Whoever wins the first round of this new console cycle war, individuals at Microsoft are showing that they can be cordial and decent. Today via its official Xbox Twitter account Microsoft offered Sony congratulations on lunching its PlayStation 4 console. Several Microsoft executives involved with the Xbox One also extended their own personal messages congratulating Sony.
While we don't have any specifics on what went on at this swank press event for the Xbox One, it sounds exciting. Apparently - according to 69 party photos posted on Revamp, the Entertainment Software Association and Microsoft put on a swank reveal party for the Xbox One in Washington D.C. The catered event at the W Washington, D.C. hotel was attended by members of Congress and Obama administration officials, according to the site.
A new report from Bloomberg reveals that one of the candidates to replace former CEO Steve Ballmer wouldn't think twice about making major changes to the company if necessary - including shutting down major divisions to refocus the company like Bing and Xbox.
Microsoft, trying to get a grip on the controversy surrounding just what its Kinect peripheral will capture, collect, and save, has released a page dedicated to explaining just what it will do when it is connected to the Xbox One launching later this month. Microsoft hopes that these disclosures related to the Kinect and its privacy policies will ease consumers who are concerned about the security of their information and activities recorded by Kinect.
Microsoft posted its first quarter financial results for its current fiscal year, revealing that it raked in $18.5 billion in revenue for the three-month period ending on September 30th. The numbers represent a 16 percent increase in revenue compared to the same period a year ago. Microsoft also reported overall net income of $5.24 billion, a year-over-year increase of 17 percent.
Microsoft Studios corporate vice-president Phil Spencer says that "it makes a lot of sense" that a symbiotic ecosystem exist between Xbox One and the Windows-based PCs. In an interview with AusGamer, Spencer was asked if Windows 8 and Xbox One could host cross-platform play between their respective platforms.
"I'm not allowed to leak things," Spencer replied, "but I think what you're talking about makes a lot of sense."
An Advertising Age report highlighted by NeoGAF unearthed over the weekend has thrown some gasoline on a story that surfaced earlier this year about how Kinect could be used to improve the monetization of Xbox One customers.
According to Reuters, three of the top 20 of Microsoft's investors - who collectively hold about five percent of the company's stock, are looking to force company co-founder Bill Gates out of the company and into retirement. Last week Microsoft co-founder Steve Ballmer left the company, stepping down as its CEO.
Speaking to IGN Microsoft corporate vice president Marc Whitten said that the Day One update to the Xbox One console (the mandatory update you'll have to install before you can start using the shiny new next-generation console system) will take 15 - 20 minutes to download and install. The patch makes it so that the system can function both online and offline, but first you'll have to connect the system to a Microsoft server online so it can be patched.
If you want an Xbox One this holiday season, you're getting a Kinect along with it whether you want one or not.
Some people don't like the Kinect. They think it's imprecise and the games are mostly crap.
Others, really don't like the idea of an always-on system pointing a camera and mic at their living area. I don't know about you, but my TV and console are in my bedroom. Yeah...
Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison says that the upcoming next-generation Xbox One console is expected to have decade-long lifecycle. The Xbox One's launch on November 22 will commence the platform's "more than 10-year journey," Harrison said today during his Eurogamer Expo keynote address. Through features and services - including the cloud, Microsoft plans to support the Xbox One for more than a decade, Harrison said.
In a highly competitive promotion against Apple's favorite tablet, Microsoft has decided to give consumers willing to turn in that old iPad a couple of hundred bucks in their store - presumably to spend on their Surface tablet... The promotion, which runs until October 27, allows people to trade in their "gently used" iPad 2, 3, or 4 tablets to receive a minimum of a $200 gift card to the Microsoft Store.
Earlier this week the director of programming for Xbox Live Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb took to NeoGAF to express his distaste for the term "Xbone." Hryb said that the term was disrespectful to the team developing the system at Microsoft.
"I don't like it," he wrote on 9th September. "It disrespects the teams that have put in thousands of hours (already) into the development of the product. Sure, it's cheeky but I don't care for it myself."
A U.S. District Court jury in Seattle has awarded Microsoft $15 million in damages related to its long-running patent infringement lawsuit with Motorola. This signals the end of litigation (save the appeals process) in the long-running legal dispute over claims by Motorola that the Xbox 360 infringed on several of its patents related to video decoding and wi-fi technology.
Jinni has inked a multi-year agreement with Microsoft to enhance entertainment discovery on Xbox video game and entertainment systems including the Xbox 360 and the upcoming Xbox One releasing in late November. Jinni is described by its creators as a "taste-and-mood based engine" that enables entertainment discovery using "content genetics" and an understanding of user preference analytics.
Are you ready for another round of console wars? Boy howdy, I am! So let's do the fanboy/armchair analyst thing and predict which console will sell the most units this holiday.
Let's see, Sony's Playstation 4 launches on Friday, Nov. 15 and Microsoft's Xbox One launches the following Friday on Nov. 22. Will the extra week give Sony a leg up? Both consoles are out before the all-important Black Friday.
According to Quantic Dreams' David Cage, Sony ended up with the exclusive to Heavy Rain on PS3 because Microsoft made a decision to turn it down due to some content in the game that they were strongly concerned about. Heavy Rain, which won a BAFTA award for Best Story in 2011, featured a storyline about a man in a desperate search for his abducted child, which Microsoft apparently thought could cause the company some controversy.
Peter Hines, Bethesda's vice-president of public relations and marketing, is making news today for some comments he made about why the Elder Scrolls and Fallout makers are not supporting the Wii U. Speaking to GameTrailer's Bonus Round, Hines said that Nintendo needs to do a better job of communicating with third-party developers about platforms like Microsoft and Sony have.
Microsoft has renamed the "Xbox Live Marketplace" on Xbox.com to the "Xbox Games Store," putting the name in line with other marketplaces the company runs - like "Windows Phone Store." The Xbox Games Store is still located at marketplace.xbox.com (at least for now), and now groups titles by platform, with sections for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Mobile and Web games.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next year, the company announced today. A special committee and Ballmer will help hand pick a successor. The committee is headed up by lead independent director John Thompson and includes chairman of the Board Bill Gates, chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.
Today Microsoft launched a new contest that encourages Xbox One fans to create and submit a one minute video about the Xbox One games they like. The creators of the chosen videos will win a series of Xbox One related goodies when the system launches this fall including an Xbox One system, a one-year Xbox Live Gold subscription, an undetermined amount of free Xbox One launch titles, and the opportunity to work with Microsoft's Upload team in the future.
During its Gamescom press conference in Cologne, Germany today Microsoft finally detailed how self publishing will work on Xbox One for indie developers who do not want to sign a first-party publishing deal with Microsoft or with some other third-party publisher. Earlier in the year the company said that those would be the only options for indie developers to get their games on Xbox One, but Microsoft later reversed its stance.
An update to the Age of Empires Online support page on Xbox.com - that went live yesterday and was quickly removed - indicated that Games for Windows Live services will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. The page also revealed that Age of Empires Online would be shut down at right around the same time.
The deleted entry from the site:
Microsoft will officially close its Xbox.com PC Marketplace on August 22, 2013. According to this FAQ on Xbox.com, those who have purchased Games for Windows Live titles and DLC will still be able to play them through the service's client, but won't have access to any kind of marketplace to purchase additional content. Some are concerned that Games for Windows Live titles will be inadvertently pulled from other services such as Steam, but that is really up to the publishers, according to Microsoft.