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  1. Last month, Nintendo's Damon Baker, who had become synonymous with the publisher's efforts to spearhead indie and third-party content, announced that he was leaving the company to take on a new role elsewhere. Today, Baker officially revealed on Twitter that he is now the new Head of Portfolio at Xbox. The rest of his tweet indicates that his role is still pretty much the same as it was at Nintendo, with him evaluating 2nd/3rd part content for Xbox's overall strategy. Still, a big congratulations to Baker on his move, especially as Xbox continues to make key moves that could indicate a brighter future for the console giant in the coming years as the next generation of gaming looms ahead. Source: Damon Baker (via Twitter)
  2. It's the end of an era for one Microsoft product this week; namely, the Kinect. This week officially marks the end of production for the motion-tracking device as confirmed by the Redmond tech giant. You might be surprised as I was to find out they were still producing Kinects given that no new major games have used it in the last several years. However, it did have a better run than most might realize. From its release until now, Kinect has sold more than 35 million units around the world. A good portion of that number includes bundles with the Xbox 360, and more notably with the Xbox One when it infamously launched only as a bundle at the console's launch. It was arguably the Kinect that could be blamed for Xbox One's lagging behind PlayStation 4 since the bundling in of the motion-tracking camera set Microsoft's console a cool $100 above its competition. Regardless, the Kinect has had a colorful life, if not an acclaimed one. While it's not known for any big game experiences in particular -- one of its most infamous uses was for a bizarrely off-tone dance minigame in Kinect Star Wars -- its best use for many gamers was its voice recognition, which could be used to open different games, apps, movies, and the like. Farewell Kinect. You may not be missed, but you'll certainly be remembered... in one way or another. Source: Polygon What are your thoughts on Microsoft ending production for the Kinect?
  3. Microsoft has officially announced its plans for a press conference at E3 2017, and this year it's coming a bit earlier than usual. An entire day, in fact. This marks the first year that one of the big three console manufacturers are doing their press conference on a Sunday, which will be June 11 at 2pm PT this year. The teaser graphic attached to the announcement makes it pretty clear that Project Scorpio, first announced last year as the "most powerful gaming console yet", will be talked about more in-depth, and possibly get a full reveal. Rumors have indicated for a while that Microsoft is aiming for a 2017 release for the console, so an E3 reveal makes a lot of sense if they're aiming for a November launch. If it does indeed turn out to be a full reveal, expect to hear a more finalized name for the console, as well as whether or not Microsoft plans for it to be its next generation console or if it is only a half-step between Xbox One and whatever is coming after. Source: Engadget Are you glad to hear Microsoft's press conference is being moved to Sunday? And are you looking forward to hearing more about Project Scorpio?
  4. With E3 coming nearing under a month, we all wonder what to expect and what surprises will come to us. Who's going to have a good conference, average, worst, best. etc. Anything can happen. What are your predictions of what you like to see and what rumors you've heard that might show up at this year's biggest gaming event. _________________________________________________________________________________ Here are some of my thoughts/predictions: I think Square-Enix will show plenty of development footage of Kingdom Hearts and FFVII Remake and I don't expect a release date this year and possibly release late next year or 2018. Sony will definitely show more of the VR stuff, PSNeo, Price Drop, and more gameplay footage from the developed games that will be released this year. If they want to wow us they'd have to make an awesome announcement like getting the Crash Bandicoot rights back and announcing a PS4. I expect a Shenmue III trailer at the end of Sony's conference as surprise or somehwere along the show. Another surprise is teaser to Last of Us 2 I heard that Nintendo isn't doing a conference? Not sure though, but NX isn't showing up this year and the new Zelda game is their main focus. Other than that most of their showing is at their digital event Microsoft doesn't feel like they have much to show, but I think their biggest game to reveal is Gears of War 4. They did show their VR stuff last year and I guess they could show more and possibly a release date. I am definitely looking forward to Kojima's next game since he has his own studio working with Sony and with Norman Reedus I think. There's a lot more to say, but I don't want hog all the info lol. So what are you guys thoughts and predictions?
  5. I consider myself a reasonable(ish) person, one who“s usually slow to anger unless I“m navigating THOSE FREAKING MEDUSA HEADS in Castlevania. Whenever a company makes a business decision I don“t agree with, I try to look at it objectively and think of the many reasons why it could be a good thing, and why they thought they should go ahead with their plans. Not this time though, as Microsoft has gone and made a baffling decision involving PC gaming that makes me want to throw an Xbox off a balcony into a pile of other broken Xboxes and possibly even switch to Linux while I“m at it. That decision was leaving Steam and Windows 7/8 users in the dust for their upcoming PC game releases. Someone get me a sledgehammer. Let“s start with a little background though – we all know and possibly love Steam, right? It“s a great service for buying digital PC games, since you can keep them all in one tidy library instead of having to remember where you bought what game if you need to retrieve a download link again. Sure, there are other services like Origin and GOG Galaxy, but the massive number of available games on Steam absolutely dwarfs the competition, from indies to AAA to everything in between, it“s almost all on Steam. Steam also has a large community that's usually willing to help resolve issues, so you don't have to wait for Valve to take your number. Isn“t it great to have such a wide variety of games new and old, and a thriving community supporting them, all in one easy place? Apparently Microsoft doesn“t think so, at least, not anymore. Sure, if you have a look right now, you“ll see some Microsoft Studios published games such as Mark of the Ninja and Ori and the Blind Forest. But those are the last ones you“re likely to see with Microsoft“s new outlook, as part of their supposed commitment to delivering the same quality Xbox games to PC gamers. Why is that? Because Microsoft, in all their infinite wisdom, has decided that you had better be using Windows 10 and Windows 10 ONLY if you wanna play their newest games on PC, because they“ll only be available on the Windows 10 Store. Got Windows 7 and wanna play Quantum Break on PC? Tough cookies, sonny, you“d better upgrade that operating system or get yourself an Xbox One. You didn't want this anyway, right? So what the hell are they thinking? Locking their PC games to Windows 10 is no different than locking a game to Xbox One specifically, because you still need a specific system just to play the game. They are taking the console-exclusive approach and applying it to what should be a “free system†of sorts, where any range of machines with varying operating systems and configurations have access to the same games. Who does this benefit besides Microsoft? Absolutely no one, that“s who. It gets their newest OS in more hands so they can make the numbers look good, and having the games exclusive to the Windows Store means more money for Microsoft and no sharing with the likes of Valve. If you“re waiting on me to try and find a way this helps the consumer, you“re gonna be waiting a while. It means not being able to shop around for a good price. It means only having one "official" source of support if something goes wrong. And if you already hate having to use Origin for EA games, it means splitting your PC library up across different services even more. It's not even so much that games aren't available on Steam, though that is annoying. It's that they can't be played if you don't have one specific operating system, despite how almost every developer and publisher besides Microsoft (remember Halo 2's Vista-only compatibility?) optimizes their games for various versions of Windows, and sometimes other OSes like Mac or Linux. Now, I“ll be fair and note that Windows 10 is technically free to upgrade to, and you can upgrade from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, so there“s no real reason you can“t actually play the games that will come to Windows 10 Store if you“d like. Therein lies another problem, though – not everyone wants this “upgrade.†Some people are just fine and happy using an older version of Windows, and see no real reason to switch, even with the promise of being able to play stuff like Killer Instinct or Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Oh, and another problem? Since Windows 10 was developed and released after most currently available games came out and stopped being supported, there are a handful of games with compatibility issues ranging from save files disappearing to DRM not working (which you might notice means you can“t even play the game) to sound issues and more. How is that an upgrade if you“re already an avid PC gamer? Notice how the light is on the outside of the window. You'll find only darkness within. I“m willing to admit I“ve always been biased against Microsoft, and this is just another in a long line of missteps that keeps me snuggled in the arms of Sony and Nintendo. It doesn“t help much that I“m quite comfortable using Windows 7 and have no desire to change it if I don“t have to. But I don“t think I“m alone when I say that this new approach to PC gaming is a huge step back from the tried and true method of, you know, distributing PC games across various digital stores and optimizing them for use on different operating systems. It“s a step that only goes one way – in Microsoft“s direction. In their sudden rush to bridge the gap between Xbox and PC gaming, they ended up making them basically the same thing. I suppose no amount of complaining is realistically going to change their new stance on PC gaming though, and that stance boils down to “get Windows 10 or get bent.†So anyway, there's my rant on how annoying it is that I won't be able to play Killer Instinct without an Xbox One or Windows 10. How do you feel about Microsoft's commitment to only releasing games on Windows 10? Maybe you don't care because you already upgraded to Win10, or maybe you don't care because you don't play PC games. Maybe you're just as annoyed as I am! Whatever the case, let me know how you feel in the comments!
  6. So, as you may or may not have heard, Microsoft has recently unveiled a new initiative regarding cross-platform play. Where at first they were focused on allowing Windows 10 and Xbox users to play online with each other, it seems now Microsoft is hoping to open the gates to allow Xbox Live users to play alongside users on other multiplayer services, such as Playstation Network and Steam. The idea is establishing an even larger player-base for multiplayer games and bringing together users from across different consoles to enjoy the experiences together. The first game to support this notion is Rocket League, which is already a hit on its respective platforms and should benefit from pooling players across PC and console together. Of course, it would be up to individual developers if they want to take advantage of this or not, so it could potentially reinvigorate existing games and benefit newly launched ones, or it could go nowhere at all. So with that explanation done, my question is...how do you feel about it? Excited by the possibility? Don't care? Worried about even more children cursing and screaming in your headset? Whatever your thoughts, scream them out below! For me, personally, I don't see how it's as big a deal as some are making it out to be. I mean, yes, if it happens, it's essentially tearing down a wall between competing console manufacturers to unite their userbases to enjoy their gaming experiences together, so that's something. But on the other hand, most of the games that would benefit from this like Battlefront or Call of Duty or whatever already have huge amounts of loyal players across both PSN and XBL (I'm just gonna assume for now Nintendo wouldn't participate) so it's not like there's a shortage of players that needs to be addressed. Perhaps this could be the first step towards closer working relationships between the big console makers, but it could just as easily not really go anywhere and no one will care about it within a few months.
  7. So I did one of these last year, and...wait, has it really already been a year since E3 2014? Because it doesn't feel like it. But indeed it has, and this year was chock full of surprises and megaton announcements topped off with a helping of new IPs and twists on the familiar. With what we saw, most of us probably wanted a place to gush about the things that really jumped out at us. This is my place to do just that. Doom Doom is an icon in the shooter world. THE icon, at that. It put first person shooters in the mainstream and covered the floor with demons and blood long before every other game started doing the same. The series was quiet after Doom 3, but it's coming back in a big, brutal way. Bucking the popular trends, Doom throws out cover, two-weapon inventories, and all the things that have limited us from just running up on some bad guys and shooting the crap out of them with a myriad of increasingly ridiculous weapons, and I'm absolutely stoked about that. FPS games have gotten far too sanitary and clingy to the player, and a game that throws you in with no regenerating health, no shields, and no mercy and expects you to circle-strafe your way to victory is the kick in the pants the genre needs right now. StarFox Zero Yes, I know there are actual screenshots, and no, I don't care. It's about time! While a new StarFox was mentioned at E3 2014, we didn't get any real info about it. Now that we've seen how the game looks and plays, I can't wait to get my paws on it. StarFox 64 has always been the high point of the series and one of my favorite games, and it's about time we get a new entry in the series that looks like it can match or even possibly outdo the high standards set by the N64 game. The fact that it's being at least partially developed by Platinum Games also has me excited, as Platinum has put together some quality action titles and I'll be happy to see them put those skills to work on bringing Fox and the crew to life on WiiU. The best part is that it's coming out this year, so it won't be long until we're doing barrel rolls and finding out what Wolf won't let us do this time. Horizon: Zero Dawn While I'm not a huge fan of Guerrilla's Killzone games, they were competent shooters with a lot of polish, so I'm confident they could deliver a new experience with great mechanics and amazing visuals. That experience is coming in the form of Horizon: Zero Dawn, with its concept of advanced tech vs. ancient weaponry painting a vivid world of clashing architectures and pitting the savage against the sleek. And robot dinosaurs! Don't forget the robot dinosaurs. Even if the gameplay doesn't look like much beyond a fairly standard third-person action-shooter at this point, I still want to dive into Horizon and get lost in the world of the Old Ones. Rare Replay Oh yes. I enjoy collections of past video games as much as anyone, but a collection of Rareware titles is one for the books. Bringing together some of their best games past and present, and also Grabbed by the Ghoulies (joke, I haven't played that game) Rare Replay is giving us some of the most treasured gaming experiences in one reasonably priced $30 package, along with some new features like challenges and achievements. I'm talking greats like RC Pro AM, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark, my personal favorite underrated gem Jet Force Gemini, Battletoads Arcade, Viva Pinata, and more. Really, the only problem here is that I don't have an Xbox One, but the minute I get one, this collection is absolutely coming home with it. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam I love Mario & Luigi. I love Paper Mario. Would I love both of them together? You bet! This game looks to take the fun and frantic action-based combat and exploration of the Mario & Luigi series and fuse it with elements ripped straight out of Paper Mario in what's sure to be one of the most entertaining and satisfying Mario RPGs yet. While it may not be the Paper Mario sequel many were hoping for, it's still going to be a fantastic addition to the 3DS library and should be a huge treat for those who were less than impressed with Paper Mario: Sticker Star as the papercraft plumber gets back to the old ways of beating baddies. Shenmue III Hoo boy. Did anyone see this coming? If you're raising your hand right now, bring it down hard on your face, because you are a liar. After years upon years of hoping, begging, pleading, and praying, fans finally got what they never expected in the announcement that Shenmue III is finally happening, and through Kickstarter, you can make it happen. Naturally, the game is already fully funded on Kickstarter, so as a huge fan of the original game, I'm thrilled to know that after all these years I'll be able to hang with Ryo Hazuki once again when the game releases...whenever. The "estimated delivery" is December 2017, but those can usually be taken with a grain of salt. At any rate, whatever year this comes out is gonna be a huge year for gaming. Fallout 4 Oh man. Ohhhhh man. Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman. FALLOUT 4. IS HAPPENING. THIS. FREAKING. YEAR!!!!!!!!! *deep breath* I'm okay. Yes, friends, loved ones, enemies, and people I don't have an opinion of one way or the other, the next trip to everyone's favorite Wasteland is coming much sooner than I could have anticipated. We saw the first reveal of Fallout 4 a bit before E3 started, and while that was exciting enough on its own, nothing, and I mean nothing could prepare me for the bombshell that Bethesda dropped during their first ever conference, when they announced that Fallout 4 is releasing on November 10, 2015. TWENTY FIFTEEN. THIS YEAR!!!!!!! THE HYPE IS SO REAL I CAN'T CONTAIN IT AHHHHHHHHHHHH (disclaimer for those who will inevitably say the game will miss its release date and slip into next year: shut up) Honorable Mentions: Killer instinct on PC Xbox boss Phil Spencer stopped by the PC Gaming Show to talk about Microsoft's plans for PC gaming, and casually mentioned that (former) Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct is headed to PC! No other info was given, but it's still exciting news for people like me who wanted to play it but don't have the system. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Not the biggest announcement from Nintendo's lineup, but as a fan of the Mario Tennis games I couldn't be happier about this. I skipped on the 3DS Mario Tennis game since I don't play my handhelds much, so I'm glad Mario and co. are bringing the racket to WiiU. Just Cause 3 We've known about Just Cause 3 for a little while, which is why it just gets an honorable mention since it wasn't really revealed at E3 specifically. (yes, neither was Fallout 4, but that's Fallout 4) Anyway, I spent hours roaming around blowing stuff up in the lushly detailed world of Just Cause 2, and I'm looking forward to doing it again when Just Cause 3 comes out this year. Xenoblade Chronicles X This is another we've known about for a while, but the exciting news is that it was revealed to be coming out in December of this year. While I never played the original Xenoblade Chronicles, the footage I've seen of Xenoblade X still has me really excited to take this RPG for a spin. No Man's Sky I wrote about this last year, and, yep, I'm still super excited about it. Can we get a release date so I can whine about how far away it is? While that's not nearly everything at E3 I thought was worth getting excited over, it's a take on some of the things that really made me happy to be a gamer and excited for what's in store over the course of this year and 2016. Now that you've read my babbling, it's time to share your thoughts in the comments! What excited you the most? What disappointed you? What did you hope to see that didn't show? Whatever thoughts you have about E3 2015, let's hear them!
  8. Well, this is an interesting rumor. If it turns out to be true, I'm sure there are a ton of people who would probably buy an Xbox One just to play this, but we'll see. Honestly, I could see it happening since Microsoft loves to snatch up exclusives and pull trump cards on Sony when they can (tho Sony got them on Street Fighter V, so...). What do you guys make of this? Would this make you want to buy an Xbox One if it does happen?
  9. If you've played the Mass Effect games, chances are you're familiar with Casey Hudson; he was the project director on the series and was heading up development on the as-of-yet unnamed fourth Mass Effect game at Bioware Montreal before leaving the company last year. It was announced today that Hudson has been been appointed as Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, and he'll be working specifically on HoloLens—Microsoft's new virtual-reality and augmented reality-tech—and new game experiences to come along with it. Hudson mentioned in an interview with Xbox.com that he had been an Xbox fan ever since he first worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, noting that the games he worked on found the greatest success there and that it's even his preferred way of playing games. "But in addition to the privilege of working for Microsoft and Xbox, I am particularly excited about working on HoloLens," Hudson said. "I was fortunate to try an early prototype of HoloLens before it was announced, and I was blown away by the technology and what it was already capable of. Walking on Mars while sipping coffee in an office setting, Skyping with a friend who can draw on the walls of my environment, sculpting an object in 3D modeling software while a hologram of it sits on a table next to me... These first experiences cemented my belief that holographic computing was where I needed to be. There“s no end to the potential of this technology, and I look forward to being able to influence the full-spectrum experience on HoloLens, from hardware to OS, to applications and games." While it's unknown if Hudson is working on any specific games that are currently in development or if they're mostly in the prototyping stage still, there's always a chance we might hear more about the HoloLens at E3 in just under a month's time. Image Credit: Caseyhudson.com Source: Xbox.com Are you surprised to hear about Casey Hudson's new venture?
  10. Jason Clement

    Xbox Brand For Sale? Hmm

    This isn't the first time this rumor has been floating around, but it's weird enough to be interesting (in my opinion, anyhow). Apparently there are rumblings that Microsoft is exploring ways to possibly sell the Xbox brand off. It sounds weird because technically Xbox One sales are ahead of what Xbox 360 were in a similar time frame, but the lack of Xbox One's traction against PS4 (with the latter now pulling back ahead of Xbox One after holiday sales) and Microsoft's increasing focus on other sectors, it sort of makes sense. The thing is, the Xbox brand is so expensive that it limits potential buyers significantly and almost doesn't make sense for anyone in that group to buy it, so Microsoft may just be stuck with it. The article mentions that it doesn't make sense for Apple (they'd do their own thing first), Google (not interested in games), and a lot of others, though Amazon and Netflix are said to be possibilities that make sense. Also, if you think about it, the news about Phil Spencer's departure seems to corroborate this report somewhat; it does seem to make sense. Will it actually happen? I doubt it. What do you think? Do you think Microsoft will sell the Xbox brand?
  11. Blazeknyt

    Microsoft files new Battletoads TM

    While it does not mean that Battletoads is coming back, Microsoft does know that it is important to hold onto the name. Think Battletoads will come back sometime in the future, or is Microsoft just holding onto the TM? What studio would be good at bringing back Battletoads, and the notorious, crushing difficulty? http://www.gamespot.com/articles/microsoft-files-new-battletoads-trademark/1100-6423494/
  12. I'm bored out of my mind and thought of a nice discussion topic for the community. There are many great games that received little hype promoting and turned out to be awesome gems. In my mind there are plenty of games that had that. I'll start off the bat. Valkyria Chronicles is a game that I really enjoyed and loved when I first got my PS3. I remember hearing nothing much about it and didn't get hyped or promoted enough. This was one of the best tactical games I've ever played on the PS3. How about you? What games you've played turned out to be awesome that wasn't hyped?
  13. In a somewhat surprising move, Microsoft's Phil Spencer has confirmed that Xbox Entertainment Studios, which handles original video production programming, will be closing in the next few months. The change comes about as CEO Satya Nadella attempts to refocus Microsoft on productivity, cloud, and mobile, though he also reaffirmed his commitment to Xbox. This move will reduce a significant portion of planned programming, but work on the recently announced Halo: Nightfall television series and the Atari documentary Signal to Noise will continue on. Also, it will not affect NFL partnerships, apps, and the delivery of television to Xbox One from cable partners. Source: Game Informer Are you surprised that Microsoft is moving away from original video content production?
  14. Oh Microsoft, what will become of you? Having decided to do brief research it has occurred to me that a handful of games and information have since been leaked. As such, it is important at the outset to understand the direction this list is under. I will instead utilize this space to focus on what we know about Microsoft's press conference and what I predict (e.g. games, ideas, attitude, etc). While this is a predictions list in some sense, I am expecting to strike out on some—although I am hoping for the best. Further, each prediction will be annexed with a exposition that is roughly, for the sake of brevity, one paragraph in length. And without further adieu, here are GP's predictions for Microsoft's press conference. Halo 5: Guardians It's no surprise to Halo fans that the latest title has been delayed—after all, regardless of who is working on them there tends to be a three year gap between each subsequent release. Despite its new 2015 release window, Microsoft needs Halo to be at the fore of every gamer's thought. As a result, its appearance is inevitable, but I believe we can expect to see—or at least hear about—an emphasis on the game's multiplayer. Gears of War: Lazarus By way of the leak back in May, Lazarus is one of the many titles rumored to be revealed at Microsoft's E3. Rumor or not, it certainly makes sense for both Microsoft and the Xbox One. The original Gears is the fifth best-selling Xbox 360 title. Its successor, Gears of War 2, was the seventh best selling video game of 2009. Gears of War 3 sold over three million copies within its first week—higher than the previous two games—and helped the franchise, according to Microsoft, earn over one billion dollars worldwide. Money, money, and more money. As the possibly controversial name implies, the game is rumored to reboot the series as a means of effectively restoring the Gears series on the Xbox One. Sunset Overdrive Admittedly, I forgot this game existed until I sat down and did some research for this article. It's an open world third-person shooter developed by the team at Insomniac Games. Per usual new IP tradition the game will feature agile combat that promotes wallrunning, zip-lines, and other parkour influenced shenanigans in a world that heeds verticality. If last year's E3 trailer is anything to go by, the game's aesthetic mirrors that of, dare I say, Serious Sam in both its presentation and violence. Forza Horizon 2 No one asked for it, or even expected it, but Horizon 2 is very much a thing. Two different teams will be developing and releasing the title on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One respectively. The game will take place in Europe and is once again music-centric. Further, Horizon 2 will finally introduce the long awaited weather system into the Forza franchise . I look forward to rally racing in the rain, provided of course this is not also an option in Forza 6... because I would rather be doing it there... Fable Legends Considering how fun, but disappointing the last two entries have been, I am weary of growing excited over yet another Fable game and yet here I am swooning. Details on the game are relatively scarce, but it is a co-operative focused action-RPG. To be fair, what else does one need to know? Gamers can take control using the Kinect, but Lionhead is focusing on controller-based gameplay. With the Kinect one will be able to utilize voice commands when he or she takes control of a villain with the aim of conquering one of the game's hero through the use of ordering minions around. A beta is set to launch this year and I would not be surprised if a date is given at E3. Identification: The Three (3) C's of Marketing I often compare the state of Microsoft and the Xbox One to my High School years—lost, identity searching, and fumbling about between different clicks and personalities. As a result, I feel somewhat sympathetic toward them. Last year's E3 was a disaster for Microsoft and over the course of past year, like good little boys and girls, they have done their best—by means of reversing and re-reversing statements made during E3 2013—to clean up after themselves. As a result it would appear as if Microsoft has no idea what the Xbox One is. Subsequently, I have no idea what the Xbox One is. Does anyone? Is it an inclusive media machine or is it a gaming hub—is it both, can it be? If their regular, almost laughable, flipfloppery proves anything, it is that Microsoft knows that this year they must be clear, concise, and consistent. If not for the sake of appealing to gamers—their market—then I expect them to abide by these rules so that the worries of their stockholders are subdued. Crackdown 3 The original Crackdown was released in 2007 and by the end of the year sold one and a half (1.5) million copies worldwide—I mean how else was anyone going to get into the Halo 3 beta? Brilliant marketing aside, the game was incredibly enjoyable and received favorable reviews. Its sequel was released in 2010 and while sales are harder to disclose, it too was welcomed and enjoyed. It would seem appropriate for Microsoft to bring the game to the Xbox One for a variety of reasons. Open world games are becoming as prolific as the FPS—OK, so this is maybe an overstatement. At any rate, Crackdown was/is the ultimate open world game because it promoted the use of superpowers and co-operative play. While this prediction is perhaps more along the lines of wishful thinking, I believe now—and not later, for various reasons perhaps to be divulged at a later date—is the perfect time to announce a new Crackdown title. Indie Games (& Project Spark) It is no secret that Microsoft and Xbox in general have had issues in the past with indie game developers. However, all that has supposedly been pushed aside with the Xbox One. I expect to see more information about Project Spark—a program that essentially lets players become developers and create their own indie titles. I also would not be surprised if Microsoft showed off Below, Gunscape, and Wulverblade as part of an upcoming indie game montage to further cement the new ideologies of the company. Rare Microsoft has within their possession one of the most adamantly adored development teams. If recollection serves, this relationship is somewhat obscure and involves some odd, poorly explained, use of the Kinect. I am not sure whose idea this union was, but I suspect that to—like all things Microsoft E3 2013—be undone. It is such that I predict we see a new IP from Rare, or in the least some sort of HD remake of a classic. Who knows, maybe it will have some Kinect-based voice commands and optional motion controls. It would most certainly be amusing to, while playing a potentially new Conker game, shout profanity and perform obscenities in the direction of my television. At any rate, Microsoft has a unique team on their hands; a team that in the long run will convince non-Xbox gamers to buy the One. It only makes sense for them to put them forward and into the fray. What predictions do you have for Microsoft's conference? Let us know in the comments below!
  15. Microsoft dug up more than just an old urban legend out in that New Mexico desert. Back in April of this year, Microsoft funded an expedition into the desolate New Mexico wastelands to search for the long fabled trove of E.T the Extra Terrestrial cartridges buried in an ancient landfill in the hopes that it would help advertise an Atari documentary that the company had in the works. Their expedition was a success, but reports coming out of the electronics giant have revealed that the cost was far greater than they could have ever imagined as it becomes more and more clear that the curse placed on the crypt of Atari games was as real as the trove itself. The ancient curse had first manifested itself as an ominous warning to the archeologists the moment they had broken through the concrete that sealed the games and curse in their endless prison. Gamers are advised not to open Xbox One boxes if they are hissing. The long, shrill scream that was heard was written off as "the wind" at the time as the crew continued excavating until they had undeniable proof of the treasure trove that had lay beneath them resting in their hands. Now, two months after the fact and a startlingly large rash of disappearances over such a short period, Microsoft is finally admitting that their company just might have a problem with the supernatural. While different members of the board have admitted poltergeist type activities going on, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella continues to dismiss the curse as a bunch of hokey pokey and the many disappearances as nothing more than coincidence, he has had a much tougher time explaining why so many Xbox One consoles have transformed into bundles of snakes and locusts, or why such ominous clouds have been hanging over the Microsoft headquarters seemingly suspended in space, unmoving despite how windy this last month has been. How the curse might effect Microsoft's E3 presentation or investors is still unknown, but journalists and game designers have been advised by the tech giant to bring any luck charms and protection spells they might have into the conference hall with them, and to know where the exits are at all times.
  16. Looks like Microsoft's new CEO is... Satya Nadella? Haven't heard of him before, but then again I don't really keep my ear to the ground in the world of tech news. Here's the story - http://www.joystiq.com/2014/02/04/microsofts-next-ceo-is-satya-nadella/
  17. Have you ever spent a few years away from home, only to come back and see everything was exactly the way you left it? If you have, then you know about that warm fuzzy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, and the waves of nostalgia that wash over you are some of the best/strangest feelings you can hope to feel. The good thing is, you don't have to leave home for years on end to get that feeling. In fact, you don't even have to leave your house at all! The only requirements are that you stop playing some of your favorite games for a few months. And if you're like me, that's more than an easy task to fulfill. Alright, now that a few months have passed, let's talk about some of the comfiest places in gaming. The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker: Outset Island To be completely honest, you could get the feeling of nostalgia and comfort from any one of the many 3D Zelda games currently on the market. You could even feel comfortable in Clocktown (in Majora's Mask), despite the fact that a creepy giant faced moon was hurtling itself towards the town from the very start of the game. But none of these towns compare to Outset Island, the starting area in The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker. The colors! I can see all of them! While quite a few people had trouble getting into the game due to it's cartoon-y cell-shaded art style, I feel that it cemented itself in people's memory thanks to just how comfortable everything looked. That first hour or two of the game made everything seem so nice and peaceful that the moment things actually turned bad, it felt like the rug got pulled out from beneath you. But that didn't ruin the relative safety of the island. And now that it's been remade for the Wii-U in glorious HD, we can all go back to Outset Island once again and feel all comfy and safe, at least until a giant bird totally ruins Link's birthday and forces him to go on a quest that ends with a sword in somebody's head. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: Balmora When you first stepped off of that ship and into the waiting arms of Fargoth in the city of Seyda Neen, you probably followed the exact same path that I did. First and foremost, steal that platter worth six hundred gold. Secondly, rob Fargoth blind. And then finally travel to the next closest city, Balmora. This is where the game really got exciting for me. I'm going to rob this place completely blind Seyda Neen was a backwater town so small that I could see the exit of the city while standing in the entrance. But Balmora was huge, and it was alive. People walking to and from their places of work. Buildings lined the streets, filled with so many things for me to steal. Back alleys lead to houses containing murder mysteries and others with huge rat problems. This was where Morrowind truly started, and I had no idea what to do. Anyone who played the game can probably describe Balmora to you in deep detail. You have the large river cutting through the town, the line of stores with the back alley slums behind them and then the religious buildings near the top of the city limits. It's hard to understand why, but this city was just home for me and most other people during their travels. No matter what happened, Balmora was always waiting for you. Animal Crossing: Your Town I didn't buy a Gamecube until the Wii was released onto the market. I have no idea why that was, but it just turned out that way. The first three games I got with it were Wind Waker, the Zelda promotional disc and Animal Crossing. It cost me $25 total and was a pretty great deal. I originally got Animal Crossing because I thought it would be something fun for the kids to play, but I quickly learned otherwise. Yeah, looks like I'm buying another 3DS game What was supposed to be a game for the kids to play ended up being an obsession for me. I would sit up late at night, pounding my shovel into my neighbor's doors. They of course wouldn't answer the door since it was well past three in the morning, but that didn't mean I couldn't send them threatening letters. And I sent plenty of those. Despite how much of a serial killer I tried to be, I still ended up falling in love with the town and its many animal inhabitants. Something about playing a game where you live in a cartoon town just managed to get to me. I still occasionally load up my original Gamecube save to check up on my town from time to time. I even feel kind of sad when I see someone has moved away. Animal Crossing became my digital home away from home, and all it took was a few late nights of harassing my neighbors. Everywhere In Ni No Kuni When I bought Ni No Kuni, I knew exactly what i was getting into. I've been a fan of Miyazaki's work ever since I sat down and watched the movie Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro. If you haven't seen it, then you need to right now. I don't care if you're at work. You need to watch it now. Once you've seen the movie you'll understand the main draw of Miyazaki's movies, and that is their extremely soft and welcoming appearance. And Ni No Kuni matched studio Ghibli's style perfectly. Everything about this game just makes you feel good No matter where I was standing or what I was doing, everything just felt simple and happy. I could have been fighting the Devil and I still would have thought, "Well this place is quaint." The game's style is just that rich. Even from the start of the game you're being bombarded with that sweet, sweet small town feel. It was so great that I didn't mind the game clocked in at around 70 hours; I actually didn't want it to end. You watch Castle of Cagliostro and play this game now. You'll regret neither choice. Catherine: The Stray Sheep Bar I pre-ordered the game Catherine before it came out. Do you know why I would preorder a $60 Japanese puzzle game over all of the other big titles releasing around that same time? Because I knew it would be good, that's why. You just don't turn down a good puzzle game, and you certainly don't turn down a sci-fi horror love story either. Because of all these factors I simply couldn't turn down, Catherine was as good as bought. And you know what? I loved the game! They gave me a trophy as a monument to the time I wasted here But not just for its mind bending puzzles and absolutely crazy story. I mean, they were certainly the main reasons I enjoyed the game so much. But I'd be a foolish fool if I were to ignore the Stray Sheep Bar, an area in the game where you're free to talk with random patrons, order food and drinks, play games and even listen to the jukebox without any worry of something bad happening to you. For the most part anyways. Later on in the game you'll start dealing with some pretty freaky things no matter where you're located, but during the first week or so of the game, there was no better place than the Stray Sheep. I once spent a solid hour playing the arcade game located at the back of the bar just because, and when I finished I went over to the jukebox and I jammed. What other puzzle game can boast of such a feat? Certainly none that I know of. These are just five of my favorite areas from some recently released games (and not so recently released). But now I wonder, what are some of your favorite areas of relaxation in the game world? Why not describe them to me in the comments below? As always, thank you for reading.
  18. It became quite apparent recently that Microsoft was teaming up with Machinima to help advertise the Xbox One in a less-than-okay way by recruiting different Let's Players and video bloggers to praise their newest console for money while also barring them from mentioning this partnership in any way, shape, or form. Obviously you should be seeing some red flags already, but let's hold off on that for a second. Is what Microsoft and Machinima did really all that bad? Yes Xbox One, stop doing that When you get right down to it, barring people from revealing that they're a marketing shill is just a huge no no. The moment you stop people from letting their fan base know that they're being paid to play Xbox One games is the moment where they aren't being paid to advertise their products, they're being paid to deceive their fanbase. And now that it is out in the open, Microsoft has some explainin' to do. Oh wait, nope. They don't have any explaining to do at all, because Microsoft and Machinima came out saying that people were just misinterpreting their contracts and that it was completely okay to talk about the fact that they were being paid to advertise their games. Now here's why I'm calling shenanigans on that. Because deals like these go down all the time with popular Youtubers. If that's true, then why aren't we hearing any big blow-ups about these other companies? Well, if you've made it big enough on Youtube to have been handed a few contracts by different companies to advertise their product then at this point you would probably be familiar with FTC guidelines and the fact that you have to mention if you're gaining anything from your involvement with the company who made the product you're reviewing. Machinima and Microsoft are saying that just everyone who received the contracts for this new program misread the fine print or didn't understand it? Hogwash! I could see a few smaller named people getting confused by it since Machinima handed the contract out all willy nilly, but these are big name Youtubers talking about the contracts they were offered, at the expense of any future contracts they might now be missing out on. They wouldn't go out of their way to hurt their own income just to attack one of the company's that actually pays them unless their really was a problem. But let's get onto the other part of this article. Was what Microsoft and Machinima did wrong? Not Exactly It was either this or an image of Spongebob yelling about salesmen As I said previously, contracts like the one Microsoft put out happen all the time on a place as big as Youtube. It's a huge potential market of incredibly cheap advertising, and I see absolutely no problem with companies wanting to exploit it as long as they play by the rules. Those rules, of course, being that they don't hide the fact that they're advertising their products to you, but we've already covered that. So the contract was a huge mistake due to that one small yet very important part, but offering a contract in the first place wasn't a wrong thing to do. People like making money, and they also like making money for something they actually enjoy doing. It is a win-win situation for everybody most of the time. But with the Xbox One contract, there has been a bit of backlash. Namely due to a strange little tag people were forced to include in their videos. The tag itself was more or less jibberish that wouldn't have meant anything to the person who noticed it. Searching for it on Youtube would have brought up 7000+ videos all using it before word came out that the tag was associated with people who took the deal. Once people knew what the tag meant, videos suddenly started vanishing. The reason was that quite a few big name Youtubers took the deal and were now being called out on shilling for a company for money. Think About The Youtubers! I'll delete the whole internet if I have to To save face, they were deleting the videos in hopes that people would just forget that they were unashamedly exploiting their own viewers for money in secret as opposed to just letting them know they were being paid for their kind words. Odds are that after a while, people aren't going to care in the slightest. But there will always be that black mark on their record that they just might be trying to sell you something instead of actually reviewing it. So in the end the only people who actually got hurt here were the people trying to make a few extra bucks. I'm glad I wasn't one of them, but I can't say I wouldn't have taken the deal too if it were presented to me. Assuming I'd have the time to make a video seeing as my hands are pretty full with this delicious $5 footlong I got from Subway. And with the money I saved, I can go to Gamestop and get their Power Up Rewards card! The thing pays for itself! As always, thanks for reading.
  19. Dominic Dimanche

    Microsoft Gains Gears of War IP from Epic

    In an epic acquisition (pun intended), Microsoft Studios picked up the rights to the Gears of War series from Epic games. With this, Microsoft will be heading development for any present and future projects in the Gears of War franchise. It was also announced that the team manning production will be Black Tusk studios, formerly Microsoft Vancouver. While this shift of management has a lot of new changes, one member of the old guard will still be part of production. Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the Gears of War series will be playing a “key studio leadership role ” in Black Tusk. In addition to this, Black Tusk also announced they have a AAA title in the works for the Xbox One as of June 2013. Could it possibly be a new Gears of War title? One can only surmise. But in the meantime, we will just have to wait and see when this pickup will bear fruit.
  20. The end of 2013 is here and we had a long great year with great games, worst games, developments, awards, gaming nights, breaking news, surprises, previews, reviews, journalism, E3, Conventions, etc. A lot has happened throughout the year and how it impacts the gaming industry and hobby today. This thread discuss whatever you like to share about who, how, or what ways did gaming affect you this year. These are my personal thoughts about the past year. You don't have to follow this format and I'm just discussing what I like to share. Feel free to say whatever you want about the past year and such. Best Game? Worst Game? Beat a lot of games? Enjoyed the most? This doesn't have to be the games for this year or anything, but what games you really enjoyed playing this past year. For me this past summer was one of the best summer of gaming I ever had mostly on the PS3. I managed to beat 20+ games and that was a pretty exhausting way to kill time. It was amazing how in end of June and early July I was able to beat Bioshock Infinite and the Infamous series in a short time. Infamous games were so amazing that I was surprised I beat them quickly with no problems. Anyways July was my favorite month and of course it was my Birthday month. My favorite game to play during the time is none other than Ni no Kuni. It has been a while since I've played a JRPG game and my body was ready for time spent. It took me 9 gaming days with 2 days off to beat Ni no Kuni. I remember that time went by so fast that I forgot about the real world and Game Podunk lol. Heck gaia was wondering where I was and thought I was sick (lol appreciated for worrying me). Well I was almost sick from gaming exhaustion. Felt like I was playing the game forever. I was sucked into the world of Ni no Kuni and could not put my controller down. It was time well spent. Ni no Kuni is probably my favorite game during the summer and possibly my game of the year. Hard to pick between Infinite and Last of Us. Anyways I think the best game for me this year I've played is Ni no Kuni because how it kept me playing and hooked to the storyline and such. I enjoyed this masterpiece a lot! Worst game I've played this year is Operation Raccoon CIty. I did not have a good time playing the game in single player and multiplayer. I almost didn't want to finish, but did so I can get over it. I know I'll get bashed by Luds for saying this since he liked the game. Maybe If I had the PS3 version my view would be different and it's always better with friends and co-op. E3 Discussions/Gaming News Oh man remember all those E3 discussions earlier this year? We would be bashing on Microsoft, claiming Sony wins, Nintendo just idling, etc. Man looking back at it, we had a lot of fun posting those memes and funny pics poking fun at Microsoft. So many threads on Microsoft's problems about how they will have always online, drm issues, etc. Sony had us all won their hearts. So much has changed since E3 and today. Fanboys battling it out, console wars, etc. Back then and today things sure got different in perspective. Sony still has my vote of confidence and Microsoft started to rebuild and fix things the best they can. Even though not a huge Xbox fan, I applaud them for being motivated to overcome the negativity. Nintendo did what they did and still became awesome. I know there were a lot of crazy gaming news the past year too. Sad one being THQ going bankrupt and having their games looking for a new home. They were a great gaming company in my view and hope those who worked there found jobs later in life. They worked pretty hard with the games that needed a new home. Another one would be the past year with EA. Remember when everyone was mad about the SimCity? Man that was total disaster on their end and a mess. EA has had a bad year with bad commuincations. What other news you remembered that stood the most? Winning the Prize Vault It took forever to win one, but finally did. It wasn't easy as I would always lose to Ludo and almost lost the 3rd time. Kekeke 3rd time's the charm huh. Anyways I remember during that time we had great results and personally I thought Kiky would win because of the super hero threads like Wonder Woman vs Superman and Why Don't Heroes Kill Villains threads she posted and had great posts. I did made a lot of contributions to the community, but honestly it surprised me that it was enough to take the win. I learned I won when I was sick during the semester. I had a horrible day in bed so I lay there sleeping most of the day until Jason tweeted me a surprise. I really tried to celebrate and jump, but man that sick was keeping down. Winning the Prize Vault really brightened up my day. To tell the truth, I was going to give Kiky my prize vault because I felt she deserved it more, but refused and said I deserve it more. Thanks Kiiky. After the semester ended, I eventually got the Vault and liked it. It was fun posting the power rangers pictures. Gaming Nights/Co-Op It's always fun to play with friends no matter what. There is more enjoyment and excitement when we play together as a team. I never played much of co-op these days until I met you guys. It was a good idea to create the gaming night thread, but then again it's hard to schedule at times lol. Super Smash Brawl on the Wii was the first gaming night I tried to set up during the summer and had a lot of fun playing. I know I wasn't that great, but it's all about having fun. Man John, Venom, and Jordan are like the best Brawlers in the game. John is just too good. Congrats to Venom for winning our first fun tournament lol. After that then started to come up with other games to have gaming nights. Most of the time these days we just asked our buddies hey lets get a gaming night going without using the thread. Also Kiky bringing up Uncharted 3 Multi is a lot of fun as well. We got a bunch of people to participate and it was successful. Ludo would be sending Last of Us invitations during the time too. Another time I enjoyed was Killing Floor with Kiwi. Really had fun in the game and Kiwi was a pretty good leader! So many hilarious moments too. Of course there is the regular co-op games. I had the bestest times playing MW3 with Kiky doing the survival waves, hilarious adventures in DR:OTR, GTAIV, etc. So many great moments. I know I annoy you a lot in co-op games and fail most of the time, but I do the best I can lol. I'll remember to give you money in MW3 too. Also Venom we had awesome times as well with Dead Nation, LBP, Shoot Many Robots, etc. I've lost count on how co-op games we've beaten. We still have a lot of games to go though lol. Man I still need to play some co-op games with most of you guys I haven't played with yet. For some reason playing co-op with Jason is like a big goal lol. _______________________________________________________________________________ Anyways I could talk about a lot of things about the past year, but I'd like to hear stories from you guys.
  21. http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/8/5080192/microsoft-ceo-candidate-stephen-elop-bing-xbox-rumors So, this is probably the strangest rumor of the day, but according to the Verge, Microsoft CEO candidate Stephen Elop would consider selling off the Xbox brand and Bing if he were to become CEO. Of course, this probably doesn't have a shot of happening because the board has the final say on such decisions, but it's a strange rumor, nonetheless. What do you think? Would Xbox be better off without MS, or would it crumble?
  22. After the hate storm that was E3, Microsoft caved into the consumer“s demands and switched the DRM policies. Now we can trade our games without restrictions just like before! The status quo stays! It“s been one month since E3 and the DRM switch. What exactly will this effect have on the gaming industry? Just handing over the game Things will stay the same (for the most part). This is the obvious result, and exactly what the customers wanted. But that means that things aren“t changing at all, and isn“t that what happens almost every new generation? As I had talked about before, this generation is not providing anything substantially new. This past generation (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) provided an online community for each system, and that was the substantial new piece of growth. My hope and speculation is that indie game developers are given a chance, like what Sony and the PS4 is doing, and can really show how creative games can get, as the expectations for these AAA games tend to be high, and they can“t always deliver. Indie games may be experimental in nature, or too short for someone to want to buy it and commit to said buy. However, indie games may actually be the “new innovation†that we all are looking for. Journey has received rave reviews in how few actions you can make. It has been announced that Sony is giving Indie developers a chance with the Playstation 4. The OUYA was released last month, and it“s basically an Android console. That“s a completely digital market already. Another reason why things will stay the same is that consoles are slower to adapt. This is because a game console is a set product, and the games made for consoles are mostly set products, unlike the potentially ever-expanding MMO games. Computers can be upgraded with parts in order to handle better graphics, or increase RAM. There is also the modding community when it comes to the consoles, but not everyone does this. There is DLC around, and that can make a game last much longer, but not every game will get DLC. In other words, most console games are expected to last only so long. 2. The inevitability of all digital is only delayed There is also the case of same day digital releases. While the price is the same as grabbing a hard disc, that still doesn“t change the fact that there is a digital release. While some see digital as an inevitable event, some fear this as well. Once everything goes digital, much like in the mobile market, it becomes harder to trade, borrow, or lend games. The Xbox One“s original plan was that one could share copies of their games by allowing only a certain number of people to access the account. It“s possible that Microsoft“s plan with the Xbox One could have been what it sees as something that will happen in the console market one day. With everything eventually going digital (just look at the PC market and Steam), and consoles acting more and more like computers, won“t there be more protection attached to games or accounts? Again, the hindrance to consoles and handheld markets is that they lack the flexibility of computers, and a new console does not get released every few years. A console is generally deemed to last at least 7 years, and changing rules and policies halfway into a machine“s lifespan probably isn“t the best option. So Microsoft answered to the fans callings and threats. I can say that I“m relieved about being able to let my friends borrow a hard copy if they want to. Do you think that one day consoles will follow the mobile game route? I think it is an inevitable event, but I can at least say that hard copies will be around for a little while longer.