Today at its Windows 10 event, Microsoft revealed a new visor that will serve as its entry point into the world of virtual reality.
In a demo of its newly acquired mega franchise Minecraft, Microsoft showed off how its "Project Hololens" wearable visor will display "holograms" in the user's field of vision. The technology is more akin to augmented realty than virtual reality, but we won't split hairs.
Speaking to GameSpot, Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the bold claim that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 operating system is "the best operating system we've ever created for gamers on PCs."
Microsoft has made a clarification to its rules for people who want to stream its Xbox games after some in the community expressed confusion. Last week Microsoft updated its Game Content Usage Rules acknowledging that fans could participate in partner programs to earn revenue for ads on Let's Play videos and game streaming as long as they followed a few rules and conditions.
Microsoft has officially said that, "hey people can stream its game content." Microsoft has given user the greenlight to stream gameplay and make Let's Play videos featuring its content on Twitch and YouTube. Microsoft also said that it has no problem with users monetizing this content either, but they'll have to agree to a few terms first. The 16 rules or conditions are covered under Microsoft's new "Game Content Usage Rules."
Microsoft has put out a gentle reminder (via Larry Hryb AKA Major Nelson) that its price cut on the Xbox One and its various bundle iterations will soon be coming to an end. If you didn't get an Xbox One for Christmas and want to take advantage of the $50 off the price promotion that has been running since November, you'll only have until Saturday, Jan. 3.
Microsoft announced today that it will discontinue the original Kinect for Windows. The company says that it will continue to sell the motion sensing camera device adapted for the Windows operating system until stock runs out.
"In October, we shipped the public release of the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and its software development kit (SDK 2.0)," the company said in a statement released today. "The availability of the v2 sensor and SDK 2.0 means that we will be phasing out the sale of the original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015."
According to a report from ZDnet reporter Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is secretly working on its own game streaming service currently codenamed Arcadia (named after the United Earth Government Colony of the same name in the Halo universe).
Foley claims the Arcadia team within Microsoft's Operating Systems Group is building a streaming app and game service built on Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Microsoft keeps giving lip service to gaming on the PC, but it hasn't done much with the space in a very long time. It has all but abandoned its Games For Windows concept and - while it hasn't confirmed it - is quietly shutting down its Games For Windows Live multiplayer service (which was poorly received by fans anyway). Earlier in the year Microsoft renewed its talk about how important PC gaming is and promised some movement in the space. This followed its announcement about Windows 10.
Microsoft is now accepting bitcoin for digital purchases on its various platforms, the company revealed this morning. Those who use bitcoin currency can spend it on purchases on Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores.
Square Enix tells Game Informer that the exclusive publishing deal it has with Microsoft to bring Rise of the Tomb Raider to Xbox One may not be so exclusive or forever as it has been reported. According to a statement from a Square Enix rep. responding to Game Informer's enquiries about the deal, the publishing agreement has a "duration," though the depth and breadth of that agreement was not revealed.
Microsoft confirmed today that it is publishing Square Enix's Rise of the Tomb Raider, making it an Xbox family exclusive. The game is the sequel to Crystal Dynamics' 2013 Tomb Raider reboot of the popular series that managed to sell over 6.5 million copies across multiple platforms. It is also being developed by the wholly-owned Square Enix development studio.
Microsoft has issued an apology to members of its Xbox Live Indie Games development community who have not been paid in the most recent round of payouts. The apology came after a member of the Destructoid community posted a rather scathing blog post about the situation, which was then shared across social media.
A new update to once again attempt to solve the problems with matchmaking in Microsoft's and 343 Industries' Halo: The Master Chief Collection is due for release later this week. A new post on Halo Waypoint lays out in vague terms what the update will do:
According to analyst firm Infoscout, the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 on Black Friday at retail. The firm claims that Microsoft's lower price point of around $50 gave the Xbox One an edge: it had 53 percent of total spend at retail, compared to the PS4's 31 percent. The Xbox One was also the top-selling console at both Walmart and Target, according to the firm.
In a public letter to the Halo community, 343 Industries apologized for the ongoing problems with matchmaking online for its recently released Halo: Master Chief Collection for Xbox One.
To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Xbox One, Microsoft will be giving away a handful of freebies and will be giving away major rewards to a few select and randomly chosen Xbox One owners. Anyone who bought an Xbox One between November 22, 2013 and November 11, 2014, and has logged at least 10 hours of usage is eligible. Everyone will get a Year One gamer picture, new Xbox One backgrounds and a Year One image for use as your desktop, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb explained in a new blog post.
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen says that while Sony has hit the ground running in the current generation of console wars with its PlayStation 4 console, he expects Microsoft is catching quickly.
"Clearly Sony has jumped out to a lead with a great console and I think a great pricing strategy," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, but "Microsoft is catching up quickly."
This week Microsoft announced that it has sold nearly 10 million Xbox One consoles since the system launched almost a year ago. The last time Microsoft revealed numbers on sales - way back in April - it said that its newest system had sold five million units.
Part of this growth is likely due two factors: the unbundling of the Kinect and a holiday price cut that runs until January of 2015. That price cut puts the system - including several bundles that include games - down to $349 - about $50 less than a PS4.
Microsoft has launched the Halo: The Master Chief Collection today for Xbox One, and its popularity among players has proven a challenge to the company online.
This morning Xbox issued a service alert warning players that some of the game collection's features were not working temporarily. Right now purchase and content usage related to the game and some social gaming features are currently experiencing problems.
In its alert Microsoft issued a statement on both issues, saying that it was aware of the problems and already working on them.
The free streaming music that you enjoyed from Microsoft for free on Windows 8 PCs and on the web will soon cost you some money - every month. Microsoft revealed that its Xbox Music streaming service will now require a monthly subscription in order to keep using it in the future. The service, which launched for Windows 8 and via the web was launched in October of 2012 and was free (and ad supported).
Backpedaling a bit after recent comments about the pay gap between men and women in the tech industry, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella now says there is no pay gap between men and women at Microsoft. In an interview with CNBC, Nadella said that there is only around a .5 percent difference in salaries on a global basis within the company.
"So it's different than what perhaps is sort of normally felt across all industries," Nadella said.
Multiplayer Network Innovations, LLC has added Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Tecmo Koei Games Co., Ltd., Iron Galaxy Studios, LLC, Tencent Holdings Limited, and Tencent America to its growing list of court room combatants in multiple lawsuits claiming that these companies violate an abstract patent for "Interactive Multiple Player Game System and Method of Playing a Game Between at Least Two Players," or "MNI."
Microsoft claims that over a million people have signed up for the Windows Insider program. The Windows Insider program gives those who sign up for access to the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore made the announcement in a blog post today, saying, "That equates to a lot of people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and sending us feedback. How much feedback? Over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback have been submitted to us via the Windows Feedback app from Windows Insiders like you."
You might be under the impression that the video game company that make the most money in the world would be Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Activision, or even Google and Apple. But according to a new report from New Zoo that distinction belongs to Tencent.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that four people have been indicted for allegedly breaching the computer systems of several video game companies and the US military, and stealing software worth over $100 million.
In July of this year Microsoft announced that it would cut approximately 18,000 jobs from its global workforce by July 2015. At the time it made the announcement, it also laid off around 13,000 employees worldwide.
This week Microsoft cut an additional 2,100 from its global workforce, making the total number of cuts made this year reach 15,100. Between now and July of next year Microsoft will have to cut an additional 2,900 jobs. In July, prior to the layoffs, Microsoft had a global workforce of around 125,000 employees.
Microsoft announced on Monday that it has acquired Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion.
That's a lot of money.
Do you think Microsoft overpaid or does two and a half billion dollars sound about right to you for the developer of one released but insanely popular game?
Vote in the poll and let us know! Or don't and leave us wondering...
Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Minecraft and Scrolls maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. The deal was rumored to be in the works last week. While Microsoft will acquire the Swedish company and all of its IP including Minecraft on multiple mobile, PC, and console platforms, it will not get access to one important commodity: Notch.