halo 2 anniversary

    Microsoft released a new trailer today showing off a brief glimpse of the revamped Halo 2 cut scenes that will be put into the upcoming Anniversary edition of the game for the Xbox One console.

    The cut scenes were created by the well known Hollywood CGI company Blur Studio and will be included in Halo 2: Anniversary, which itself will be bundled as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which brings Halo 1-4 to the Xbox One.

    Halo 2: Anniversary will also feature revamped graphics for the game itself as well as new versions of several of its multiplayer maps. Today, as part of its San Diego Comic-Con announcements, developer 343 Industries revealed that the Zanzibar map from Halo 2 will be remastered for the Anniversary version. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be released on November 11 and will also include the full version of the live action digital feature Halo: Nightfall, as well as a code to access the upcoming multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians.

    What do you think of the new cut scenes that were made for Halo 2: Anniversary?

    Source: Halo Waypoint


    strike suit zero

    Microsoft has announced the Games with Gold for August for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will have access to Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut on the Xbox One, while Motocross Madness and Dishonored will be available to gamers on the Xbox 360.

    Crimson Dragon was an Xbox One launch title. It's an on-rails shooter that lets you ride a dragon, fighting monsters and teaming up with friends in the co-op mode. Crimson Dragon is normally available for $19.99.

    Strike Suit Zero: Directors Cut, is a space combat simulator that sees you fighting a war using the titular Strike Suit, a vehicle that transforms from starfighter to mech suit, giving you different sets of abilities with each mode. Strike Suite Zero is usually available for $19.99 as well. Both Strike Suit Zero and Crimson Dragon will be available for free to Gold members from August 1-31.

    On the Xbox 360, Motocross Madness is a racing game that puts your Xbox avatar in the middle of the action of off-road motorcycle racing. Motocross Madness normally goes for $9.99, and will be available on Game with Gold from August 1-15.

    From August 16-31, gamers can pick up Dishonored. Dishonored is a first-person action/stealth game where you play as Corvo, the former bodyguard to the Empress, framed for her murder. You can pick how you approach the game, with stealth to sneak by or silently take out enemies, or with loud leathality. Dishonored normally retails for $19.99.

    What do you think of August's Games with Gold? Let us know below in the comments.

    Source: Xbox Wire


    p90x

    P90X, the popular DVD fitness training program from BeachBody, is now available for Xbox One console owners to, download via the Xbox Fitness feature, for $59.99.

    With Tony Horton returning as the host and trainer for the Xbox One edition of P90X, users can expect a lot of sweat, a lot of abs and a lot of humor from Horton as he goes through the 30 day program. The Xbox One edition includes five exercise routines that have been created especially for the owners of Microsoft's latest console.

    As with the other programs available on Xbox Fitness, owners will have to have the Kinect motion camera add-on to help track their movements and stats while using the P90X program. It will get a downloadable calendar and nutrition program for users to follow sometime in mid-August.

    If you own an Xbox One with Kinect have you checked out Xbox Fitness and, if so, do you plan to purchase the new P90X program?

    Source: Xbox Wire


    Xbox One Pins

    As you obtain more games, apps, videos, and other experiences on your Xbox One, you want to able to access the ones that you use the most quickly. That's where pins come in. You can pin your favorite game or app to your Home screen for quick access.

    Head past the break to watch the steps on video.

    Creating pins

    1. Press the Xbox button to return Home or say "Xbox, go Home."
    2. Locate the game, music, video, or app of the item you want to pin.
    3. With the tile highlighted, press the Menu button. It's the button with the hamburger icon on your controller.
    4. Select Pin to Home.

    Xbox One pin to home

    That's it! Your favorite item is now pinned to the Xbox One's Home screen. By making a pin you've basically created a shortcut to start the game or app from the front of the Xbox One dashboard instead of navigating through the menu to find it.

    Rearranging pins

    If you want to rearrange the pins, there are two solutions. You can do it directly from the Xbox One, but it is not very user-friendly. There is an option called Move to Front, which moves the pin to the upper right corner. You can't simply rearrange pins to specific locations directly from the Xbox One.

    Xbox One move to front

    A better solution requires an app on your Windows Phone device. Make sure to install Xbox One SmartGlass Beta. Tap the menu button at the top left corner and select Pins. From there, you can tap and hold one of your pins and then drag it to the location you want.

    Xbox One SmartGlass

    What apps and games have you pinned on your Xbox One?

    We would prefer it if we can rearrange the pinned apps and games directly from the Xbox One, but it's cool that we can do it on our Windows Phone with the SmartGlass app. What do you have pinned on your Home screen?


    deadlands

    Microsoft is reportedly still working on turning the "Weird West" role playing game Deadlands into an original TV show for its Xbox Live service, despite plans to eventually shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios.

    While previous reports stated that only Microsoft's Halo live action projects, along with its Atari documentary, would be moving forward, Shane Hensley, the creator of the Deadlands game, posted word on his Facebook page earlier this month that the project to turn it into a TV show is still moving forward at Microsoft. Indeed, he stated, "Rumors of the Deadlands live action series' demise, I'm happy to say, are greatly exaggerated."

    Hensley added that the unnamed writer-director for the Deadlands TV show held meetings with Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios executives and creative teams the day before the company announced the changes at Xbox Entertainment Studios. He wrote:

    Both sides report that it was one of the best meetings they've ever had, with ideas flying and enthusiasm high. The group is now working on the series' outline and pilot revisions, and when we're able and if things continue to move ahead, we'll announce the writer / director and at least a little bit about the actual content of the series itself.

    Microsoft had a rather ambitious plan to offer a number of different original TV shows that would have been shown exclusively on Xbox Live, but as part of the company's 18,000 employee layoff plans, the lineup of original shows have been heavily cut.

    What do you think about the news that Deadlands looks like it will continue to be developed as an Xbox original TV show?

    Source: Shane Hensley on Facebook


    ea access

    Electronic Arts has announced plans to launch EA Access, a subscription-based service exclusively for owners of Microsoft's Xbox One console that will give gamers a way to play a number of games for as much as they want for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, along with other benefits.

    EA Access is currently in a limited beta but the publisher says it will be made available to all Xbox One owners soon. The subscription will let the beta testers play four EA games (FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4) for as much as they want under the subscription fee. EA says the four games would normally cost over $100 to purchase and play in their stand alone retail versions. More titles will be added to that catalog in the future. It stands to reason that if the subscription ends, so does the access to all of those games, much like a Netflix membership.

    People who still want to download and purchase those stand alone games can also benefit from EA Access as the subscription price will offer them 10 percent off all downloadable Xbox One EA games. Finally, free trial versions of upcoming EA games will be made available to subscription members five days before the rest of the Xbox One owners.

    EA says:

    Soon, fans of GameStop will be able to purchase their EA Access membership in local retail stores. GameStop and Amazon will also carry EA Access memberships for Xbox One gamers across Europe, as well as EB Games in Canada.

    What do you think of this new subscription just for EA games on the Xbox One?

    Source: EA


    kevin spacey

    Activision has just released the latest trailer showing off more of the single player campaign from the upcoming near future first person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, showing us more of Jonathon Irons, the CEO of the fictional private military company Atlas that's portrayed, in both voice and likeness form, by actor Kevin Spacey.

    The three minute trailer gives us an idea of this near future world, where a global terrorist threat has attacked nuclear reactors in five countries at the same time. Governments have now turned to Atlas to help keep the peace but it's clear that Irons is going a little power crazy, and that should give Spacey a ton of room to work with in his voice and motion capture performance.

    The trailer shows soldiers wearing jetpacks, using advanced weapons and even accessing small bug-like robots for recon missions. The final part of the trailer shows a couple of seconds of multiplayer, with a full reveal promised on August 11.

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be released on November 4 for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, among other platforms. and, as with previous games in the series, Microsoft's consoles will get first crack at the post-release DLC content for the game. What do you think of the new trailer?

    Source: Call of Duty on YouTube


    NOW TV

    Sky has announced on the official NOW TV blog that support for its online service on the Xbox One console has been rolled out. Not only is Microsoft's console the home of gaming entertainment with Xbox Live, but there's also sweet integration with set-top boxes, services and more to really get the most out of interactive content and transform any TV into a media hub. We can now add NOW TV to the list of supported content providers.

    The service will provide latest movies, premium on-demand and live entertainment, as well as Sky Sports and more (subject to passes and whatnot). Everything will be available through the NOW TV app, which can be downloaded on the Xbox One console and connected to a Sky account.

    To celebrate the release of the NOW TV experience, Sky is giving away an Xbox One bundle, along with 12 months Xbox Live Gold and five Xbox One titles (forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Kinect Sports Rivals, Zoo Tycoon and Dead Rising 3). All that's required is to fire a tweet to the Twitter handle as to why they should reward you with the package. Entries close on the Friday 8th of August at 12pm and you must tweet @NOWTV and use the hashtag #NOWTVXboxOne to enter. Full competition Terms and Conditions can be found on Facebook (open to the UK only).

    Source: NOW TV


    Xbox One

    Xbox Wire has made the Xbox One launch in China announcement official, which includes pricing info for the console in the region. Priced at 3,699 RMB ($600), the Xbox One will also include some pretty neat extras.

    Here's a quick look at what buyers will be able to enjoy:

    • Powerstar Golf and Neverwinter Online with a Special Edition Pack
    • The BesTV entertainment experience
    • Free access to Xbox Live Gold through March 2015
    • A localized Chinese interface, translated content and local payment methods
    • A two-year warranty and local customer service support from Microsoft and BesTV

    There's also a limited edition console that will retail for 4,299 RMB ($700). The limited edition Xbox One (which comes with the Kinect sensor) includes:

    • A limited-edition commemorative China Day One controller
    • Day One Achievement for your Xbox Live profile
    • Kinect Sports Rivals, Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year as well as the Neverwinter Online Commemorative Edition Pack, and Powerstar Golf with in-game credit

    Microsoft has collaborated with BesTV in bringing hundreds of TV shows, movies and documentaries in high definition to the Chinese audience. Original story follows.

    While details regarding the Xbox One launch have been trickling out over the last few weeks, what was missing was an official launch date from Microsoft. We have that today as Yusuf Mehdi, head of marketing and strategy for Microsoft's Xbox division, stated that the console will be launching in China on September 23.

    Mehdi did not announce the pricing and while an earlier leak from June suggested a retail price of 4,999 RMB (which comes out to around $803),a recent leak mentioned that the console would cost 3,499 RMB ($565). According to the leak, the Xbox One bundle will come with a "customized" controller, coupons for e-commerce websites along with three blockbuster games. It is likely that the $565 bundle will not feature a Kinect controller, as there wasn't any mention of it in the leaked promotional material.

    Chinese fans, are you excited about the upcoming launch of the Xbox One in your country? What titles are you looking forward to playing?

    Source: Reuters


    ea access

    Sony made a rare critical comment against Microsoft and Electronic Arts, claiming that the just announced EA Access subscription program for the Xbox One would not offer much in the way of value for PlayStation console owners.

    EA Access, currently in a limited beta, will offer Xbox One owners a way to play four full EA games for as long as they want for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, along with a 10 percent discount on all downloadable EA Xbox One games and early demos for upcoming titles from the publisher.

    That apparently isn't a good enough deal for Sony. In a statement, the company admitted that EA approached them with an offer to add EA Access to their PlayStation consoles but turned them down. Sony said:

    PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.

    Do you think Sony has a point or is this just an attempt to cut down on the attention Microsoft is getting for offering EA Access to Xbox One owners?

    Source: Game Informer


    Pinball FX2 Guardians of the Galaxy table

    Earlier this month we reported that Pinball FX2 from Zen Studios would be coming to Xbox One at the end of July as part of the ID@Xbox program. This heralded much rejoicing from pinball fans such as your friendly neighborhood Games Editor and even head honcho Daniel Rubino. But at the same time, we all lamented the inability to transfer purchased tables from the Xbox 360 version of Pinball FX2 to the Xbox One version. Microsoft had not allowed the developers to implement such a transfer.

    As Xbox Windows Phone fans well know, sometimes Microsoft listens to user feedback and sometimes it does not. The Xbox One and ID@Xbox sections certainly have been extremely responsive for the last year or so. Case in point, Zen announced this week that users will be able to transfer their Pinball FX2 tables from the 360 to Xbox One right when the Xbox One version launches! Now that's what I call a win for consumers. Xbox One players will have to wait a little longer for the game though, as the new version has been delayed until August.

    Last minute delay

    Pinball FX2 is less an individual game and more a pinball game platform. On Xbox 360, downloading the main game itself won't get you full access to any tables. But players can pick and choose from a huge variety of individual tables and table packs. These tables are all original creations from Zen Studios, not adaptations of real-life pinball machines. They vary in subject matter from original themes to licensed properties such as Marvel Superheroes and Star Wars.

    Since Pinball FX2 launched on Xbox 360 in 2010, many players have accrued upwards of forty tables for that version of the game. As originally announced, existing players would have had to repurchase the same tables in order to access them on the Xbox One. Many would have refused to do so, limiting the potential reach and enthusiasm for the new version of the game.

    Pinball FX2 Guardians of the Galaxy table

    By default, there are no universal apps or content purchases shared between Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Some games have allowed one way content transfers from the 360 to the One in the past though, such as Assassin's Creed IV and Call of Duty Ghosts. The same type of content/profile transfer will apply to upcoming downloadable titles Minecraft: Xbox One Edition and Happy Wars.

    Even though Microsoft has no ecosystem-wide transfer policy in place (unfortunately), the big MS does at least grant exceptions now and then. The exception for Pinball FX2 came very late in the game, considering literally within two weeks of the release date announcement and the original planned release. It's no surprise that the launch had to be pushed back a bit in order to accommodate the transfer feature.

    Note that transfers between the Windows 8 version of Pinball FX2 and the Xbox One version are extremely unlikely to happen. A transfer system for Windows 8-to-Xbox One versions simply does not exist yet. Maybe someday!

    Pinball FX2 for Xbox One will arrive sometime in August. It will include the "Sorcerer's Lair" table for free.

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    In more Pinball FX2 news, Zen has just released the "Guardians of the Galaxy" table for Xbox 360. The new table is based on the Marvel Studios film of the same name that debuts in US theaters this week. I can't wait to see it!

    The table features all five Guardians team members from the film: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. Players will also encounter some of the film's antagonists, including Yondu and the Ravagers, Nebula, and Ronan the Accuser. The table starts out with four-ball multiball, promising a high-intensity experience just like the movie.

    The "Guardians of the Galaxy" table will also be coming to Xbox One next month. This one won't be making its way to Windows 8, unfortunately.

    • "Guardians of the Galaxy" for Pinball FX2 – Xbox 360 – 62 MB - $2.99 – Xbox.com Store Link

    airmech arena

    AirMech Arena, a new sci-fi themed free-to-play MOBA game has now made its official public debut on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, after a week of closed beta testing.

    AirMech Arena comes from developer Carbon Games and publisher Ubisoft and was previously released for the PC. Ubisoft says:

    Take control of transforming robots and rule over the battlefield by capturing bases and building armies to help you clear the field of your enemies. Team up in the cooperative multiplayer, head out on your own in the single-player, or take on your friends in the competitive multiplayer with teams of two to three players.

    While you can play AirMech Arena for free, Ubisoft also offers a Starter pack for the game that costs $9.99 and gives players "Lifetime Silver VIP, unlimited solo rewards and more!" There's also AirMech Arena Prime, which offers access to all the game's AirMech classes, a larger selection of units, and more benefits for $19.99. If you own an Xbox 360, will you be checking AirMech Arena out today?

    Source: Xbox.com


    Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

    At the beginning of the month, Perfect World Entertainment revealed that its popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Neverwinter would be coming to the Xbox One in China. The MMO genre is one of the most popular types of games in China; they have literally a million billion of them over there. If I am not mistaken, that's a number so high that mathematicians don't even have a word for it.

    Announcing a game for the Chinese market and announcing it for the rest of the world are two different things. But did anyone really think Perfect World wouldn't bring Neverwinter to North America and Europe as well? The PC version already has a strong following worldwide, after all. Today it became official: Neverwinter will arrive on Xbox One worldwide (following this year's Chinese release) in 2015!

    Seems like it's never winter

    Neverwinter is a Dungeons & Dragons-themed MMORPG that launched on PC last year. The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter. Although not a true sequel to the popular Neverwinter Nights series, this Neverwinter draws influence from both games.

    After nearly being destroyed by a cataclysmic volcanic eruption, Neverwinter has finally been restored to its former glory. A powerful Lord known as Neverember takes the city under his protection in the hopes of eventually ruling it as king. But multiple forces of evil threaten the rebuilt city, including a lich queen, a resurrected pirate, and an army of the undead…

    Players can choose from seven races and six classes in Neverwinter. The races include Half-Orc, Human, Half-Elf, Elf, Drow, Dwarf, and Tiefling; the classes consist of Great Weapon Fighter, Guardian Fighter, Trickster Rogue, Devoted Cleric, Control Wizard, and Hunter Ranger. A seventh class called the Scourge Warlock will be unleashed in the upcoming PC expansion "Tyranny of Dragons" next month.

    As you'd expect, Neverwinter uses a modified version of the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. The actual combat is highly approachable, closer to Diablo III than the more involved mechanics of Elder Scrolls Online. The game also offers player-created quests, a feature you won't find in other many other online RPGs.

    The PC version of Neverwinter is free to play. Get it from Perfect World's Arc Games website.

    Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

    Xbox One version

    Neverwinter will arrive on Xbox One worldwide in the first half of 2015. According to IGN, the console version will contain most (but not all) of the PC game's content. Perfect World plans to stagger some of the game's post-release content when bringing it to Xbox One, presumably to give console players a chance to enjoy the main game before moving on to endgame-focused content.

    In our original story, contributor Kane Gao worried about how well a computer game like Neverwinter would translate to console controls. According to the developer, it adapts very well. A tray of commands appears at the bottom of the screen, where players can hotkey them to buttons on the controller. Holding Left Bumper toggles to alternate commands, giving players access to a wide variety of moves and items without the need for a keyboard.

    Beyond that, Xbox One-specific details are scarce. We know that Xbox One players won't be able to mingle with PC gamers. Not too surprising, as Microsoft just plain won't allow cross-platform play with non-Xbox systems. The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) will work the same way when it arrives on the Xbox One at the end of the year, segregating Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC players. Also, both games will require Xbox Live Gold memberships in order to play.

    Knowing that cross-platform play is out, two big questions remain. One: will PC players be able to transfer their characters to the Xbox One version? Although ESO will support such a transfer, we can't assume the same for Neverwinter. And two: will Neverwinter be free to play on Xbox One? Considering that ESO will be a retail game AND require a monthly subscription fee, Neverwinter will have a huge pricing advantage if it retains the PC version's free to play payment model.

    Perfect World Entertainment promises more details as Neverwinter gets closer to release on Xbox One. We'll keep you posted!


    Controller Modz Xbox One controllers

    The Xbox One is still a pretty new console, and so gamers don't have much in the way of controller choices. If you missed out on the Titanfall Limited Edition controller, you're pretty much stuck with the default black controller until the camouflage design comes along in the fall. How boring is that? Just think of everybody getting their controllers mixed up during Rayman Legends sessions.

    Luckily, controller modification specialists Controller Modz are on the scene. The UK-based retailer offers a wide variety of customized controllers for the Xbox One and other consoles. These controllers aren't third-party knocks offs; they're official Microsoft controllers that have been professionally recolored with the customer's choice of design.

    In celebration of Controller Modz's latest design (themed after UK gaming site Invision Gaming Community), users can even get ten percent off of their order. And yes, they ship internationally.

    Controller Modz Xbox One controllers Invision One

    Invision Controller

    The Controller Modz "Invision One" Controller for Xbox One comes in a fetching lime green color with chrome finish, evoking the look of the Invision site. Green has always been an Xbox color as well, come to think of it. The controller's green color comes from professional airbrushing and a glossy finish. On the left side of the controller you'll find the Invision Game Community logo and a cute drawing of its mascot.

    The sticks and most of the buttons on the Invision One come in different colors than you'd find on a stock Xbox One controller. The analog sticks are white, while the face buttons are black and unlabeled. That would be a disadvantage for someone who doesn't know the button layout very well, but I doubt anyone so noobish has much of an interest in controller mods. As for View and Menu (Back and Start), those are the default black with white labels.

    All told, the Invision One offers a very cool alternative look for the standard Xbox One controller.

    Controller Modz Xbox One controllers Invision One

    Choosing your controller

    The Invision One is one of 19 predesigned Xbox One controllers that Controller Modz offers. You can check out its product page here, or see the full list of designs here.

    If none of those designs feel quite right, Controller Modz also allows customers to mix and match components in order to design their own totally unique controllers. You can even add your own logos, text, and LEDs!

    Custom controllers don't exactly come cheap. These things start out as retail Xbox One controllers before going through the professional modification process. UK-based customers can opt to provide their own controllers in order to cut down on the price.

    Assuming you don't send in a controller, the Invision One rings up at £79.99. UK customers get free shipping, while shipping to the US costs £8.00. Controller Modz currently offers a ten percent discount on the Invision One if you enter "invision" during checkout. That brings the total to £80.98 for US customers, which equals $136.93.

    Having done a little arcade stick modification during my college years, I know how much work can go into changing a controller's appearance and/or adding features like LED lights. The Controller Modz modified controllers aren't cheap, but they look beautiful and seem like very high quality controller mods. I'll try to get my hands on one so we can bring you a full review soon.


    f1 racing

    Codemasters revealed today that the UK developer and publisher is working on two new F1 racing games. One of them is due out this fall for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and other older generation consoles, but the second, due out in 2015, will be released for the new Xbox One console.

    F1 2014, will is due out October 17th for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, will feature all of the new circuts, the new turbocharged cars, and all of the driver moves in the current Formula 1 racing season. Codemasters says:

    "The game also includes refined handling on a pad and a new driver evaluation system that tunes game settings to your skill level to increase accessibility – we want all of our players to race competitively, more quickly. Of course, all the veterans of the series will be able to experience the true challenge of racing this year's stunning generation of cars, featuring more explosive power delivery but less downforce, by customising your options and turning off all the assists."

    However, the team is also working on F1 2015 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It will be released earlier in the 2015 season but will receive downloadable updates after launch. Codemasters says, "These updates will deliver 2015 content into the game as the season unfolds, ensuring you'll be competing against the same drivers and teams you watch week in and week out!"

    Are you excited at the prospect of two new F1 games coming from Codemasters?

    Source: Codemasters