Former Valve Executive Joins Microsoft

August 14, 2013 - James Fudge

Former Valve executive Jason Holtman has joined Microsoft, according to GamesIndustry International. Holtman was in charge of Steam for eight years, helping to turn it into the digital distribution platform juggernaut that it is today. Holtman was the point man for developers looking to get their games on the platform, and is credited with convincing big third-party publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts to hawk their PC wares there.

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Marc Whitten: Kinect Not Required to Run Xbox One

August 12, 2013 -

In an "Ask Microsoft Anything About Xbox One" feature over at IGN, Microsoft revealed another change of heart related to its upcoming Xbox One console: it doesn't have to be plugged into the Xbox One if you don't want to use it. This revelation came from Microsoft's Marc Whitten. In two sections about Kinect, Whitten explained what the different states of having the Kinect motion sensing and voice recognition technology turned on and off will mean:

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Sony: PlayStation Plus Not Required to Stream and Record on PS4

August 8, 2013 -

Yesterday Microsoft confirmed that only Xbox Live Gold subscribers would be able to use the new Game DVR feature on Xbox One. No one was shocked by that news, given the current structure of Xbox Live and how it limits features of those not willing to pay for the service.

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Microsoft Releases Xbox One Unboxing Video

August 8, 2013 -

Microsoft's Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) released an Xbox One "Day One Edition" unboxing video detailing what you get if you have the courage to drop $500 on the upcoming console on launch day. The Day One Edition comes with the Xbox One system, a controller, an Xbox One Chat Headset, a quick start guide, and an HDMI cable (which supports 4K).

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Microsoft's Games with Gold Titles for August Revealed

July 31, 2013 -

According to this Eurogamer report, the next free games to be released on Xbox Live as part of Microsoft's Games with Gold Promotion will be the open-world future-leaning action game Crackdown, and the zombie survival game sequel Dead Rising 2.

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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.

22 comments | Read more

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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Will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?:

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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