Notes on Microsoft's Xbox Gamescom Press Briefing

August 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft held its Gamescom Xbox press conference in Cologne, Germany today, laying out a roadmap for the games, entertainment and services that are in the pipeline. We have the cliff notes below:

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Xbox One Set for Sept. 23 Release in China

July 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will be the first console maker to launch a console in China since the government lifted its 14-year ban on home console systems in January of this year. Today Microsoft revealed that it plans to launch the console system on Sept. 23 for approximately $600, or ¥3,699 RMB.

Microsoft has partnered with China-based BesTV to manufacture and sell the system in the region. One of the conditions the government put on console makers is that the systems had to be manufactured in the country.

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Report: Chinese Government Raids Four Microsoft Offices

July 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reuters and the South China Morning Post (by way of GIGA OM) are reporting that at least four of Microsoft's offices in China have been raided by the Chinese government.

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Microsoft Ships 1.1 Million Units of Xbox Hardware in Q4

July 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft revealed its fourth quarter 2014 and full-year 2014 results for the period ending June 30th, 2014. The company said that it saw revenues of $86.8 billion for 2014, up from $77.8 billion law year.

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Microsoft Laying Off 18K Employees, Closing Xbox Entertainment Studios

July 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that - as part of a major staff reduction - it will shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed the news to Xbox Entertainment Studios staff on Thursday in an email:

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Report: Microsoft Layoffs Will Hit Xbox Division

July 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Bloomberg report, Microsoft is planning to cut a number of jobs in its Xbox division as part of an overall restructuring plan. Two anonymous sources familiar with the situation have told Bloomberg that overall cuts could end up being the biggest number of layoffs since 2009 when the company laid off 5,800 employees.

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Microsoft Denies Report it is Killing Off Xbox One's Ability to Double as a 'Dev Kit'

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has denied a report coming from Digital Spy claiming that the company planned on canning the Xbox One's ability to double as a development kit for developers who want to create games for Xbox One. The report is based on comments made by the Xbox Advanced Technology Group's Martin Fuller, who said the company has no plans to implement the previously announced feature.

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Sony Changed E3 Script Due to Microsoft's PR Missteps

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said during a presentation at the Develop conference today that the company changed its 2013 E3 script at the last minute because of fan reaction to various missteps by Microsoft on a number of issues - particularly its stance on used games. House emphasized that it never changed its policies in response to Microsoft but it did tweak its E3 press conference presentation to highlight the PS4's strengths.

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The Return of Microsoft Flight Simulator

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based Dovetail Games announced that it has signed a global licensing deal with Microsoft to develop and publish all-new games based on Microsoft’s popular flight simulation technology. The company said in a press release today that it is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.

Dovetail Games also announced that it acquired the rights to distribute Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Steam. The new release on Steam will be sold under the name, Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 104

July 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's health and being reelected by the company's board, a bunch of topics related to Electronic Arts, and whether Microsoft should bother selling the Kinect separately from the Xbox One. All this and more awaits in the latest episode of the Super PAC. Download Episode 104 now: SuperPAC Episode 104 (1 hour, 13 minutes) 84.1 MB.

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Stephen Toulouse Joins Black Tusk Studios to Support Future 'Gears of War' Titles

June 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Stephen Toulouse, the former policy and enforcement director at Xbox Live, is once again representing the Microsoft brand with his new job as director of Community Engagement on the upcoming Gears of War game for Xbox One. Toulouse actually joined Black Tusk Studios awhile ago, according to what he wrote on his personal blog.

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Poll: Should Microsoft Bother Selling Xbox One's Kinect Separately?

June 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this month, Microsoft gave consumers the option to buy the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399, a C-note of savings.  Since then, GameStop reported a significant uptick in Xbox One sales.

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Microsoft: Consumers Will Buy Stand-Alone Kinect

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft says that separating the Kinect from Xbox One at retail will not drive game developers away from utilizing the device. Speaking to GII, Spencer said that Microsoft expects that the stand-alone Kinect will sell well and the success of the device and the software that uses it is heavily reliant on having a strong Xbox One install base.

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Microsoft Reiterates Its Support For Games For Windows Live

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft continues to refute that it is shutting Games For Windows Live down in July. In August of last year a support update on Xbox.com stated, "Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014". That message was later removed and Microsoft has denied that it is shutting down the multiplayer service for PC games ever since.

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Microsoft: Xbox 360 Owners Deserve More Games

June 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Xbox head Phil Spencer says Microsoft will continue to create and release more games for the last-generation Xbox 360 because it is "obligated to support Xbox 360" for the remainder of its life cycle.

In an E3 interview with UK publication Metro, Spencer attempted to explain why the company isn't dropping all of its efforts to focus exclusively on boosting Xbox One's first-party lineup of games.

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Microsoft Commits to Recycling Electronics

June 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft is officially a founding member of R2 Leaders, a group dedicated to responsibly recycling used electronics. The company joins other technology companies including Sony America, Xerox and Goodwill Industries in this endeavor.

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Phil Spencer: E3 Isn't the Right Place for Microsoft to Promote PC Gaming

June 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft hasn't been the best of friends with the PC gaming community over the last few years. While the company says that it has a lot of faith in the PC gaming space, you can always tell how strongly they feel about something by how much they highlight it at E3. And at this year's E3 Microsoft didn't even talk about PC games or show any that we know of.

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Baird Equity Research Highlights E3 Highs For Industry's Biggest Players

June 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Investment research firm Baird Equity Research has released a report related to E3, providing predications and opinions on the biggest players. One of the more interesting predictions is that Sony will preload digital copies of Bungie's Destiny and Blizzard's Diablo III beginning this fall. The firm says that this will be an optional thing for consumers. This "should drive higher sell-through for Activision, but at the cost of retail sales," the firm notes.

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Poll: Who Had the Best E3 Press Conference/Digital Event?

June 11, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

It's E3 week and Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo are doing their damnedest to convince us to buy their stuff.

Earlier this week, Nintendo had a digital event announcing it's upcoming games while the other four hosted full press conferences.  Who had the best show?

If you need a refresher, you can read our recaps here: 

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PSA: E3 Press Conferences Begin Today

June 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reminder: You can watch the biggest E3 press conferences on Twitch, starting at 9:30 am PST (that's 12:30 pm EST) with Microsoft's big E3 event.

Later today Electronic Arts will host its press conference, followed by Ubisoft, and then way later in the evening Sony will host its event for the show.

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Poll: Who Will Have the Biggest Gaffe During Its E3 Presentation?

June 6, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The Electronics Entertainment Expo is next week and kicking it off is a round of press conferences where the biggest publishers will try and dazzle you with game announcements and spectacle in an attempt to win your dollars.

Of course, these presentations rarely go off without a hitch.  Everything from technical failures such as Nintendo's Skyward Sword demo from 2011 or EA's Battlefield 4 false start last year to horrible hosts such as "Mr. Caffeine" from Ubisoft's 2011 presser and Jamie Kennedy who MC'd Activision's show in 2007.

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Report: Former Microsoft CEO to Buy LA Clippers for $2 Billion

May 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is at the top of the heap, winning a Clippers bidding war for $2 billion. Steve Ballmer left Microsoft in February and is worth an estimated $20 billion.

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Microsoft Has No Plans to Sell Xbox, Bing

May 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he has no intention of selling the Xbox business.

"I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today," Nadella told reporters at the Code Conference in California this week, according to The Verge.

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox One Pricing for Japan

May 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has announced the pricing and SKUs that it will offer when it launches the Xbox One in Japan on September 4. Two bundles will be available to Japanese gamers on September 4: one with the Kinect bundled in for 49,980 yen ($490) and one without the motion sensor device for 39,980 yen ($392).

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Microsoft: Kinect Was Once Built Into Xbox One

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to the industrial designer who helped build the prototype for the Xbox One, the Kinect motion sensing camera was built into the device at one point. In an interview with Develop, Xbox industrial designer Carl Ledbetter said that the Kinect was once built into the Xbox One unit, but Microsoft ultimately rejected the idea because the system was too large.

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Poll Results: Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?

May 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week we asked our readers, "Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?" Half of voters said that the new Kinect-free version of Xbox One will in fact help the company close the sales gap between the Xbox One and the PS4, but that Microsoft will not be able to surpass Sony by the year's end.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 99

May 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss whether the unbundling of the Kinect will help Xbox One sales, the NPD Group's latest report on core gamer trends, and ISPs threatening to take their ball and go home if net neutrality passes. Download Episode 99 now: SuperPAC Episode 99 (1 hour, 5 minutes) 75 MB.

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Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

May 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rare has suffered a number of high profile layoffs, which Microsoft is describing as part of a decision to change the "development process" at the UK studio. A little under 20 employees have been given pink slips, including veteran programmer Chris Sutherland and designer Gavin Price.

Sutherland, a twenty year veteran at Rare, has worked on such games as Battletoads, three Donkey Kong Country games, and the Banjo-Kazooie series. He also is the voice of Banjo-Kazooie.

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Poll: Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?

May 15, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Starting June 9th, gamers will be able to purchase the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399.99, the same price the PS4 currently retails for.

That should level the playing field a bit, no?

As of early April, Sony announced that it had sold more than 7 million units.  Microsoft says Xbox One has sold more than 5 million.  Will unbundling the Kinect help the Xbox One sell more consoles?  Enough to catch the PS4 by the year's end?

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Microsoft to Offer Refunds for Xbox Live Gold When Apps Go Free

May 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will offer refunds to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who want to cancel their membership when new service policies go into effect in June. The company said yesterday that Xbox Live users will no longer require a Gold subscription to access Netflix and other entertainment apps beginning next month. Gold will still be needed for online gaming and to benefit from promotions like Games with Gold on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Following a June system update for Xbox One and Xbox 360, users will be able to request a refund on their Gold subscription, according to Microsoft:

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Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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