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Leaked specifications on the next-generation Xbox are here thanks to a user on Chinese forum TGFC, this user 'BD' claims to be an ex-Ubisoft employee and has leaked specification on the upcoming next-gen console from Microsoft.
BD has claimed that the next-gen Xbox will sport an AMD 8-core processor, 8GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series GPU, Windows 8 kernel and a 640GB HDD. If these specs are true, we're looking at production specs and not a prototype - we're close enough to the unveiling which should be at this years' E3.
Microsoft are going to face some fierce competition this time round, and so will Sony and Nintendo. We have the smaller Ouya console, NVIDIA's recently announced Project Shield and the biggest competitor in my opinion - Valve's Steam Box.
CES 2013 - It looks like the early images of Valve's Steam box could have been fake or could have been one of Valve's partners leaking images of one of several "Steam box" designs. The Verge is reporting images of the actual device that is on display at Steams booth at the CES.
The company has stated that it came to the show specifically to meet with hardware partners, and has about 20 meetings lined up. Valve Representative Tom Giardino said in an interview.
It has been rumored that Valve will tap Linux for its own version of the Steam Box. The company says that any of its partners are open to introduce their own hardware and call it whatever they like - including the term "Steam Box" Valve CEO Gabe Newell told Kotaku in December, that he expects companies to start selling PCs designed for the living room in 2013.
CES 2013 - Razor has released it's ultra-high-end gaming tablet named Edge. Previously known as Project Fiona, the 10.1" Windows tablet has finally launched and carries a price to match its long anticipated release.
Evolving from a tablet with fixed side panel con rollers to a sleek tablet with 3 separate peripherals: Keyboard, Stand, and Gaming Case, the Razor Edge looks to be everything we were hoping for and even more. The device will come in two flavors that are sure to appeal to the hardcore gaming crowd as well as the causal gamer who just wants a nice Windows tablet.
The standard version uses an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB or 128GB solid-state drive, and the Edge Pro comes with the i7, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of space. Both use an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics chip, the less powerful cousin to the 640M.
CES 2013 - Yesterday I reported that we would be seeing Valve's entry into the console gaming world this year, and now we have our first look at the new Linux based console.
Dubbed the Piston, Valve's console is manufactured by Xi3 and is not a traditional console. The Piston is a little modular PC featuring a quad core CPU of unknown origin or specifications, and it supports storage up to 1TB. It is low power too, said to consume just 40w, but that is unknown if that is under load or at idle.
The coolest feature is that the whole unit is modular like a traditional PC. The motherboard can be swapped out if the official hardware is updated, and we think the GPU is upgrade-able as well. No images of the controller design have surfaced yet, but we are sure that it will be as sleek and awesome as the Piston itself.
2013 is set to become the battle of the small brand consoles. Nvidia and Ouya both have gaming consoles releasing this year and we have heard rumors and tiny tidbits of official information on Valve's entrance into the console gaming world.
A German website (Golem) is claiming to have information on Valve's "Steam Box" straight from Valve engineer Ben Krasnow. He is said to have confirmed that the Steam Box will not run on Windows like so many expected, but rather on a Linux based backbone.
This comes as no surprise as Valve has been making a major push into its Linux compatible software this past year, and with Valve CEO Gabe Newell lashing out publicly about how bad Windows 8 is. No word on an official release date but the we know it will most likely be released this year.
'Disney' and 'console' are not two words that I would've thought I'd be writing together about, but here we are. Disney all the way back in June 2011 filed an application for a patent, but it was only recently that the Patent and Trademark Office logged it.
Disney's patent suggests that the behemoth company are working on their own console that would sport 3D augmented reality, including a handheld device. The patent has teased that it is, or will be called 'Toy Box'. The description of Toy Box sound intriguing: "It's gameplay involves various Disney and Pixar characters interacting with each other".
Considering Disney have a plethora of characters under their name, including the Pixar name and now Star Wars - this could be truly game-changing news. It might not directly compete with the Xbox and PlayStation, but it wouldn't need to. Also remember that Pixar and Apple are BFFs... so this could be the work of Apple, or they've at least got their finger in the pie here.
What do you think of a possible Disney console?
Microsoft has halted development on its free-to-play Age of Empires Online game that came out in 2011. What this means is that there will be no new content coming for the game, though the game will continue to operate. Microsoft detailed what it means in a blog post:
Age of Empires Online has finished its development phase, and now moves on into the support phase. It means that there will be no new content created for Age of Empires Online. There is a small amount of content still in the pipeline that will be released in the next few weeks, but that is all. No new features will be added. Most significantly, no new civilizations will be released. However, nothing else changes for players, nothing that currently exists will be removed.
So, the game will eventually die, and until then, bug support will be slow and possibly non-existant: "Fixing and remaining bugs and addressing balance issues will be slower and, frankly, more difficult for the team. Some may, in fact, be unfixable. We will be watching carefully in case any critical bugs appear."
Microsoft could be devoting the resources towards developing a new version of the game, or something else. It's always possible it could be ressurected in the future by another publisher, as well.
Some say gaming addiction is real, while others say it is a myth. Either way, spending all of your waking hours playing Star Craft or WOW is just simply not productive. 23 year old Xiao Feng's father decided to take his sons "excessive" game play down a notch.
After several hours of repeated deaths in an online game from the same character, Feng figured out that the high-level assassins had been hired by his father in hopes that the repeated attacks would cause his son to loose interest in the game.
The father reportedly took these drastic (and comical) measures because he "wanted his adult son to find a job". Xiao Feng maintains that he's not going to settle for just any job and that he hasn't found the right fit yet.
R2 Studions, a company founded by the guys who brought us the Slingbox has been shopping around for acquisition offers for some time now. Early reports mentioned Google and Apple as buyers, but it looks like Microsoft has beaten them to the punch.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Microsoft has closed the deal and is now the new owners of R2 Studios. The acquisition comes just a week after R2 founder Blake Krikorian stepped down from his position on Amazon's board of directors.
The sale price was undisclosed but reports are coming in that Microsoft acquired several patents that cover controlling electronic devices. R2 has been working on different ways to distribute content on TVs which lines up nicely with Redmond's plans to make the Xbox the center of your media experience.
Razer has launched a new Xbox 360 controller known as the Sabertooth. The device looks very similar to the Microsoft Xbox controller, save for the fact it features six extra buttons. It has the normal buttons all in the same locations and could easily be mistaken as a normal controller.
It's currently available in the UK and US for £69.99/$79.99 and comes with a carrying case and a detachable cable. Two buttons are on the shoulder, two are on the undercarriage, and two are beside the OLED screen. It's not clear if the device features any sort of rapid fire or other mods.
There are multiple reviews on the Internet should you find yourself interested in buying one.