Microsoft: No Kinect-Free Xbox One Release Planned

July 24, 2013 -

If you were hoping to buy an Xbox One without a Kinect and believed some of the rumors that a SKU would be available that featured only the console in Summer 2014, then you will be sad to hear that it just isn't true. Microsoft today shot down rumors that the Kinect or the console could be purchased separately.

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Report: Microsoft Will Change Policy on Xbox One Software Publishing Requirements

July 24, 2013 -

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that "every Xbox One" can be used to make games, meaning that every unit can in fact be turned into a development kit, or debug unit. Kotaku offers this statement from Microsoft on the matter:

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Google's Motorola Files Appeal of ITC Decision on Xbox 360 Exclusion Order

July 22, 2013 -

According to a tip sent over by Foss Patents, Google has appealed Motorola's loss to Microsoft in its ITC patent case which sought to have the sale of its Xbox 360 banned in the United States.

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Oddworld Inhabitants Boss Criticizes Microsoft's Xbox One Indie Games Stance

July 22, 2013 -

Oddworld Inhabitants founder Lorne Lanning says that Microsoft's Xbox One approach to indies ignores the little guys. Lanning's studio is responsible for the popular Oddworld series of games including Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, and more.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 61

July 22, 2013 -

In Episode 61 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the First Amendment, if Microsoft will cooperate with the government to allow access to the Kinect's various features (for the purposes of spying on us), Forza 5 requiring a 'day one' update, and a whole lot more. there's even some talk about Howard the Duck, LEGOs, the new Avengers movie, Hank Pym, Comic-Con and more. Download Episode 61 now: SuperPAC Episode 61 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 64 MB.

Poll: Will the Gov’t Use Microsoft’s Kinect To Spy On Xbox One Owners?

July 17, 2013 -

Does the Xbox One Kinect camera make you nervous?  Sure, the console is switched off but the Kinect is still listening, isn't it?  And the Xbox One is connected to the internet.  Oh sure, Microsoft says it won't violate your privacy or share info without your consent but do you trust the big M to keep its word?

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Microsoft to DOJ: 'The Constitution Itself is Suffering'

July 17, 2013 -

Last week Microsoft asked the Justice Department for permission to release information to the general public about its participation in government controlled surveillance programs, but the DOJ would not allow it. According to CNet, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith sent a letter on Tuesday to the Obama administration asking for permission to reveal details about how it responds to orders from the U.S. government for private user data.

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Microsoft Claims Ownership of Two Xbox One-Related Domains

July 17, 2013 -

Fusible reports that Microsoft has successfully secured ownership of the domain names XboxOne.com and XboxOne.net. In late May the company filed a cybersquatting complaint with the National Arbitration Forum asking the oversight body to turn the domains over. Microsoft's actions against the cybersquatter were aided by the Richard Law Group, which helped it secure two other domains related to its business last year - XboxPhone.com and XboxTablet.com.

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Report: Microsoft Cooperated with NSA Surveillance Programs

July 12, 2013 -

A new report from The Guardian reveals the scope of Microsoft's alleged collaboration with the National Security Agency and its PRISM domestic spying program. According to the report, which cites top secret documents obtained by the Guardian, Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption related to its Outlook portal and web chat services; provided help with Hotmail mail services, its cloud storage service SkyDrive; and Skype.

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New Xbox Live Rewards Program Coming Sept. 1

July 11, 2013 -

According to an announcement on Microsoft's Xbox Live Rewards website, the incentive program for Xbox Live is going to be revamped in September. Most of the changes have to do with the program doling out MS Points. With MS Points going the way of the dinosaur soon in favor of real-world currency, this is not an unexpected announcement.

Microsoft encourages Xbox Live Rewards members to return to the website on September 1 for more details on the revamped program.

You can find the full statement below:

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Julie Larson-Green to Lead Xbox Division and More

July 11, 2013 -

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer detailed a sweeping restructuring plan in an internal email to employees. In the memo Ballmer said that Microsoft will be organized by function within four groups: OS, Apps, Cloud and Devices.

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Report: China Preparing to Lift 13-Year-Long Console Ban

July 10, 2013 -

According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government is preparing to lift the 13 year long ban on game consoles in the region. Such a move would be good for the industry, but first console makers such as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft would have to kowtow to the demands of the government. Apparently efforts to eliminate the ban are strongly supported by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

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Report: Mattrick Tried to Negotiate Sale of Zynga to Microsoft in 2010

July 8, 2013 -

According to a Bloomberg report, former Xbox chief and current Zynga CEO Don Mattrick has been an admirer of the social game maker for quite some time. In fact, in 2010 he tried to convince higher-ups at Microsoft that it should buy Zynga. This was prior to the company going public and during the company's popularity with games on Facebook, according to Bloomberg.

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Major Nelson: Sorry People Are Disappointed in First Games for Gold Offering in July

July 1, 2013 -

Speaking to the Reddit community, Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb said that he was sorry that fans were disappointed that the first free game for July in Microsoft's Games for Gold program was Defense Grid. Fans expected to receive Halo 3 or Assassin's Creed 2 - which were announced as games being given away free as part of the program during E3.

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Report: Don Mattrick Leaving Microsoft for Zynga

July 1, 2013 -

Update #2: It looks like no one will replace Mattrick, according to a memo obtained by Kotaku attributed to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Instead of replacing Mattrick, all of Mattrick's subordinates in the division will now report directly to Ballmer.

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Fez Creator Slams Microsoft

June 28, 2013 -

Fez creator Phil Fish has criticized former co-publishing partner Microsoft for doing what he considers "nothing" to help sell his game on Xbox Live Arcade. Fish took to Twitter yesterday to complain about Microsoft's lack of support for him and his game and gave no quarter in his harsh criticism:

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Microsoft to Spend $700 Million on Data Centers in Iowa

June 24, 2013 -

Microsoft will spend $700 million on a new data center in West Des Moines, Iowa - according to the Des Moines Register. The data center is the result of a deal with the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board, which has approved through the state $20 million in tax credits for the computing giant for what has been named ‘Project Mountain’.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 57

June 24, 2013 -

In Episode 57 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about several GamePolitics polls, Microsoft's decision to pull a 180 on its various Xbox One policies, Cliff Bleszinski's public comments about the whole thing, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 57 now: SuperPAC Episode 57 (1 hour, 16 minutes) 69.5 MB.

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Skulls of the Shogun Developer Laments Exclusivity Deal with Microsoft, Glad It's Over

June 21, 2013 -

Borut Pfeifer and developer 17-bit Studios signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for its game Skulls of the Shogun. The game was released in January on Surface, Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade in January. Now that that window of exclusivity is almost over, Borut Pfeifer is relieved.

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Guatemalan Company Sues Microsoft for Anti-Piracy Raid

June 21, 2013 -

Seguros Universales, one of the largest insurance companies in Guatemala has sued Microsoft over what is being called an unwarranted and extortion-like anti-piracy raid. With the help of local law enforcement Microsoft demanded an on the spot payment of $70,000 from the company for the use of pirated software or they said would have all of a company’s computers confiscated.

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Xbox One Will Require 'Day One' Update

June 21, 2013 -

Speaking to Polygon, Microsoft has confirmed that the required Xbox One launch-day patch is not tied directly to offline functionality. Before consumers can start using the system they will have to download a "day one" update.

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Analysts Praise Microsoft's Sea Change on Xbox One Restrictions

June 20, 2013 -

Two equity research firms have weighed in this morning on Microsoft's decision yesterday to give up on its Xbox One used games restrictions, region locking, and internet connectivity requirements. First up is BMO Capital Markets, who said in a note to investors this morning that this was good news for the industry - and in particular GameStop.

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Poll: Will Microsoft Reinstate Its Original DRM Policies Once Enough People Have Purchased an Xbox One?

June 19, 2013 -

Microsoft has done a 180 on its universally maligned DRM policies for the upcoming Xbox One.  Yes, universally maligned.  Every Alpha Centaurian I've spoken to thought that 24-hour check-in requirement was crap on toast.

In case you missed the news, the Xbox One can now be used offline (after a mandatory day-one update), games are no longer region-locked, and discs can be freely lent, resold and rented.

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Microsoft Dumps (Most) Bad Xbox One Policies

June 19, 2013 -

Realizing that it has lost the war on Xbox One's online requirements and its used games policies, Microsoft announced today that it is abandoning them altogether. Microsoft has changed its stance on always online and used game policies to be more like they were on Xbox 360. In a blog post explaining the changes President of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, Don Mattrick, laid out the changes.

Kinect May Run Afoul of Proposed We Are Watching You Act

June 19, 2013 -

The newly designed Kinect for Xbox One may run afoul of a bill called the "We Are Watching You Act," if it becomes law. The law sponsored by Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), requires companies to "explicitly" ask consumers for permission to store their data. The device would also have to inform the user how the data is collected and who will see it after it is collected.

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Xbox One Retail Games to Sell for $60

June 17, 2013 -

While Microsoft has had its fair share of bad press surrounding the Xbox One console, those still considering a purchase when it is released later this year will at least be happy that the price of new games will remain in line with Xbox 360 retail disc pricing. Games will retail for $59.99, according to an unnamed source speaking to Kotaku.

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Microsoft: No Plans for Changing Policies on Xbox One Used Games, Connectivity Requirements

June 13, 2013 -

When asked by CVG if Microsoft plans to change course on its "connect once a day" requirement and policy on used games for Xbox One, Microsoft executive Phil Spencer said that his company's stance on those issues is fixed and "definitive" - at least in the short term.

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Poll: Has Microsoft’s DRM Policies Doomed the Xbox One?

June 12, 2013 -

Last week, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One requires internet access and that used game sales are subject to the whims of publishers.  You will not be able rent or loan your games at launch and there's no guarantee you ever will.  You can give a game to someone else but only if the publisher allows it and even then, the recipient must have been in your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

42 comments | Read more

EA's Peter Moore: Online Pass 'Was a Mistake'

June 12, 2013 -

Polygon's Colin Campbell pulls no punches in an excellent sit down interview with Electronic Arts' chief operating officer Peter Moore.

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Redesigned Xbox 360 Pricing

June 10, 2013 -

More details have been revealed on the new Xbox 360 consoles that have been released to retail outlets today. The newly redesigned console comes in three SKUs: a 4GB model, a 4GB model with Kinect included, and a 250GB model.

The 4GB vanilla option will cost $200, a 4GB with Kinect included will cost $300 and the 350 GB Xbox 360 will cost $300. We assume that these newly designed models will eventually replace older models on the market now.

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InfophileThat's not how human psychology works. It's all about "Keeping up with the Joneses." When everyone around you has a new fancy smartphone and is talking about that cool HBO series, do you want to be the one left out?07/11/2014 - 4:05pm
Matthew WilsonThe issue is most people would settle for the basics and not work. That is why we would need very heavy automation to make a system like that work. Almost all labor intensive tasks would have to be done by robot.07/11/2014 - 2:32pm
InfophileOf course, that's a gross oversimplification. The idea, have a basic safety net that pays for what's needed to live. If people can find a job and are willing to work, they get more money which can be spent on comfort and perks.07/11/2014 - 11:33am
InfophileIt's quite possible to get an economy to work with a basic minimum standard of living. You just need perks for the people who do work. Everyone gets food and a home. Everyone who works also gets an iPhone.07/11/2014 - 11:32am
MaskedPixelanteIn the continuing adventures of "Stuff I figured would be overpriced on eBay but isn't", 15 bucks for a copy of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.07/11/2014 - 10:04am
SleakerI didn't gather the same conclusion.. Seems like they are focusing on devices & services still, just not calling it 'devices and services'07/11/2014 - 8:57am
PHX CorpMicrosoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/10/5887143/satya-nadella-microsoft-ceo-employee-email07/11/2014 - 8:45am
MechaTama31declared that everybody should have them. Somebody still has to produce them.07/11/2014 - 7:44am
MechaTama31I do mean the developers/governmet. And money is not the only thing of value. I am including the food, housing, etc that everybody is supposed to get for free under this system. In the real world, those things don't exist merely because an authority has07/11/2014 - 7:43am
InfophileAs automation gets better and better, the number of jobs absolutely required keeps diminishing. How many people these days do you think are actually needed to keep everyone alive? Most people just make our lives more convenient and entertaining.07/11/2014 - 4:43am
Matthew Wilsonthat kind of system only works when most people (around 70 to 80 percent ) do not need to work.07/11/2014 - 1:21am
TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
TechnogeekAlso, you raise a valid question, but I'd argue that as things stand we're artificially limiting the amount of "gold/silver" that could be produced. The whole "work a job you hate to pay the bills" thing meshes poorly with the entreprenurial spirit.07/10/2014 - 11:49pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, it looks at how in-game economies work and what lessons can be applied to reality, focusing primarily on multiple currency systems. Such systems do exist in real life (food stamps, for example), although generally aren't seen as such.07/10/2014 - 11:43pm
MechaTama31Or to produce the gold and silver, for that matter?07/10/2014 - 11:42pm
MechaTama31But in seriousness though, the F2P games can conjure up all the "valuables" out of the ether. Are there going to be enough people going for the "gold" and "silver" to actually produce the necessities the "free energy" is supposed to cover?07/10/2014 - 11:39pm
TechnogeekHey, it works for Wall Street.07/10/2014 - 11:36pm
 

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