman | Contributing Writer "I suspect a speedy retreat from the poorly articulated 'fee' surrounding used and borrowed games. Microsoft hit everybody in the jaw when they initially announced the existence of this surcharge, so expect a few audible 'boos' from the audience when they first begin to address the issue that sent the twitter feeds and gaming websites into flame spirals. Microsoft will likely fully articulate a smaller-than-anticipated ($5 or $10) fee after a few pithy comments, perhaps about 'not believing everything you read on the internet.' I suspect this fee will similar in structure to online passes. The gaming industry is like any other industry, consumer driven, and imposing a large fee is truly a bad business model. A much better business model would be embracing the used game market on consoles by creating the ability to buy and sell ownership of digital titles, sending 10% of the proceeds of the transaction to the developer and paying the seller the balance in whatever monopoly money the console creator decides to implement." A Double Dose of Halo Gaiages | Community Manager "At the Xbox One reveal, it was stated that the Xbox One was going to get a bunch of exclusive, some of them even being new IPs, so they better flaunt their gaming power at the biggest gaming conference of the year! As to what they will show, that's anyone's guess... and my guess is that we'll be seeing a new Halo game. Yes, I know, there's the Halo TV series, but what better way to hype that than with a tie-in game? Also, Halo is pretty much one of Microsoft's system sellers, so what better way to hype their new system than with a new entry into the franchise?" 15 Exclusives, 8 New IPs, 1 to Rule Them All Jason Clement | Editor-in-Chief "One of the biggest things about Microsoft's conference is that they're set to announce 15 first-party games for release within the console's first year on shelves. That's a lot of games, especially for a launch console's initial year, which is typically rife with delays and periods of game droughts as gamers weather the wait for the true next-generation games to arrive in year two. While we don't know if MS can make good on that proposition for sure just yet, we can guess as to what they'll announce as part of the 15 exclusives. Let's start with a few that we actually know of already: Ryse and Ascend: Hand of Kul (formerly Ascend: New Gods). The former was announced in 2012 and is a new IP being developed by Crytek, and the latter is a free-to-play online role playing game being developed by Signal Studios, who created Toy Soldiers for XBLA, and though the game was originally announced for 360, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has moved to Xbox One. Both games would also fulfill the new IP condition as well. What else do we know is coming? LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel was recently announced. Not surprisingly, Forza 5 is also on the way. Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment's latest game Quantum Break was revealed as a new IP at the Xbox One reveal event. Is it likely we'll see Halo 5 release in the Xbox One's launch year? Likely not, though it's probable if 313 Industries simply continues using Halo 4's engine without any huge upgrades. You can also bet on seeing some type of new Gears of War title being announced; possibly Gears of War 4. Let's assume Lionhead isn't only working on Fable Anniversary as well and has been working on another next-gen Fable; that would round out the big 4 MS franchises. And last but not least, Black Tusk Studios is reportedly working on MS's next big game, and it's assumed to be a new IP as well. Breaking down what we know and what we're predicting- 1. Forza 5 2. LocoCycle 3. Quantum Break 4. Ryse 5. New Halo title 6. Gears of War title 7. New Fable title 8. Black Tusk Studios title 9. Ascend: Hand of Kul (?) Assuming Ascend: Hand of Kul does make the leap to Xbox One and that three of the 15 games are new entries in the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable series, then that accounts for 9 of the 15 exclusives that MS is referring to. As for the remaining 6 games? We'll have to wait and see. Expect them to be a mix of smaller XBLA-like titles and a perhaps a few AAA titles. One thing seems certain, though - MS is banking big on at least one big game to really get people talking, and it could very well be the Black Tusk Studios title. Stay tuned as we find out the answer in just a few short days." What do you think? Do you have any predictions for Microsoft's Pre-E3 Conference?
  18. Marcus Estrada

    LocoCycle is an Xbox One Launch Title

    Twisted Pixel, the name behind Splosion Man, The Maw, and other titles announced development of LocoCycle at E3 lat year. Well, they tried to, as most of the response seemed to be a bit confused by the reveal trailer. Today Twisted Pixel revealed that the game is not only coming to Xbox 360 via XBLA and is now set to be a launch title for Xbox One. In case you missed what LocoCycle is about, as most of us did, here's a lovely description: "The story of a martial arts wielding assassin motorcycle who becomes self-aware and accidentally drags her South American engineer on a cross-country search for freedom is not one that is easily told. Luckily for us, the most advanced combat motorcycle ever made is coming to the most advanced gaming system ever conceived." How is this strikingly strange game going to be made available? It'll be a digital download during Xbox One's launch. LocoCycle is still coming to 360 XBLA but at a later date.
  19. DarkCobra86

    How Xbox One Differs From Xbox 360

    Though this was interesting and wanted to share with GP. Definitely making me sure I don't want an Xbox one. Credits goes to milkman on GDD for finding this on neogaf.
  20. Microsoft previously announced that a Kinect is a required component of the Xbox One. Although its functionality does not have to be used in all games, it does need to be connected in order for the system to function at all. This has led some to worry about possible video and audio data the Kinect could take while being connected. Although nothing Microsoft says will ever deter the most exciteable of privacy advocates, they have posted a FAQ by the title of "Privacy by Design: How Xbox One and the New Kinect Sensor Put You in Control." Upon setting up the system users can choose whether they want an automatic sign in via Kinect or to do so manually. When playing games, you can also pause Kinect. However, it doesn't seem there is an option to have it paused by default upon playing games or media. The standby mode of the system which waits for a user to say "Xbox On" can also be changed to have Kinect off when the system is off. Microsoft also assures users that none of the data the Kinect tracks will leave the console. If prospective Xbox One users still fear the Kinect then at least they have the option to unplug the system when not playing if they're still determined to buy one.
  21. So, Microsoft updated their official Xbox news site today with a handful of FAQs about the Xbox One. We have just learned what their plans are for connecting games to accounts and used games and they're a mix of good ideas and bad possibilities. What about the other much-discussed feature of always online connectivity? The post which details this information is "Xbox One: A Modern, Connected Device" which pretty much tells you everything you need to know in the title. The console comes with both wired and wireless internet connectivity this time which is a plus considering you won't have to buy an expensive wireless dongle like was what was required for Xbox 360. In another sentence, Microsoft sparks hope by stating "a persistent internet connection is not required" before dashing them again. The paragraph continues: "Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection. With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies." The rumored requirement of the system requiring a connection once every 24 hours is true. If your internet gets knocked out for a week due to bad weather, inability to pay a bill, infrastructure upgrade, or any other reason you won't be able to play your Xbox One for more than 24 hours until a connection can be established again. That is actually the best case scenario because developers and publishers may choose games to require cloud connectivity. Those would require a persistent internet connection. At least now Microsoft has finally answered some of the most-asked questions about Xbox One.
  22. Microsoft really screwed up their Xbox One reveal. No, this is not because of their initial conference focusing almost entirely on television and other non "core" features. It was due to the fact they were unable to share much of any official information without immediately contradicting themselves later. If they were not willing to discuss the information publicly, they should have remained silent rather than coming up with multiple "possibilities" being read as fact. Today the official Xbox news website has posted a series of FAQs about the console's most talked-about questions. An article titled "How Games Licensing Works on Xbox One" resolves the questions we had about playing games at a friend's house, your own house, and what the prospects for used Xbox One games are. First, let's discuss the positives. Day one purchases of games can be made at retail but also via the Xbox Marketplace. If you have a disc-based game, it gets installed to your console and then can be played without using the disc again. With this same account, you can then access all the games connected to your account no matter what Xbox One you're on. That means you can bring you entire collection to your friend's house provided you log in on their system. Also, your specific system allows for access to all the installed games, regardless of account. This solidifies the family use solution - at least if your entire family uses the same Xbox One. What's less positive or even bad about any of this? Used games have been a point of contention and now we are finally seeing why. Here is the official text from the FAQ which is written very carefully: "Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games." "Publishers can enable" you to trade means that this is an optional feature. Companies can opt in or out of used game sales on physical media. Similarly, when they say "Microsoft does not charge... a fee" it means that they are absolving themselves of the blame. However, third party publishers "may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers." Meaning, used games may very well cost a fee - just not via an explicit requirement by Microsoft. How do you feel about the Xbox One's stance on using new and used media? Will Sony stay away from these kinds of plans?
  23. Fantasia: Music Evolved is an upcoming music/rhythm game for Kinect. It doesn't really have anything to do with Disney's Fantasia, but that's beside the point. This Harmonix and Disney Interactive title encourages you to "become the new apprentice of legendary sorcerer Yen Sid, and explore and transform magical worlds by unleashing your musical creativity." Okay, so maybe it's a little like Fantasia with all the arm movement and pretty colors. You can see all of it in motion in the trailer below. Here are the tracks that are currently confirmed for Fantasia: Music Evolved: AVICII – "Levels" Bruno Mars – "Locked Out Of Heaven" Fun. – "Some Nights" Kimbra – "Settle Down" Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody" Fantasia: Music Evolved will be available for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One sometime in 2014.
  24. When it was initially unveiled a week and a half ago, I was surprised by the announcement that Microsoft's next console will be called the Xbox One. But I have to say, it is a better name than the Xbox 720 or the Durango. Is it the best name they could have chosen? Probably not, but they obviously have a plan for this name, and it must be a good plan considering they've already gone forward and announced the darn thing. But this all got me thinking - what goes into a console's name? Why did they choose "Xbox One" over "Xbox 720?" Why did Nintendo go with "Wii U?" Should Sony have stuck with naming each new console one number higher than their previous console? Well, I'm going to try to answer some of these questions over the next few paragraphs. Why don't you join me? The Xbox Goes Back To One Ever since the Xbox 360 first got it's name, everyone just assumed that the next system would be called the Xbox 720. I've been hearing the name Xbox 720 thrown around for years and years now. And honestly, I'm kind of sad that it won't be used anymore. The question is, why didn't Microsoft just go with Xbox 720 if that is what everyone expected of them all this time? The reason is simple. They wanted to have the element of surprise. Everyone was prepared to hear them announce the Xbox 720. I'm sure there were probably even a few websites out there that had entire articles dedicated to how predictable Microsoft was being by calling it the Xbox 720. They had their little jokes and ribs ready and waiting, and Microsoft completely shut them down with the Xbox One. And then one becomes zero, which turns into infinity until it returns to one. But why call it the Xbox One? Why not something crazy, like Durango? Literally anything else would have been less confusing for poor highschool students getting their first job at Gamestop. Some people might even consider the name a blunder, so why did they name it that in the first place? The answer lies in marketing. And it isn't nearly as Matrixy as I hoped. It is called the Xbox One simply because Microsoft wanted to be able to use the tagline "Its the all-in-one entertainment device!" It plays games, movies, has cable TV and even has an internet browser you control with your voice! It truly is an all-in-one machine, at least in the minds of the Microsoft marketing team. Why Not Just Call The Wii-U The Wii 2? A fair number of people were also surprised by Nintendo's choice to name their next generation console the "Wii U." It was so similar to the name of the Wii that some people even thought the new console was just a peripheral for the original Wii. Why didn't Nintendo choose a radically different console name, or at least call it the "Wii 2" so people would know it was a newer console? Well, there's a few different reasons for that. Firstly, imagine how much more confusing it would be for casual consumers if they saw a game called New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2 sitting next to a game called New Super Mario Bros. Wii. You think the average consumer is confused by the Wii U name? It would have been so much worse if Nintendo just called it the Wii 2; they would have been buried by the angry letters from soccer moms all over the world. "Wii-U would like to play you." What?! Now, why keep the Wii name at all? They've been all over the place with different console names over the years, even going so far as to change the name of the Revolution to the Wii we know of today. So why stop the name changes now? The reason is because they struck casual gold with the Nintendo Wii. While they want consumers to know that it is a new console, they also want the casual market to understand that this is still the Wii brand they fell in love with. They needed to remain familiar without seeming to be the same thing. And finally, there's Nintendo's weird fetish with branding all of their things with a uniform name. You have Super Mario 64, Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and now New Super Mario Bros. U. Over the last decade or two Nintendo has been branding their console name on as many of their games as possible. Why? I don't really know, but there is no way they're going to stop anytime soon. The Gamecube was a fluke in a long history of name branding, but look how well things turned out for that console. Playstation Continues To Play The Numbers Game Over the last few decades, Sony has released a total of three home consoles. And now they're gearing up to release their fourth. The aptly named "Playstation 4." But with this new console comes a problem Sony has never encountered before - they're breaking out past the trilogy phase for the first time in their brand's life. Why is this important? Because people are finicky. For some reason it is has become widely accepted that video games and movie series can get two sequels before things start to become silly with their company's naming techniques. I don't know why it is, but if you don't start mixing things up after the third iteration, people start making fun of your product. And electronics aren't really exempt from this. As far as I'm concerned, this is the console Just look at everything Apple makes. We're going on the sixth generation of iPhones, and the first one released around six years ago. They're producing new phone models at the same rate as the Call of Duty franchise releases games. Of course, Sony doesn't move anywhere near as fast as some of these companies, but they'll still be subject to the same jokes simply because they decided to stick with numbers instead of something crazy like the Playstation Orbis. I can't say I'll be too upset by that though. If it isn't broken, then don't fix it. What do you think about all of these name changes? Should Microsoft have just bit the bullet and went with the Xbox 720? Is Wii U a good product name for Nintendo, and should Sony have stuck with just raising the number on thier console again? Why not express your opinions in the comments below? As always, thank you for reading.
  25. Marcus Estrada

    Ubisoft E3 Lineup Announced

    With E3 closing in, companies are finally revealing the content they'll have on hand. Yesterday Ubisoft shared the big names that they'll be bringing to convention. Of course, there's going to be more available as well, but some things have to be kept secret. Here are the main titles Ubisoft is bringing to the convention: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Rayman Legends South Park: The Stick of Truth Splinter Cell: Blacklist Watch Dogs Interestingly, this upcoming game content will also be playable outside of E3. If you happen to be near Los Angeles then you can try and sign up for an invitation to their Uplay event. The lounge is going to host their E3 games so some of the public can try them out.