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Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings this week looking at most aspects of its business. One of the things that didn't get talked about during the quarterly report was exactly how sales for the Xbox One are going. Early in the launch cycle for the new console, Microsoft was bragging frequently about how the console was selling.
All we heard on sales stats for the console during the earnings report was that Microsoft shipped 1.1 million Xbox One consoles in the last quarter. Microsoft has only moved 100,000 more consoles than it did last year in the same period when the Xbox One wasn't available.
The last official Xbox One sales figures came in May of this year when Microsoft said it had shipped over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the world. That number put it about 2 million units behind the PS4 in sales.
Some details on the next major update for the Microsoft Xbox One game console have surfaced. The most important thing added in the update due to land next month is support for 3D Blu-ray discs. That means owners who have a 3D TV will get to enjoy 3D movies from the console.
Other improvements coming in the update include changes to the console Activity Feed and Friends section. Users will also gain the ability to automatically download new games and apps. That feature allows you to purchase content from Xbox.com via the web or Smart Glass connected devices and have the Xbox download it automatically.
Another nice update is a warning that will display when your controller is getting low. Xbox controllers will also get a vibration to acknowledge when input with a notification has been made. There will be other updates and tweaks made as well.
Microsoft hasn't always reached the sales numbers in Japan with past iterations of the Xbox that it wanted despite the consoles being very popular in other countries. Xbox head Phil Spencer recently admitted to that fact when he posted something on Twitter in response to a fan who asked if Microsoft would try and "conquer Japan" since Sony has said the PS4 is only doing OK in the country.
Spencer answered writing, "We will be in Japan in September. Japan hasn't always been the easiest market for us, will be good to launch and be at Tokyo Game Show." One reason that the Xbox and PS4 haven't been as popular as Microsoft and Sony want in Japan is that there has been a lack of games developed in Japan for the consoles.
Spencer says that won't be the case this time out with the Xbox One because Microsoft has first party games in development in the region. Microsoft sees Japan as a critical market for the Xbox One.
It looks like Microsoft knew what it was doing when it slashed $100 from the price of its Xbox One console, because just last month alone the company has seen an increase of over 100% in Xbox One sales.
The news is coming out from an internal Xbox blog, with the sales increase being attributed to the new $399 price of the Xbox One console, without the Kinect sensor. Microsoft hasn't revealed the exact number of consoles sold, so we don't know any concrete numbers on the amount of Xbox One consoles Microsoft shifted last month.
Fans of arcade fighting games will probably have some fond memories of the Tekken franchise. This game franchise has been around for six iterations and has some of the most memorable characters and game play in the fighter genre. The next installment in the franchise was announced at EVO 2014.
Tekken 7 is in the works and along with the tease that the game is coming at the EVO 2014 tournament comes a trailer for the game, which you can see here. What we know about the game right now is that it will use Unreal Engine 4, and it is expected to be available on next-gen consoles. There is no word on when it will launch.
Game producer Katsuhiro Harada said: "With Unreal Engine 4, we can rapidly achieve visual quality expected on next-gen platforms and go beyond it. Not only is Unreal Engine 4 powerful and easy to use, but it also allows us to bring Tekken 7 to any platform we desire."
Gamers know that developers often put little Easter eggs into the games that are a challenge to find. These Easter eggs are often things like odd levels that you can play, like the infamous cow level in Diablo II. Halo 3 had its share of Easter eggs hidden away and one of them only works on a single day each year.
That single day of operation is the reason why it remained undiscovered for seven years. This particular Easter egg is only accessible on December 25 via the loading screen by hitting both thumb sticks. The result is that the screen zooms out giving a wider view of the Halo ring and a birthday greeting for Lauren.
The greeting reads, "Happy Birthday Lauren!" It's hard to believe that no one mentioned this Easter egg for all those years. I guess it's cool to have your own greeting in a game that no one knows about.
Microsoft hasn't even had its Xbox One on the market for over 12 months yet, but that shouldn't stop you from thinking the company isn't thinking ahead for its true, proper next-gen console. The company is looking for a new Industrial Designer for its Xbox team.
The company has posted an ad looking for a new Industrial Designer, with their responsibility being: "The Xbox Industrial Design studio is building a world class in house team. We love entertainment. We live for building transformative entertainment experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft".
I think we're going to see a new console from Microsoft much quicker than previously thought, something I hope replaces the Xbox One as a proper next-gen console capable of at a bare minimum, 4K at 60FPS. This will pave the way for Microsoft to allow VR headsets like the Oculus Rift to work with it, as VR requires serious horsepower. The Xbox One has seen most of its games rendered at 720p, with most of the frame rates on 'next-gen' games locked at, or around 30FPS. This isn't really any better than the Xbox 360, and if the Xbox One is going to be here for another five years or so, it's simply not good enough.
Razer is known for pumping out some interesting products like the Edge and lots more. Razer is mostly known for making some really cool gaming peripherals like mice and keyboards. This fall, Razer will be getting into the game console market with a new product called the Razer micro-console.
The device is tipped to run Android TV to create a small game console, presumably for playing video games on your TV. So far, details on the console are scant with no indication of what type of processor or storage will be used offered, we also have no idea of the price.
Razer has promised that the console will be appropriate for hardcore gaming. That seems to indicate that it will do more than play game apps available for Android devices. Hopefully full details of the console surface soon.
It looks like the demand in Europe for Sony's next-gen console is high, with the company now improving the once tight supply of the PlayStation 4 across Europe.
Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK, Fergal Gara, explains: "We haven't yet caught up with the initial demand across Europe. We are still dealing with the day one market. We are very close to being in a full supply situation, but we are not quite there yet". Sony is ahead of Microsoft in next-gen console sales, but with a tight supply in a big market like Europe, the PlayStation UK boss said: "We may have lost some sales".
Gara continued: "There is no update on PS4 sales figures right now, but suffice to say it is still selling, and selling very well". Sony has plenty of PS4s available in the UK, but each time it ships PlayStation 4 consoles to Germany, they sell them all. Gara adds: "We are in a bit better shape in the UK, but there are countries that are still selling out every last unit that drops into the market on a weekly basis. A good example at the moment would be Germany who had phenomenal sales figures last week, but they just haven't had enough stock so far".
Nintendo has been seeing great headlines lately, with a 400% surge in Wii U sales thanks to Mario Kart 8. Not only that, but Mario Kart 8 has helped Nintendo push Sony up against the wall in Japan when it comes to console sales.
There was a rumor that Nintendo was poised to unveil a next-gen console at E3, something that never happened, but now we have the Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime affirming that Nintendo is sticking to the Wii U. The Nintendo America boss says that the Wii U "has a very long life ahead of it. It's got great content coming that will help define the platform".
Nintendo has Sony as its only next-gen competitor in its home country of Japan, as Microsoft hasn't launched its Xbox One in the country just yet. The Xbox One lands in Japan on September 4, which isn't too far away. Nintendo seems to be doing better this year with the help of Mario Kart 8, but the company still has Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon to reach the Wii U, something that Fils-Aime says will have similar sales effects to the Wii U that Mario Kart 8 had.