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There has been more controversy and drama created over Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console featuring Always-On DRM. We have even seen one employee resign after he went on a ranting tirade on Twitter about the subject. Such a touchy topic has led to a lot of bad publicity for the Redmond, Washington based giant, and today we are finally hearing some official words on the topic from Microsoft.
In an internal Microsoft e-mail sent to all full-time employees working on the next-gen Xbox, the company has seemingly began shooting down the idea of always-on DRM for certain aspects of the system.
"Durango is designed to deliver the future of entertainment while engineered to be tolerant of today's Internet. There are a number of scenarios that our users expect to work without an Internet connection, and those should 'just work' regardless of their current connection status. Those include, but are not limited to: playing a Blu-ray disc, watching live TV, and yes playing a single player game."
Valve have just made Left 4 Dead 2 available to Linux users, in beta form. The first-person zombie shooter is now available under the Ubuntu OS, if you'd like to go ahead and try it out.
Early reports pegged the earlier versions of the game running at single-digit frame rates, which is obviously not good enough. There's now a fully functional beta client available on Steam.
Someone has a little too much time on their hands, but has made something unbelievable cool - a disc changer for the Xbox 360 made from Lego. Yes, Lego. The Changer uses 3 x NXT's and is controlled through Bluetooth.
The Changer is made from 3 NXT's, 7 NXT servos, an RC motor, a light sensor, two color sensors and around 3000 parts. The claws of The Changer are operated with a pneumatic system with the disc selected by the user sending The Changer a message between 1 and 32 as The Changer holds 32 discs. The average change time for discs sits at around 42 seconds.
Ouya have pushed out 'Project Update #25' and included inside is an update on the shipping status of their Android-powered console. For the week just gone, they have "successfully eclipsed 50 percent of units shipped and remain ahead of schedule to complete all shipments by the end of May".
Because they are this far in the game now, Ouya have completed their first production run, with all of their tools operating as needed to get all of the Ouya units to consumers. Other events this week for Ouya include the Limited Edition consoles rolling off the production line. International shipments have been slowed down because of an issue with the power adapter, which was caught early enough to be rectified before units began shipping.
The Limited Edition Ouya consoles should begin shipping in the coming days, meaning I should get mine in the next couple of weeks!
We're counting down the days until Microsoft's reveal of the next-generation Xbox, but there are going to be a slew of rumors and talk between now and then. The latest piece is from Windows SuperSite reporter, Paul Thurrott.
Thurrott said last week that a subsidized next-gen Xbox would be priced at $299 and carry a $10 monthly fee - this is incorrect. Thurrott has taken to Twitter to say that his source suggests the cheaper console would feature a $15 per month fee. The Verge reporter Tom Warren, corroborated the rumor, tweeting "yup" and noted that the subscription "includes family" as well.
Microsoft will hopefully reveal all about the Xbox at their E3 meeting. The Windows maker has officially sent out invites for their Xbox E3 2013 media briefing that will occur on June 10. For those who don't know, E3 2013 runs from June 11 to June 13, so this meeting will take place the day before the show opens.
Due to this invite being sent out, we're not sure just how much Microsoft will unveil at the May 21 event. It's possible that this June 10 meida briefing will be used to get the console into the hands of members of the media, or it could be a time when more details regarding the Xbox are unveiled.
We'll be sure to report on all of the news from the event. Stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest Xbox news.
Nintendo has issued a statement regarding the story we ran yesterday about the Wii U being hacked so possibly pirated games could be played. According to Nintendo, they haven't seen any unauthorized applications running on a Wii U while in Wii U mode.
Nintendo is aware that a hacking group claims to have compromised Wii U security. However, we have no reports of illegal Wii U games nor unauthorized applications playable on the system while in Wii U mode. Nintendo continuously monitors all threats to its products' security and will use technology and will take the necessary legal steps to prevent the facilitation of piracy.
Not to be outdone, the makers of the Wiikey have posted a response to Nintendo's statement on their site. The response consists of four cryptic lines of what appears to be hexadecimal code:
57 55 50 2D 50 2D 41 52 50 50 2D 30 30 2D 31 30
31 45 55 52 2D 32 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
It's likely that Nintendo will be able to block the Wii U hack through a software update, though it's possible that they won't be able to. If they do, it's always possible the hackers could reverse-engineer the the firmware again and re-enable the hack.
The creators of the popular first-person shooter known as Call of Duty have released a new trailer for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts, the name of which was leaked last week. The new trailer is embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Note, it's a live-action trailer likely because they aren't ready to release what the graphics will look like.
Activision confirmed that the new Call of Duty game would eventually make its way to the next-generation platforms, as well as the current crop of consoles. We'll get our first look at the game during Microsoft's Xbox event on May 21. We still don't know quite what to expect from Microsoft, though we expect the Xbox 720 to be detailed.
Mark Rubin, executive producer of developer Infinity Ward:
Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we're not resting on our laurels. We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we're building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can't wait to share them with our community.
A new social gaming title based on the Game of Thrones TV series is set to release from social gaming giant Zynga. The new title has been developed in partnership with HBO and Disruptor Beam.
Game of Thrones Ascent, which was designed by Disruptor Beam, is set to be published on Facebook by Zynga, as well as the company's own Zynga.com website.
Disruptor Beam chief executive, Jon Radoff, had the following to say about the announcement:
One thing that I've learned in my years of starting and building companies is that gaming companies cannot always be solely responsible for 100 percent of their hits. Partnerships are integral to the success of any game company and any game."
Nintendo has suffered from piracy for a while now, with devices being built to allow pirated games to be played on the Nintendo DS and a device to allow games to be played on the Wii through the USB port. The creators of the Wiikey have announced they have successfully built a new device to allow games to be played on the Wii U through the USB port.
The new device is known as the WiikeÜ and appears to be a method to allow piracy. The creators claim the device works on devices from any region without the need to solder any chips inside the device. The Wii U, which is already have issues selling, partly due to a lack of games, might be further hampered by this new device.