Report: UK Spy Agency Evaluated the Potential of Using Kinect, PlayStation Eye for Bulk Surveillance

February 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden cited in a new Guardian report indicate that UK spy agency GCHQ evaluated the potential of using the Xbox 360 (and now Xbox One) Kinect peripheral as a means to spy on people. The report also indicates that the agency also considered the usefulness of the PlayStation Eye as well.

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Xbox One Indie Developer Program Adds 65 New Members

February 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft's Xbox One self-publishing indie program ID@Xbox continues to grow with the announcement today that 65 new members have joined the program including Tony Hawk developer Robomodo, Castle Crashers creator The Behemoth, and Limbo developer Playdead. ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla said that with the addition of today's new members, total enrollment in the program currently stands at more than 200 developers.

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Report: Twitch Streaming Coming To Xbox One Alongside Launch of Titanfall

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics staff

It may have taken them a lot longer than anyone would have liked, but Twitch has finally revealed just when users can start streaming their game experiences from Xbox One to the popular game streaming service. The timing of an update that will implement game streaming is more than a little coincidental too. Today it was revealed by Twitch CEO Emmett Shear that the update that will enable game streaming to Twitch on Xbox One will launch alongside the release of Respawn Entertainment's upcoming action game Titanfall.

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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition Launches Globally

February 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Wargaming has launched its free-to-play online tank battling game, World of Tanks to the Xbox 360 today and the game is available "globally" for all Xbox Live subscribers. Published by Microsoft Studios and developed by Wargaming West (formerly Day 1 Studios), World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition is digital downloadable and free-to-play for Xbox Live Gold account holders, with a 7-day timed trial offered for Xbox Live Silver members. At launch World of Tanks on Xbox 360 offers tanks from the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, and seven different maps to play on in 15 v.

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Microsoft Assures Customers That It Will Continue to Support and Develop Killer Instinct

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft issued a brief statement today to Polygon offering assurances to players concerned about Killer Instinct being abandoned after news surfaced that Amazon had acquired the game's developer Double Helix.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that Microsoft Studios will be working with a "new development partner" on Killer Instinct for Xbox One going forward.

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Microsoft: Details on Games With Gold on Xbox One 'Coming Soon'

February 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will soon share its plans for Games With Gold on Xbox One, according to a recent tweet by Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer. Spencer recently said on Twitter that details about the free monthly game giveaway program coming to Xbox One "will be coming fairly soon."

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Dead Island and Toy Soldiers: Cold War Free on Xbox Live in February

January 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Dead Island and Toy Soldiers: Cold War will be available free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers in February through Microsoft's Games with Gold program, the company announced today. Techland's open-world zombie survival action-RPG Dead Island was released in September 2011 and normally costs $19.99 on Xbox 360 Games on Demand. Dead Island will be free to Xbox Live Gold level subscribers from Feb. 1-15.

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Frequent Killer Instinct Quitters Will Go To Jail After Next Update

January 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you think it's cute to disconnect from Killer Instinct on Xbox Live when you are playing an online match, then you may not be happy to hear that game developer Double Helix wants to put you in jail. Not "you" in the literal sense, but your account.

The next update to Killer Instinct on Xbox One will institute a jail system for players who frequently disconnect in the middle of online matches. Here's how the whole system will work, according to Double Helix:

 

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PSA: Happy Wars No Longer Requires Xbox Live Gold

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Developer Toylogic has some good news for people who want to play its free-to-play faction-based RPG game Happy Wars but don't want to pay Microsoft a monthly fee: they can now play the game without having to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber.

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Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Free on Xbox Live Today

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, today is the day that you can download Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light for free as part of Microsoft's ongoing Games with Gold promotion.

Released in August 2010, the downloadable title would normally cost you $14.99, but you can score it for free of charge beginning now and until the end of the month.

Earlier in the month Microsoft handed out Sleeping Dogs for free.

Look for Microsoft to announce new games available in February for free as part of the program.


Pizza Hut Makes $1 Million in Four Months with Xbox 360 App

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Pizza Hut says that it added $1 million in sales in the four months after launching a Kinect-enabled app on Xbox 360 that allowed gamers to order Pizza for delivery. The company said that the app was so successful that it has begun talking to other companies about the possibility of deploying similar apps on additional platforms - though it didn't drop any specific names.

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Games With Gold for January: Lara Croft and Sleeping Dogs

December 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft's Games With Gold program is offering two games in the month of January, The first two free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in 2014 will be the action game Sleeping Dogs and Lara Croft's 2010 adventure, Lara Croft: Guardian of Light.

Sleeping Dogs will be the first game made available on January 1, followed by Lara Croft on January 16. As always, you have until January 15 to grab that copy of Sleeping Dogs, and after January 16 you have until the end of the month to grab Lara Croft.

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Perfect World Launches F2P Console Publishing Division

December 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

MMO company Perfect World Entertainment is making a major push into the free-to-play market on video game consoles. The company announced that it has completed a company expansion by creating a console division targeting current and next-gen consoles. Planned console products expected include current and future games from Perfect World Entertainment’s suite of developers, the company said.

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Stephen Colbert Jabs at NSA for Snooping on Second Life Players

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last night on Comedy Central's the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert spent a bit of time picking on the idea of the National Security Agency snooping around Second Life. Recently reports revealed that new documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the NSA was lurking in World of Warcraft, on Xbox Live, and in Second Life (of all places) to keep tabs on terrorists who they believed might be organizing attacks in these virtual worlds. Stephen Colbert poked fun at the recent revelation, showing clips from the game while cracking jokes like this one:

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Shoot Many Robots Available For Free Through Games With Gold

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The second free offering from Microsoft's "Games With Gold" for the month of Dec., Shoot Many Robots, is available now on Xbox Live for Xbox 360. In the first half of the month Microsoft offered Gears of War for free as part of the program. Shoot Many Robots is usually priced at $4.99 on the Xbox Games Store. Shoot Many Robots is a four-player action platformer developed by Demiurge Studios and published by Ubisoft for Xbox Live Arcade.

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Report: Declassified Documents Show American and British Spy Agencies Targeted Xbox Live, Second Life, and World of Warcraft

December 9, 2013 - James Fudge

According to a lengthy report co-published by Pro Publica and the New York Times, American and British spy agencies have infiltrated World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and collecting data in the games played by millions of people around the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents. Agents supposedly created characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, and collected data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.

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Microsoft Promises to Deal With Xbox One Issues

December 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Day-one Xbox One buyers have had their fair share of problems with Microsoft's system that launched on Nov. 22. From failing hard drives that made some systems very expensive paperweights to technical problems with voice chat and missing features, fans have had to deal with a number of challenges. This is of course the price of early adoption of new technology, but today Microsoft has promised that they'll do better in the future and fix the various shortcomings of the new platform in an expedient manner.

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Gears of War and Shoot Many Robots Are Free in December

November 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The new two titles to be free to Xbox Live Gold members as part of Microsoft's Games With Gold program will be Epic Games' popular shooter Gears of War and multiplayer scrolling action game Shoot Many Robots. Gears Of War will be available as a free download starting December 1 and will be available as a free download to Gold subscribers until December 15. Shoot Many Robots will be free starting December 16 all the way until December 31.

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Report: Microsoft Banning Xbox One Users Over Videos and Skype Calls Containing Vulgar Language

November 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Reddit thread unearthed by Eurogamer, Microsoft has been banning Xbox One users who have been deemed to have used foul language in their chats via Skype and uploaded videos through Upload Studios. Dozens of users have also complained about the bans on the Xbox forums, according to Eurogamer.

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EA Acknowledges FIFA 14 Xbox One Bugs, Promises Update Today

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts has acknowledged several bugs that are plaguing the Xbox One version of FIFA 14, which it vows to adress with an update later today. The first is a bug where using a second controller to navigate the bootflow when FIFA 14 is loading will result in a game crash. Until the bug is fixed, EA recommends that players use the first controller to navigate the bootflow and then activate the second controller when at the main menu of the game.

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Microsoft Takes Down Instructions for Downloading and Applying Xbox One Day-One Firmware Offline

November 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier today Microsoft offered instructions similar to Sony's (for the PS4) on how to download the Day One update for its Xbox One, put it on a USB drive and apply it offline. Then they removed it. The 20-step guide for downloading the latest Xbox One firmware to a USB stick was pulled after news about it got out, and Microsoft responded by saying that it was important that consumers log onto Xbox Live at least once when they get their shiny new console beginning tomorrow.

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Report: If Stephen Elop Were CEO of Microsoft He'd Consider Shutting Down Xbox, Bing

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Analyst: Microsoft Loses $2 Billion on Xbox Annually

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund says that Microsoft's losses on its Xbox business total $2 billion per year, but are masked or hidden by substantial cash generated from royalties on patents from Android-based devices.

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox One Launch Apps

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has revealed the line-up of entertainment apps that will be available at launch for the Xbox One in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Microsoft's first-party services available at launch include  Xbox Fitness, Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Internet Explorer, Skype, SkyDrive and its Upload service. Third-party services like Netflix, Crackle, Twitch, Amazon Prime and more will also be available at launch.

A big list - divided by region - can be found below:

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Microsoft Launches Kinect Privacy Policy Page

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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PlayStation Second Most Popular Brand on YouTube

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While Red Bull is the number one brand on YouTube (mostly because it sponsors so many interesting sporting and gaming events worldwide), "PlayStation" is also pretty popular, according to data collected by Statista and Mashable.

A World Of Keflings and Iron Brigade Free in Nov. On Xbox Live

October 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft's free game offerings to Xbox Live Gold subscribers as part of its Games With Gold promotion are A World Of Keflings and Iron Brigade. A World Of Keflings will be available beginning Nov. 1 up until Nov. 15. Iron Brigade will be available for free Nov. 16 until the end of the month. In case you are not familiar with the game, is a real-time strategy kingdom management game that lets your Avatar be the star.

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Microsoft Updating Xbox Live Terms of Use This Week

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will launch an updated "Terms Of Use" for Xbox Live this week requiring users to commit to keeping personal information up to date. According to an announcement on the Xbox Wire, the new Terms Of Use are currently rolling out and will appear when gamers log onto Xbox Live.

The main change to the Terms Of Use is that Microsoft will now request that players ensure their personal information is current. This new requirement, claims Microsoft, is for security purposes, and that this information will be used as a check for other apps that connect to Xbox Live.

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Accessory Promises to Block Xbox One Kinect Cameras

October 28, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Video games accessory maker PDP has created a Kinect TV mount that comes with a "privacy cover" to block the device's RGB and IR cameras. The device, which is listed on Amazon (found by NeoGAF users) costs $20 and promises that it will "fit almost any TV and requires no tools for installation."

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Microsoft: Transactional Revenue from Xbox Live up 25 Percent Year-over-Year

October 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

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E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
Sleaker@Pap Midnight - So wouldn't it be any journalist writing about general gaming culture would need to disclose any and all links/ties to said general gaming culture to be ethical? Also @EZK to use you're own methodology, I'm still curious on the question10/02/2014 - 10:49am
KronoSure none of those are reviews, but it is positive exposure, which as illustrated by The Fine Young Capitalists, is pretty damn important for getting people to check out your work.10/02/2014 - 10:32am
Krono@Midnight and of course the article most people mention and insist was no way influenced by him being romantically involved only days later, and her friend beforehand here: http://goo.gl/xCzivK10/02/2014 - 10:29am
Papa MidnightThe term "lovers" might be pushing it given the apparent time frame, but I understand what you're saying. Even if they were friends at the time, then that may present impropiety. However, that calls for a Magic-8-Ball level of speculation.10/02/2014 - 10:26am
Krono@Midnight She was a guest on an RPS show he cohosted here: http://goo.gl/QxljSG10/02/2014 - 10:24am
prh99Personally I'd say her original piece on Bronies was far more ethically questionable. Though for different reasons.10/02/2014 - 10:20am
Krono@Midnight On the Grayson relationship? For starters it depends on how long they were friends before they were lovers. Nathan gave Depression Quest top billing back in this article: http://goo.gl/tqGsnW10/02/2014 - 10:20am
Papa MidnightIf said journalist, however, is placed into a position where they have to write about matters dealing with DICE, then yes, a COI is present and should be declared.10/02/2014 - 10:18am
Papa MidnightHypothetically, if a developer from DICE starts dating a tech journalist from CNN tomorrow, so long as said CNN journalist is not (in)directly involved in any editorial process regarding matters dealing with DICE, there's no need to declare a COI.10/02/2014 - 10:18am
Papa MidnightThere's no need for it. A declaration of a Conflict of Interest is only necessary in the event that the parties may be placed into a situation where the conflict may become a factor.10/02/2014 - 10:16am
Krono@prh99 It was after #gamergate. There was a post on r/games that called out the lack of disclosure.10/02/2014 - 10:12am
Papa MidnightKrono: If the purpose of such was to expose some conflict of interest, I am not sure what the purpose or end objective was. Specifically, said relationship had not produced any works positive or otherwise. Where's the beef?10/02/2014 - 10:09am
prh99I don't know, the update isn't dated. Also, actual attempt at deception or absent mindedness? "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"10/02/2014 - 10:06am
Krono@prh99 disclosed in an update after #gamergate noticed and called it out.10/02/2014 - 10:04am
 

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