Xbox One

    Microsoft has already seen some mild success with its Xbox One console since the next-gen system launched late last year. The popular streaming service Twitch recently released an app for the system, announcing official support just in time for the launch of Titanfall. Turns out, many of you enjoy streaming your gaming time with others.

    According to a post over on Xbox Wire, players are enjoying an average of 5 hours per day exploring apps, playing games or watching some TV. Nearly 23 million minutes have been broadcast from Twitch on the Xbox One since March 11th. The service has seen a sudden spike in use with an additional 30 percent of all unique broadcasting from Xbox One during the launch day of the app.

    "We have always considered enabling live streaming directly from consoles to be a key step in unlocking the ability for all gamers to share their experiences," commented Emmett Shear, Founder and CEO of Twitch. "Yet we never imagined the popularity would spread as fast as it has. Microsoft has really helped drive this expansion, and the great system architecture of Xbox One has allowed us to build a really great broadcasting experience with a robust feature set. We’re all very excited about working with Microsoft to continue rolling out new features on the platform."

    Have you enjoyed streaming your games via Twitch on your Xbox One?

    Source: Xbox Wire


    Just ahead of Build, Microsoft has previewed a new update to SmartGlass which pulls in all of the OneGuide functions to your mobile. That means you’ll be able to flip through what’s on TV, change the station, and use your device as a TV remote (including powering your set on and off). These features are only rolling out to select Live members in Canada, the U.S., and Europe for the time being.

    At the same time, Microsoft announced that if you buy or rent movies through them, you’ll be able to pick up exactly where you left off on any of your screens: from your TV on Xbox One, PC with Windows, or streaming from the browser.

    Pretty cool stuff overall, eh? Anyone get an invite to try out these features yet? Get downloading over here.

    QR: SmartGlass Beta

    Source: Microsoft


    Xbox One SmartGlass

    You can control your Xbox One with so many modes of input. Use the Xbox One controller, use Kinect or use the Xbox One SmartGlass app on Windows Phone. The phone app is great and we have no major complaints, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft isn’t innovating. The company has just pushed out a beta version of SmartGlass for Windows Phone. The app gives you a sneak peek at new features coming. Let’s check it out.

    If you have an Xbox One (or Xbox 360) you’re probably pretty familiar with SmartGlass. The app allows users to control their Xbox console using their phone, tablet or PC. You can start games with the app, control video playback and much more. The app was announced earlier today as part of a broader Xbox One beta initiative from Microsoft. Though the app went under the radar, so we figured we'd highlight it so you don't miss it.

    Here’s what the future features you can get today with the Xbox One SmartGlass Beta for Windows Phone:

    • OneGuide support built into SmartGlass
    • View what’s on TV without interrupting what you’re doing on your Xbox One
    • Change TV channels on your Xbox One through OneGuide on SmartGlass
    • Find and favorite TV Channels
    • TV Universal Remote Control to control your Cable Box and TV

    Unfortunately we’re not near an Xbox One at the moment (Hello Build 2014!), but we can’t wait to try out these new features. Download the app and let us know what you think If you’re near an Xbox One.

    Download Xbox One SmartGlass Beta from the Windows Phone Store. Or you could download it from the Windows Store.

    Thanks for the tip Benjamin and johff80!

    QR: Smartglass Beta


    Xbox 360

    This is a rather weird story to read, but an interesting one nonetheless. Kirstoffer Von Hassel from San Diego in the US worked out how to log in to his father’s Xbox Live account without the correct password. Sounds like a serious security flaw, right?

    Microsoft has since fixed the issue and added Von Hassel to its list of recognized security researchers. A five-year old. Expectedly, Von Hassel is both excited and grateful Microsoft took the time to acknowledge his contribution, as well as sending some free titles to use on the video game system.

    How the young boy managed to bypass the security feature was by purposely entering an incorrect password, which would bring up a verification screen. He would then fill the password field up with spaces, leading the system to log into his father’s account. A simple, yet serious flaw.

    "I got nervous. I thought he was going to find out," Von Hassel told the TV station KGTV, "I thought someone was going to steal the Xbox." The father sent in the flaw details to Microsoft, who later thanked the family by sending four free games, $50 gift card and a year subscription to Xbox Live.


    Minecraft hits 12 million downloads, most successful 360 game ever

    With 12 million downloads Minecraft is now one of the most successful Xbox 360 games in history. Minecraft is incredibly popular, so that should come as no surprise. While Xbox 360 isn't the latest, greatest console from Microsoft — that honor belongs to the Xbox One— it still lives in many hearts and many homes. And that's not all, according to TechNet Blogs:

    The "Minecraft" brain trust still has plenty of surprises in store for diehard "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition" fans, including the April 18 release of the new Candy Texture Pack.

    So, are you one of the 12 million? And if you're a hardcore Minecraft player, how does the Xbox 360 edition hold up?


  • 04/05/14--14:17: Plex coming to Xbox One (chan 22487509)
  • Plex

    One of the cooler announcements from BUILD this year was the support for universal applications — software that can run on more than one Windows-powered device. It appears that Plex, the popular fork of the XBMC project, is going to take advantage of this and is coming to the Xbox One. Want to hear even better news? Since the Xbone can't yet run these apps, a stand-alone version is also coming as soon as it is ready!

    Tyson Edwards, posting in the official Plex forums, broke the news:

    I would like to make you all aware of some very exciting news...
    Microsoft has approved the development of a Plex Client for Xbox One.
    That is correct, we have been granted membership into ID@Xbox specifically for the development and eventual release of Plex for Xbox One.
    This is in no way saying that it will be coming next week, or even next month, but starting tonight I will be applying my first test code to an Xbox One.
    More details will be coming soon.
    Thank you very much for your patience in this matter, and thank you very much for your support.

    An official Dashboard update is expected soon that will allow universal applications to run on the Xbox One, and hopefully Plex will be ready with the universal app then. In the meantime, get ready for Plex on your Xbox One soon.

    Via: TNW


    Titanfall

    The Xbox One has experienced a handful of price cuts since the next-gen video game console from Microsoft launched last year. The latest deal we're seeing is over at US retailer Target, which has the console listed for $449. This price is identical to what we saw at Best Buy and Walmart, but with this deal you'll also be getting Xbox Live for 12 months.

    Titanfall Xbox One

    This is a neat deal for those who have yet to make the leap to the future of gaming. Enjoying Titanfall on the Xbox One is a perfect way to get started too. Head over to Target to place your order or pop into your local outlet.

    via: DualShockers, NeoGAF


    Xbox One

    Xbox Entertainment Studios and Channel 4 here in the UK have announced a new partnership to co-produce a new drama titled Humans. Part of the Xbox content collection coming to the platform, this series will feature eight hour-long episodes, produced by award-winning UK production company Kudos. Humans will be broadcasted on the Xbox platform in North America and in the UK in 2015.

    Humans will be set in a parallel present where a must-have gadget, the Synth – a robotic servant, is the craze for families. One family purchases a refurbished Synth to find out that sharing their home and lives with the machine has some chilling consequences. The show aims to question personal relationships.

    If you’re a major thriller fan and own an Xbox, you’ll want to take a good look at this upcoming show. Humans will make you think about love, discrimination and integration as you’re taken through the end result of collaboration between Microsoft and Channel 4.

    Source: Xbox


    Xbox One

    Microsoft plans to roll out new shows with its Xbox TV studio. According to Bloomberg, Nancy Tellem is heading up the game with six series lined up, including the thriller Humans which is set to go live in 2015. It's going to be a difficult road for the software giant with the likes of Netflix and Amazon both producing original content to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers. Tellem, who was part of the team that debuted the likes of ER and Friends, plans to separate Microsoft from the competition by adding interactive experiences.

    Alongside the new Halo series and Humans, the Xbox studio will produce a comedy sketch and a stop-motion show with Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which produces Robot Chicken. Then there's the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, US this July, which will see full coverage and backstage Skype interviews. While some shows, including Every Street United, will be available for Xbox One and 360 owners for free, Microsoft is still ironing out the creases in its business model plans.

    Not only will Microsoft focus on high quality content, but the company will also steer towards producing shows and series that are more tailored to the gaming audience. This means the company will be attempting to crack what the entertainment industry has been attempting to achieve for some time on its own. Consumers will be encouraged to engage with content across consoles, phones and tablets. It's also part of Microsoft's long term strategy, coupled with price cuts to compete with Sony. Think SmartGlass, think more immersion.

    You can expect to see some new things from Microsoft for Xbox in the coming years, and television (and interactive media in general) will play an important role.

    Source: Bloomberg


    Xbox One

    Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by a member of the audience, and garnered this response:

    "There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

    What form any emulator would take is still open for debate, though simply sticking your discs in might not be the way it would work. In any case, it's great news that Microsoft is at least looking into making it happen. Whether it will or not is another story for another day.

    Source: Kotaku


    Microsoft is not resting on their laurels when it comes to gaming as new features have been announced for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Ironically, they’re unique features to each system, so hopefully you still have both of them.

    First up is the Xbox 360, which is gaining an official GoPro app to view a curated channel of GoPro videos. GoPro has become the defacto source of stomach nauseating point-of-view videos, often featuring extreme sports. It’s hard to fathom how much the mini-camera system has changed our experience in watching people perform wild and crazy stunts in such a short time. Now, you’ll be able to watch all the latest right on your Xbox 360.

    GoPro channel comes to Xbox 360, YouTube sharing improvements to Xbox One

    The app will need an Xbox Gold subscription, so technically it’s not free. Having said that, we’re sure a lot of you use the Gold subsidy already, so this is just another bonus.

    The app is due to land this week with bonus exclusive videos to kick off the launch. In addition, you’ll be able to purchase GoPro cameras and accessories directly through the app with orders fulfilled by the Microsoft online store (for US orders).

    Want it on the Xbox One? No worries, as that app is still slated for a summer release.

    For Xbox One users, you’ll get a new YouTube app tomorrow. This update has one main feature: the ability to upload Game DVR clips from your account to your YouTube channel. Considering YouTube is the go-to service for sharing a video these days that opens up a whole new playing field for gamers who’ve achieved some remarkable gaming conquests.

    Users will be able to capture their wins via Game DVR, which can then be edited using Upload Studio. In the YouTube app, simply head to the new My Uploads where you can then pull up those clips for quick and easy sharing.

    But wait, there’s more!

    The new YouTube app also gets the following new (and overdue) features starting tomorrow:

    • Watch YouTube videos in Snap Mode
    • Add individual YouTube videos to your Pins
    • Earn Media Achievements
    • Add your YouTube channels to OneGuide for instant access to YouTube videos right next to your favorite TV listings or App Channels

    It’s kind of hard to believe the YouTube app doesn’t already rock those options, so it’s nice to see them finally arrive.

    Look for the new Xbox One YouTube update tomorrow and the GoPro app for the Xbox 360 sometime this week.

    Source: Xbox Wire


    Titanfall finally lands on Xbox 360, Kinect Sports Rivals sprints onto Xbox One

    Last week was a slow week for Xbox console releases, but not this week. The Xbox One gets three new releases: Kinect Sports Rivals from Rare and Microsoft Studios, LEGO The Hobbit from Traveler’s Tales and Warner Bros., and the downloadable Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut from Born Ready Games. Strike Suit Zero is the very first ID@Xbox game to reach the market!

    The week is no less special for Xbox 360, either. Microsoft’s still-popular previous-gen console gets several new games of its own: the long-awaited Titanfall, LEGO The Hobbit, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and a new episode of The Wolf Among Us. Not too shabby!

    Kinect Sports Rivals

    This third entry in the Kinect Sorts series is both the first game to come from the Microsoft-owned Rare studio in more than two years and the first Microsoft-published Kinect game for Xbox One. You could fairly say Rivals has a lot of pressure on its shoulders to justify the new Kinect as a gaming peripheral.

    Rivals includes six motion-controlled minigames of varying quality:

    • Bowling: A carry-over from the original Kinect Sports, this minigame recreates the sport of bowling with a fairly high degree of accuracy. You can’t aim for the gutter very easily, but anyone looking for a light and fun bowling game shouldn’t mind too much.
    • Football/Soccer: By all accounts the worst part of Rivals, this Soccer game plays more like Foosball. Pass or kick the ball past computed-controlled opponents, then automatically move ahead and do it again. The kick controls are said to be highly imprecise.
    • Jetski racing: One of Rivals’ best-controlling games, players take hold of imaginary handlebars and race around an ocean course. Unfortunately Rivals only offers a single jetski track, so this minigame might not hold your attention for long.
    • Rock climbing: You might not think climbing rocks would make for an engaging videogame, but the controls actually work pretty well in this one. Electrified grips, gusts of wind, and evil climbers who try to pull you down provide some danger.
    • Target shooting: Hold out your hand like a gun and blast away at targets. This one seems to be getting the least attention from reviewers, but at least they don’t hate it.
    • Tennis: Take to the tennis court and play an imaginary game of tennis against the AI or alongside a local friend.

    Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One

    The critical consensus towards Rivals seems to be about the same as previous Kinect Sports games. Casual audiences looking for motion-controlled sports games will have fun with it, but players who lack the patience for the quirks of motion controls are unlikely to be swayed.

    LEGO The Hobbit

    The LEGO videogames are always good, sometimes even great. Just as they released a LEGO Lord of the Rings game on 360, Warner Bros. has now published an adaptation of the first two Hobbit movies. Yes, this game only adapts two of the planned trilogy of films. That leaves the door open for a sequel game to coincide with the final film.

    LEGO The Hobbit for Xbox One and 360

    LEGO Lord of the Rings was actually a great adaptation of the films though, and LEGO the Hobbit seeks to recapture much of that fun. Play as Bilbo Baggins and numerous other characters from the books and movies as you travel towards a fateful meeting with the dragon Smaug.

    A new crafting system adds some RPG-like complexity to the standard beat-em-up and puzzle-solving gameplay. Reports are mixed on whether the crafting really enhances the game itself. Perhaps Traveler’s Tales will refine it further in the sequel.

    Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut

    The first Xbox One game to be developed and published by an indie developer under Microsoft’s ID@ Xbox program is finally here. Strike Suit Zero is an enhanced version of a popular space flight combat game on PC.

    The story centers around a war in the far future between Earth and its colonies. The conflict starts when both sides claim ownership of a mysterious alien artifact. Players control a fighter pilot who must battle to save the Earth. Fully-voiced conversations bring the narrative to life during gameplay, lending the game a cinematic feel.

    Strike Suit Zero Director's Cut for Xbox One

    As the ship pilot, players have full 360 control over the ship’s flight. Combat involves blasting enemies with close-range weapons and locking onto them with missiles from afar. In my short time with the game, the combat feels a little clumsy. Hopefully it picks up when the ability to transform the ship into a robot unlocks. I’ll hop back into the cockpit and work on a full review soon!

    • Strike Suit Zero – Xbox One – 1.81 GB – $19.99 – Xbox.com Link

    Titanfall

    The Xbox 360 version of Titanfall was originally scheduled to debut two weeks after its Xbox One counterpart, but a last-minute delay pushed the release back until today. Strangely, Electronic Arts and Microsoft have chosen not to promote the 360 version in advance. No official screenshots or videos preceded its release, nor has a single review been published as of press time today.

    Titanfall for Xbox 360
    Xbox 360 screenshot

    Despite the secrecy, some leaked videos do prove that Titanfall looks very close to the Xbox One game on Xbox 360. It even runs at 30 FPS or higher, though not a mostly consistent 60 FPS as you’d get on Xbox One.

    Although Bluepoint Studio handled the 360 version of Titanfall, it looks to stick closely to original developer Respawn Entertainment’s designs. With 6-on-6 online battles, giant controllable mechs, and unprecedented freedom of movement thanks to jetpacks and a wall-running ability, Titanfall should please first-person shooter fans who haven’t upgraded to Xbox One yet.

    Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

    Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is the sequel to Windows Phone 7 launch title Max and the Magic Marker. It also happens to be exclusive to Xbox One, 360, and PC – just like Titanfall.

    Initially the game plays just like any other 2D platformer. Max can run, jump, crawl under spaces and climb ladders and ropes. Before long, Max meets a mysterious old woman who imbues his marker with magical powers. Armed with the marker, Max can affect the game world and solve puzzles.

    Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
    Xbox One screenshot

    The Curse of Brotherhood is an excellent platformer. It looks beautiful and the puzzles are actually fun instead of annoying. The Xbox One version recently received an update that improved its frame rate and adjusted the difficulty a tad. Although the 360 game doesn’t run quite as smoothly, platforming fans won’t want to miss it.

    • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood – Xbox 360 – GB – $14.99 – Xbox.com Link (available Wednesday)
    • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood – Xbox One – 3 GB – $14.99 – Xbox.com Link

    The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3

    From Telltale, makers of the popular The Walking Dead game series comes another episodic adventure title. Wolf Among Us is a prequel to Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series. Players control Bigby Wolf, the reformed Big Bad Wolf and sheriff of Fabletown.

    The Wolf Among Us

    The first episode of Wolf Among Us is free, and subsequent episode cost just five bucks a pop. Have any of you guys tried the series out yet?

    • The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – Xbox 360 – GB – $4.99 – Xbox.com Link (available Wednesday)

    Next Week

    Stay tuned next week for Trials Fusion, the latest in Ubisoft’s motorcycle stunt series. It’s coming to both Xbox One and Xbox 360!


    Microsoft has donated $10,000 towards tiger conservation efforts thanks to Xbox Zoo Tycoon players. The challenge was originally put to players to pick the charity they wanted to work towards, and after picking the Sumatra tiger, the players released 1000 tigers into the wild in-game. Microsoft’s $10,000 donation to the Sumatran Tiger Survival Program will help reduce the number of tigers killed, displaced, or snared.

    Good on Xbox players for reaching the game goal, and good on Microsoft for taking the initiative on this program. Any Zoo Tycoon players here take part in the event?


    Titanfall

    Have an Xbox One? Then you probably should be playing Titanfall, especially if you’re a fan of first-person shooters. There’s a patch to Titanfall rolling out today that will make gameplay even more fun. Let’s check out what’s new in Titanfall.

    Fire up Titanfall and you’ll be asked to download an update. That’s if the system doesn’t already automatically update the game in the background when you’re away from the console. Here’s what you can look forward to for Titanfall on Xbox One:

    New features

    • Private matches: private matches can now have between 2 to 12 players with 1 to 6 players on each team. There is no XP gain, challenge progress or achievement unlocking while in a private match. All private matches played via the Xbox Live Cloud Compute.
    • Party colors: green is in, while blue is out, for seeing party members and titans on the mini-map. UI on the HUD and other places is also now green for friendlies vs. blue.
    • Auto-Titan color in obituary: your auto-Titan now shows up in the obituary with the gold color that your name does.
    • Menu changes: Multiplayer is now the default option and located at the top on the main menu.
    • Party app shortcut in menus: All menus now have a shortcut to open the Xbox One’s party app.

    Game balance changes

    • Gooser challenge: Gen 5’s nearly impossible “Gooser” challenge has been reduced to killing 5 ejecting pilots from the 50 it was at previously.
    • 40mm magazine capacity and Extended Mag: Default magazine in the 40mm was too powerful and has been reduced to 12 rounds per magazine from the 20 it was at previously. Extended mag has been dropped from 25 to 16.
    • Titan Quad Rocket mag size change: default magazine has been increased to 5 from 4, while the extended has gone to 6 from 5.
    • Titan Quad Rocket damage vs Titan shields: Now only takes 4 shots with the quad rocket to take down a Titan’s shields. Previously required 5 shots.
    • Titan Quad Rocket ‘Rapid Fire’ Mod’s mag size change: Increase the Rapid Fire Mod’s magazine to 18 from 16.
    • Amped Kraber Titan damage change: This burn card now does a lot more damage against Titans. It’s now a “small arms” weapon against Titans. Does 800 damage vs. 100. Insane. Can’t wait to use it.  
    • Hardpoint Domination and CTF scoring changes: Numerous changes to how scoring works on both Capture the Flag and Hardpoint Domination. Way too many to detail, you’re going to need to hit the source to read all the changes to these game types.

    Bug fixes

    • Titan shields now protect friendly rodeo players from explosion damage.
    • Archer now locks onto top of a heavy turret rather than the base.
    • Grunts now show up on mini-map when they shoot.
    • Many, many more bug fixes. Check source below for full list.

    Future update

    • More custom loadout slots
    • Ability to rename custom loudout slots
    • Last game summary to show scoreboard from previous match
    • And much more!

    We’re digging the changes that Respawn Entertainment has made to Titanfall. We can’t wait to get home and play the game. Let us know if you’re already rocking the patch (on either Xbox or PC) and what you think of all the changes.

    Source: Titanfall


    Strike Suit Zero

    What games are you playing this weekend on your Xbox One? If you’re looking to pick up a new game you might want to check out Strike Suit Zero. It’s a new game that came out a few days ago on the Xbox One. Strike Suit Zero is especially notable for being the first game to make its way onto the Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program. That’s the invite-only program to get independent developers and their work on the Xbox One. Let’s check out Strike Suit Zero.

    Strike Suit Zero is space flight combat game that first came out on PC in early 2013. It has since worked its way to Mac and Linux. Now Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners are getting the “Director’s cut” version of the game. This version differs from the initial release by adding overhauled graphics, a restructured campaign and additional content.

    The game itself looks really fun, especially if you’re into space and flight combat games. In the game you control a Strike Suit, which is a craft that transforms into space armor on the fly.

    Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is only $19.99 on the Xbox One. You should pick this up if you’re looking for a new game and want to experience the first independent game on the Xbox One. Has anyone pulled the trigger on Strike Suit Zero or thinking about doing it now?

    Buy Strike Suit Zero from the Xbox One store